When teens are infatuated, it's hard to dial down their enthusiasm. Valentine's Day is a time for grand gestures and big expectations, but it's important to keep teens from overdoing it on this love-focused holiday. Help your teen select a Valentine's Day present that's age-appropriate and reasonable.
Whether your teen is shopping for a girl or a boy, a stuffed animal is a good gift that's romantic without being sexy or too much of an investment. Give your teen a budget guideline so he doesn't come home with a stuffed bear that's five feet tall. Try pointing him toward the mall, where he'll find a huge selection of bears with hearts and cute, fluffy stuffed animals themed for Valentine's Day. Give your teen advice not to limit himself to bears or animals holding hearts. A hand-picked stuffed animal that isn't necessarily white and pink may be more meaningful to his recipient.
If your teen is dating, Valentine's Day is a great holiday to plan for a very special date. Help her use part-time job or allowance money to buy tickets to a concert, sports game or other special event for a Valentine's Day gift. Consider calling the parents of your teen's boyfriend or girlfriend to make sure the evening of the event is free. Because concerts and other events can be expensive, talk to your teen about expectations and make sure it's not a gift for a new crush or an attempt to break the ice with a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. Exorbitant (or unwanted) gifts can be very uncomfortable for a young recipient.
Baked goods and homemade sweets are a true gift from the heart. Even if your teen doesn't normally cook, he can bake simple sugar cookies or brownies for his sweetheart on Valentine's Day. Help him find an easy recipe and send him off to the store for ingredients and a decorative tin or box to share the finished products. Baked goods are personal and involve a lot of effort. They're a perfect lesson in giving meaningful, thoughtful gifts that don't have a monetary value. To avoid any potential gift disasters, make sure your teen taste tests his creation before giving it to his Valentine.
When it comes to teens shopping for other teens, the key is to avoid spending too much money and going over the top. Flowers are perfect, but they can also get out of hand quickly. A dozen roses make a romantic, if slightly extravagant gift. Four dozen roses are totally out of hand for a teenager. Talk to your teen about giving a modest selection of flowers and gently prompt your teen to choose flowers that have meaning. A favorite blossom or favorite color will make a bigger impact than a dozen red roses.
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