Summertime is wonderful family time. You may see your child more during the day. But even if you don’t, you can take advantage of the less stressful evenings. Work to make this an ideal season for spending more time with your child.

To learn more about your preteen this summer:
  • Set aside at least one evening each week as Family Night. Cook a meal together, talk, play board games. Avoid watching television.
  • Get your child’s opinion. Many preteens enjoy currents events. Because kids this age tend to be idealistic and would like to “save the world,” they also have strong opinions. Take time to hear your child’s thoughts and ideas.
  • Hold regular family meetings to solve problems. Also, air ideas about fun ways you can spend time together.
  • Take your child along on errands and visits to friends and relatives. No, your child won’t want to go all the time and she shouldn’t have to. But compromise on a schedule in which she goes sometimes.
  • Participate in family traditions. Traditions bond children to their families. If you always go to the same park to watch fireworks or attend summer sports events in your town, keep doing it. No traditions? Brainstorm with your child and start some.

Source: Tom McMahon, Teen Tips, ISBN:0-671-89106-5 (Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, 1-800-223-2336, www.simonsays.com). Reprinted with permission from (c) 2007 The Parent Institute, a division of NIS, Inc.