Last week, I talked about the top five ways to tell your teen "I Love You," where I offered general principles for all you parents out there to apply to your kid specifically. In case you're still stumped, here are some hands-on, down-and-dirty ideas for their application. While they won't all apply to you and your kid, I hope there's something here that everyone can use.
1. Spring for a mother/daugher mani-pedi date (or pay for her to take one of her friends, if that's not cool).
2. Plug in his phone when you see it lying around the house.
3. Bring his favorite drink back from Starbucks.
4. Cook her favorite meal, even when it's not her birthday.
5. Tell him he can call you anytime and you'll be there.
6. Give her and her friends the run of the house for a sleepover.
7. Share your secret stash of chocolate.
8. Buy a plant for her room.
9. Offer to play his iPod instead of yours in the car.
10. Let him help you decide where to go for vacation this year.
11. Wash the car before his big date.
12. Buy her the new album by her favorite group on the day it comes out.
13. Bring home the makings for ice cream sundaes when you know she's having friends over.
14. Paint her toenails black and let her do yours, too.
15. Really help him with his homework (or find someone who can!).
16. Help him find a first job he'll love.
17. Rent her favorite rom-com and make the popcorn.
18. Hug him when his friends aren't around.
19. Teach her to drive (and don't panic!).
20. Edit his college application essays.
21. Make her flashcards for her SATs.
22. Let her dye her hair.
23. Offer the family room for a "guys only" football party.
24. Go to her play — or her game, her meet, or her concert.
25. Welcome her first boyfriend.
26. Get to know his girlfriend.
27. Give a later curfew when he earns it.
28. Listen to her plea for "special circumstances" when she wants to do something you wouldn't otherwise allow.
29. Don't let him send you into a panic...ever.
30. Offer to help her repaint her room before school starts.
31. Buy her the nicest school supplies you can afford.
32. Don't worry about money or your marriage in his presence.
33. Stand by him when no one else will.
34. Let her know that there's nothing she can do to cause you to lose faith in her ability to achieve her dreams.
35. Invite him to go running (or biking, or walking, or swimming) with you.
36. Pick up a tube of her favorite lipstick when you're at the store.
37. Let her spend her Christmas money however she chooses.
38. Give him the remote.
39. Pay her when she babysits her little sister.
40. Keep his favorite snacks on hand.
41. Offer money for odd jobs when he's broke.
42. Don't raise your eyebrows, no matter how ridiculous she sounds.
43. Never say, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge..."
44. Take her to get her driver's license.
45. Make her breakfast in bed.
46. Facilitate a food fight in your backyard.
47. Get the "Unlimited Texting" plan.
48. Learn to text.
49. Buy her a gift card, just because.
How do you tell your teen you love them in a way they can understand? Leave a comment and help some other parents out.