As easy as it may be to cut a check and hand it to your teens, those type of birthday "gifts" don't really come from the heart.
Your teens will likely spend the money just as quickly as you hand it to them, and they won't remember anything special from the exchange.
Some of the best gifts a growing teenager can receive are ones with substance and a fair amount of thought behind them.
When they're older, won't you want them to reminisce about the time you gave them the gift that shaped their childhood?
Below are 4 clever gift ideas any budding teen would love.
Nothing says, "you're finally growing up" than the 10-year gift that keeps on giving. A passport these days last for 10 years before it expires, and in that time your growing teen has plenty of opportunities to venture outside the country.
Getting your kids a passport says so much more than just the booklet of paper that it is. It's a symbol that shows you want them to start exploring the world, whether on their own or in your company.
When they grow up, they will always remember the one who bought them a passport for their 13th birthday, which enabled them to go on the trip that changed their life.
With the heavy-hitting sentimental gift out of the way, let's discuss some other options in this age of technology.
A great pair of headphones (with a high quality headphone amp, if you're feeling extremely generous) is the perfect gift for any teen.
With traveling being a typical part of everyone's life these days, a pair of headphones will truly see a good bit of mileage. They're perfect for riding the bus, walking to school (if anyone still does that these days), during long family road trips, or even plane rides - perhaps with that new passport!
Headphones tend to be a "cool" gift, but be sure they're a type that's in style. No growing teen wants to be the nerd in cheap knock-off headphones.
Instant Print Polaroid Cameras
Millennials these days are all about immediate gratification. Why not give them a digital camera that prints photos just as quick as they're taken?
Polaroids are coming back into popularity. Now that smartphones and instant pictures have been around for well over a decade, people are starting to revert back to the days of polaroid prints.
They're hip. They're cool. And your teens will love showing off their new gift while making memories with their friends.
A Fancy(ish) Watch
Last but not least, consider giving your teens an above-average quality watch for their birthday or other special occasion. A watch is something that typically represents becoming a grown-up. Mom and dad wear watches, so why wouldn't your kids like them, too?
Let them pick out their own watch that really accentuates the coming-of-age theme of the gift. It could be something they wear for the next several years as a staple in their wardrobe.
You can't go wrong with a nice watch, especially with the growing number of unique vendors that you can find online.
Money can buy lots of things, but it can't buy a memory from you that will last forever. Get creative this year when purchasing a gift for your teens. Try any of the above or simply use them to spark some other ideas.