Adults everywhere know that parenthood is full of massive ups and downs. Especially when our kids are young. Or we're moving or going through a major life change such as buying a house.
We don't always have the time or energy to devote to our little miniatures. And sometimes they simply drive us bonkers. They have boundless energy, and it happens.
So, here are three ways to connect with your kids when it's hard to do so.
1. Give Them a Hug
Maybe you're having a rough day. Or you know there's a particular time in your day that's difficult with the kids. For me, that's mornings. Bring it in for a six-second hug. Six seconds is the time it takes to release the feel-good endorphins that make you ALL feel connected and happy.
2. Invent a Phrase
A special phrase can be an amazing way to release some tension. Perhaps you say to your kids "I love you to the moon and back." Or you can invent a silly one like "the owls are hooting at night." Whatever the case, when the kids hear it, they'll be reminded how much you love them, regardless of the situation.
3. Try a Handshake
This one works particularly well with my son. Boys don't always communicate well through words, but they still appreciate a simple touch. With us, the first person squeezes three times to signal "I love you." The second person squeezes four times to add a "too" to the end of the phrase.
I once tried to teach this to my daughter and he got highly offended. It reminded me how a small, uniquely special gesture can make a massive impact on how a child feels.
For more tips on navigating parenthood check out How to be a Happy Mom! I cover leveraging mornings, improving mental health, and managing hardships.
We all have good and bad days. When stress is high and energy is low, remember the small things that can make a big difference in your relationship. The above actions all take just a few seconds. In the end, it takes only one word or touch to turn the mood around.