teen boy advice
As we know all too well, teens come in infinite shapes, sizes and…attitudes. Whether the teen you know is the captain of the glee club or the lead singer of a punk band, these gift ideas are sure to hit the right notes.
A new camera. Teenage girls are image obsessed. Has she shrieked in horror at the photos someone posted of her online? Make sure that at least her photos on Facebook are of great quality with this birthday gift.
A journal. Let her get out some of that angst in writing with this present, so she doesn’t take all of it out on you. Of course, we can’t guarantee that she’ll stop sulking about that boy in her History class.
A makeover session. Is she insecure? Does she think that applying blush means sticking a red circle on each cheek? Boost her confidence with some tips from the pros on her birthday.
A painting easel. If she’s artistic (or you’d like to get her off your hands after school), she may enjoy painting. Pick up a canvass or two for the birthday girl, along with good quality paints and brushes, and she’ll be good to go.
A new camera. Whether they admit it or not, teen boys are just as self-conscious as the girls (yes, he intentionally bought jeans three sizes too large) and he too would like flattering photos online. Is he a budding photographer? Even better!
Martial arts lessons. Okay, so the birthday boy is no Jet Li but with some martial arts skills he might be able to hold his own against that buff bully who threatens him after school…or at least be able to chop some wood in half.
An e-Reader. Does he forget to bring his books to class? Has one been lying in his sock drawer for the last month? Having his schoolbooks uploaded onto an e-Reader may help the birthday boy stay organized.
A gaming console. Does he spend every afternoon on his best friend’s couch video gaming? Has he been complaining for a year that everyone else has the latest gaming system? This birthday gift will make him one happy young man. If you’ve already caved and bought him a consul, choose a few of the newest games—then hide them until he’s finished his homework.
Your boyfriend is the biggest sports fan ever and you’ve gotten him everything you can think of. You ran out of ideas of what to get your sports-crazed sister. Wrong! Here are some all-star gift ideas. Ready, set, shop!
Buying gifts for teenagers can be almost as difficult as, well, they are. Here are some tips on what kind of presents will keep you on their ‘cool’ list.
Rebel Without a Card
Let’s admit it. Teens like their independence. While many parents may be wary of giving money to teenagers before they have shown enough responsibility to handle it, gift cards are a great middle ground for giving a teen freedom to choose a gift they like, while allowing parents to manage how much can actually be spent. Gift cards are a suitable present for guys and girls. Be sure to give gift cards to their favorite stores, like ones that sell music, books, dvds, and, of course, clothes. Really any store in the mall will do.
Mom and Dad’s Day Off
A couple of gift certificates to the movies for your teen and one or two of their best pals is a great holiday gift idea. You can drop them off at the theater while you return all those holiday sweaters with unicorns that are a bit “too flashy” or “don’t quite fit.” Be sure to set some ground rules, like agreeing to an acceptable PG-13 film beforehand and set a time and place to meet up after the film is over.
Having a teen in the house, you’re probably well versed in the language of “whatever,” “never mind,” and the oh-so-communicative eye roll. But sometimes communication breaks down when it comes to what they really want. Rather than pick out specific CDs or clothes that you think your teen might like (and therefore they won’t), consider buying accessories for their interests. This takes out some of the guess work for you and some of the eye-rolling for them.
If your teen likes music, but you aren’t sure what racket the kids are listening to these days, buy some music-related accessories, like a new pair of quality headphones. If your teen likes jewelry, but cringes at everything you pick out, consider giving a jewelry box. If they can’t live without football or soccer, consider picking out some items with their favorite sports team’s logo. Just be sure to pick the right team!
Buying someone a gift is representation of a joyous occasion, but at times, the process of choosing the “right” gift can feel like anything but a celebration. This is especially true when you are shopping for some of the harshest critics to date: children.
Let’s face it–if kids don’t like something, they won’t hold back. With all the rules and regulations associated with the purchasing of toys or games for kids, it’s hard to keep these guidelines in mind along with a kid’s ever-changing likes and dislikes. Buying a kid in elementary school a gift for ages 6-and-up may teeter into “babyish” territory, but getting the newest rated T or M (teen or mature) action video game may not be what mom wants her 11-year-old playing before bedtime. So how do you know if you are choosing what’s best?
Age ranges are placed on games and toys for a reason. For the toy industry, the main and most essential purpose for those guidelines is safety, says Adrienne O’Hara, a Toys”R”Us spokeswoman. “Parents and gift-givers should absolutely take note to packaging notifications when dealing with young children,” says O’Hara. “When kids are 3-years old and younger, they are at greater risk for swallowing small or hazardous pieces.”
Don’t Hold Back
Since children are constantly going through various stages of development, games geared toward complimenting and enhancing that current phase of the child’s life make the best gifts. For children ages 6 and up, it’s important to take his or her skill level and interests into account, but you should only purchase gifts that fall within their age range. A game or toy for ages 6 and up is still appropriate for a 7-8 year old, but one designed for children 7 and up may not be the best choice for younger child, especially one not even in Kindergarten yet. In general, you should always make sure your recipient is at the younger age of a provided range when choosing a gift.
Moving Too Fast?
Another common conundrum gift givers face is buying for tweens (10-12 years old). This is a tough age to buy for, because while some tweens might be more eager to leave their adolescent years behind, you also have to be careful not to go beyond their maturity levels. While this mainly affects girls, think twice before purchasing cosmetics, perfume, hoop earrings, hair accessories, etc. without getting her parent’s permission.
When a PG-13 or T-rating is applied to a movie or video game, is it okay to buy it for a tween or teen? The moral answer is to leave that decision up to the parent’s discretion. Although some parents may be willing to ignore the guidelines, it is not your call to make for someone else’s child, and you don’t want your gift to provoke an argument or be withheld from its’ recipient. Even if a child is old enough by movie or video game standards, it might not be a subject matter that all parents would agree is appropriate for their teen.
Purchasing toys and games for only children should also be handled delicately. Most games and toys are designed to complement the multi-player audience, but does that mean the you should search of something strictly designed to accommodate party of one? It’s healthy for kids to be interactive and social, so if you are gifting a toy or game that is for more than one player, it could be the perfect companion for the next sleepover or play date, especially for kids in grade school (yet the age that kids start having sleepovers varies as well). On the other hand, there are plenty of fun and stimulating games and toys suited for individuals, especially games that are more educationally-oriented.
The most important rules to remember when buying any child, big or small, a gift, is to use your own discretion, knowledge of the child’s skills and abilities, and to follow the age ranges because that will lead you toward something that will be indicative of the child’s capability and enjoyment. After all, it’s really about putting a smile on the child’s face–and the parents!
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