• Families who eat together stay together. Dinner together as often as possible allows you to stay in touch with where you’re at in your individual lives, have healthy debate about controversial issues and keep communication channels open.
  • Families who play and laugh together stay together. Arrange family outings to age appropriate fun events as often as possible. A break from stressful and demanding issues will be a bonding experience and remind you of what you love about each other.
  • Put limits on the use of technology. Latest brain research indicates the importance of face to face communication and interaction for the development of  healthy, well balanced social and emotional development.
  • Be consistent with rules and consequences. Children feel safe and secure when they can leave the worrying and decisions to the adults.
  • Find reliable, safe babysitters so you can continue to spend time together as a couple once a week or fortnight. The greatest gift you can give your children is a loving, committed and connected set of parents.
  • Be open to negotiation and discussion as your children enter adolescence. It is their job to start challenging you as they are starting to think for themselves. You want them to be independent, assertive and confident adults so give them the space to learn negotiating and compromising skills.
  • Dare to be different. “But everyone else is doing it” is a common refrain of children of all ages. Peer pressure is a force to be reckoned with, but if you want your children to be able to protect themselves from negative influences and behaviour, you need to stand up against trends yourself at times.
  • Don’t over schedule your children. They need time for imaginative play and down time to avoid future performance anxiety and burn out. They will not miss out!