1. A family that blogs together … Teens love to be online, so use their tech-savvy tendencies for good. Encourage your kids to post funny family stories, favorite artwork or photos and tales of life in Tween-ville. Nothing is off limits, but you get final editorial approval. There are several sites where you can quickly create a web-log for free (Blogger.com and wordpress.com are two of my favorites).
2. Hire them as your personal stylist (for a day). Invite your budding fashion icon into your closet for an episode of your very own reality series titled: “Make My Mom Hip.” Ask them to help you sort through and pitch the out-of-style stuff and then create cool outfits with what’s left.
3. Form a rock band. We recently received Rock Band for our gaming system and it’s been life-changing. You gotta dig a video game that allows you to unabashedly rock-out with your whole family. And my 12-year-old thinks I do “epic vocals” on Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.”
4. Instead of Facebook, stick your faces-in-a-book. If you don’t have time for a full-fledged parent/child book club, create a club for two. Choose a book your tween is dying to read, go to the library and get a couple copies and read it simultaneously. Discuss as you go and/or have a special end-of-book meeting when you’ve both finished. (Check out Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech for girls and The Diamond Brother series by Anthony Horowitz for boys.)
5. Take your girls to the spa without leaving home. My friend Suzanne, who has three teenaged girls, says they LOVE it when she sets up a mani/pedi/facial spa in their own home. She sets aside a few hours and serves up spa treatments and mother/daughter bonding with a smile.