Make it a habit of chatting with your child every day. It will make it easier to have serious conversations about alcohol, and will make your child more comfortable coming to you for advice.
Discuss shared interests like sports, music, art, technology or movies on a regular basis. Take time to learn about your kid’s hobbies and participate, even if it is you on the sideline.
Be sure to attend at least some of their activities so they know what they are doing is important to you. If you miss an activity be sure to tell them why and ask them about what happened.
Engage in extracurricular activities with your child. Train together for a mud run, race or obstacle course; volunteer in your community; garden/landscape together, find music you both like.
Work through challenges together-growing up is hard (especially for tweens/teens). If your child had an argument with a close friend or boy/girl they may feel their world is falling apart, talk about how they feel, what might make them feel better, and what they can do to re-engage with the person.
Enjoying a family meal together - kids whose families eat dinner together at least five times per week are less likely to smoke, drink and use drugs.
Read to and with your child - even your tween and teens. Reading allows for bonding with your kids like nothing else. With teens read the same book they are interested in.
Don’t ever stop playing with your kids. Do something they like, such as playing video games or shooting hoops. Don’t discount family game night with your tweens-they love it.
Create together - involve your kid in decorating or fixing something around the house. Cook dinner together. Art dates are a big hit, take advantage of it.
In connecting with your child be sure to allow the right amount of independence. Keeping your child sheltered creates problems of its own. Let them go out with friends, but in the right settings. Let them negotiate with you about what is expected like curfew and chores. A healthy two way connection between you and your child will help them learn to navigate the messy waters of their teen years.
Visit our helpful resources in the parent tool kit to get support in connecting with your kids.