Jan 2, 2013 Post By: Children's Health

Two Key Tips to Stay Connected as a Family
Extracurricular activities can be a positive force in our kids' lives, but many experts caution that over scheduling can put some youngsters at risk. Balance is the key. Check out two simple ways you can slow everyone down and spend quality time with your kids.

Lacrosse, basketball, music lessons, Girl Scouts, cheerleading practice, volleyball…and that’s just the kids' Wednesday schedule! Are you over scheduling your kids and becoming a stressed-out family?  Extracurricular activities can be a positive force in children’s lives, but many experts caution that over scheduling can put some youngsters at risk. Balance is the key. Following are two simple ways that you can slow everyone down and spend quality time with your kids.

1. Schedule family dinners. Everyone should eat without any distracting screens, and everyone should eat the same meal. If not every night, then do this at least some nights. Discuss the best and worst things that happened to each family member that day, or the one thing each is thankful for. Talking and sharing with one another fosters connection.

2. Talk to your kids, even your teenagers, at bedtime. Parents commonly do this with younger children, but tend to let teens push them out. Yet, regardless of their age, kids are most likely to relax at bedtime and feel safe opening up and giving you a sneak peek into their lives.