Ah the teenage years! I want to say we are in the thick of it but let’s be honest, Harriet isn’t even 14 yet so we have a long way to go.
It’s tough, tougher than I thought, the pull of independence vs parental protectiveness. Someone once told me that there’s teenagers and then there’s the representation of teens that we see in movies. Many teens latch on to these ideas and act how they think they should, as though reading from a script of teenage angst. I guess we can only hope the film in question is more ‘Angus, Thongs’ than ‘Mean Girls’, or, God help us, ‘Kids’.
The same can be said for presents though. I do read other gift guides for ideas when it comes to inspiration for my children. And, honestly, it’s like someone years ago once decided that teen girls should only have make-up, glitter, gadgets or handbags….. (cue eye roll). The very idea that they’re only mini Barbie dolls grates on me slightly. These are the women of the future, creative, curious, environmentally conscious and intelligent, they’re more than their looks, more than a product to be projected to others on social media. And that’s why the gifts in this guide are all reflective of that. Girls deserve to celebrate themselves, and have gifts which draw out their own individualism, not gifts designed only to make them fit it! So, as always here’s the mantra for my teen guide.
Something they want
Lovecraft: Hawthorn Handmade Unicorn Contemporary Embroidery Kit
“Be a Unicorn in a Field Full of Horses”– unknown
While other teens are fawning over the latest TikTok video, Harriet has always been creative. Unashamed that she enjoys sewing and crafting and other enjoyments aside from tech. As parents, I’ve not always got the balance right. I’m more restrictive than others when it comes to mobile use. I desire her home to be a safe space, a place where she doesn’t feel forced to conform or be told what she should want! A place she can just enjoy her own interests without fear of ridicule.
Her bedroom, though modern and ‘on trend’ so I’m told, isn’t a blank canvas, it has much of her personality woven into its decor, from her love of polar bears, to fabric and craft storage, feminist quotes and a sizeable workspace, it’s a place she can truly express herself in style.
Lovecrafts Hawthorn Handmade Unicorn Contemporary Embroidery Kit is a gorgeous gift for any teen looking to paddle a little deeper and explore their embroidery skills. A step up from the traditional cross-stitch, Hawthorn know how to combine traditional skills with a modern flare.
The kit includes:
A modern pattern comprising of three simple embroidery stitches and instructions
A Wooden hoop
Thread and needle
The pattern itself is not restricted to unicorns with Hawthorn also offering a range of stunning designs, from bears to succulents, butterflies to alpaca, their kits are bang on trend and a perfect gift for the next generation of crafters. With the option of framing or leaving in the hoop, these designs are a welcome addition to any young creatives bedroom.
LoveCrafts is home to many exciting craft projects, kits and supplies, suitable for all ages and experiences. Current deals include 30% off selected Christmas kits and they have a blog providing ideas and inspiration for all. I’d been signed up to their mailing list for a good year before they contacted me and it’s definitely worth doing so for their latest deals and ideas!
Something they need:
Oh My Gold: Bespoke Foiled Portraits
Sticking with the bedroom decor theme, young people need to feel confident in their decisions and empowered in their body. With social media perfection contributing to many issues of self-esteem in our teenagers, it’s important they know how truly beautiful they are! These are the years of angst and how many of us as women look back and wish we had seen ourselves back in our teens, through the eyes of our now 30 plus years? All those times spent worrying about how we looked or what other people thought of us instead of celebrating the beauty of youth.
Teens need empowering and that’s why For The Love Of Gold is such a wonderful gift you can give this Christmas.
We will turn your high-resolution photo into a beautiful piece of digital art which will then be transformed into a stunning foiled portrait in the colour of your choice.
These make amazing gifts, keepsakes, cards and portraits to hang on your own wall.
We know you will fall in love with your Oh My Gold printOh My Gold
With a range of sizes, colour options and foil details, you can have your photograph transformed into a gorgeous bedroom print. We opted to have a photo of Harriet to remind her to always be herself. Prices start from as little as £7.50 and it’s recommended that you choose a high-resolution image. Price will also depend on size and amount of people in the image. You can even opt to have a quote added, as well as colour splash options to match your home decor.
PEOPLE OFTEN SAY THAT BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, AND I SAY, THAT THE MOST LIBERATING THING ABOUT BEAUTY IS REALISING YOU ARE THE BEHOLDERSalmer Hayek
Something to Wear
We are pretty lucky with this generation of teens I think. Other than the odd belly-baring jumper, the fashion isn’t too bad; hem lines are down from my own youth. And hipsters are a thing of the past. It almost seems like ‘casual’ is in. I find it odd wandering around the shops and seeing styles which I remember my parents wearing in the 90s: baggy jumpers, leggings and big trainers. I can get on board with this. My only regret is that the independent shops I love to seek out for the boys, don’t make items up to her age group. But we are probably only a year or two off some awesome empowering women-size tees and I was able to get her the coolest Buffy the Vampire Slayer jumper this Halloween. Like last year, here are some items we have recently got for Harriet. And do let me know if you’re aware of any independent brands, though I expect she will use her sewing skills to make her own clothes before too long.
Something to Read
Real People: A Chapter Book by Louise Trimble
There’s some glorious books out there for young women now. Gone are the days of Twilight (thank goodness, that was a dark time) and on instead to novels like the Hunger Games and Divergent. But while most fiction centres in utopian worlds, what can our teen expect from their actual future? Those big questions in life like: how do I know what I want to do? What can I expect from being an adult? How do I know that I can get through difficult times?
Teens have a lot of concerns and worries about the future, and as parents our own wisdom is often dismissed.
Delve into the lives of others in these open honest conversations.
Do childhood dreams come true?
What are other people scared of?
What have others overcome?
“Fickle friends will come and go but the people who matter will always be there”Amazon uk
Louise Trimble has the ultimate book for questioning teens. It delves into the lives of other people, ordinary people, young and old to empower the younger generation to have open and honest conversations.
Using unique illustrations and drawing on the beautiful and raw life experiences of others, it answers many questions on what life really means to other people.
Not just for teens though. I found myself relating to stories and wanting to expand my own views. Ultimately, all we want for our children is happiness. We want them so much to feel confident and empowered and opening these lines of communication is key to this.
“It is very easy to compare yourself to other people. It might always feel like there are people who are more clever, funny or confident than you are. But comparing yourself to others will never make you happy and neither will putting yourself down! Believe in yourself. There are so many things about YOU that are absolutely amazing”.Louise
I always thought I’d be that cool Mum. That one who understood, that one that didn’t have to feel so alienated from her child during these difficult years, but I guess, like generations of Mums before me, I’m having to let go more. Parenthood isn’t about controlling choices, it’s about giving them the tools to make healthy ones, being there unconditionally if they make one you don’t think they should and opening their world to options beyond your own scope of knowledge. ‘Real People’ has enriched my view and I’ll feel honoured to hand it over to Harriet on Xmas day, so she has many positive voices to listen to when my own just doesn’t cut it anymore.
There we have it then, teen gifts…… I’ll try not to think ahead to next year, when I’ll have an almost 15 year old…..