As a family doctor for 27 years and a Ph.D. psychologist, I often hear parents complain that their family time is limited, and their kids don’t seem to value that time together. When those parents give their children the choice of spending time with family or spending time with same-age peers, the kids often choose the latter. And even when everybody is home together, mom, dad, son and daughter are often each sitting in a different room of the house, looking at their own screen: a cellphone, an iPad, or a TV.
Parents often tell me they feel helpless to change this dynamic. But they must. And they can.
Here’s one of the easiest, most effective tips I recommend: ban the bedroom. Keep the family physically together by insisting that your child do her homework or other activities at the kitchen table or in the family room, around everyone else. Make your children's bedrooms only a place for sleep.