Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by our friends at Social Barricuda.
Teenagers–infamously moody, embarrassed, and displeased. Not all teens fit this extreme stereotype, of course, but the stereotype is certainly around for a reason. Puberty and the high school years are hard. It’s a challenging step on the path to adulthood. For many of us with kids, siblings, or acquaintances who are in their teens, it feels like nothing we do will make them happy. As we step into the holiday season, there are a few things to keep in mind when picking out gifts for teens.
Teens are on a weird precipice between childhood and adulthood; they want freedom, but sometimes they just want to run back to Mom. As you pick out gifts for the teens in your life, aim for something that is both tailored to their personal tastes and empowering.
Do your research
As with any gift for anyone, it will behoove you to take the time to research the person’s interests, hobbies, and preferences. Make sure to target presents that will be useful to the teen’s location and abilities. Your teen cousin in Manhattan, for instance, may have no use for a steering-wheel cover, whereas the other cousin in Fairfield OH–the one who actually drives– definitely might. Even if your teen nephew lives near a beach, he may not necessarily be a surfer, so be sure to investigate before buying him boardshorts.
The point is, though, that it will mean a lot to any person to receive a gift that shows that you have taken the time to learn about him or her. Teens truly need those reminders that someone has paid attention to them, and a personalized, well-researched gift will be appreciated–even if they don’t show it.
Remember, you’re dealing with people on the verge of adulthood. For many teens, there’s nothing they want more than independence, and they are also easily embarrassed. For instance, your teenage niece may be dying to get a Clarisonic for her face, but she’d be mortified if you bought it outright for her! A great way to help her get what she wants, though, would be by giving her the means to get it. Odds are, she probably knows exactly what the best cleanser for a Clarisonic is, so you could get her a gift card to a local drug or beauty supplier. Giving her the means will also empower her a little and give her some independence.
Give them the means
Gift cards are a common way to give to teens, and they’re a great way to give teens a little bit of independence without just throwing unfeeling cash at them. Teenager-hood is the time when friends and family have no idea what to get for teens, so Christmas and birthday become a time of checks and gift cards. While giving the teen in your life a gift card might be a great idea, be sure you do it with a specific focus. Doing that research will help you decide if you should get a gift card to Barnes and Noble or one to Sephora.