- Take a 30 minute walk together. By taking a walk with your child, you are teaching your child the importance of exercise and healthy living. In addition, you'll usually find out more about your child's life as you walk together.
- Work on a project together. Get closer to your child by finding a common goal. You can work on a school project or complete a 1000 piece puzzle together. The idea is to bond over a common interest you both share. Some parents find it rewarding to volunteer with a charitable organization with their child and share the satisfaction of helping others.
- Get behind your child's hobby. If your child is interested in baseball or volleyball, then support your child by showing up at his or her games. Your child will remember your presence at his games more than what happened in the game itself. If your kid is interested in finding weird looking bugs, then go on a nature hunt with them.
- Play a game with your child. When was the last time you played Monopoly with your daughter or son? According to an organization called Family Education, enjoying games with your child is one way to open up lines of communication. All you need is an hour just to sit, talk and play.
- Share dinner together. In light of our busy schedules, many families have dropped the tradition of eating dinner together. Instead, families opt to watch TV or the kids grab their dinner plates and eat in their bedrooms while playing video games. Plan special meals together - nothing fancy. Teach your child how important it is to eat together as a family.
- Create rituals with your children. Besides the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers, be creative with some new rituals. You can create a habit with your child to take him or her out to lunch every Saturday afternoon. This is one way your child can feel connected with you and have something to look forward to. Sunday afternoons can be reserved for watching a favorite movie together while munching on freshly cooked popcorn. Too many times people use the holidays as their time to be with the kids.
- Make sure your kids have responsibilities around the house. Your children need to have a sense of personal responsibility around the house. Rather than giving them an allowance, they should earn one. You should not have to tell them over and over to clean up their room, take out the garbage, rake the leaves off the front lawn or whatever other chores you give to them. Teach your children the value of every dollar you give them by making them do some work around the house.
[by John Tesh]