Consider carefully what names and terms you use in your family. There’s no one, right way, but “step” and “half” can sometimes feel like “less” when applied to siblings. Explore with your kids about what works for them.
Tip of the Day February 19
When moving between households, it’s easy for kids to forget things. This becomes complicated for everyone involved! Try using a dedicated notebook or whiteboard to keep a running list of regular and special items needed to assist the transition.
Tip of the Day February 18
Sometimes we need help. Developing a network of friends who are willing to step in and “co-parent” on occasion (babysit, pick up a kid from school, grab an item at the store) is worth the while. Talking beforehand to folks about how you’d love to have such a reciprocal relationship with them can ease the way to asking for help during an emergency. It takes a village!
Tip of the Day February 17
Use any occasion to celebrate or create a new tradition. Think outside the usual rites of passage (birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, etc). Family traditions can also be built on less commonly thought of events – the first day of school, the return to our house from mom or dad’s house, Saturday mornings, good report card day. Be creative!
Tip of the Day February16
Try a complaint jar. Ask the kids (and adults!) to put their concerns on paper first, leave them in the jar, and agree to discuss things at a specific time. Conversations often go a bit better when we are cooler headed and have some distance from the problem.
Tip of the Day February 15
Do your best to be ready to listen whenever kids are ready to talk, even if it’s at an inconvenient time. We never know when they might be ready to share an important thought, a tough experience or a difficult question, and we’re never sure when the next such moment may come!
Tip of the Day February 14
Ask your child or teen what true love means to him or her. Let your child ask you the same question. Share and compare your definitions of love. You might be surprised at your child’s wisdom. Click here to send this message as an e-card.
Tip of the Day February 13
Eat dinner together as often as possible. Try sharing one good and one difficult thing from each person’s day. Or use conversation starter cards to help discussions go a little deeper. Get ideas here.
Tip of the Day February 12
Create a family tree art project together with your kids. Use magazines, construction paper, paint, string, and objects from nature. Label the people involved in your kids’ histories. Let the “branches” be as creative as necessary to include everyone – parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends, pets, second cousins’ divorced husbands with the cool car… just everybody! Display it, step back, and enjoy the beauty together.
Tip of the Day February 11
Be sure to explain your family’s structure to appropriate others in your kids’ world. Teachers, coaches, scout leaders, etc. will appreciate knowing who the relevant adults are in a kids’ life – and who they might see dropping off or picking up from events.