Teen birthday angst

I know a young girl, soon to turn 15, who is not speaking to her parents – because they won’t buy her the $400 mobile phone she wants as a birthday gift.

Her family are blue collar working class and have a $300 limit on birthday gifts – which frankly I think is very generous.  However their daughter, with her eyes firmly set on a fancier, prettier, more fashionable mobile phone, insists that she’ll have nothing but that phone. 

She’s tried asking her folks for an advance on the babysitting money she’ll earn in a few weeks when the school holidays arrive, to give her the extra money towards the phone.  But they’ve put their foot down and said No.  Wisely, I think.

Firstly, because it’s her little sister’s birthday soon after, and they’ll need all their readies for her birthday.  Secondly, because they intuitively grasp that it’s wrong to encourage their children to yearn after luxury items that they don’t really need and they can’t really afford.  And if they cave in this year, what will she be demanding next birthday?  A car?  A $500 handbag?  A ski vacation?

The thing is, she’s actually a very sweet and caring girl at heart.  She’s just caught up in the massive egocentricity that is being a teenager – with perhaps a dash of peer pressure relating to mobile phone ownership.  She’s pretty and popular – and beginning to really know it. 

I think her parents are sensible to not give in to her wheedling.  Although she’s not speaking to them now, I know that can’t last: she’s part of a caring, loving, humorous family.  And one day, she’ll realise how selfish she was being.

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