How to Use Mundane Tasks You Hate to Establish a Vital Connection With Your Child

Giving your kids the connection they crave doesn’t have to be difficult. Washing the dishes together helped me reconnect with my daughter.

David Fox
Family Matters

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Photo by Harry Grout on Unsplash

It had been one of those Sundays. The weather outside miserable and grey, reflecting my own, a strange anxious irritability. There was no particular reason for it, beyond perhaps the general background tiredness that every parent of a toddler knows is just part of their life. But on this Sunday, I was failing to be the dad I want to be.

My daughter wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, but her usual two-year-old behaviour — insisting on putting her wellies on before she was dressed, asking for foods we didn’t have, getting upset at being unable to have two of her favourite shows playing on the TV at the same time — was making me sigh and snap.

Usually I would negotiate around her impossible requests, let her stomp around in her wellies in the house and empathise with her frustration at simply wanting too many things all at once, but I felt incapable of doing that. And I think she felt that, too. I was, on this day, the frazzled, exhausted, would-be disciplinarian parent who turns down requests and doesn’t want to play games…

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David Fox
Family Matters

The challenges and triumphs of parenting while disabled. Email: davefox990@hotmail.com