When BlogHer contacted me to offer one of my readers a $200 Visa gift card, I was tickled pink to be able to offer such a fantastic prize!
It turns out they are dying to know how parents keep the lines of communication open with their kids as they gain more independence and freedom in their teen years.
And it turns out that I am in that situation, right here, right now, because my two oldest, a 14 year old girl and a 12 year old boy have more opportunities than ever before to attend all manner of activities with the youth group at church.
It seems there is an activity for every night of the week, and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with providing those activities, but we choose to be very selective in which activities we allow.
Which brings me to the first way we keep communication flowing at our house:
- Spend time together. We eat dinner together, all 9 of us, at our dining room table, with the television OFF most nights without fail. We try not to let anything interfere with this routine and our children know how important this time together is to us.
- Spend time together - alone. My golf pro husband takes one of the children (age 9 and up) with him each time he goes out of town to play in a golf tournament. They get to spend 3 days together with no one competing for the attention of the other. I also try to do this on a smaller scale. Whenever I can, I will take only one of the kids with me for something as simple as a bank run, or a special event like a Pampered Chef party or a baby shower .
- Listen and share. I like to listen to my kids tell me stories about what happened at church camp or at homeschool co-op or in Bible class. In turn, these stories almost always lead to them asking me if those things ever happened to me when I was a kid. They love to hear about the time I saved my lunch money every day for a week in third grade so I could skip the bus, walk to the candy store, and eat all the candy I could buy before I got home to pretend that I had ridden the bus like a good little girl. Their favorite part is how I got into BIG trouble when my mother got wind of the whole scheme.
And NOW is your chance to win a $200 Visa gift card.
To enter, leave me a comment below and tell me how you keep the lines of communication open with your kids as they grow older and gain more freedom - or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. (Check out below how to be entered more than once.)
The contest will begin at 9:00 a.m. (PST) August 10, 2009 and will end 5:00 p.m. (PST) September 4, 2009.. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.
* No duplicate comments.
* You may receive an additional entry by linking on Twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
* You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
* This giveaway is open to US-residents, 18 and over.
* Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
* You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
* Please see the official rules here: Official Rules
Check out how other BlogHer Reviewers keep lines of communication open with their growing kids - you've got 8 other chances to win a $200 Visa gift card!
Find more info for keeping in touch with your kids here.