50 ways to stay bonded with your kids
Start a family ritual each morning by giving each family member a kiss before walking out the door.
Same place, same time
Tough time coordinating schedules? Download Kidgistix, an app that helps coordinate everyone's calendars. It'll get your family all into the same routine.
Take advantage of all those school and after-school activity runs. Switch off the radio and simply talk and connect.
Post a whiteboard on your fridge or backdoor, and stock it with Post-Its and erasable pens. Use it for a family communication center: "Good luck at your game today, Josh" or "Kerry, let us know how your speech went. We're cheering for you!"
Set aside sacred unplugged time — an hour a night or whenever family members are gathered together. Cell phones go off, TV is unplugged and you can be <em>finally</em> focus on one another.
Start a file of advice columns, like Dear Abby. Find ones that are especially relevant to the ages of you kids (like drinking and driving, cheating on a test, etc.). Then, pull them out, read aloud and ask your children how they'd respond. Just don't tell them the real advice until you hear where your kids are coming from!
Ask your teen to invite a friend or two to show you and the rest of the family how to compete in Just Dance or a Wii Sports competition. They'll appreciate the fact that you've welcomed their friends into what's sure to be an experience that gives them lots of laughs, both at you and with you.
Monopolize your family time
Dust off those game boards and set up a family game night. It makes no difference which night (or even day) it is, just block it into your calendar so everyone knows Saturday at 7 o'clock is Scene It? time.
Pump some iron
Turn your garage into a gym. Try hitting several garage sales to find inexpensive weights or exercise equipment. Then, instead of having your family members all disappear to the gym or park, you can exercise together at home (and at no cost!).
Ask your kids to show you some videos on YouTube that they think you’ll find funny. You'll share a great laugh, but if you come across inappropriate material, you’ll have a good opportunity to ask them to weigh in on the not-so-friendly family material.