Solid Ground


This contest closed September 4, 2009 at 5 pm PST. The winner will be announced after they have been notified. Thank you!

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Sprint.

From the time my kids were really little, I used to tell them, “You can tell me anything and I won’t get mad….as long as you tell me the truth.” I told them that because I wanted them to tell me things like who broke the plate I just found in the trash can and who used all the forks to build a mini-Stonehenge in the garden. As my kids have grown into teenagers (now 13, 16, and 18), keeping my promise has gotten harder as their transgressions have progressed to things like wrecking my car and experimenting with alcohol. But, just as I schooled myself to keep my temper in check when all my forks went missing, I have to work now to turn the more critical infractions of this stage of their childhoods into “teachable moments”–which aren’t just for them, but for me, too.

I have to be calm and quiet. I have to be willing to listen. Because if I listen then they will listen in return. And I always, always, have to remind myself–at least they are telling me. Isn’t that what I asked them to do? And if they tell me, then I have the golden opportunity to put my finger into the secret pie of their teenage lives and give them a perspective they aren’t going to get from their friends.

The reward isn’t just the “bad” stuff. I get the good stuff, too–their secrets, their questions about their relationships, and sometimes just seemingly trivial nonsense that shines a light into their thoughts and feelings that, at this age, are much more their own as their independence increases.

My 13-year-old daughter went away on a trip this summer for several weeks–without a phone of her own. Through some dark cosmic alignment, all the cell phones in the house had either broken or run out of their service plans at the same time, and due to a complete lack of organization, I only realized this plight at the last minute, when it was too late. Due to other various circumstances, my daughter’s access to a phone was limited while she was away. When she came home, the first thing she did was unload everything she hadn’t had a chance to tell me while she was gone. She had some things to tell me that were wonderful and I regretted not having been able to share them with her as they were happening. She had other things to tell me that she regretted because she knew she would have acted differently in some situations if she’d been able to talk to me at the time. It was a sharp reminder to me what a touchstone a parent’s voice is to a child, especially a teenager. They love to fly, but down deep they long for solid ground, and even from far away, that voice on the phone is that ground that helps them make good decisions.

I’ll never let her go away without a phone of her own again. Like her brothers before her, she tells me things. And whether those things are wonderful–or hard to hear–I want to hear them all.

Read Chickens in the Road–recipes, crafts, country living, and really cute farm animals.

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–or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. 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.


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Find more info for keeping in touch with your kids here.

This contest closed September 4, 2009 at 5 pm PST. The winner will be announced after they have been notified. Thank you!


  1. Deb says:

    Even though my kids can drive, I make sure that I drive them to some of their activities. There is something about a drive that brings out communication. (But no texting and driving!) :sheepjump: (How cute is that!!!)

  2. Kim Champion says:

    I login to Myspace and Facebook and check my kids’ mood indicators. Also, I just ask them how their days are going and if there’s anything I can do to help them… usually this involves ATm withdrawals. πŸ™‚

  3. Deborah R says:

    When my son was growing up, I did the same thing you’re doing: if you tell me the truth about something, I won’t get mad. Generally, there were still consequences (which were sometimes rewards) but more often that not, he decided what those consequences should be and all I had to do was step in with a hug and an “I love you.”

    Christopher is an adult now, married and living in Japan. I keep the lines of communication open today by respecting his adulthood and, for the most part, not giving advice unless asked for it (and sometimes saying “no, thanks!” when asked lol).

    “What do you think you should do?” and “What other actions could you take?” are two of my favorite questions.

  4. Dawn says:

    My kids aren’t old enough for the really trying transgressions, but I do tell them I the same things as Suzanne. I hope when we get to that time in their life they will still trust me enough to tell me things.

  5. watkinsgal says:

    We have dinner as a family most every night. This is our time to engage in family conversation. Since an early age, the kids, 9, almost 13 and 15 played the “what was the best/worst part of your day” game. Now, there is no prompting the conversation, they just engage at dinner time. I also like the alone drive time to have individual conversations with my kids.

    “Almost 13” asked for a cell phone for her upcoming birthday. I’ve been trying to justify it financially…but you may have given me a good reason to get her one. She may be emailing to thank you…???

  6. Julie Curtis says:

    Mine are grown now, but like you, I always told them if they told me the truth the punishment was much less than if they lied to me.

  7. Amber says:

    My guys are 13, 15, 16. WE usually talk when we are in the car. I know if something is bothering one of them because he will usually say, Can we go for a walk? just me and you? I know to drop everything and go. The best way is usually their way. They want you to know, they just need to tell you their way. :help: My guys come to me with everything, unless its money! that is their dads speciality….I also utilize myspace and facebook to see how they are feeling and follow up on it.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Like Susan, honesty is a foundation rule in our household. The thing about honesty is that without it there is no trust, and trust is what builds relationships. It was easy for me to get our teenage girl to talk – in the car, at the mall, but I found engaging my son to be much more difficult. A wise woman at church told me some basic stuff that sounds simple – but works. Look them in the eye, touch them (a pat, a brush, a hug), and nice calm short questions and sentences every day, and you have to keep at, consistency counts. Works for us…

  9. Sue says:

    My kids are still pretty young, so we have tried to let them know we will always be here for them to talk!

  10. Gayle Rogers says:

    When my children were growing my house was always open to all of their friends so that more time was spent at home and I knew everyone, including their parents.
    Prom night ended at my house. It was a fun night of food, friends and chaperones.
    I attended all the sports games, that they went to and we stayed active in our church. Spending time together kept them open in communication and kept my eyes open to all things.

  11. Maggie says:

    I worked at being a good mother. And it was usually a lot of hard work; not at all as easy as I thought it would be when I was pregnant! I was very hands on. I never miss a school conference, went to all his school activities, afterschool events, sporting events etc. This wasn’t always easy as I was a single mother and had to work hard (sometime two jobs) to make ends meet. I kept him busy with afterschool activities, made sure I knew who his friends were, checked to make sure his homework was done, and I was always available to him. I tried to listen to him and told him there probably wasn’t anything that he could tell me that I hadn’t seen or heard before. I did afterall grow up in the 60’s and 70’s! So he didn’t need to worry that he might shock me; no subject was off limits. And if he wasn’t communicating, I usually found out what I needed to know through his friends. Being the activities chauffer can have real bonuses! When he got older and got a drivers license, started working and was just more independent the new rule was you always let me know where you are, and wake me up to let me know you are home. And even though he is now 26 and living on his own he still does that when he comes home to visit. I wasn’t always very good at being a mother but I tried. How did he turn out? Pretty good actually. He just graduated from Medical school and even though he works more hours than there are in a week and lives a thousand miles away from me he still calls me regularly just to chat. I love my son!

  12. Diane says:

    I always talked with my daghter about stuff. I have been open and honest about her with most everything. I also work at her school and get the opportunity to get to know her friends and know some of her teachers. She is now 15 and has a boyfriend. So the sex talk comes up quite often. Not as a lecture but gentel reminders of what is accetable and what is not. Lucky for me both us and his parents are always around when they see each other. And it does not seem to bother them much. lol.

    We talk about her friends and what they are doing. We talk about stuff that bothers my daughter at times. The best places is in the car or while out shopping. I have my daughters attention and she take full advantage of it at times. I do assume she does not tell me everything. What teen does. But she knows I am there to talk to when she needs me.

    We went round and round about the phone also. My daughter went though several prepaid phones. But this time of year we do end up at craft fairs and festivals with our own booth. And my dd will bring a friend. So we keep in contact that way. Also the county fair is comming up and she has the freedom to go off with her friends there also. Oddly enough that phone is a confort in keeping in touch with them all day long at these places. Also it is nice when she stays over at a friends and I can call her on that phone and get hold of her right away where ever they are. It is worth the money spent. And prepaid phones are as little as 10.00 these days depending on what you are looking for.

    Open communication is key. Talk about anything and everything. Hope and pray they are listening to you and make the right choices. That is all we can do as parents I think.

  13. Heidi says:

    My kids are all still pretty young yet (8, 4, and 2), so I don’t have much experience. I try to find one-on-one things to do with them (really just the 8 and 4 year old right now). The 8 year old and I do farm chores together a lot. The three year old helps me with little things like folding laundry. I find if their minds are on doing mundane things, they start to open up. I don’t know if it will work when they are older, but for now I enjoy it.

  14. Nita in SC says:

    My son – 14 and getting ready to enter high school – has decided that it’s easier to share “embarrassing” things with me via the Facebook chat thingie. The first time we did it, I had to call him on the phone to tell me how to do it, and I kept saying, “OK! I just sent my message!” Finally he said, “TALKING ON THE PHONE DEFEATS THE WHOLE CHAT PURPOSE!!” So I hung up. But I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him communicating!

  15. Laura says:

    my kids are still pretty little, but we are trying to set the standards for communication now. i’m not naturally an empathetic person, so i am working very hard to *listen* before i jump in with my opinions/rules/corrections. i figure if they don’t feel loved and understood (and therefore safe in sharing & feeling with me) as littles, they definitely won’t feel it as they get older. “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (I John 3:18) kyrie24 at gmail dot com

  16. Lisa D says:

    Every single night, no matter what the day was like. Tarynn and I have “girl hour” where we watch tv (sometimes MTV), be silly, read together and talk about what is going on in her very traumatic almost 17 year old life. I think it helps keep us great friends.

  17. heidiannie says:

    Such good comments- there are so many great parents out there! I’m happy to read the responses to this question, it is really wonderful to hear how connected these mothers are to their children.

    My sons are both adults,now, and leading lives I am proud to be part of, and we are still communicating regularly. My oldest calls me or we Skype so I can see my grandson at least once a week (more often 2 or 3 times). And my younger son is in law school- still lives at home and we talk about everything. Sometimes it feels like I’m getting a lecture (especially on politics or current events) but I’m so grateful that he wants to share part of his life with me that I’ve learned to listen, really listen, when he talks.

  18. Lisa T. says:

    Humor, honesty and REPETITION!

  19. Carol says:

    My children are grown and married but know they still need support and understanding. I still try to be there for them whether it be lending a few dollars, giving advice(when they ask) or helping them organize their homes. I don’t complain about my aches and pains or problems. When I stop by I bring a bag of apples, a meal or a few new pillows if I’ve noticed they need them.

  20. Theresa says:

    I did the same thing with my daughter. I told her the truth will keep her out of trouble. And when she opted to not be truthful, she suffered the consequences.

  21. Megan says:

    My kids are still pretty little, 7 and 5, so we haven’t hit the hard teenage years. We sit down for dinner every night. This is a must for me, even if it means we don’t eat until 7:30 or 8. We hear more about what happens during the day during dinner. We also tell the kids that they’ll get in more trouble if they lie then if they tell the truth. I try to listen when they need me to just listen (and reaffirm what they are feeling is ok) and give help when asked for it.

