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It's All About the Kids:a column by Dr. Janet McPeek

Connecting with your kids

February 27, 2013 - When was the last time you sat with your child and watched his or her favorite television show together? Or knelt on the floor to play blocks with your toddler?

Or attended a concert with your teen?

Showing interest in your kid's interests is a great way to generate stimulating conversation and connect with your child. Listen to what he or she likes about their favorite entertainer.

See a movie together and enjoy talking about it afterwards.

Often, parents drop off their children at the movie theater or the concert venue and either come back to get them when it's over or spend the entire time in a room designated for parents.

Although many parents long for this brief respite from the kids, you need to realize that you may be missing out on some memorable and fun experiences with your children.

Now, there is one caveat when participating in activities with your kids.

Do not be judgmental about their choices for entertainment or amusement.

The worst thing you can do is be fake or make fun of something or someone they like.

For instance, watch the MTV Video Music Awards together, but don't make fun of that popular young musical group's performance, hair, or clothes.

Think back to when you were a teenager.

Perhaps you had to work hard to convince your parents to take you to that concert by the Rolling Stones.

While you are reminiscing, recall how good it made you feel when your parents stopped what they were doing to participate in an activity with you.

Children are no different today.

Your child is looking for that same attention from you. It can go a long way toward improving their self-esteem, confidence and social skills.

Yes, it can be difficult in this fast-paced world to find more time to devote to family.

But it is extremely important that you do. Spend quality — and quantity — time with your children.

They deserve your attention during the fun times and tough times.

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