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.
Tip of the Day February 10
Be sure to have some fun each week with each child in your family. Get fun activity ideas here.
Tip of the Day February 9
Try to develop and maintain connections to family and friends with all different forms of family. All families have strengths—from single-parent families to blended, and GLBT to non-traditional families. Knowing all types of strong families helps us see how many family structures can work together and support one another.
Tip of the Day February 8
Monitor your own comments about other parents and families. Your kids are always listening and we may appear less tolerant than we intend, if we are careless with our words.
Tip of the Day February 7
Don’t worry too much about your child’s mood, snark, or sass. Today’s definitive statement about hating this or that aspect of family life will likely be forgotten tomorrow. Or when the ice cream is served after dinner. Or when your teen needs a ride to the mall.