So what’s up with that? Our pre-teens don’t want us waiting at the bus stop, but they’re the first ones to yell, “Shotgun!” as they enthusiastically plead to hop in the front seat of our car. I know I shouldn’t take it personally, like that day I ultimately acquiesced and didn’t go to the bus stop (okay, confession, I peeked from around the driveway…I mean, have you seen the news?), but can’t we maintain a bit of that parent-kid connection, that quality time thing…that, “How Are You, Tell Me About Your Day” thing? I hate to tell you, but those quality time days from the bus stop are gone. Gone like a ham sandwich with a hobo. Trade them in. Give that pre-teen of yours the rite of passage for . . . are you ready? . . . a new level of quality time. Once you view your tweener as big enough, safe enough, strong enough to handle the (gasp!) potential airbag implosion, trade in the bus stop for the front seat. Look at it as just another rite. Once he’s big enough and safe enough, invite him in. Right next to you in the front seat. He’ll love it. And guess what, you’ll love it too. It’s a whole new level of connecting…one-on-one…same quality time – different stage, in a different way. What other stages are on the horizon? Keep reading.