If you’re unfamiliar with yet another recently added word to the English language; pre-teen, you’re hardly alone, though chances are you actually have one yourself or you’ve encountered one when visiting a family member or friend’s home.
Pre-teens – ‘tweens’ in the US – are, as the name suggest, youngsters who are yet to reach that milestone age of 13, most specifically, children aged 10 to 12.
Children of this age are notorious for many reasons, most of which are well-deserved and something many of the cheeky tykes will immediately own up to with a smug, self-assured smirk, including their ability to find something wrong with practically anything one could buy them, with the exception of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber CDs, and who could actually bring themselves to spend money on something like that?
Buying gifts for pre-teens often entails a healthy, wallet draining amount of trial and error, though as you love the pre-teen in question very much – You do don’t you? – that’s something you’ll just have to accept, and with that in mind, here are a few tips to make buying gifts for ‘tweenagers’ – another American twist – a little less painful.
Understand That It’s Cool to Hate Everything and That They Really Love Your Gift
As a young person it’s cool to hate; in fact, kids these days are no longer judged by their peers on what they like, but rather what they hate, or usually more accurately, what they say they hate.
With the notable exception of your boss’s brat child, who really does hate whatever you’ve bought for the little monster, when your son or daughter says they hate what you’ve bought them you need to understand that they love it, couldn’t have possibly hoped for anything better, and that they’re expressing their appreciation for your gift and their love for you in true pre-teen fashion.
Therefore, when they throw the box on the floor and stomp out of the room, you can give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve chosen the perfect gift.
Understand That Kids Really Want to Be Kids for Longer
‘You’re growing up so fast’ – what a way to destroy a kid’s life. Statements like these, although naturally well-meaning, are hardly what pre-teens want to hear because you’re basically telling them that in no time at all they’ll have to go to work, lose their hair and/or go wrinkly, and basically have nothing to look forward to ever again.
Help pre-teens realise their dreams of staying a kid a little longer by giving them one last really cool gift, like a remote controlled airplane or helicopter for boys and something cute and fluffy for girls – they’ll love it even though they’ll most probably tell you just the opposite.
Understand That Gadgets are In, Though If You Like Them They’re Not Cool
Sure, we all love iPads and the latest smartphone releases and pre-teens are no exception to this rule unless you make it obvious that you, or even worse their mother or father, like them too.
There are so many cool gadgets on the market that it really is impossible to keep up, though whatever you decide upon, like really cool headphones, for their next Christmas gifts, make sure that you remain cool and don’t express any interest in what you’ve given whatsoever unless it’s to say something curmudgeonly like, ‘How do kids put up with all that noise?’, because they’ll love what you’ve given even more.
Understand That Some Pre-Teenagers are Already Teenagers
Sometimes you have to understand that pre-teenagers have already passed that milestone age of 13 emotionally, though perhaps not mentally, and are essentially teenagers with all that entails – get over it and buy gifts accordingly.
When you come to this realisation about your own child or someone else’s, the worst thing you could possibly do is try to keep them ‘young and adorable’ with the gifts you buy, because although they’re still young, chances are they’re no longer adorable.
Buying gifts for pre-teens is often trying because children are at emotional crossroads at that tender age; however, with a little thought, trial and error, choosing the perfect gift for a pre-teen is well within everyone’s reach.