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Author Topic: Birthday present ideas needed...
cperry
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for a 14 year old boy entering 9th grade in the fall. (birthday is next week)

He is very smart, used to read a lot, plays drums, but lacks initiative and apparent interest in anything these days. (probably typical for a 14 year old boy, but it's driving my mom, his grandmother, nuts)

Any suggestions?

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scifibum
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Hmm, too young for a visit from a stripper, right?

I suppose a good bottle of whiskey is out too.

That pretty much exhausts my main interests.

Thinking hard back to when I was 14...I loved books, computer games, and making my own slingshots. Pocketknives. Binoculars. Tools. (I'd have LOVED a Leatherman at that age. With real love.) Beef jerky.

No idea if any of that would buoy his junk, though.

If he drums, maybe an instructional CD or DVD, if you can find one for the genre of music he likes to play?

You probably can't go wrong with an iTunes gift card if he has an iPod. Of course, you don't need any help thinking of "gift card", so never mind.

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Kuato
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can you tell us more?

physically coordinated/nerdy, likes being alone/with friends, loud/quiet, dreamer/concrete-thinker....

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Gaoics79
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I can tell you right now without knowing the first thing about him that what he really wants is a video game. 14 year old boys and videogames are like women and diamonds. If you want a sure-fire gift, that's pretty much it.
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Kuato
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Of course, I think everyone needs some BUJOLD BOOKS.
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tonylovern
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another musical instrument

[ June 02, 2009, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: tonylovern ]

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cperry
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He is indeed into computer games, but I don't know what ones or even what types; however, I don't think I'd win any favor with my sis and mom if I sent another one. OTOH, maybe I ought to point both of them to Ornery as proof that playing video games does not an incompetent idiot make. [Big Grin]

He's an introvert, but he has close friends. He'd like to be athletic, but he's not going to play anything professionally. Going out for football -- we're not sure he'll make the frosh team. He loves watching sports on TV and can comment like a pro (mostly football and golf, but also soccer). He is musically inclined beyond drums -- just resistant to it, probably b/c of pressure from his mom and granny to play piano (which he could do by ear as a very young child) and other instruments. Better at English and history classes than at math, and that frustrates him. (His mom's an English teacher; dad's a lawyer.)

I like the leatherman idea. And the MP3 guitar - way cool.

Thanks scifi. I could probably get away with sending scotch, but I'd piss off my sis for life if I sent a stripper.
[LOL]

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Gaoics79
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quote:
He is indeed into computer games, but I don't know what ones or even what types; however, I don't think I'd win any favor with my sis and mom if I sent another one. OTOH, maybe I ought to point both of them to Ornery as proof that playing video games does not an incompetent idiot make.
Funny story: my young cousins often come over to my parents' house each year for our Passover Seder. And of course, my parents buy them a gift each year.

Well a few years ago, the boy's mother tells my dad that her son (about 8 years old) is really into skater gear, like t-shirts and such. My dad asked if she was sure he didn't just want an X-Box game? She was adamant that what he really wanted was skater clothes.

Well one crying 8-year old, returned gift, and purchased X-Box game later, my parents learned several indelible laws of the universe:

1. Mothers have no clue what their boys really want for their birthday;

2. Little boys HATE receiving clothing no matter how much their mothers claim otherwise; and

3. All little boys always want video games.

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Colin JM0397
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An iPOD gift card - can't go wrong with that. Don't even think about trying to get him music on your own.

Otherwise, do you have the store Plato's Closet in the area? A gift card from there - again, don't try to guess and buy an clothes. If not Plato’s Closet, go to the mall and find the store with the slacker teenager working the desk, a bunch of ratty jeans and vintage-print t-shirts being sold, and loud irritating music playing, and get a gift card from there.

Under no means should you get anything from Abercrombie or any other poser mainstream store.

If all else fails, video game store gift card.

Notice a theme? At 14, your best bet is to let them pick it out otherwise it sucks - even if it is something he wants.

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Mormegil
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quote:
2. Little boys HATE receiving clothing no matter how much their mothers claim otherwise;
Indeed. For my daughter's first birthday, my wife wanted to get her cute outfits... but my daughter did not care about clothes. I knew that she'd like toys, but clothes were just a gift for us, not for her.

Girls eventually get to where they like clothes and may even consider them as a gift.

For boys, clothes are never a gift, they are just a necessity. You might as well give them a new tube of toothpaste as a gift; they consider it along the same lines.

At some point they may grow out of that and get to wear they would enjoy a nice silk tie or something.

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Kuato
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Well, my sixteen year old loved the gift we made of paying for him and two pals to play laser-planet tag for a night (it was semi-expensive, each boy cost twenty bucks and that was the Friday night special, usually each 12 minute game cost eight dollars) and then we drove them in for about 10 dollar cheeseburgers between them (it's what they wanted to eat, alright?) but it did make a very memorable night that they seem to talk about a lot. We as parents were elevated to coolness, too, so that was fine with us.

Sort of like paint-ball, only not that messy or expensive.

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mytreeisempty
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What is the budget?
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cperry
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I usually spend between $25 and $50.

Oddly, he is a very classy dresser; both his parents are clothes-horses, so he came by it honestly. Still, you're SO right: I can't buy clothes for him anymore.

I was leaning toward a gift card, but I didn't know if there weren't something a little more personal out there.

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scifibum
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It's tough when you sincerely want to give a meaningful gift but the foreknown attitude of the kid makes it next to impossible to buy something personal, isn't it? [Smile]

If the kid doesn't mind your company and geography permits then maybe taking him out to shop for something would work. That would seem more personal, I think.

(Not that I think your company is likely to be offensive, you realize. Just that teenagers can be a little hard to please.)

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cperry
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No worries, scifi. I've raised adolescents and taught MS and HS. I know what you mean. Yeah, I think what my real problem is that I've lost touch with him over the past few years and imagine "just the right" present might win my status back as "fave auntie." Probably not. Thanks, at least, for helping me reflect on my motivation I think that helps me understand what I really need to do. [Smile]
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