How Much to Spend on Gifts

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Teen wants to buy expensive present for friend

Dec 2004

Our 14 year old daughter wants to give a good friend an expensive gift, a guitar. She says he has stuck by her this year. I know her heart is big, but, by my values, I think it is too much for someone her age. If its her money, do I say anthing, let her make her own decision, or is there another strategy? cynthia

The way to help a teenager make a decision is to talk about the pros and cons of each choice and possible senarios. Some examples. If you give an expensive gift, it will make you both feel happy, but you will have less money to spend on yourself. What if you part ways soon after the gift is given? Would you like it if she gave you a very expensive gift or if she gave you a very inexpensive gift? Is there some other more appropriate way to show your appreciation? Your teenager doesn't have to give you an answer. The idea is to get them thinking and get them to develop a decision- making process. sunsolsal

Please tell her its inappropriate to give a friend an expensive gift -- no matter how good a friend he is. Her big heart is a nice thing, but the reason teenagers HAVE parents is to help at times like this. I would tell her that whether the money is in her possession or not, it isn't her decision to make -- at this age. She'll understand later. If you've previously told her the money is her's to spend as she wants... I guess I'd still ask her not to do it.

Has she considered just saying ''Thank you for being such a good friend''? In the long run it means more -- does she really think she needs to reward people for caring about her??? Good luck, Been There too