Recruit the kids to help with cleaning the house. All hands on deck "round-ups" are fun and efficient: Round up sippy cups, trash, dirty laundry, give-aways, etc. Time them for maximum enthusiasm: "60 second trash round up...Go!" See who can collect the most trash in 60 seconds.
A useful opening line in a conversation (personal, parenting or professional) is “What should I know about ...”. It shows you understand you have something to learn, and it makes people feel valued. “What should I know about what’s going on at football practice?”
If they’re not doing anything dangerous, illegal or immoral, let them be. Give them space and independence. (Just first define dangerous/ illegal/ immoral. Then remind them that you are here and would love to hear about anything they want to share.)
Appreciate other cultures when traveling or interacting among people from different cultures. Once on a mission trip, the locals brought coffee and cookies by in the afternoons, but I never took any. I regret that lost opportunity for connection.
“When it comes to consequences, don’t speak what you won’t serve.” Meaning don’t threaten any punishment you’re not willing to enforce. This is helpful in terms of teaching the child a lesson and also an important lesson in not shooting yourself in the foot. (I took away your tv one day you were home on a snow day. Bad idea. That punishment was against my own interest! I got no work done.