12 WAYS TO STRENGTHEN
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN
1. Establish a mandatory family dinner atleast one night during the week. Example: Sundays at 5 p.m. everyone has to be there.
2. Ask your teen to “teach” you something…how to use the internet, texting lingo, set up your ipod, burn a CD, fix your hair, etc.
3. Girl’s day out – get pedicures or do each other’s nails, see a chic flick.
4. Guy’s day out – play ball, go to the batting cages, reptile exhibit, or even Fry’s electronics.
5. Declare a once a week “family time” day. Example: from 3 p.m. on Sundays there are no friends, cell phones, computers or electronic games allowed. Do something together like cooking, hiking, fishing, bike riding, game night,renting movies, rock climbing or going out. Take turns with who picks the activity and be willing to try something new.
6. Turn off all cell phones in the car.
7. Ask your child what kind of home projects they’d like to see happen – paint a bedroom, redecorate a teen’s bathroom, create a skateboard area or plant a butterfly garden.
8. Assemble a family photo album together or watch family movies together.
9. Set an 8 p.m. limit on computer usage. Keep the internet out of your child’s bedroom and out in the open.
10. Let children help plan an upcoming vacation.
11. Lay on your teen’s bed, plop down on pillows on the floor and just “hang out”.
12. The 5 Minutes: Every night spend 5 minutes sitting on your child/teen’s bed and tell them they get your undivided attention for 5 minutes. It is their time to talk to you about anything. Stay for the full 5 minutes even if they can’t think of anything. Don’t get side tracked by back rubs, books, or anything else. Be prepared to sit in silence if need be. Repeat nightly.
© 2009 Marianne T. Vernacchia, MFT#35980