It’s impossible to connect to your kids if you’re not spending time with them each day. Playing, laughing, and having fun together can change the atmosphere of your home overnight, providing a catalyst for conversation. Here are five ways to do that:
1. Take one of them out for breakfast once a month. I got this idea from my neighbor who began taking out her high-school-aged daughter for breakfast to talk about books they would read together.
“It’s impossible to connect to your kids if you’re not spending time with them each day.”
2. Be there (even when you’re not there). Write notes to your children and put them in backpacks, lunchboxes, under pillows, or somewhere else around the house to find. On occasion I’ll put a Post-it note in Lucy’s lunchbox. To my surprise, she keeps all these tiny notes in the pocket of her lunchbox.
3. Walk around the block. After dinner, invite one of your kids to walk down the street with you. It will probably take less than ten minutes, but it provides time for undivided attention. Leave your phone at home.
4. Do errands together. Need to run to the bank? Take one of your children for some one-on-one time. Can’t bring just one and leave the rest at home? Bring all the kids and take turns sharing highs and lows of the day during the car ride.
5. Create a weekend ritual. What’s a fun activity you can do most weekends? Maybe it’s a board game everyone can play or a bike ride in the neighborhood. Kids can help make pancakes on Saturday mornings, or one night can be family movie night.
by Arlene Pellicane
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