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It seems like people are so much busier these days. Both mom and dad may be working. Add in soccer, ballet, religious school, baseball and it's possible for families to have little or no time to connect with each other. Staying connected is vital to maintaining the emotional balnce in every family. You have to "pay the bank" with positive deposits so that you have them readily available when you have "negative withdrawals". Here are some tips to make your family closer.

- Try and eat dinner together as a family at least once a week.

- If you can't manage a meal together, try and have some family time before bed. Even if family members are doing different things, just being in the same room together promotes a feeling of closeness.

- If you have young kids, read to them each night, and use the time before bed for lots of physical closeness.

- Start family rituals. These need not be centered around major holidays, but maybe losing a tooth, or the last day of school.

- Make a big deal out of accomplishments and celebrate them.

- Make Sunday nights sacred. No practices, no friends over, etc. Rent a movie and spend some time together.

- Make a bid deal out of Birthdays and let your child feel special on her special day.

- On your childs birthday each year, write them a letter telling them about all their accomplishments during the year and all the things you are proud of them for.

- If you can swing it, take a family vacation together. This is great for quality time together.

- Don't neglect your mate...You two are crucial to the health of your family.