Why Teenager Give Expensive Gifts
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Why Teenager Give Expensive Gifts

People in general need to express love by giving gifts. Teenagers often go overboard. In an attempt to show how deep their feelings are, the price of the item is not considered. As a result, they select gifts that either too personal or one that might be misunderstood.
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"How can we advise our 14-year-old son against giving very expensive gifts to his friends? Once he gave a gold chain. When we chided him, he put on a tantrum. Is there a way to impress on him that he is not doing the right thing?"

Yes, there is. But first you must understand his reasons for giving costly gifts. There are several.

People in general need to express love by giving gifts. Teenagers often go overboard. I have a nephew who gave away his expensive imported T-shirts, his watch, his radio and everything he owned - much to our consternation.

In an attempt to show how deep their feelings are, the price of the item is not considered. As a result, they select gifts that either too personal or one that might be misunderstood.

When a teenager buys a very extravagant gift, it is often because he is so smitten by the object of his affection that he feels an expensive present is the only way he can convey his feelings. There is also a wish that the costly gift will win him the affection of the recipient.

Jewelry is normally inappropriate unless the relationship is serious enough and that marriage is imminent. An expensive present given to a casual acquaintance may oblige the recipient to agree to intimacy with the giver. Otherwise, there might ensue a feeling of betrayal. Ill feelings naturally result.

How can you help your adolescents?

First, set an example of intelligent rather than lavish gift giving. Choose gifts that take into consideration each child's likes and preferences, not the material cost. Set limits by emphasizing that gifts must be paid with their allowances or earnings. Never buy gifts on credit.

You now need to enter into an agreement with your son about how the money he earns will be spent. He may be 14, but part of your responsibility as a parent is to teach him financial responsibility. If he cannot show sound judgment when it comes to spending money, then permission for him to earn it should be brought into question. This is a thorny issue but it's one that should not be ignored.

If your child received an expensive present, help him return it in a supportive way. If he received an inappropriate gift, simply return it with a short note of thanks.

In the final analysis, giving and receiving gifts is a matter of taking into consideration the feelings and tastes of others. With wise parental guidance, our youngsters can learn as they grow in age and wisdom.

 

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