Four For Teens: Christmas Gift Guide

Ah tween/teenagers, notoriously fickle, hard to buy for right? It’s a difficult age, stuck between stuffed toys and selfies, fairies and Facebook. More often than not, friends and family gifts are either too old for them or too young, so here’s a 4 for guide for anyone looking for inspiration.

Something they want.

What they want and what you as a parent allow, are often two very different things. Emotions are high and hormones flying, self expression and identify wrapped up in parental expectation and peer pressure, so what better gift than ‘my great big positive life’

My Great Big Positive Life

Empowering kids to be courageous, confident and resilient, knowing who they are and who they want to be. Watch out, the next generation of fearless leaders is on it’s way.

Using positive psychology, mindfulness and creativity, this three-in-one book, journal and planner is the ideal gift for children aged nine plus, to help encourage a healthy growth mindset. Childhood mental health is a topic I’m passionate about, navigating feelings of negativity or anxiety are sadly often seen as part and parcel of the teen years, yet it doesn’t have to be that way. I would encourage you to read more about this fabulous product here, I really can’t do it justice in a few short sentences. This is a want gift because it’s what I desperately want for all my children. A happy life and a strong sense of self belief and resilience.

Something they need

Every year we get our children a toothbrush in their stocking. It’s a tradition I’ve continued from my own childhood. This year we have opted to go plastic free for Harriet’s. Like a lot of modern tweens, she’s growing up with so much more awareness of the planet. She’s adopted a polar bear and is subscribed to National Geographic kids. Her ultimate goal is to work with the cold climates wildlife. She has been asking us to go plastic free for a while, and I’m keen to make it a New Year resolution. We will never be an ‘eco’ family but her convictions highlight that if everyone makes small changes, it can make a big difference. Therefore this year her ‘need’ gift is a bamboo toothbrush from BlueRock.

Scott and I have also decided to make the switch to bamboo this year and not only do BlueRock offer a variety of brushes for the entire family, there’s also a bamboo toothbrush supscription service for either 2/3/4 months.  Brushes start from £3.80 for two, and go down for every additional brush. there is free delivery in the uk.

For every brush sold, 10p goes towards an animal in need.

Something to wear

I’m not even going to pretend I have the foggiest idea what to put in this section of the gift guide. Harriet is just beginning to explore her own sense of style, I don’t think it will be long until my suggestions are mocked. For the moment though, I thought I’d share our favourite items from the high street, the only ones we can agree on. For me, that’s something that doesn’t make her look five years older and for her, it’s an item that doesn’t look like it fell off the set of little house on the prairie. The below items are not selected at random, they’re actual items we have purchased recently.

Something to read 

I’m so excited to share this part of the guide with you! We have several books for Harriet this year ranging from the Hunger Games to Jaqueline Wilson. I remember this age well, when my school and parents tried to encourage a wider selection of literature….. something that was not Point Horror or the latest Judy Bloom controversy. Now as a parent, I’m careful not to push new genres on Harriet. I’m so proud that she chooses to read as much as she does and I feel criticising her reading choices is counter productive…… at least that’s what I told myself when she was reading the usual teenage twoddle from the library. Now though, something has happened that chills me to the core. It’s not that she’s read it so much, I mean we all make mistakes and she’s a teeen, she wants to try new things. It’s more that my feminist vampire agenda has not rubbed off on her, she has, ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you, been reading….. Twilight!! I know! Pray for us please.

So intervention is needed and I have just the ticket..

Bijal Shah: BOOK therapy 

I’m blown away by this idea and was so excited to get Harriet’s bespoke prescription. We filled out the form together, listing her favourite novels to date, as well as mentioning any she was unable to get into. The service was so useful that I even sent off my own details. Having lost my way with books since having children, both Harriet and I are excited to test out our new recommendations. Within a few days, both of us had a bespoke list of books. Ordered in genre with a personal introduction and a review, it really is an awesome gift for book lovers both young and old. But beyond this, it’s important to remember why we read, be it escapism, or to find the words to express our current feelings, to connect or to learn, this service is more than just a list of novels you might enjoy, it’s healing, and support and a guiding hand. 

At an age when angst is high, when friendship issues are being navigated, a book can provide solace. Perhaps your child is struggling with bullying, exam pressure or family break-ups? All of this can be divulged, and finally in addition, 10% of all proceeds are donated to Room to Read, an international charity focusing on literacy and gender equality in low-income communities.

Thus rounds up my gift guides for 2018. While I had every intention of creating one for babies also, I came to the conclusion, this would be fine..

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