  22. Lindy says:

    I have 4 children…and learned talking whenever we are in the car….or eating dinner…has kept communication open. My children have always told me everything….I try to keep an open mind. My husband and I have been blessed with these wonderful kids. They range in age from 33 to 17.

  23. Heather from NC says:

    My daughter is 15 and my son is 12. I also have 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 12. I agree that it is more difficult to remain calm as the mistakes get more serious and potentially life-changing now that they are getting older. I have to check myself constantly to keep myself from preaching gloom and doom scenarios of what could happen if they make this coice or that one…or what could have happened when they did this or that. What were they thinking?! They could be paralyzed, brain damaged, or abducted and raped and left for dead in a ditch! Gah! I just have to remind myself that as much as I’d like to keep them safe and sound, it is better for them to have adventures, practice independence and learn from their mistakes when necessary. I am here to listen and guide them and help them make the right choices, not to put them in a bubble and make them fearful of everything.

  24. Dawn says:

    As silly as it sounds, weekly game night was probably the biggest thing for communication with our son. Sometimes it was cards, or board games, but there was always laughter and conversaation. At 23 my son will still initiate a game time.

  25. Mary says:

    I drive them places. Their friends too. You’d be surprised what teenagers say in the car. πŸ™‚

  26. monica says:

    I try to keep the lines of communication open by always listening to what is important to him. His interests are mostly reptilian and amphibian, though.

    As for a phone. . .I didn’t even get to talk on the regular house phone until I was in high school & cell phones weren’t even thought about yet. Little N. will get a cell phone next year if I get a job in pittsburgh. I am just not in a big rush to get him a cell phone–he is still learning how to tie his shoes tight enough!

  27. Senta Sandberg says:

    I get nosy and ask a lot of questions. Payton said just last night if you ask about the people going on this camping trip you will ruin all the fun. He still went, and I bet I didn’t ruin all his fun.

  28. Gerry says:

    My kids are now grown, but still need to talk to mom. Now my granddaughters have taught me how to text!

  29. Claudia W. says:

    My girls learned early on that even if it wasn’t them telling me the truth, the truth would somehow get to my ears. I made sure they knew the difference between them telling me or someone else telling me. They all learned by abou the age of twelve, so I was lucky that into their teen years, they were the ones to rush to tell me before anyone else could!
    Now in their twenties, I get notes on the dry erase board about where they are going, who they are with and when they will be back. As soon as they are back from where ever, I get an account of all that went on, good or bad. If they take a long trip, I get a call when they arrive and then when they are leaving to come home.
    They now want my opinion on how the outfits look and how a friend has acted. It feels good that my girls want to know different things from me, I guess I did something right!

  30. Mary says:

    :hug: I’m a good bedtime story teller. My little girl asks me to tell her a few stories a night. This is the perfect time, for her it seems, to talk to me about different things. She’ll say, “Let’s talk about boys!” or some other important subject. I don’t know if this is a trick to delay bedtime, but I do hear some interesting things I think it’s easier for kids to talk to you when they don’t have to see you. I always tell her she can tell me anything, and I won’t be mad, as long as she’s truthful. I always tell her I’ll love her no matter what! I also keep my eyes and ears wide open!!!! :happyflower:

  31. Trina says:

    I always make myself sit and listen when my kids want to talk. Sometimes we get so busy, and we’re rushing around, and we may think we don’t have time to just sit and give them our undivided attention for a few minutes. We may say, “Hang on just a second,” or “Not right now Sweetie, I’m really busy.” I try to remind myself that they won’t always be here for me to listen to, and that I need to make the time right now and be in this moment with them.

  32. Navy Bean says:

    My daughter is 9 months old (today). I know that keeping the lines of communication open are going to be difficult because I do have a temper. But I’m already reading books and talking to parents about it. Hopefully, by the time something bad does happen, I’ll be able to listen and not blow up!

  33. Mimi says:

    Like you, my teenage boys have always known that they could tell me anything. Pretty much they do, even the things I don’t want to hear! Since their getting older and their lives are getting more hectic I tried something new this year. My then 16 year old & I took a road trip to see some friends in NC. Just the two of us. My younger son & I will go camping next week.

    It’s something that I’m going to continue for as long as they’ll let me. Spending that intense one on one time really made it easier for JD to remember that I’m the good guy and has kept out communication strong since then. :hug:

  34. Michelle says:

    We have dinner together every night. Weekends are family time, too. If they have something they want to do that can’t involve their sibling, they can separate for a limited time only and then we do family things (no weekends away!). We have such a limited amount of time with them, I want to treasure every moment.

  35. Caroline Rogers says:

    I have learned that no matter how tired I might be, or what time it is or what I am doing, if they are in the mood to talk I better listen!

  36. Wendy says:

    I try not to be judgemental. I try not to forget what it was like to be their age. I try to see the whole picture and ask myself if this will matter in 5 years or will we laugh about it.

  37. Karen says:

    We also had the “tell the truth” rule, and it worked great. Mostly because I have a serious inability to tell when someone is lying. :sun:

    When my oldest was young we spent a lot of time in the car, and as long as she was awake we talked. When her next sister was in high school we went to more college visits than I care to remember, but it was the best time for us. She and I had a touchy relationship prior to those trips; afterwards and forever more (she’s now 25) we are the best of friends and she calls me all the time. In fact, all three of them call me at least once or twice a week just to touch base, ask for advice, ask for cooking information, etc. I just love having adult children, having raised them to trust me and to tell me anything they want without repercussions. It was an accident, but a happy one.

    Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing your life with the world. It’s always entertaining, or touching, and I love reading your daily posts.

  38. trish says:

    I only wish I had your foresight in raising children. I was brought up by parents who overreacted about things, and I brought that into my children’s lives. Now that they are grown I have stepped back from being so over protective and this sometimes gives them the permission I think they need to talk to me about certain subjects. They still hold back though, and I feel very bad that they can’t tell me anything.Sounds like you have no regrets. I wish we could all say that.

  39. Barbara says:

    My kids are grown now but we still have a great relationship. I just witnessed my first grandchild come into the world and felt blessed that my daughter allowed me to share that with her. I think listening is the best thing you can do with your kids. Letting them talk and really hearing them. For what it’s worth, that’s my theory. PS. Love these pictures of England!!

  40. Cyndi B says:

    I make sure we eat together at least twice a week. If they have the day off work, or a break during classes, I motor on over and take them to lunch!

  41. Carol says:

    Long walks. I keep quiet and my fourteen year-old daughter will babble on and on. Sometimes I have to stop myself from saying WHO CARES when she talks about something that bores me, but I know that I have to listen to it all to get the gems.

  42. Lisa Stewart says:

    I had a family member who got involved with drugs, my son was a freshman in college at the time. I asked him what makes you make those choices-because I knew they were available to him (drugs). He sat and thought for a while and said you taught me to see what the end result of any action would be. Good thing I was on the phone because the tears sure spilled out.

  43. catslady says:

    I always had a big thing about honesty too. I really do believe my kids (now 22 and 25) didn’t lie to me directly but there were lies of omission sometimes lol. My oldest was more of one to keep things to herself but they never refused to answer if I came up with the right questions. My youngest is more of a talker and tells me everyhing. She is away at college right now and living on her own and always calls when she is in for the night so we get to discuss things every day. She just got $100 speeding ticket, which she didn’t have to tell me about, knowing she was going to get a bit of a lecture but she did. Even sex can be talked about – I started early discussing everything. Even my oldest’s husband tells me things that he said he would never bring up to his own mother lol.

  44. knchock says:

    I’m pregnant with my first biological child, but I have a 6 year old stepson whom I’ve known since he was 3. I always ask him how his day went when I get home from work and he loves to talk so he opens right up. I hope he doesn’t change as he gets older.
    -Kimberly in NC
    knchock at yahoo dot com

  45. Stephanie-Oh says:

    My children are grown and living on their ownnow but we talk frequently. My daughter lives in NYC and we speak almost daily. The cell phone has really been a blessing for us. My son is married with 2 very young children who are a little too young for a cell phone but they still like to share Mommy & Daddy’s. Son & DIL send pix via txtg on cell phone plus internet. I love my children and absolutely adore my grandchildren. Love knows no bounds.

  46. Kathi N says:

    I don’t have kids, but my dog is an awesome communicator. And what he doesn’t tell me, I find out one way or another.

  47. Challee says:

    I have a newborn, so at the moment I talk and he coos at me. But I plan on giving him lots of love and hope he will be open with me.

  48. Cindy H. says:

    I have always had a line of communication open with my three kids. They know I will be upset more if they don’t confess what it is they had done or not done, among other things. In our small town, it is hard to keep something from me, as I belong to a “network” of parents, and sometimes I find out things before my kids could get home to tell me! But, if we lived in a larger town/city…my kids would still know they can come to me with their problems. They know in the end, that I am very approachable, fair and that I will give them advice if they need it.

  49. pam from ohio says:

    Although my children are grown now, we always made sure that we were together for dinner every night. (or at least almost every night…)With their activities, we might not sit down at the table until almost dark, byt it was something we all looked forward to. Now that they have they are parents, they do the same thing with their kids. The all have the “dinner together” rule and all 4 of my grandchildren are turning out just fine!

  50. Debbie in Memphis says:

    Like you said, Suzanne, I have been telling my children “You can tell me anything…” since they were babies. Our oldest are 23 and 21 now, as they were going through their teen-aged years, there were many times that we all struggled. We did put a lot of effort into keeping communication open and letting them know that no matter what, we loved them and that the advice and counsel we gave them were the very same things we would tell friends or family, not just our children. And that these were things we wished we’d heard when we were growing up.

  51. Dawn says:

    I stay up late. My husband goes to bed earlier and I often sit in the living room, reading or blogging (!). The girls usually like to talk when they come in from being out with their friends, or when they are getting ready to bed. I lose sleep, but the talks are so worth it!

  52. Suzanne says:

    The biggest thing I do is “be there”. I only have one child, so it is easier sometimes to be able to spend some time one on one with her. I do ask her a lot of questions like, why do you think that person acted that way and how did that make you feel. I try to LISTEN more than I talk so she will trust me to hear her side of things and get the whole story, not just hear a part of it and then make a judgement. We also do a lot of activities together. She does some things with just Dad, some things with just Mom, and a lot of things with all three of us together. It’s fun to see her grow and help her understand the struggles of “real life”.

  53. anne says:

    Thanks for your wonderful post today. I have always stressed the importance of being able to speak to me about anything and everything. Their concerns are my concerns. I devoted my entire life to bringing up productive and principled adults. I hope now that they are grown up that they understand the values that they were brought up with and will follow them throughout their adult lives and their children’s futures.

