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Health & Balance

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Make 2005 New Year's Resolutions a Reality

Here are five baby steps to improve your health, family, and home in the New Year.

New Year's Resolution No. 2: Bond With Kids

Take a good look at your kids: Would you recognize them in a lineup? If life's so chaotic you're rarely together, that needs to change. Nadine Kaslow, PhD, a professor at Emory University School of Medicine and chief psychologist for Grady Health System in Atlanta, offers advice:

  1. Plan regular family fun, such as weekend outings or family vacations. "Parents can set the limits in terms of time and money," Kaslow tells WebMD. "But the family votes, and the majority rules. That means you don't always get what you want, but sometimes you do." It's a good life lesson.

  2. Schedule family meal time. Be realistic, but get everyone together several nights a week.

  3. Appreciate each other. Go to the kids' games and performances. Establish a family ritual for honoring achievements -- whether it's a parent's promotion, a kid's good grades, a first job, or the first band concert.

  4. Get the family involved in community volunteer work, such as a monthly Feed the Homeless program or helping with the city's annual Thanksgiving dinner.

  5. Plan family meetings to discuss issues of concern, like "chauffeuring" challenges.

Don't overwhelm the kids with all this at once. Baby steps, remember, for these New Year's resolutions. Get reacquainted with your kids gradually, one step at a time. But make sure fun is a top priority, Kaslow says.

Get more ideas for making resolutions as a family.

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