How to keep your family connected during a hectic school year.

By Shirin Yadegar
Shirin YadegarBack to school schedules are tedious and exhausting. Driving two kids to two separate activities after school is nearly impossible, but somehow we manage. In the midst of all the chaos, we many times fail to connect with our children. Instead, we are rushing them to eat a snack and get changed into their dance, gymnastics or athletic wear in the back seat. We rush them to after school activities and tutors because they have begged and we have coerced them. So by the time everyone gets home, showers and completes homework there is either a meltdown or pure exhaustion.

The only peace of mind for a mother is our family dinner at the end of the day. My girls know that all of their activities and classes are approved as long as we are all home by 6 p.m. in time for a family dinner. Yes, that includes dad. He’s a part of the family too and needs to be treated like one of the children when it comes to setting rules for family dinner.

Our family dinner is a time for each of us to discuss our day. We brag about our achievements and seek guidance from each other about conflicts we can’t solve independently. If our family dinner was lost, then the soul of our family would be lost too.

So while planning your kids hectic schedules, please make sure to preserve family dinners. Weekends don’t count so make an effort to be there for your kids during the week. Let’s be honest, there is no time to talk and reveal our secrets unless we are at a dinner table uninterrupted by cell phones, meetings and daytime errands.

Shirin Yadegar is the creator of She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four daughters.