  54. Marlena Brown says:

    I talk to my teenager on facebook and through email a lot. Sometimes it’s easier to tell someone something if they aren’t face to face. I find that he tells me more there and is more open. We also go to dinner and a movie once a month by ourselves. Lots of time to catch up then without his brother around or the rest of the family.

  55. Karen W says:

    Open communication means being highly involved in their lives. That doesn’t mean just driving them from one activity to the next and being where they are. You have to talk with them. Seems like a simple statement but I believe that many moms are on their cell phones or caught up talking with other moms that they are not paying much attention to their children. We’ve been communicating with our kids for their entire lives. They are nearly grown now but talking is easy and enjoyable.

  56. IowaDeb says:

    I’ve always encouraged my daughter to talk to me by asking questions and actually listening to her answers. No distractions just talk.I would share stories of things that were going on in my life at her age, the good,the bad and the ugly, building trust and respect between the two of us.



  58. Terry says:

    I let my now grown children, that I am here for them and step away, to watch them fly. Sometimes their wings get clipped a little. Then I will either get a suprise visit or phone call. I always listen to what it is the kids may have going on in their lives. I try hard not to give my opinion or judgement, unless they ask for it.

    Cake or cookies are still a great conversation opener!

  59. Lynda Dunham-Watkins says:

    My kids are grown now, but the grandchildren who are old enough have cell phones, and we have each others numbers, so they stay in touch and tell me things they probably don’t tell their parents! Or if they can’t reach the parents, they can always call me.

  60. Jeanine says:

    Oh I just have to keep track of them by their cell phones … nothing else. But that only works if they keep them charged up πŸ™‚

    ck out my blog I’m trying to build subscribers πŸ™‚

    jtrophy at aol dot com

  61. Lorie Freitas says:

    My boys are 12 and 16- We have been on our own for 11 years. The 2 best things that I have found to keep communication open is to try to let them have their friends over often. This allows me to gauge the type of kids they are hanging out with and you can ask pointed questions about – how is Johnny doing etc. The second thing is- we take walks in the evening. It always amazes me how much boys are willing to talk and share while taking a nice half hour walk! πŸ™‚

  62. cathy says:

    We eat dinner together and do a lot of texting.

  63. Sheila says:

    My daughter is now 29, with a great job, and also a wonderful husband. She calls me on her way to work and on the way home everyday, I never miss her call.

  64. Jo Lynn says:

    My children are only 7 and 3 and I try not to pit them against one another. It is so hard because of the difference in their ages and ablilities to communicate. The oldest is pretty good about talking things out at our one on one times.

  65. Cathy Jones says:

    I still tuck my teens and pre teens in at night. I am so glad they want me to… it seems like kids talk about things in those last moments before sleep that they have held onto through the day. I have also used a shared journal with them. They could write anything they wanted to me in there, happy, mad, sad, annoyed with me… anything. We also try to sit down at the table as a family. It gets harder as they get busier, but wow, what memories are made there! I tell them I love them every morning and every night.

  66. Dee says:

    Taking a long drive to nowhere is the best way to get my daughters to talk. They will tell me things in the car they never want to talk about otherwise.

  67. Darlene says:

    Like you, I talk with my children. More importantly, I listen to them. I also found that not getting angry at them for stuff helps. That doesn’t mean that disciplining doesn’t take place, just that it’s not done in anger or over “confessions”.

  68. Cheryl says:

    My children are grown and have families of their own, but when they were young we had family meetings, where we’d all sit down together and discuss important things and then pray about them. It’s wonderful to see the close famillies they have developed with their own children, and I hope some of what they learned at home influenced the communication.

    I have nine grandchildren, and several of them call or text to tell me the important thngs going on in their lives. I love that. The older ones are on facebook, and I always comment on their photos.

  69. Laney says:

    My son is just 11 but I have told him over the years everything is better if you talk about it. When he is feeling scared I always say “you will feel better if you talk about it” and after a few times of repeating that statement he opens up. I worry because he is pretty closed lipped about certain things. I do want him to feel that he can come to me with ANYthing. The older he gets, I know this will become harder and harder.

  70. .Nancy in Iowa says:

    My daughter is now 39 and about to have her first child in 4 months. I’m not sure what all I did to earn our bond, but I did something that kept communication going and we are extremely close now – even when she picks on me for procrastinating (as when I packed to move out here to be near her). I read to her every night for many years. Most of the time I was a single parent, so even watching TV, having dinner, or eating out someplace cheap was an opportunity to discuss anything. Teen years were hard. I thought I had taught her to be honest and tell me things herself, but I had to do a lot more prodding then. Drinking – I told her to always call me and I would pick her and her friends up – no lectures, no anger – just keeping them safe. I loved having her friends at our house, and I really felt like part of their lives when she was in college – I received a Mother’s Day card from “all your kids” signed by my daughter and several of her friends!

  71. kasey jensen says:

    My child is only 15 months…so any info about how to keep the lines of communication open would be greatly appreciated…


  72. tabbimama says:

    I keep the lines of communication open with my 3 children (ages 21, 20 and 7) by talking with them…a lot. We talk about lots of different topics and I ask lots of questions. They are used to it. Also, having them captive in the car is a great time for lots of questions.

  73. Sue says:

    Kids and I always text each other when we have things to discuss as they are both in their 20’s now, sharing an apartment about 40 miles away…They made sure I got a cell phone plan with texting…when they need to talk they phone me…line of communication has always been open with them…Also talk riding in the car when we are together.

  74. Rachel says:

    I am on TDY away from my 3 & 4 year old right now so I rely on my video chat each night to feel connected. They can tell me about school or any silly thing they feel like. And the best part is I get see them while we chat! :happyflower:

  75. Ashley McLure says:

    My kids know they can ask me anything and I’ll do my best to answer. People laugh when they hear my kids ask seemingly random things about miscellaneous trivia, but it’s important enough to them to ask, so it’s important enough to me to answer. It lets them know that I’m listening and that if they need to tell me something that I’m there.

  76. Kelly Myers says:

    Sigh – my 12 year old and I butt heads. So, I pester her father to chat her up then I eavesdrop. (Much less eye-rolling involved this way!) Otherwise, the only time she willingly spills the beans is when we’re out driving in the car. πŸ™‚

  77. CrystalGB says:

    I don’t have kids of my own but my neices/nephews like to communicate with me by cell phone, facebook and myspace. Taking them out to a movie or shopping also gives us time to chat.

  78. Kathy says:

    Like you, I do the “you can tell me anything, good or bad, and I won’t get mad” thing. And that works. But I also go one step futher, and respect privacy. I don’t snoop through diaries, or log into their Facebook accounts. Since they know they can trust me, they’re more comfortable coming to me with the really big things, and they won’t be judged, or yelled at.

  79. Linda says:

    I am on IM everyday and manage to say hello even tho the boys are grown and live in CA.

  80. Nadine L says:

    My daughter is older, on her own. We talk everyday. We stayed close even through the dreadful teens years by being 100% honest with one another. As I explained sometimes, it may hurt, it may cause hurt feelings, we may end up mad at one another at times, but we will always feel better in the end knowing there was no lies between us. [email protected]

  81. Karen says:

    My kids are all grown now but I communicate with them all daily. We call or text each other, thank goodness for cell phones!

  82. Mary Ellen S says:

    We go on walks sometimes short sometimes long always an opening to see if there is something on their minds

  83. McKim says:

    I’ve found that the more questions I ask, the more my kids close up and quit talking. I’ve learned to just hold back and let them do the talking and I find out much more than if I’d have asked.

  84. Margaret Smith says:

    I make sure to take the time each day to spend a bit of time with each of my kids. I ask them questions about their day and I LISTEN, looking for anything out of the norm.
    Thanks so much for this giveaway!

  85. Nita says:

    My kids are grown up, but we still communicate frequently. We use cell phones, emails, and text messages to stay in touch. I’m not very fast at texting, but I love that I can use my email client to send text messages from my computer.

  86. Marilyn Wons says:

    I stay connected with the children by listening and hearing what they say. I ask for their opinions and guide them to a safe and desirable decision.

  87. Carolyn says:

    Lately I’ve found it a fun way to keep in touch with my grown kids is by using Facebook, I also phone them.

  88. Sandra says:

    I stay in touch by phone, every day.
    This hasn’t changed no matter where they might be.

  89. Ann F says:

    We talk about our day at the dinner table

  90. Sonya Sparks says:

    I am very honest and open with Gracie. I don’t make a big deal out of her asking me anything at all. I just answer whatever she asks. She trusts me and that is just what your children need.

  91. Janice Whitaker says:

    We talk all the time..We text.Although I am not very good at that. We even email and we all live in the same house.

  92. addrienne mertens says:

    my child now 18 calls me 5 or more times a day about sometimes nothing…si i know where shes at all the time.

  93. sandy says:

    Our kids have always known you can talk to us no matter what and we will not fly off the handle with whatever you ask (may have a heart attack or stroke) but nothing is forbidden. I think with that we have great communication- they are great kids and can openly say things to kids and I hear back that hey thats cool you talk like that with your kid. I don’t snoop either, and they know if they get into a situation they can call me and I will come help them in a situation or they can use me as an excuse like my mom is gonna kill me if I do that, or kick me out of the house etc. One of my sons friends knows he can do the same since his parents work weekend nights and if he gets out and stuck in a situation he can say I am going over there and if I do XX she will get pissed and never allow me over or tell my folks. I email and tell my kids hello during the day, and also leave notes on the mirror, backpacks, and for those not living I send them goodie and surprise packs and letters and call them.

  94. adrienne Gordon says:

    they know they can tell me anything and I promise not to judge, but to give them my own opinion and experiences to help them make the right choice.

  95. Stephanie V says:

    We are parents, not friends, but are open to any situation that arises. Basically, safety is first so if they find themselves in a situation they can call us and we won’t get mad, but there will still be consequences of some sort. We talk about possible scenarios and are always open to our children’s feelings (and validate them).
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  96. Stacy says:

    Now that my daughter is a teenager, it seems the only way I can communicate with her is through text! We like to text cute little things back & forth to each other. This tells her I’m thinking about her even when I’m away and it seems she can type her feelings better than verbalizing them!

  97. sharon says:

    sitting down and having meals together, turning off the tv and giving undivided attention when they have something to say, bedtime stories when they’re little, and goodnight hugs when they’re older. ALWAYS touching base before bedtime after they’ve been out when they’re teenagers, and always calling at least once a week when they’re grown to catch up when they live so far away. Always letting them know, that no matter what, you love them, and that you can agree to disagree, cry and laugh with them, and NEVER tell their secrets. Hug them alot, and let them know you care.

  98. Rose7254 says:

    We don’t have children but growing up we always had dinner at the table with my parents and would talk about what had gone on that day. If we had had children ,we would have done the same thing !!!

