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.
Tip of the Day February 6
Talking Tip: Help your kids to name their feelings or issues using “multiple choice therapy.” Try something like, “Some kids in this situation might feel angry, or sad, or afraid, or all of the above. Do any of those sound true for you?” Then talk it out.
Tip of the Day February 5
Breathe deeply ten times before you respond to a rude remark from your child (if you can remember to try it!). We can do such a nicer job of responding constructively when we are thoughtful and calm.
Tip of the Day February 4
Have your child’s friends over to the house sometimes. This is a good way to get to know their peer group – and for their peer group to come to see your family interact.