How to find the right gift for the hard-to-please teen

Finding the perfect gift for teenagers can be a notoriously difficult task. Their likes and dislikes can often change within seconds based on the latest trends and fads.

So how can you please even the most challenging-to-shop-for teen? Gift cards and cash work, but are also very impersonal. Here are a few gift ideas to satisfy even the pickiest teen.

Clothing
Face it, as much as you’d like to be on top of the hot styles that teens are wearing, you’re probably several steps behind what’s actually in. Give him or her a spending limit and take your teen shopping for some clothes. They will get a gift they really want and you’ll learn about what they like to wear. Plus, it gives you the ultimate veto power over questionable purchases if you’re paying for it.

Music
As with clothes, most parents probably have differing musical tastes than their kids. Instead of a gift card to a music store, get a list of the music they like and gift it to them via iTunes. Plus, it also gives you the opportunity to learn what they like – even if it isn’t what you’d listen to on your iPod.

Technology
What teen doesn’t want the latest tech toy? Whether it’s a new MP3 player, headphones, mobile device or video game system, you probably can’t go wrong. If your teen has a gaming system already, a new game is one place to turn.

Teens overwhelmingly favor action or adventure video games, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, and role-playing games have always been among the best-selling, most popular games available. Two new Marvel games from Activision fit both the action/adventure and role-playing criteria.

“Spider-Man: Edge of Time” and “X-Men Destiny” will immerse your teenage gamer into new storylines from legendary comic book writers – Peter David and Mike Carey, respectively – giving them an authentic, interactive comic book experience. You can learn more at facebook.com/herohq.

“Spider-Man: Edge of Time” lets gamers play the roles of the classic Amazing Spider-Man and futuristic Spider-Man 2099 through a high-octane, adrenaline-fueled adventure in which the heroic web-slingers must urgently work together across time to save each other and prevent a disaster that ultimately leads to the death of Peter Parker.

“X-Men Destiny” introduces gamers to three all-new mutant characters forced to choose between siding with the X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants. Players customize the path, powers and development of their character and decide their role in the mutant cause alongside, or against Marvel characters such as Magneto, Cyclops, Wolverine and Gambit.

Makeover
For your teenage daughter, a trip to a makeup counter to get a makeover can be a great bonding experience – as well as a lot of fun. Depending on how old your daughter is, the trip can also serve as a great lesson for how much makeup to wear and how you should apply it.

Don’t believe the myth that teens are hard to shop for. With the right approach, you can find the perfect gift for the most discerning teenager.

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