  99. Roxanne says:

    I keep in touch with my two kids (21 and 20) by talking to them regularly. My daughter I talk to more often than my son, partially because she is pregnant with a baby, so has questions/concerns. My son I dont talk to as often, but I’m here when he wants to talk

  100. Jaque says:

    We have our most meaningful conversations during snack time after school. I never over react, I always listen, I never judge. I ask them what they think and help guide them to logical solutions to their problems.

    Thank you. πŸ™‚

  101. Marie says:

    I keep the lines of communication open with the children in my life by staying in touch through social media and spending time with them whenever possible!

  102. catherine copeland says:

    this may sound corny but i keep the lines of communication open by eating our meals together. a family that eats together talks and a family that talks to each other is a close family.

  103. Pat B says:

    I, too, told my kids to tell me the truth, because lies would get them in much more trouble. It worked out really well when they were little, and now that they are adults, we have great communication. They know that they can tell me anything, and I won’t judge them. I may give them some advice they don’t want to hear, but I will always love and support them.

  104. Judith T says:

    :woof: So cute :duck:
    My kids are grown up but they come with their families every Saturday night for pizza and salad, as does my 91 year old Mommy! :shimmy: :shimmy:

  105. Alecia says:

    I don’t have kids but my mom and I talk a lot. Growing up, we would spend the evenings together watching TV. We would talk a lot during this time. We would also talk in the car, on the way to school. My parents let us know that we could come to them for anything. They told stories of the stupid things they did when they were teenagers so we knew they knew what we were going through. My mom would tell us stories about smoking pot in Montana on the set of a horror movie with Kris Kristopherson(sp?), hitchhiking across the country with strangers, skinny dipping in the Gulf of Mexico and experimenting with LSD at a Grateful Dead concert in the 70s. They would always tell us how horrible drugs are and that we shouldn’t do them but if we wanted to experiment we should do it in a safe place and in a safe way. My parents were always there to talk about anything and they were open to anything. My brother got married when he was 17 and my parents were so happy. My mom pretty much planned the wedding. Most parents would freak and tell him he’s too young. He’s now 24 and is still happily married. When I finally have kids, I’m going to always let them know that they can talk to me about anything.

  106. Annette Duke says:

    I have been telling my son for a long time that if he tells me the truth, I will not get mad and the punishment will be moderate if necessary. If you lie to me, the punishment will be harsh and twofold. Once for doing the deed and once for lying to me about it. I am a single mom & raising my son alone. Seeing that you have the same rules for truth-telling relieved me. I am doing something that other people believe in as well ! I never make fun of him when he tells me something personal or embarrassing either, that makes him comfortable in telling me things. Parenting is the hardest and best thing I have ever done in my life.

  107. Andrea says:

    I tell my children the same thing you do. That they can always talk to me about anything as long as they are honest. I think having respect for their thoughts and ideas is always important to communication. Never make them feel like they are unimportant or ignore what they have to say. :purpleflower:

  108. Theresa Clift says:

    Before everyone owned cell phones we used a calendar and a dry erase board and dinner at 6 pm. Thanks for the contest.

  109. Kathy Luman says:

    I have a son that lives in Columbus and a daughter with my 2 grandchildern that live in Texas. We talk on the phone mostly. Once in a blue moon my daughter might email me. But the phone and pictures keeps me in touch with them all.

  110. Michelle Draveski says:

    I have always been honest with my son so he will do the same with me. Sometimes I have had to tell him things I would rather not have but in doing so he feels he can tell me the same

  111. Cat says:

    We keep communication open with our kids by making sure they know we won’t judge them and frequently asking about their lives.

  112. shawn mckim says:

    I just tell them that what ever the problem is it can always be fixed. I leave the lines of communication open that they can tell me what they want. I dont act like it bothers me what they are saying and just give them advice. I would rather the truth come from me than to ask friends and get the wrong answer and use their advice to make a decision. :heart:

  113. Claudia says:

    we do things together when my kids are in town , be honest with eachother,e-mail and call alot :snuggle:


  114. Autumn B. says:

    Right now our son is only 3 (almost 4) so we don’t have the problem with a wall of silence BUT he still doesn’t always want to talk. To make sure that we always get time together to communicate – we eat supper together with no other distractions. I hope that this practice will continue as he gets older & that we will always have family time.

    autumn398 @

  115. Rebecca Graham says:

    Where would we be without cell phones to call our kids when they are out.

  116. PATRIC KRUEGER says:

    my kids keep their phone with them BUT turn them off at school

  117. George says:

    I got them kids cell phones to stay in touch.

  118. Brian D. says:

    Making wrong choies must still have consequences but the sooner and more truthful the guilty one is the less the punishment will be. I tell them even smart people can make stupid decisions but wise people learn from them.

  119. Deborah Wellenstein says:

    My children are now in their 30’s, with families of their own. We talk to them often, and have them over at least once a week, or we go to their houses. We do special things with our grandchildren, too.

  120. Darlene Alexander says:

    I love to cook and now that my children are all grown and married and busy, I try to make home made soup to show my love to them and their children.

  121. Tari Lawson says:

    I find that the best time to talk to my kids is when we are traveling in the car.

  122. elena says:

    My kids are always talking to me. So far, the lines of communication are wide open πŸ™‚

  123. Heather S says:

    Our family keeps in contact via phone/text and email when we are apart. Also trying to have family dinners to talk helps keep us a part of their lives.

  124. Shelley Mitchell says:

    Cell phones!! Love them!!

  125. Jill says:

    my kids are older but I have always told them they can talk to me about anything. I have heard a lot of things I really don’t want to know. but our cell phones still ring daily.

  126. Theresa Shafer says:

    Watching a movie and commenting afterwards help you to learn what each other thinks and brings up subjects to further discuss. Each of us views movies from our own experience.

    Even if the movie sucked the plot might be interesting to discuss. Some are fun, silly and some discussions reveal what is happening in the others life. You can role play about how would you handle this situation? What should the character have done?

  127. Leann says:

    My kids are grown and 3 out of 4 live 1500 miles away. We utilize facebook, myspace and of course the phone to keep the lines of communication open. My granddaughter is 8 and I try to carry on this practice by bringing her home from school, giving her a snack and drink and laying down in bed together to watch spongebob or another cartoon. Sometimes her mom joins us! This allows her to get a little rest after school and creates a safe place to talk about her day – what the teacher said, what the kids did, and any concerns she may have. I hope this closeness will allow her to feel comfortable enough as a teenager to tell us about anything, good or bad, that comes up.

  128. Laura says:

    We keep the lines of communication open with a mandatory 5 family meals each week, talking and playing games during car rides, and quality one-on-one time with each child.

  129. Patrice says:

    I listen to everything that they say and make sure that they know they can tell me anything and everything.

  130. Kristi G says:

    My family makes it a point to always eat dinner together. No matter how busy we are, this is the one thing that we do to keep us grounded and helps to keep the lines of communication open.

  131. Shannon Brown says:

    I love to commuicate with my daughter she loves to talk to me and on the phone so there’s never a dull moment.

  132. Susan B says:

    I don’t know why really – maybe because we are just awesome parents (haha)but our kids have always talked to us about everything – boys, girls, school, bullies, “that time of the month”, etc. We are close, eat breakfast and dinner together every day. I guess they feel they can trust us and that we won’t yell at them for every little thing they say or do like some of their friends parents. We listen – which is why they keep talking to us.

  133. Carolyn says:

    To keep communication lines open with my children I always believed that they should understand my love was unconditional and that in the end it was always better to be open and honest rather than hiding things only to come out later as it normally would.
    cjnedrow at

  134. Lisa Woods says:

    At the end of each school day, I always ask what there favorite part was and what the worst part was. Sometimes I tell them mine first and we all have to share.

  135. Abby says:

    I love that my teenage son now has an email account. He is gone at practice or some event all the time. If I need to ask him a question I often email it so I dont forget the next time he is home. Love it1

    ajcmeyer at go dot com

  136. theProvidentWoman says:

    I always try to start a meaningful conversation with my kids (well as meaningful as they can be with a 1, 3, and 6 year old. I also try to do things with one at a time. Take them out to eat or shopping with me so we can talk one on one for an hour or two. My husband does the same thing. He plans weekly activities for him and one of the kids to do. They are used to having to take turns. We do this kind of thing weekly as a whole family as well.

    We also hold a once a week family discussion (again, as best we can) where we ask what their favorite thing this week was and is there anything any of us needs to work on. Or we ask for ideas on what a punishment should be if something they did that week happens again.

  137. Carol G says:

    My girls are grown now, one lives next door and one lives 1200 miles away. We still discuss just about everything (quite naturally, the family details within their marriages are generally off limits) and I really feel that the open dialog I started when they were little is the reason for that.

  138. Jeff says:

    I don’t have kids but I try to keep in touch with my brother. Frequent trips and short phone calls seem to keep us in touch.

  139. Elena says:

    I think texting is a great way to keep in touch with my 11 year old! Sometimes it’s nice to just be able to send off a little message. Thanks for the contest!

  140. Julie N says:

    I talk to my kids and know their friends. We’re involved with their activities and have established relationships. We also have dinner together every night.

  141. carol says:

    my daughter lives in California…we talk on the telephone at least 1 time a day..I also talk to my small grandkids…thanks for the great giveaway

  142. Linda Fish says:

    My daughter added me as a friend on Facebook and we leave comments for each other

  143. she says:

    I’m the child; she’s the mother. I don’t have any kids yet. Although I’m 32, single and independent, speaking with my Mom is a daily priority. I have a Sprint cell phone that I use to keep in contact with her. Although she doesn’t live far, we are both busy people. She is retired but substitute teaching and I work full-time and do plays and musicals in my free time.

    As I’ve gotten older, a cell phone allows us to keep in touch when I’m in between work and play practice. I put in my Blue Tooth and call my mom during travel. We get quality time that way that fits into both our schedules!

  144. Estelle says:

    My kids and I are pretty close and we talk all the time. My girls are 8 and 13, and they have been known to leave me little notes about things they want to talk to me about but are unsure of how to say. I always tell them as long as they communicate with me somehow I’m happy.

  145. Amanda Nix says:

    I try to tell my kids that consequences will be worse if I have to find out on my own who did what and that usually works to get the guilty party to confess but I also show them this by making a consequence easier on them if they come to tell me something and dont try to hide it in the first place. I think this one is just the cutest!! :woof:

  146. Carol says:

    I don’t pry or act nosy, I’ve become a great listener, and I think that’s the most important thing….to really listen.

  147. rose says:

    My daughter is grown and moved out, but thanks to fantastic technology, we communicate daily, via texts and phone calls. It’s fantastic way to stay in touch with loved ones.

  148. Kate says:

    I keep the lines of communication open by always being there for them and being non judgemental of mistakes and supportive of hopes and dreams

  149. Kerrie Mayans says:

    I keep the lines of communication open by tucking each of my four kids in their rooms at night and give them 20 minutes or so of mom time to vent to me or tell me how their day went. This 1.5 hours is the best part of my day.

