The Most Valuable Present You Can Give Your Teen

Don't put too much emphasis on buying your kid the latest 'cool' gift.
11/26/2012 06:33 pm ET Updated Nov 18, 2014

As we scour the marketplaces this holiday season, every parent wonders, "What can I get my teenager?"

An iPhone?
An iPad?
A new gaming console?
What is the MOST valuable present you can give your teenagers?

Contrary to popular belief, teenagers are just like the rest of us. Sure, the latest gizmo shows how much you though about them, but what they really want... is your time.

Not long ago, my son came to me and said he wanted to take up golf. Now, for most men in the world, that would sound like music to your ears, right? I mean, how many guys are waiting for the moment their teenagers comes to them and wants to play 18 holes every weekend?

If you had any idea about how much I hate golf, you would know this was the farthest thing from music. It was like a nightmare. Could it be? My son didn't want to bike, hike, kayak or even go in the woods and spend time camping? Golf? Seriously?

I took some time to think about it and decided that if this was the way he wanted to spend some time, I would do my best to try. (I've got to be honest, golf is the hardest time sucker I can think of.)

So I got on eBay and found some old golf clubs. I don't know what in the world I'm doing, but I've watched enough on TV to know how to stand when I swing the club.

For our first outing, we decided to go to the local municipal golf course and try it out. A friend of mine said, "Don't think you're Tiger Woods, just think of it as a long walk interrupted by searching for a little white ball. Have fun with your kid." And that's what I've done.

We've played a dozen times now, and each Saturday afternoon we talk about school, girls, the future and everything he's interested in. We laugh a lot, and have found our weekend golf outings to be instrumental in our communication.

The point is, don't put too much emphasis on buying your kid the latest 'cool' gift. Teenagers want the same thing we all want: time.They want to know we are willing to give the most valuable resource in life. For it's the time in your life you can't ever get back, you can't ever re-do, it's the only part of life that says, "I love you more than anything else in the world right now. "

So find out what your teenagers likes to do, and go do that... together!

You'll be surprised how much they will appreciate your effort.