Traditionally, teen years have always been pegged as the most difficult in childrearing — aside from the terrible twos. Moody, temperamental teenagers who keep to themselves and seem to find everything unsatisfactory can be exceeding difficult to shop for come the holidays. But now marketing has given us a new age bracket for gift ambiguity — the tween. Since childhood has been shortened yet again with an arbitrary term, we now have another gray area in which kid’s interests are no longer “kid-like.”
So if you have a tween or tween this holiday season that you can’t seem to find a gift for, take them “pre-shopping.” My parents pulled this tactic for years without me being any the wiser, as you invite your big kid along to technically pick out gifts for someone else. This is particularly effective for nieces or nephews who perhaps you don’t get to spend a lot of time with, as you can invite them under the guise of helping you pick our gifts for their parents.
Make sure to go the mall or some place with adjacent stores or departments that might interest them. While you pick over gifts for your partner or mother-in-law, pay attention to what the tween gravitates to. If you’re anything like my parents, you’ll get the sales people in on it and feed them potential gifts from the floor. Tell them that you’ll be coming back for this video game or handbag or pair of Frye boots tomorrow and to please keep them behind the counter for you.
If you want to get really sly, you can even quickly purchase these goodies while the kid is off listening to music in the audio section. Just make sure not sneak up on them, as they may just be buying gifts for you as well.