DALLAS - JUNE 15:  Khalid Johnson, age 8, asks...

It can be challenging for working parents to balance career obligations with spending quality time with their kids. Working parents may also have concerns about their children’s safety if the kids must be home alone when they come home from school.

There are things you can do to help streamline yours and your children’s routines as well as ensure their security when you are not there.

One simple tip is to require your kids to call you at work once they get home from school. You should teach your children not to give out personal information to strangers over the phone.

It’s a good idea to have a family policy with respect to having friends over — especially important for parents of tweens and teens! For children of all ages, talk to them about what they should do if someone stops by unannounced. If you hire a sitter, be sure they know what the rules are for your household.

In order to keep your home running smoothly, try having a family meeting each week. Tasks that can be completed in a family meeting include meal planning, assigning chores and resolving any issues that may have arisen during the previous week. You can also set time for the family to relax by having a movie night with popcorn and www.direct.tv movies and shows.

Many of today’s busy families have calendars that are chock-full of activities. If you are a working parent whose job limits the amount of time spent with your kids, be wary of overscheduling the kids. It’s important for kids to be involved in extracurricular activities, but be sure that some unscheduled time is set aside for you all to spend time together as a family.


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