We all know that the teen years can be tough; as teens disappear into unknown worlds of social media, cult reality TV shows, and unfathomable music, it is important that parents and other key adults stay part of their world. Finding common grounds can help to keep communication channels open so that even the most detached teen will know they can talk to someone if they ever need to.
Nothing says “I care” like a perfectly chosen present, particularly when it comes to mercenary teens! Here are some of our top conversation-starter Christmas gifts for teens.
Movie Bucket List
Communicating with a teen doesn’t have to be entirely about words; just spending time and sharing an experience can contribute hugely to adult-teen relations.
This Movie Bucket list gives you a hundred of the top classic movies and one of the many gift ideas available at notonthehighstreet.com
From Shawshank Redemption to Schindler’s List, Goonies to Gladiator, the list spans a whole host of genres. These are films that can help you to tackle tricky subjects, allow you to reminisce, or just make you laugh out loud. Gift this to a teen and challenge them to watch them all in a year (or maybe two).
This can be a tricky one, but finding the right book is like giving a person (regardless of age) the key to a different world. It is an escape and a way of the meeting on neutral ground. From Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, To Kill A Mockingbird to Wonder, there are modern and traditional classics that will blow their minds and give them a reprieve from a technology-obsessed world.
Apparently, scrapbooking is back with a vengeance (for teen girls, anyway). It’s great to see a resurgence of crafting and is a brilliant way for teens to make sense of their life and celebrate major moments.
A scrapbook makes a great gift for teens; add some washi tape and a little cash to print some photos off, and you’ll definitely make it into their good books.
If they haven’t already, the teenage years are when young people start thinking a little bit more about what they are wearing. Dressing in whatever mum bought in the supermarket or chucking on comfy hand me downs are things of the past; if it hasn’t got a mainstream sport or obscure designer label on it, it’s not worth having.
Unless you are incredibly familiar with the teen’s style and what is on-trend now, err on the side of caution and get them a voucher.
Cool, Hard Cash
Cash speaks volumes. Chuck in an oversized chocolate bar, and you generally have a winning combo. It may seem boring to you, but for a teen desperate to seize some control over their lives, with expensive taste and limited cash flow, the feeling of cash in their hand is a thing of beauty. Some may feel like giving cash is a cop-out; it’s what you do when you don’t know what to get someone or can’t be bothered to look. However, on the flip side, money also signifies a certain element of trust, provided it comes with a fun “token” gift and a thoughtful card.
If in doubt, give the cash with a condition: that you take them out for the afternoon to spend it with them shopping for clothes, games, sports kit, whatever they choose.
The trick with teens is to let them know that you are available without being too pushy. Teens need time to grow, to make their own mistakes, and to learn who they are in the real world, not just who they are in your family. Sometimes, their school/ club/ sports/ family personas don’t match, and that can be frustrating.
Be there, buy thoughtful gifts, and make sure they know that you are not going anywhere, no matter how embarrassing that is for them.