  150. Monique Rizzo says:

    I try really hard with my daughter. We eat dinner together each night. I ask her about her day, her friends, her activities. I have an open door policy. She can come to me with ANYTHING!! We have a monthly Mom/Daughter date, where we go to the movies, lunch, shopping and just talk.
    Thanks so much for the chance.
    [email protected]

  151. allyson ayala says:

    my daughter and i e-mail all day long to each other…and then when we get home talk,talk talk.

  152. Elaine Handrigan says:

    Even though my kids are grown, we all keep in touch from various parts of the country via phone, e-mail and now facebook.

  153. Thomas Gibson says:

    Cell phones required!!

  154. Jamie Z says:

    We eat dinner together every night. It is a great time to talk with few distractions

  155. Pat Connors says:

    We always make sure to have one meal a day together, usually dinner and sometimes breakfast.

  156. JoAnne says:

    Putting my six year old to bed at night. Seems like that’s when things really come out on how his day went. Maybe it’s the quiet or finally letting go and getting cozy in bed. This is my favorite part of the day.

  157. Brent Dotson says:

    My 13 year old has a cellphone and two different email account. We are a very wired family

  158. Mark Bal says:

    My 26yr old has a cellphone.

  159. Michele says:

    We share what we did for the day during dinner.

  160. Linda H says:

    Cell phones with unlimited minutes

  161. Kerry Ryan says:

    First off, I have the same motto you do, and it works like a charm!
    No matter what my kids have done, they are comfortable telling me πŸ™‚
    I have 6 children, and work full time. I make sure every day, I take time with each of them alone, to find out how their day went, and talk about it with them.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  162. Courtney S says:

    I always make sure to talk to them about everything. We sit down and talk everyday. I try to stay informed with everything that goes on with their friends and what happens in school.

  163. Deci Worland says:

    We keep Sunday family dinners a must-attend event.

  164. Linda Lansford says:

    I keep the lines of communication open with our kids by being honest with them and showing unconditional love

  165. Christine V says:

    talk to them about everything

  166. Yvonne Huff says:

    I let them know that They can talk to me about anything, anytime.

  167. Birdi says:

    My daughter, now 24, tells me everything…especially the things I don’t really want to hear. After the teenagers are grown, I think there is a special connection. We are thousands of miles apart but somehow we know when the other needs a call. She still calls to share those moments.

  168. Tami Boswell says:

    I text my kids a lot and find that they will tell me more that way. I think seeing my dissapointed face is something that keeps them from admitting to a problem/incident.

  169. Erica C. says:

    The kids have cell phones to call us if they ever need to talk when we aren’t there…it helps a lot.

  170. Dawn says:

    Every night at dinner I put the focus on my daughter and have her tell me and hubby about her day or anything she is concerned about.

  171. Anne D says:

    My kids and I are very close. We sit down and talk whenever. I always know when they need me.

  172. Beverly says:

    I always told my daugther (29)
    the truth. I never hid anything
    from her.

  173. karenM says:

    Keep communication open, and be a good listener.

  174. Alex Montana says:

    I have two grown children who work everyday. We use text to stay up to date on each other’s lives. That way, no one is interrupted but we can stay in touch throughout the day and stay involved with each other.

  175. Alex Montana says:

    Following on twitter


    [email protected]

  176. carole rossi says:

    If you want a lifetime connection with your children, do not judge their every move. Stop giving advice when you are not asked and if you are speak carefully if your answer is obviously the reverse of what they want to hear. One question kids hate is “what happened at school today”. The question is too general-it is better to focus on a topic–how do you feel you did on the math test. If someone asked you “what did you do today” you would give the same answer the kids do “nothing”.

  177. Miaelkaye says:

    My kids are a little young for a cell phone currently (oldest being 11), but I do my best to let them know that I’m available if they want to share their day or whenever they have a problem. When they are having a bad day, I will fix a favorite meal or dessert. Or I will spend one-on-one time with them outside of the house and do something that they would enjoy. It usually puts them in a better mood to want to talk about any issues they are having.


  178. Diane Perkins says:

    I started when my daughter was young as well and tried to make sure that she knew she could tell me anything…now that she is a teenager I’m hoping she will still confide in me and feel free to tell me anything. You work hard to communicate all their young years and then hope that it will pay off when they are older. She seems to prefer to be at our home with her friends and I enjoy that as well

  179. charline says:

    i ask my kids everday how are things going. sometimes that is all it takes asking

  180. JMom says:

    I hear you on teenage transgressions… it’s a little harder to keep that “I won’t get mad” promise. So I kind of amended the promise to my daughters. In their lingo, “Mom promises to not freak out”

    I may get mad or upset, but I can’t go yelling and pounding on the walls. Feet stomping and flailing is out of the question too πŸ™‚

  181. M.A. says:

    We go camping: there’s nothing like a campfire when it comes to sharing our “life stories”! :wave:

  182. Tanya W. says:

    :wave: Our 3 oldest girls have cell phones. I’m a long time Sprint subscriber and also have a great corporate discount plan that saves us quite a bit of money on our Family plan. So, naturally we have the extras which includes unlimited texting, Sprint TV,music & picture downloads, etc. I’ve already felt the financial burn from not being wise enough to have signed up for the plan in the first place, to the tune of making one unhappy teen fork over $75 to cover her text happy faux-pas. We’re a very close family that is always connected, especially when it comes to our common interests like techy stuff and travel, and even simple things like watching the Disney Channel together.My kids get a kick out of texting each other, Dear Hubs and I, and of course, their friends. Its funny, our texting capabilities have improved considerably thanks to those text happy girls of ours!

    Link to my blog:

  183. Tanya W. says:

    Here is a link to my tweet!

  184. Tanya W. says:

    I blogged about this great review & giveaway on my blog and
    included all required linkbacks.


  185. Barbara says:

    My children are adults, both living about 4 hours away in the “big” city. Communication really isn’t an issue since they normally call once per month with a devastating situation requiring money (you know, lack of food, electrical company visitng to turn the switch off….just your normal emergencies). We do stay in touch though and depend on our cellphones to make sure we receive their calls at all times because what seems minor to us IS an emergency to them and we want to be there.

  186. Betty says:

    Embrace the technology that makes up the framework of your kids lives. My daughter is in college and every roommate she has had marvels that her mother not only emails, but tweets, IM’s goes on facebook et cetra. First its making yourself available on terms that are most convenient for them. And then you’d be amazed what you learn from IM away messages that will open up rewarding conversations.

  187. Carol V. says:

    I make sure we have some quiet time one on one with each kid. And we just sit and talk, it is easy to do when there are no disruptions.

  188. barbara wright says:

    I was going to say what comment #1 said. When I’m driving somewhere with the kids in the car, they are more willing to talk than they are at home. I don’t know whether it’s because they’re bored and they have nothing to do or if it’s because there’s no eye contact, but I hear SO much more in the car than anywhere else. And I never, ever overreact (in front of them) to anything they say. I wait until I’m calmer so we can discuss it. That helps let them know that they really can tell me anything and I won’t yell at them.

  189. tracy davis says:

    I try not to be judgemental. I try not to forget what it was like to be their age. I try to see the whole picture and ask myself if this will matter in 5 years or will we laugh about it.

  190. Djp says:

    stay open, as best you can, and let them feel like they can come to you on anything

  191. Lisa Foster says:

    I think that being willing to listen–without opening your mouth–which is hard–is the best way to enhance communication.

  192. laurie says:

    I’ve been known to check their moods at facebook and myspace, but more often I just ask them “how’ve you been” a couple times a week.

  193. joan says:

    Be willing to listen without criticism, to empathize with them and from where they are coming from. Keeping the channels of communication open so they will feel they can always come to you. This has worked for me .

  194. Barbara says:

    When we discuss something, I give my thoughts with the intention of letting them know the pros and cons of their actions. But they always know the final decision is up to them. Because I freely admit I can’t force them to do or think as I want them to, I think there’s been much less rebellion than I’ve seen among most of their friends.

  195. lace says:

    I also make sure they know they can talk to me about anything. We lay in bed at night and talk about the good things and the bad things about the day. We talk after we get frustrated with each other and after we have had a great moment. Talking is the best way to keep those lines open

  196. Christine says:

    My son is recently married and I don’t want to intrude on them too much, so we e-mail each other and talk on the phone just often enough to hear what is going on in each other’s lives and we get together every week or so. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

  197. pixie13 says:

    I try to laugh alot with my children. And I make every effort to be honest with them so they can be honest with me. Also, admit my mistakes & apologize if I goof up. Children learn by example. Thanks!

  198. ashley says:

    we communicate through text messaging… it seems to work the best to talk about things, keep up with where she is and know whats going on without embarressing her in front of her friends

  199. Holly B says:

    I really make sure that they feel comfortable talking to me, open door policy!

  200. shel says:

    My three sons are grown but my daughter just turned 13. As they get older, it’s tougher to get them to open up and talk to me. I’ve found that sharing parts of my day with them before I ask them about their day helps relax them and makes them more willing to tell me what’s going on with them. I think that some of the anecdotes I’ve shared about my daily life have given them tools to deal with similar situations they encounter.

  201. Maureen says:

    I have one young man in my life who is almost 20.. which sometimes to him means 21… He has a large group of friends who are all a few years older than him.. Sometimes reminding him that the things they can do… He shouldn’t be doing isn’t easy.
    I have to say I didn’t give birth to this kid.. but he is as close to a son as it can get. We phone each other, Text.. (he taught me). and make sure we have dinner at least once a week.
    My biggest thing I have found to keep communication open with him is to Call him if he doesn’t call me.
    I also have learned to pick my battles.. At lunch recently with some other friends and I he made a big point of sitting away from me.. couldn’t figure out what was up. Hadn’t seen him in 3 days..
    I went to restroom and as I came back I had to pass him.. I say to him.. Do me a fave, lift up the shirt sleeve.. He looks me in the face and says.. “Do I have to?” He did it.. There was a tattoo on his arm.. A REAL tattoo.. I first middled, and last named him.. then got up and checked it out..
    It really wasn’t bad.. I say to him.. That is a nice tattoo.. in the future no secrets.. He had the biggest shocked look on his face and said.. Wow that went so much better than I thought it would.
    Crazy kids.. I also have encouraged him to maybe not get anymore without serious thought first. I figure a Tattoo is better than some other things he could do.
    Pick your battles.

  202. Jefferie Lorraine James says:

    πŸ˜€ My son is old in years, but young in mind, born with communicatively handicapped and other behavior issues. I deal with gently with him regarding cell texting. Our first bills were over $300.00 I just sat him down and got out the phone bill and went over page by page trying to get a idea across that this was momey. It took some time and changing to unlimited texting; but he has come to realize more that each text is so much and been more thoughtful of his actions effecting others.


