The challenge for many parents during the holidays is how to manage extravagant gift expectations if they’re not in the budget.
The reality is that many families can’t afford big-ticket gifts, especially tech items with adult prices that are increasingly targeting teenage consumers.
AirPods are becoming an increasingly sought after wish list item, especially amoung teens. The wireless devices run as high as $329 for the latest version.
Parenting expert Ann Douglas says parents must decide whether their teen is mature enough to take care of such easily misplaced items.
Douglas says to consider this a teachable moment, especially if their teen has their heart set on something that stretches the family finances.
Know your financial means and the imperatives guiding those spending decisions: Do you want to prioritize experiences instead of things?
If it involves technology, what usage restrictions — if any — will that gadget come with?
What message do you want to send about consumerism in general? Be realistic about what you can afford and don’t be afraid to involve the kids.
Another tip is getting teens to whittle their wish list into a handful of choices ranked in order of their must-have imperative. This would allow other family members to contribute and share the costs, and it forces the teen to weigh the pros and cons of each item.
It forces them to examine how they plan to use the gift, and honestly evaluate whether they want it now or are willing to wait and help save for it.
The Canadian Press