Shopping for a pre-teen or teen can be extremely hard at times, if their only requests are way out of your budget. They've outgrown parties and clothes are a definite “no". Here's the perfect gift you can give your 12yr old or older child.
Take a trip to the mall.
Seems simple enough, but it works on several levels. At a certain age, your daughter decides she's independent. Any clothes you buy her will not be acceptable, and there's no way she'll tolerate a birthday party.
Too young to be left to party alone, too old for gifts. Planning a trip to the mall with her friends can be the best gift you can give her.
It may sound impersonally to give them money, however, at this age I'm sure they won't mind one bit. Pick your spending budget ahead of time, and decide how many friends she's alowed to take with her. If you choose a mall with a theater, they can also decide if they'd like to see a movie as well. Each child is going to need some money, with your's holding the bulk. So if your budget is small, only let them invite one or two friends.
Clear your schedule and plan to be in the mall the entire time. Following them around every store isn't the best idea, but do stay within the area. Plan to meet at a specific place at specific times to check in. The amount of time they spend at the mall will be up to them, but the idea of checking in is make sure they are behaving, or ready to leave.
Talk about plans ahead of time to make sure this is what they want for their birthday. They may also be able to help you plan, and decide what's on the schedule for that day. She can also check movie times, just in case.
A trip to the mall not only takes care of the gift, but the party as well. Just enough freedom could be the best gift of all.
Kara Kelso is the mother of two, and owner of http://www.Idea-Queen.com . For more birthday party ideas and tips for teens, visit: http://www.idea-queen.com/teenage-birthday-parties.html