5 New Year's Resolutions To Make Your Family Stronger

Love, Self

Make a conscious effort in 2013 to make time for your spouse and children.

Consider having an in-house "date." Stay up late and have dinner together after the kids are in bed. Build a fire and share some appetizers. Play a game together.

And of course, try to have a "real" date that generates some excitement a few times a month. You need a break from your kids and you deserve time for fun, too!

3. Schedule a minimum of one family activity together each week. You make decisions every day about how to spend your time. Nothing can be more important than the time you spend connecting as a family. While dealing with the hectic pace of work and children's activities, the promise of family time on the calendar can be very welcoming.

Try to schedule at least one hour-long family activity each week. Write it down in ink on the calendar.

The activities can be as simple as playing games together, doing a puzzle, playing tennis or watching family videos. Come up with a list of fun activities with your family and get started!

4. Schedule a minimum of 30 minutes per week of special one-on-one time together with each child. One-on-one time is the most concrete thing you can do to deepen your "attachment" to your child.

A child is far more likely to reveal intimate feelings to you when you're alone with him/her. It's highly unlikely a child, who may be feeling vulnerable already, will reveal perceived weaknesses in front of a sibling. But, talking privately with you, that child may talk more openly about his/her struggles.

By having your sole attention, the child will feel valued. You're making a huge statement to your child that nothing else is more important to you.

If you're lucky enough to have two parents in the home, you can always try rotating the special time so each child gets time with each parent. Keep reading ...