What to Expect with Teens

As children grow into their teen years, tastes change and advertising affects them differently. Most would say advertising intensifies during the teen years. Kids who used to want toys and kids’ meals will now desire Abercrombie sweaters, Gap skirts and Nike sneakers. They might also demand their own cell phones, computers, MP3 players and a hefty weekly allowance. Soon they’ll also “need” a Honda, Toyota or even a Beamer.

Your teen will most likely be attracted to advertising that is geared more for college-aged individuals. And teens often want to buy products linked with celebrities and sports stars, not fictional characters. Harry Potter, make way for Lebron James!

Quizzes, contests and online games will intrigue them even more. Because teens are beginning to feel even more independence, they’ll purchase products they’ve never heard of before. Whatever the “in” crowd has, they’ll want it, but not exactly the same thing. Each teen has to preserve his individuality. Expect your teen’s taste in movies and video games to grow more violent and sexual. Even restaurant preference could turn to those with the most noise and people.

Hopefully, however, you will have already instilled the understanding that they cannot have everything. Even if they could, they still would not be satisfied. As a parent, it’s your job to decide which material possessions, and particularly which expensive brand names, are acceptable for your child.

Teens need to earn and spend their own money — and learn to prioritize their values. That way wise spending and saving will continue for many years to come.

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