    Communications is the key to a happy normal life between hamn beings!!!!!!!!!!!Yes my family can talk to me anytime onm anything! They know where I stand on as lot of things and there is always room for change, adjustment or just sharing opinions!

  204. Rosey says:

    In addition to conversations at home, I also communicate with them via their MySpace account, texting, or calling them on their cells if they are out of the house. Luckily, I have a great relationship with all four of my kids.

  205. Kim says:

    I tell my kids that they can come to me without any immediate negative consequences. Be honest and things will work out.

  206. Janice Wright says:

    One of the best ways to communicate with your kids is to have meals together & turn off the radio & TV at this time.

  207. Angie says:

    My kids don’t have any cells yet because first, I don’t believe in them having them unless they’re very active, and my kids are always with me unless I’m at work. So… the way I keep the lines of communication open are by listening to them all the time without judgement, and by telling them if they don’t lie to me and treat me the way they want to be treated, we won’t have a problem. it’s working so far!

  208. Cynthia C says:

    My kids are grown and live in other cities. We stay in touch by email and cell phone.

  209. Nancy says:

    My daughter goes to school away from home now. We use e-mail and a regular phone calling time to stay in touch.

  210. Nancy says:

    Oops – I noticed that the the e-mail address with the entry above was mis-typed. I only noticed that after I sent it. I’ll try again!

    My daughter goes to school far away from home. We stay in touch with e-mail and regular phone calling times.

  211. Brandy Byrne says:

    We have Tracfones for our teen boys. They know they can only use so many minutes and usually save them for calling home when needed. It makes you wonder how we grew up without always having a way to get in touch with someone almost instantly.

  212. Karen says:

    I’m lucky because my kids (12, 10, 7) are pretty good about telling me what’s going on in their lives. I make a point to ask lots of questions and to stay on top of who’s who in their lives. I know it will get harder when they’re in their teens, but I’m hoping that they’re getting used to the idea of having mom “up” on what’s going on in their lives!

  213. Mary B says:

    :dancingmonster: I always keep the lines of communication and the dialogue going. While I have no illusion that my kids tell me everything, I am confident that I know the important things that are happening in their and their friends lives. We’ve always talked openly and calmly, as I want them to feel like they can come to me about anything without fear, and, they have shown time and time again that they can, and that they can make good choices based on previous discussions we’ve had.

  214. Elizabeth J says:

    I try to always be accessible to my kids and talk whenever they want if its convenient. Sometimes they don’t want to tell me things right away so I have to be patient and wait until they are ready.

  215. Mary M. says:

    My son is 22, and I, too, have always told him he can tell me anything. One thing I have never done, though, is say “I told you so” when he has disregarded my advice and taken his own path. I feel like he appreciates that and he continues to ask my advice and tell me things (that he would never dream of telling his father!).

  216. Annette D says:

    I keep the lines of communication open with my two sons, age 20 and 16,by being honest, open and not over reacting. I have always told them that they can tell me anything and I have a wonderful relationship with each of them.

  217. chrissyb says:

    Family dinner all at the table keeps the lines of communication open for our family.


  218. Sarah Hirsch says:

    We stay connected / keep the lines of communication open just by taking a lot together as a family.

  219. Tara Hernandez says:

    I just have patience with them and they will talk to me – I will always sit down with them after school and talk about their day and i will also tell them about my day. I feel they know that I will listen to them and can come to me with anything!

  220. Gail Crawford says:

    Being able to talk.

  221. Carolyn G says:

    The best way is to make sure that the lines of communication are always open. And that anything that is spoken about is without judgment and will be heard.

  222. simone says:

    Well DS is only a year old, so our main issue is that he isn’t really talking that much yet. But we have been teaching him sign language since day 1, so that helps us communicate more than we could otherwise. Thanks! thebubbledies(at)gmail(dot)com

  223. debi welbon says:

    My children have always known they can talk to me and they can tell me some of the most embarassing things and I have to keep from showing any reaction!!

  224. linda says:

    My son isn’t old enough yet for this to be a problem, but I hope to always leave the lines of communication open between us–I feel like if he trusts us and knows we won’t judge, this won’t be a problem!

  225. ShootingStarsMag says:

    Don’t be too nosy about things, but show an interest and act like you actually care about their lives…of course, don’t ACT too much b/c you should care…but it makes them more open to talking to you if they think you are listening and really enjoying what they have to say.

  226. Jason says:

    I have always fond that bribing them may work for a while, but sooner or later that fails. I have found that the best way is to remain calm in all situations. They seem to have a way to sense when you loose your cool and take advantage of it.


  227. Debra F says:

    My kids are only 5 and 8, so they are still very much into talking to mom and dad. My 8 year has started to clam up when we ask him general questions such as “How was your day”, so now we ask very specific questions to make sure to get a “real” response. For instance, we will ask a question like “What was teh most important thing that happened to you today”?

  228. Night Owl Mama says:

    :snoopy: Open ended Questions? Asking how is your day going? What did you like most about a show we watched together
    No Tv during meals we talk

    I call my oldest on the cell and leave him messages and we set a date for lunch.

  229. Betty N says:

    When we were raising our kids, we had dinner together every night and each child could share about their day. They had different needs also because of their own unique qualities and needs. One son could “chat” while we were playing ping pong where he couldn’t just sitting down together. Our other son could come home and have a snack and talk. I thought it was especially good for them to be able to talk with their father.

  230. sandra says:

    we try to talk to them about their day in the car, at dinner, and just before bed

  231. Spoodles says:

    I hope to keep communication open by starting very early with my kids. My oldest is 5, and I feel it is very important to make him understand very early on that he can talk to us, and never, ever lose face with us for being honest. I hope that works. Time will tell.

  232. Rajee says:

    My kids aren’t grown up. We always make friends with kids.

  233. Rajee says:

    tweeted @momsfocus

  234. betty r says:

    i like you told my kids this as well.It was easier to hear it from them than some one else or when trouble found them out.There was a few times i had to leave the house for a walk or set outside and think about it before i went back in too talk to them.That would be the big stuff…lol
    Now with the grands i do the same and also say remember jesus can hear you and he already knows the trueth.That works every time!I pray it always does.Very nice contest and i thank you..would be super to win this!
    alwaysatryin at

  235. Jen B says:

    For now, we maintain face to face communication. Our kids are only 6 and 9, and can’t really get around without a parent of some sort to deliver them and pick them up. While they explore sports and the arts, they haven’t really entered the cell-phone world. They know how to text (on my phone to aunts and grandparents), but for now, we maintain personal communication – particularly around our nightly family dinner routine.

  236. Jennifer C. says:

    My girls know that lying is a cardinal sin in our home. They know that while there still might be a consequence, it is much worse if (when) I find out about something another way. Also, my oldest is just hitting puberty and we have had the talk, borrowed library books, and she knows she can ask me any questions she has (as long as it is appropriate – not in the middle of the grocery store or restaurant).

  237. ~jewel~ says:

    I keep in touch with my oh-so buzy son via texting, facebook and phone calls since we can’t get together often.
    Technology is heavenly!

  238. elizabeth p says:

    We have family veg nights. We pick up snacky finger foods like popcorn, hotwings, pizza bites, cheese sticks, etc and watch movies. It brings us all together and opens the lines of communication. :snuggle:

  239. Ravzie says:

    If I had kids, we’d surely all have cell phones and be texting constantly!

  240. kristina jones says:

    we talk every day. we always have, so the lines of communication never closed, they have always been open

  241. Karen says:

    My kids are still pretty young (8 and 6) but we try to have dinner together every night and talk about what happened that day, and we talk every night at bedtime and I find out the most interesting things at that time. You have to be prepared to listen whenever it is that your children feel like opening up — they will do it on their schedule, not yours!

  242. Nancye Davis says:

    I stay connected with my 14 year old son by letting him have a cell phone.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  243. Linda says:

    I told my kids the same thing they are little and it worked. You sometimes hear things that make your hair stand up on the back of your neck; but all in all it worked out well. Dinner time was sitting down at the table as a family with no TV! Talking about what everyone had done that day and what was important to each one of use kept the communication lines open. We do the same thing with the grandchildren and they love to have time to tell their stories.

  244. ky2here says:

    Not sure how well i do it, but the goal is to maintain healthy boundaries yet still engage in a non-judgemental way.

  245. Ginny says:

    My kids are 8 & 12. We use cell phones & email with my oldest. As a family though we use a family notebook. It is just a spiral notebook that stays in the kitchen. Anyone can write a note in it & we all check it periodically. It is great for things needed, things that need to be done, places the kids need to go, school forms filled out. Plus little tidbits that the kids want to write. When it is finished, it turns into a little snapshot of our life at the moment.

  246. Ginny says:

    My kids are 8 & 12. We use cell phones & email with my oldest. As a family though we use a family notebook. It is just a spiral notebook that stays in the kitchen. Anyone can write a note in it & we all check it periodically. It is great for things needed, things that need to be done, places the kids need to go, school forms filled out. Plus little tidbits that the kids want to write. When it is finished, it turns into a little snapshot of our life at the moment.

    Blogged ~

  247. Amber G says:

    I stay connected to my kids by making sure we have family mealtimes at breakfast and dinner whenever possible!

  248. Renski says:

    My children are quite young, but establishing good communication with them is still very important. I take the time to listen (i.e. stop whatever else I’m doing) to my 5 year old… even if it’s rambling – he usually has a point.

  249. Jill Myrick says:

    I have always kept an open line of communication with all of my children. And it has always worked really well for us. They know that they can come to me with anything good or bad and that I will never judge them. I am always there to listen or help. Whichever is needed.
    I too tried to not do the cell phones but as my children have gotten older I have given in as it does make it better for the both of us to keep in touch. Especially if an emergency arises or they find themselves in a situation where they need me.
    Thank you so much for the chance to win.

  250. Kirsten says:

    We both have the same sense of humor. We watch music videos together, share a few favorite TV shows and sometimes just sitting there together she opens up and tells me so many things. I have learned to just listen and let her speak. Sometimes it is hard but I know that is how to find out what is going on in her world.

  251. Tamara B. says:

    I still have a 14 year old son and a 13 year old daughter at home. We make it a point to eat dinner together at least five days a week. We have a family movie night once a week and each one can invite one friend. I love spending time with my childen and it keeps us close plus we can talk to each other about anything.

  252. Denise says:

    My kids are young and homeschooled, so they are hardly ever away from me for now.

  253. Susan C says:

    My children are adults. I talk to my daughter on the phone several times a day (she calls), but my adult sons don’t tell me a darn thing-it’s like pulling teeth to find out the simplest things!
    smchester at gmail dot com

  254. patricia says:

    I keep the lines of communication open by letting them know I am available to talk to them no matter what the subject is. I hope they will always remember that.

