Your family is your family. Accept them for the good, the bad, and the wacky. Do your best to focus on your many blessings and give the many challenges you face a much deserved day off. Count your blessings. Put the differences you have with your family aside and celebrate each other. Go around the table at dinner and ask each person to share one thing that they are thankful for and why. Enjoy each other’s company. Make it a great day!

‎”Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.” Memorize this phrase. Teach your kids that it’s smart to seek out support. Explain that Olympic athletes don’t achieve excellence alone; they have strength trainers, nutritionists, psychologists, etc., not because they are weak, but because they know they cannot achieve achieve their full potential on their own. They need help and so do you and your kids. Live like a champion and ask for help!

No one knows the priorities, values, and responsibilities of your family better than you. It’s up to you to take control and say, “No” when a team practice or school activity gets in the way of a family event or priority. Life will go on if your child misses a practice. Might the coach be upset?–maybe, but who runs your family– a little League, high school, or middle school coach? Own and live out your family priorities. The look on your preschooler’s face when her school play audience is filled with brothers and sisters is priceless. Don’t let those moments pass. They are too precious.

When your kids reminisce about life growing up in your house, what do you want them to remember? Is it that you could eat off the floors they were so clean, or that you were always dressed to the nines, and their clothes always matched and came from the best stores? As appealing as all of that might sound, does all of that really matter? Think hard about what you want their answer to be and then LIVE it each day. It takes courage to live our your priorities. Just do it!

Hold your kids to their commitments–be they chores, homework, or activities. Provide your kids with every opportunity to experience how good it feels to be dependable, hard working, and responsible. If chores aren’t done and done well, privileges can’t happen. As harsh as that sounds, you are nurturing a great gift –work ethic. It’s this ethic that will reward your kids for the rest of their lives. Life is hard, give them the skills to achieve their goals.

T. V. gets in the way. It gets in the way of building forts out of pillows. It gets in the way of imagination, creativity, and critical thinking. It introduces priorities and values that may conflict with yours. It is not the best use of your kids’ time or mind. They deserve better and so do you. Will they perish from it? No, but consider what they are missing when they sit down to watch. They could be reading, talking, drawing, playing cards, creating, running, jumping, laughing, and living a life that they create for themselves, not a producer. Think about turning it off and let your kids figure what’s next. Your kids will amaze you.