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Secrets of family bonding

By Peg Rosen


My dentist was a mother of two teen boys, and I hungered to know what kind of life might lie ahead of me. What I really needed to know was this: How did she keep her teen boys talking to her? Her curious response: skiing. She explained, “I got them into skiing nearly as soon as they could stand. It’s something they love, that I love, that we’ve always done together. It gives us common ground.”

Here I am now, unpacking the last piece of equipment from one of countless quickie weekend ski trips that my own family has taken. I marvel at how right my dentist was. Not specifically about skiing but about how important it is for us as parents to cultivate that common ground with our kids, especially those of the opposite gender.

My 77-year-old mother-in-law, herself a mom of two sons, chose football. She might not know the first thing about Twitter or have a clue what’s on anybody’s iPod, but you should have seen her with all her boys cheering on the Saints, arguing calls and making penny bets watching the Super Bowl last month. My father got my sister and me camping and hiking early in life. Fifty years later, our wilderness adventures are still my family’s touchstone.

So here’s my advice: While your kids are still young, take a little time to figure out what your own family touchstone will be. Then forge ahead and make it happen.

Peg Rosen is a freelance writer and the mother of two boys. She regularly blogs at relish-this.blogspot.

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