Steph is a 15-year-old writer from Quezon City, Philippines. She also likes to draw, surf the internet a lot, play video games, and daydream in her free time. Because of her laid back nature, she wants to get a job that she would at least enjoy, and dreams of becoming a best-selling novelist some day.
Do you ever ask your child what they want for their birthday? My parents certainly do. Problem is, a lot of kids nowadays want the new, nifty gadgets and nothing else. If parents do not get these things, then they’ll react like any other child will: “I hate my parents! They didn’t get me the latest iPhone/thing/whatever for my birthday/Christmas!”
That sounds terrible, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, many teens (and even much more saddening, tweens) are acting like this nowadays. Yet, what other gifts out there will they like besides a new touch screen to play with?
I have a younger sister who is almost a tween (turning eleven this November), and she doesn’t even expect a gift of sorts. I know that she will like a new, cute stuff toy to hug, and she told me that she would like something that can express her creativity. Both ideas are good for girls, I believe. The latter most especially since it can enhance their drawing skills or decorating skills, which can be very useful later on. Another idea is a small pet (if you cannot handle a dog or a cat) like a turtle or a fish. It will teach them to be responsible as they have to monitor the pet, clean it, and feed it. Red Ear Sliders, a common turtle, is actually a hardy creature and if it survives its first two years can live up to your kids have kids! They are also quite feisty and fun to watch, so they make a good pet. (Wikipedia link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-eared_slider)
For the more outdoors kind of kid, look for toys that can last them for hours, not minutes. Usually items that can be played outdoors like remote helicopters and such are good choices. (I would like to have one). You can also get something that allows them to move about (for example: skateboards or bicycles). While handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable are great and all, if you don’t want your kid to stay indoors all the time, you might want to avoid these. The same goes for the iPhone, iPad, and etc.. I do not know how bad the bullying cases are in the US for being behind, but in the Philippines, it doesn’t matter too much if you are not up to date.
In a nutshell, kids want to be entertained. The best gift can be gauged based on your child’s personality and not stereotypes. If you really want to surprise your child, try to observe them, see what their hobbies are. You can also go for a direct approach and ask them. It really depends per kid, but nothing beats the smile on your child’s face when they unwrap their present and stare at the gift in awe.
But wait, why not give the simplest gift of all? (That is, if your kids can handle the cheesiness).
“The best gift you can give is a hug: one size fits all and no one ever minds if you return it.”