Have you ever wondered where all the hours in your day go? When you are a parent, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

You want to spend time finding a way to truly connect with your child—but there is also a pile of laundry and a dirty house and . . . the list goes on.

To understand just how busy parents really are, during the first 18 years of your child’s life you will spend:

  • 8,212 hours cooking and washing the dishes
  • 5,867 hours doing laundry
  • 11,048 hours cleaning the house
  • 15,834 hours taking care of your child
  • 120 hours changing diapers within their first year

connect with your child and mom hours

So how do you find time to connect with your child amidst the endless chore lists and responsibilities? Here is a valuable list of ways to connect with your children:

Make eye contact

connect with your child through eye contact

Parents are usually good at making eye contact when their child has made a mistake. (You know, when you use your child’s full name and are about to reprimand them for drawing on the wall.)

You may be surprised at how infrequently you lock eyes with your little ones in a positive situation. Look up from your mobile devices, work emails and to-do lists to smile at your children.

Unplug at Bedtime

Just for 10 minutes, forget the dishes piling in the sink. Put your phone on silent. And push aside thoughts of tomorrow’s busy schedule.

When you find a bedtime routine that is relaxing for you both, you will be able to end the day on a high note.

Schedule one-on-one time

Circle a day on the calendar for some parent-child date nights. Quality is definitely more important than quantity, so don’t feel overwhelmed at the thought of adding another thing to your schedule.

An hour of scheduled one-on-one time is a fantastic way to connect with your child in a very memorable way.

Apologize

connect with your child through apology

Even parents lose their temper. It’s especially prone to happen when the stress of the day carries over to the home.

Sometimes saying, “I’m sorry” is just what your child needs to hear. Those two simple words will be a useful teaching tool for your children.

Set a goal together

Whether it’s a classic chapter book you’d like to read together or a musical instrument you’d like to learn to play, when you have a goal and work toward it, you will grow closer.

Conversations in the car

connect with your child in the car

There’s a different feeling in the car when you communicate with your child during the tedious driving time. Talk about what is outside the window, or the exciting vacation that is coming up.

You can make up your own silly songs instead of listening to the radio. Or have a contest to see who can make the funniest noise.

Being a parent is incredibly rewarding. We are part of a large group of men and women—there are four billion parents in the world.

We can feel better about our day when we make time to connect with our children.

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