Dear parents, I know that your beloved daughter is about to turn sixteen and that you probably haven’t slept well for as long as you can remember. Sixteen is such an age! Young minds are curious and easily influenced and the social media today is something that had no effect on our teenaged years. It’s an entirely different social landscape out there nowadays, but there are also aspects of your influence on her that have been constant throughout the generations. I firmly believe that if you do a good job parenting, you do a good job giving your kids the tools to make the right decisions when the time comes. The decisions might be different now, but the tools are the same. Instill good judgment and a firm grasp on the what is right and what is wrong and do your best to sleep well. As she turns sixteen, it’s a time to celebrate what she’s become, not fear what lies ahead. Here are some gift ideas that will melt her heart and make you feel good.
A Nissan Leaf
She’s going to get her license, she’s going to drive, so you might as well get her something that represents the values you’ve tried to instill on her. The Leaf is a beautiful, all electric car that is an immediate money saver. She can plug it in at school or at the house and never have to worry about paying for gas. My guess is that you’d be the ones paying for the gas, so consider this a gift to yourselves in part. For her, it will be a sleek, hyper safe, and inspired car that will be the talk of the school, and for you, it will be an invitation to sleep well knowing that she’s safe. And because it’s electric, she won’t be able to go too far! I’m just kidding about that part. She will be so grateful though, and really, isn’t this what it’s really all about?
Nothing offers culture and experience than just getting out of dodge. Sending your sweet sixteen on an adventure will offer her a life experience she’ll never forget and its value will be everlasting. It doesn’t have to be across the world either. I spend one summer during high school volunteering on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. I lived with a family and helped them build, tend to the animals and most importantly, learned about their culture. I was taken to ancient caves and taught ancient chants. I spent hours talking with my host family about the history of the land and what it represents to them. Another summer, I went to Europe. I was a bit older and did it with my own money that I earned working at the neighborhood coffee shop, but the point is the same. The experience has stayed with my entire life. If you give that experience to her, it will help her grow and come into her own in ways that you couldn’t possibly see now, but will be thankful for after.