  255. Stephen says:

    I IM my kids everyday. Keeps us close even they live over 1000 miles away.

  256. Janet F says:

    My sons are grown but we communicate daily by phone, email and instant messaging.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  257. Leslie M. says:

    My 18 year old daughter just started her 2nd year of college! So, it is getting kind of hard to have daily one on one conversations! We rely more NOW on texting an emails and cell phone calls!
    The texting is AD NAUSEUM! haahah I had to get an unlimited plan! My daughter can text at the speed of light and texts me for every whipstitch! She calls me on the cell phone up til midnight too!
    I don’t mind, I am glad she knows she can call for any problem or concern! The lines of communcation MUST stay open even as they get older and find their own way in the world!
    Thanks for a GREAT giveaway!

  258. mitchell says:

    well, we try to catch up at meal time, but if not, we do it online via email and through texting. thanks

  259. Barbara M says:

    This works for me –
    I try to always listen to their side of the story.
    & allow them to have their own opinion.
    This has a lot to do with respect.

  260. mickeyfan says:

    Thank goodness for the internet! I email and check Facebook. Cellphones have enabled me to reach the one who lives out of state cheaply too. Of course, online banking means the one in college never has to run out of $$ as long as I don’t change my password! ;0

  261. Linda J. says:

    I don’t have kids, which pretty much eliminates any communication gaps. From observing kids in my workplace, though, I have to wonder how any of us from the olden days learned to talk without a cell phone glued to our ears.

  262. Jennifer gersch says:

    i tell my kids to be open and honest and try to educate them before they make decisions

  263. May Schultz says:

    My “children” are 53 and 55 years old!We live too far away from each other to visit too often, so we phone each of them every Saturday morning and talk for 1 hour to each gal. All week long, if there’s something special that needs to be said, we email one another. It really keeps us in touch.

  264. Jessica says:

    Making sure that we all sit down to dinner together on most nights of the weeks I think goes a long way towards keeping everyone close and up to date with whats going on in our lives-it’s easy to lose touch with the little things and this is an easy way to touch base with the kids at the end of each day.

  265. Patricia Treskovich says:

    We try to have dinner together often and keep up everyone’s news.

  266. Patricia Treskovich says:

    follow you on twitter and tweeted Latest: than 5 seconds ago

  267. Shane Murray says:

    Letting them know I am there if there’s *anything* they need to talk about.

  268. Sylvie W. says:

    I always make it know that since no one is perfect we can share eerything.

  269. Claire says:

    I let them know that if they need to talk about something, I’ll listen without judgement.

  270. DG says:

    Establishing trust is very important as is being a good listener and placing yourself in your kid’s shoes. You weren’t always the responsible parent and it’s good to share a little of your past with your kids.

  271. Annmarie W. says:

    My children & I do a lot of talking in the car. We try to keep it lighthearted, and when I pick them up from the bus we always talk about their days! I also make sure to spend time alone with each of my children, so we can talk without the other sibling listening in.

  272. julieh says:

    I let them know they can talk to me about anything, without judgment. I want them to really talk to me about their lives without fear. I think that keeps the lines of communication open between us. It isn’t easy, but it seems to be working!

  273. Jeanine B says:

    I try to listen more than I talk, especially if they bring up a conversation themselves. It’s hard sometimes to keep my mouth shut, but interesting what they’ll tell me if I just listen.

  274. Angela C says:

    I leave the lines of communication open by listening to my kids and to get to talk while we are doing something fun. For example, we’ll play a game and they really share a lot during that time. I listen and let them talk! :happyfeet:

  275. Ashley May Mott says:

    I think it is important to relay an opinion without becoming holier than thou. Parents should be firm with their children, but some parents transition explanations for behavior into moral preachings which don’t hold up as well as relatable concepts when dealing with teens.

  276. Craig Johnson says:

    talk to (not at!!) your children

  277. Kathy Scott says:

    I work from home so our house is where all the kids hang out. I learn a lot from my boys friends.

  278. Daniel M says:

    they’re in college and we usually just text a few times a week and phone on the weekends

  279. Michelle H. says:

    My kids know that I am always here to listen to them. One thing I try to do is stop what I am doing and face them to listen to what they have to say so that they will know that what they want to tell me matters to me.

  280. Tobster says:

    Well, my daughter is still a baby so we’re working on the communication thing, but I notice that when I talk to older children, (you know, like 5 year olds) they very often assume that if they play dumb, you’ll buy it, (about things like whether or not they knew it was wrong to do something) I’m too stubborn to let them get away with it, and I can tell they’re surprised that I called them on it. What’s really going on is the adults they know are underestimating them and they’re using it to their advantage. So that’s my plan — not to dumb down my communication with my daughter and to expect honesty.

  281. Sandra says:

    I try not to spaz out when my son opens up to me. I try to listen even though I do not like what he’s telling me.I am just happy that he has decided to share his thoughts with me.

  282. Bryanna P. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway…I love the site… =D

  283. Jennifer M says:

    I have a box of questions at the dinner table, and we each pull one and answer it in turn. It makes it into a game, so my daughter is more likely to actually talk to us!

  284. LINDA HEFFERNAN says:

    Try to see all school notices. Not always easy. They hide them from me.

  285. Theresa DeRosa says:

    We keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers by eating dinner together at least 4x weekly so that we can keep up with what is going on in thier lives.

  286. Teresa says:

    We make a point to be all at the table for dinner while there we discuss anything we want

    πŸ™‚ Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! πŸ™‚

  287. Derk Thomas says:

    With teenagers a cell phone is a must, and just call and see how things are going (you will be surprised by the answers.)

  288. Leann S says:

    With my kids in college we have cellphones with a family plan so we can text and chat whenever we get the urge.

  289. Justine Pierson says:

    I keep the lines of communication open by always being really interested in their lives and in them as people…I pay a lot of attention and ask them questions so I can know what is up…I try my best to not be judgmental and I also allow them to be theirselves as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else πŸ˜€

  290. Justine Pierson says:

    I tweeted the contest!


  291. Erma says:

    I asked them how their day went and if they ever need to talk they can come to me.

  292. Danielle E. says:

    I try to make sure to be ready to listen carefully and when possible to let them initiate the conversation on their schedule. Often these conversations begin casually during routine activities so I always try to pay attention.

  293. Diane Baum says:

    My”kids” are 21 and 23, so communication was difficult at times….very hard. When we had a problem, we would have family meetings. I know it sounds corny, but it was and is a time for everyone to be heard. Mantatory attendance
    Diane Baum

  294. Denyse says:

    I think I smother my kids w/ talk. They know alot that they’d learn in school and we make it normal to talk about.

  295. Jay F. says:

    We’re sharing computer time, playing games together on a computer and visiting relatives facebook pages together.

  296. dianne says:

    I learned through the years (I;m a grand mother now) to LISTEN. The best way to open the lines of communication is to hear what the kids are saying. They eill let you know if/when they need to talk. It’s up to you to hear them- they won’t ask.

  297. Anne G says:

    Like many others have commented, I find my kids are more likely to open up in the car, when it is just me and one of them. Lately this has been harder though, since my oldest is 16 and has her learner’s permit. I find it harder to talk to her when she is driving, since I don’t want to distract her and also I am very nervous when she drives. So we have started going out for coffee once a week while her sister is at dance. She likes having special time just with me, and going out for coffee makes her feel grown up too. She is pretty good at letting me know what is bothering her. We have had lots of good talks lately about college, and her worries about fitting in.

  298. Becky Winesburg says:

    My son is 13 and we talk on the phone 2-3 times a day, just to keep tabs on activities and sports that we have to attend and when he needs to be picked up and dropped off, etc. I really would be lost without our cell phones!

    [email protected]

  299. dani says:

    I let my kids kids have just talk time. Where I am just their sounding off board. Sometimes it is hard because I want to give my opinions and advice but I only give it when they ask or they really need it. They come to me now because they know I will listen. I have learned so much more about them because of this.

  300. Sonya says:

    My kids know they can talk to us about anything, and the driving is an excellent time to tell us things! They’re more comfortable if they don’t have to look at us when they tell us things!

  301. Cindy J says:

    Hi, I like to catch them right after school to see what mood they are in.

  302. Kim Snegirev says:

    I have a number of ways I stay in touch with my teenage son. We got him his own cell phone when he was 10 since we did away with landlines here at the house. At first his call allowance was very limited and no texting was allowed. Now we have unlimited texting, and when he’s away we text back and forth a lot. He’s very active in sports and after school activities, so I use that time to chat with him about his day or what’s happening in his life at the moment. He is also on Facebook and since I am very active on Facebook, I keep close tabs on his activities there and who he adds to his friend list. For the most part, he and I still have a pretty open relationship and I try to be as honest as possible about personal things (to a point).

  303. TRACY HEYER says:

    I learn to listen to what the kids have to say and they know they can come to me. Because if you push to much they will shut down and you will not know what they are feeling.

  304. ktanjatk says:

    I don’t have kids but I spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephews and one of the most important things is to LISTEN to your kids. Talk to them and listen to what they say, don’t just pretend that you’re there while thinking about thousand other things. Kids can easily detect that, they’ll feel rejected and the trouble starts…

  305. Tammy Hankins says:

    I keeps the line open through text message.

  306. Brad Murray says:

    Staying connected, at this point, is less about seeing them often enough, or spending appropriate amounts of time, and more about paying attention.

    I have quadruplet boys who are only 2 years old, so at this point, the problems with our communications have more to do with undertanding one another than finding gadgets or ways to stay connected.

    Eventually, I am sure it will be more about getting that quality time with the kids, but I think it will always be primarily an issue of making sure I do more listening than talking, and making what I do have to say count. I hope that if I genuinely listen to them, I can be wiser in how I respond, and make them see that I do care what they say, even if I end up disagreeing and not allowing them to have their way.

    Brad Murray
    [email protected]

  307. sally wess says:

    my kids are grown, and live across the country from me…. we cell at least two times a week and nightly webcam . its great because we can all talk and see one another, and i can see my grandaughter grow.

  308. Ellie W says:

    I made sure that my three grown sons knew from the beginning that they could tell me anything and it would never change how I felt about them. I still enjoy a very good and open relationship with all 3 of them.

  309. Shelly says:

    My daughter is young, but from my childhood, it helps to have general conversations about the family situation, not just kid stuff versus parent stuff

  310. felicia k says:

    Mine’s not old enough yet, but I know what I will hope to be successful at her being able to communicate to me. I want her to know that no matter what kind of trouble she’s in to not be afraid to call me if she needs help. I will always be there for her.

  311. Happi Shopr says:

    we call each other, text, email to keep in touch

  312. Patty says:

    I keep the lines of communication open with cell phones. All 3 of my kids have them, and I pay for the service. They give me the piece of mind that I know where my kids are and they can find me in a moments notice.

