The One Gift Your Teen Will Love That’s Not Under the Tree!

You’ve probably purchased your Christmas gifts for your daughter by now.

But may I offer a suggestion for another gift if you haven’t already included it? 

Don’t worry, it’s nothing that will break your budget. 

In fact, it doesn’t have to cost you a dime! And you can even deliver it after Christmas day has passed. 

It’s the gift of TIME.

Or said another way, the gift of MEMORIES!

Are there any traditions you can start now that your daughter can cherish when she’s an adult? 

Memories she’ll be able to share with her children one day about her childhood.

Making Holiday Memories

Here are a few suggestions of memories you can create during the holidays:

  • Playing board games or cards
  • Baking Christmas cookies
  • Binge watching Christmas movies
  • Shopping for kids who are in need
  • Driving through your city to look at Christmas lights and decorations

When your daughter is an adult, she’ll have more stories to tell about her family tradition of driving around town with her parents every Christmas Eve looking at Christmas lights than she will about receiving gift cards from some trendy store. 

“It isn’t what you possess that makes you happy, but what you experience.” 
~Author Unknown

I’m sure this doesn’t apply to you, but we live in a society where it’s often easier for parents to give “things” to their children instead of quality time. 

As a result, we have a generation of teens looking for love (and happiness) in all the wrong places only to realize those “things” they possess still don’t make them happy. 

Experiences will make them happy, not things!

Time Well Spent

A high school student wrote the following to me:

My father has been in my life but not in my life. He doesn’t know my birthday, my favorite color, never been to one of my games, or even come to school events.

She went on to say that because her father was not actively involved in her life, she wanted to have sex to try to fill that void. 

Notice this young lady didn’t mention anything about what her father didn’t buy her?

She was disappointed because he didn’t make the effort to get to know and spend time with her. 

Regardless of what kids may make their parents believe, this is how they spell love: 

T-I-M-E. 

And if they don’t get the love they need from their parents, they’ll seek it from others.

My students often complain about not having a relationship with their parents, and relationships can only develop over time spent together.

Children want to know they matter to their parents enough that their parents are willing to invest their most valuable resource with them, their TIME.

“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Because when you give your time,
you are giving a portion of your life you will never get back.”
~ Joshua Becker

Imagine how differently our families, communities and world would look if parents focused more on what they will do WITH their children instead of what they will give TO their children.

“A good rule of thumb is to spend twice as much time, 
and half as much money as you can afford, with your teens.”
 
~ Dr. David Walsh, Ph.D.

You’d be amazed how much could be accomplished when parents commit to spending more time with their children: morals could be taught, values could be instilled, bonds could be formed, dreams could be shared, memories could be created, and the list goes on.

One of the best gifts you can give to your daughter in 2022 is TIME!

As I mentioned earlier, the gift of time/making memories doesn’t have to be delivered on Christmas day. 

But just remember, the window of opportunity is slowly but surely closing on your ability to create memories with your daughter while she’s still at home. 

Before you know it, she’ll be a young adult, living on her own and making her own memories. 

So, I strongly encourage you to commit to planning “experiences” with your daughter this upcoming year that will foster a relationship as well as create wonderful memories she’ll hold dear for life.

Here are some experiences you can enjoy together throughout the year:

  • Have monthly mother-daughter dates
  • Plan overnight road trips periodically 
  • Exercise, take hikes or walks through the local park 
  • Cook meals regularly
  • Do volunteer work 
  • Take a painting class 
  • Let your daughter choose what she would like to do 

Be A Memory Maker! 

What are your memories from your childhood? Are they positive? 

If not, make sure your daughter won’t give the same answer if asked that question when she’s an adult. 

Give your daughter what you wish you had! Be for her what you needed!

If you want your daughter to be able to look back on her childhood with fond memories, you must be intentional about creating those memories for her to have. 

So, tell me what are some things you’re doing to develop a relationship with your daughter and create memories she’ll one day reminisce with her children about her childhood? 

Please share them! I love to pass on ideas that can benefit other parents as well.

And may you and your daughter have a wonderful Christmas making fond family memories she’ll look forward to passing on to her own kids some day!

P.S. If there’s one thing, I hope you take away from this post, it’s just how precious T-I-M-E is to your teen. No matter how many gifts you may have under the tree for your daughter, or how expensive, nothing will ever top, quality T-I-M-E spent creating experiences and making memories she’ll carry with her for life.

P.P.S. This message is important for ANY parent who has a child at home under their care, so please share this post with your friends and family. Thank you!

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