Shopping with your teenager can be stressful. Or it can help you bond better. Here are some tips to keep in mind so you both a fun and memorable time.
By Amrita Gracias
Shopping with your teenage daughter — is it an exciting errand to look forward to or a daunting task you would rather avoid? However you feel about it, don’t you think that it could, in fact, be a great opportunity to spend some quality time together?
Shopping usually spells fun and bonding. But, it could turn stressful and unpleasant for both of you if your day together doesn’t go as planned. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind before you and your daughter step out for a few hours of retail therapy. These simple strategies will guarantee you a memorable day:
Clothes, shoes, bags, accessories — your daughter wants it all! So, make sure you plan your budget well beforehand. And, ensure you communicate this to your daughter. It will help her understand what she can and cannot buy. In this way, you can avoid any drama or unpleasantness while shopping. For instance, she might feel she has to have something that’s unnecessary or does not fit into the budget. Having a plan also teaches her valuable lessons about spending within her means and how she can avoid splurging on something she doesn’t really need.
Before you head out to shop, make sure both you and your daughter check her cupboard to find out what she needs. Make a list of essential items, if necessary. Else, you might end up buying clothes or accessories on a whim, or things that she already has. In fact, it would help if you could get rid of clothes or shoes that she doesn’t use any more before buying new ones. This way, both of you will have a clear idea about what is needed.
Now that you both know what she needs, plan your shopping trip. Together, you can decide on the various shops that you can visit to find what you’re looking for. If you have a list of shops for reference, you also avoid wasting time. Walking in and out of shops empty-handed, can lead to frustration and disappointment. So, plan ahead to ensure that you make full use of this precious time together.
Remember that your daughter is developing her own identity and sense of style as she moves into adolescence. This will be evident in her choices, which could differ from yours! For instance, she will surely want to keep up with the latest trends and even imitate celebrities or her friends. Avoid thwarting these choices altogether or deeming them silly. Offer your opinion nicely and avoid harsh comparisons. Help her understand your point of view. The last thing you want is to upset her feelings and have tempers flying high.
You may have informed her of the budget and listed out what she needs, but your daughter just might see this as an opportunity to ask for something that isn’t on the list. So, be prepared. If you feel she doesn’t need it, convey your decision and stand by it. She might be upset for obvious reasons, but help her understand your stand. Or, if you do decide to make an exception, let her know why you are buying it for her, but stress that you will not give in to all her demands. It’s alright to be open to negotiation and compromise. After all, that’s what the teenage years are about!
This time together could also be an excellent learning experience for her. Involve her in planning the trip, deciding what to get where and maybe, even budgeting amounts for different items. She can learn about the value of money and how not to overshoot a budget. While ‘sales’ are exciting and tempting, be sure to explain to her about marketing gimmicks and how they work. So that in future, she will not get fooled into a raw deal.
As your daughter enters her teenage years, you might find that your time together has become rare. So, use this time with each other wisely to fortify the bond that can seem strained at times. Show her that you respect her choices and points of view. For instance, if you happen to pick out something for yourself, ask what she thinks about your choice. She will certainly appreciate the fact that you value her opinion.
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