  313. Joanna Smith says:

    My 3 children are all under the age of 10 years old so keeping the lines of communication open has not become complicated as of yet! I do find that making sure each and everyday that I spend about 20 minutes alone with each one of my kids and give them my undivided attention really helps to keep us bonded and some really great quality communication has resulted from that time spent with them each day.

    Some of my thoughts regarding cell phones and kids are that each family will have their own individual unique rules and ideas about this issue so companies like Sprint, AT&T, etc. need to create lots of different plans so that when parents are shopping for a plan that fits into their lifestyle and the needs for their kids they have plenty of options to choose from. My personal feeling is that I want to be in complete control over who my children can call, who they can text, how long they can talk/text, and I want to be able to monitor their usage and know where they are when they are talking on their cell phone. My son is only 7 years old, but I want him to have a cell phone on him for emergencies and/or special situations that may arise. But he is way too young to have complete control and freedom with a cell phone. I totally trust my children, they are good kids, and I want to keep the lines of communication open so they feel they can come to me and discuss anything they want at anytime. But, there are influences outside of my control, so as a parent I need to feel in control of some aspects of their life in order to protect them. As they grow older, I will adjust my thinking appropriately as elements around them and me change as well.

    My other children are still a little too young for their own cell phones, but my son is going to get one any time now. We are just beginning to research different plans, etc. So, it is fun to read what others have said here, the information has been very useful!

    Thanks so much for the chance to enter.

  314. Doreen says:

    Having them know that they can talk to you about anything and not judge but act in a lovely manner

  315. Kim H. says:

    I try never to be judgemental about what she says. That way, she’ll feel free to tell me anything.

  316. Julie says:

    Listening to them is a biggee.

  317. Peter says:

    We use cell phones and texting. We use the dinner table to have family talks and make sure we tell them that we are always there for them.

  318. brooke says:

    With Wee Man I ask him everyday what he did at school… What he did or didn’t like… I also try to inforce a “if you tell him I would be mad rule” Which is hard to do but it’s working and he tells me things even when he knows he will get in trouble (well most of the time he does)

  319. Susan Smith says:

    Dinner is our family time when we discuss what is on their ming. Instead of asking them how school went because they just say fine I asked then specif questions about school like What are you doing in Social Studies.

  320. Geoff K says:

    Here’s a link to my blog entry in which I posted my thoughts about keeping the lines of communication open:

    [email protected]

  321. Sharon Seneker says:

    :sheep: We just got new cell phones and we are working out using these new phone to keep in touch! Thanks! [email protected]

  322. denice p says:

    i’ve got a couple of nieces and a nephew. I call my sister about 2 a week and to keep the communication open with the kids i talk to them for a bit. I want them to know to know they talk to me. they are still pretty young so there isn’t anything serious going on, but all the same i still love hearing about their day.

  323. christopher h says:

    we eat dinner together every weeknight as a family

  324. Tammy Kennedy says:

    we have 2 older children that live 1200 miles from us as they are over 18 and we have 2 that still live at home under 18. My husband and I don’t have a cell phone either does are oldest son or our 2 youngest. We basically rely on our home phone, snail mail or email to communicate. My kids are always asking for a cell phone but money is tight and my husband will not commit to contracts and we have had bad experience’s with one cell phone company.

    We communicate basically like they did in the olden days we talk at home and discuss the following days plans and the times school activities are over and when they need picked up.

    There is also a school phone for sudden time changes, I’m home all day and night so within easy reach.

  325. Sue S says:

    I ask my son questions on a daily basis. I ask him every day after school what his day was like. I also make sure we have dinner together every night to discuss what is happening the next day. I always check to make sure his homework is done every day too. I have always checked out his friends and who he is hanging around with.

  326. Jamie says:

    I feel the best thing to do is lead by example. Be honest with them and encourage them to be open and honest with you.

  327. Chrysa says:

    I keep communication lines open with my nieces and nephews by always being available to listen and not always jumping in with advice or suggestions right away – just giving them a chance to talk/vent is helpful.

  328. Brian E. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway…in addition to the ubiquitous cell phones that have taken over our lives, we have kept open lines of communication with our daughters by having a policy of discussing EVERYTHING with them out in the open; they can come to myself or my wife knowing that no topic is off limits, and that they won’t be “in trouble” or that something confided “can and will be used against them”.

    It also helps that they have uncles, aunts, and godparents relatively closeby that they can talk to, and trust, as well.

  329. Leslie D. says:

    My daughter is at an age that she wants independence and really values her friendships. Sometimes it really can be depressing and hard to let go, however, I make sure that she knows how much we love her and that she can always talk to me or her dad about anything.

  330. Roxann says:

    Each one of my kids has their own cell phone. This way we can keep in contact when we need to or just want to share something. πŸ™‚

  331. Mishia says:

    I’m easygoing so I make it comfortable to talk about any and every thing.

  332. Joseph says:

    We have always had a open line of communication with our kids. We’ve told them not matter what the problem good, bad or ugly the door is always open to talk with us. We have been fortunate enough not to had to many bad or ugly issues. Our oldest got a cell phone at 13. He did go a little overboard on texting when he first got it but after talking with him and telling him that the phone was more of a privilege than a right and that it could be taken away from him as fast as it was given he understood. They want their independance but of course as parents its hard for us to give it up to them but knowing they can reach us at anytime with the cell phone makes us feel better.

  333. georgie c says:

    Well we always keep in touch and know where he will be. A phone call(landline) as we dont have cell phones or a note written left on the table has to due since cell phones are too costly for me.

  334. Crystal F says:

    I talk to my girls about everything. They are still young but I hope this helps them to be able to talk to me when they are older. Our best talk time is on the way home from school. We talk about everything they did that do and what homework they have. We are a very close family and do just about everything together so we pretty much know what’s going on except for school. Thank you!

  335. Jeanette H. says:

    My kids and I have always been close so communication is pretty easy. I have been a stay-at-home mom all their lives. I think it makes things easier. We can talk about nearly anything.
    My kids are 14 & 11.

    Thank you for the great giveaway!


  336. pam day says:

    We try to have a family sit down dinner at least 4 times a week. We also all go to Church together so we keep Christ first in our lives. Great contest. Thanks

  337. Sheila Hickmon says:

    My daughter is still young, and right now I tell her that she can tell me anything at all. I hope that she will know that and believe it and continue to tell me things as she grows up. Every night at dinner we talk about what she did that day at school, and every night after we read a book, she tells me even more. I want to keep doing it this way, and for her to trust that she can always tell me what is going on.

  338. Kathy D says:

    I was married and had four step kids even though I am not married to thier father. I kept up with them on Facebook and let them know I will always be there if they need me

  339. dawn0124 says:

    I make time for my kids and eat dinner with them every night.

  340. Julie L says:

    My 15 year old daughter and I have times of “clashing” with each other.She has some anxiety issues.So what I have learned to do is when she wants to have a heart to heart talk with me, I simply stop what I am doing. I “open my ears” to listen to what she has to say.We find a place where we are not distracted. I just let her talk.
    I find that “encouraging” her also helps rather than be being judgemental to her.

  341. carol l~ says:

    I spent a lot of time with my kids when they learned to drive by going with them for a LONGGGGGGGGGGGGG time! It was just good to be together by spending more time with each other. Two are grown now and one one daughter is deceased for 7 years. You never know what will happen in life. If you are there for your children and spend time talking respectfully on both sides it is good. I still look for moments when they want to talk and put everything aside just to spend time with them. Plus, I help in anyway I can so they always can come to me because they know I am there for them.

  342. Betty C says:

    I also told me children that I would listen to everything they had to say. When I allowed them to state their reasons why I should change my mind about permission for an activity my mother told me I let them “talk back” but I never saw it that way. Even a child should be allowed to voice their opinions.
    When my children were pre-teen my husband and I divorced. Over time the boys eventually went to live with their dad. They still were pretty open with me about so many things they didn’t feel free to talk to their father about (probably due to the expected punishment).
    Now even though they are adults they still tell me things, sometimes things I really wish they had kept to themselves.

  343. Leslie S. says:

    We all sit down to dinner together every night and talk.My kids know they can come to me with anything(but they are still young 2,7,9,and 11).Thanks!

  344. R Hicks says:

    I keep the lines of communication open by assuring and reassuring them that honesty is the best policy. I never get overly reactive if they tell me something that I wish they had not done.

  345. Janet says:

    we talk by phone and in person:)

  346. sarah d. says:

    My kids and I stay connect through phone, email and dinner conversations.

  347. Candie L says:

    I try to spend time one on one with the kids at least once a week. Thank you

  348. Terri L says:

    We sit down as a family at the dinner table (occasionally over a fast food place’s table) and talk about our days. We also take time to talk to the kids about those subjects that need talking about, like body changes, bad people, etc. And we honestly answer their questions no matter how difficult they are, hoping that they will follow suit.

  349. Sarah Lehan says:

    I have no kids. The way I connect with people is to give them my complete attention and really listen to what they are saying (and not saying).

  350. Joanne Schultz says:

    I just let them know that I love them and that they can talk to me about anything, good or bad.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  351. Dddiva says:

    We talk, we text, we email etc… They know they can tell me anything and I know they will keep me in the loop.

    When Kyra was first away from home she would call and ask me if such and such was a good price because she was lonely and shopping alone and we had always done it together. It rocks having kids who want to include you and the trick is one you learned- just tell me the truth and we deal with it in a much better way than just reacting.

  352. Meg T says:

    I am younger, so I will tell you how I try to keep communication open with my father. We live in different states, so between visits, we try and connect in a variety of ways. First of all, my dad is very good about trying new technologies. In the last year he has learned to text message – which is a great way to send a quick hello. We also email and sometimes chat online. We even used Skype for a while.

    I make an effort to call him. Even when I’m not in the mood to be on the phone, I make myself give him a ring. I’m always glad that I did. I think we both try to listen to one another and remain open-minded. We connect through humor and sarcasm even when the going gets rough.


  353. JMom says:

    Some of greatest conversations happened when we’re alone, one on one. So I try to create circumstances where I have some alone time with each of my girls. Not always an easy thing to do when you’re busy πŸ™‚

  354. susan p says:

    he’s only 3 so I play with him and encourage him to talk to me

  355. Barbara Long says:

    I keep the lines of communication open with my adult children by respecting their privacy and not sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong. They know they can come to me and I will be there when they just want someone to listen while they vent as well as if they are looking for advice.

  356. Catherine says:

    I have a set time with each daughter before bed everynight. It usually lasts 20-30 minutes each. I hang out in there room. There is never a set topic – we just go with the flow of conversation

  357. Mya Brooks says:

    I keep my communication open by being open-minded and letting my kids speak freely.

  358. Charity says:

    We talk each and every day. That’s a part of our dinner routine.