Tips for Giving Your Teen the Perfect Surprise

It can be tough to keep a surprise a secret.
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Whether you want to surprise your daughter with concert tickets you're hoping to surprise your son with a new phone, special gifts can be a lot of fun. Of course, it's not always easy to keep those gifts a surprise, however.

Perhaps you aren't sure which item your teen wants the most. Without her input, you might worry you aren't getting the type of laptop she's been talking about or the latest headphones she really wants.  

Or, maybe you have a teen who seems suspicious already and if you're not careful, she might see the email confirming your purchase. Or worse yet, she might intercept the package at the door. 

Although it's a lot of work to truly surprise your teen, it can be well worth the effort. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing someone truly surprised with something special. 

Think About the Perfect Surprise

If you are looking for ideas for a surprise, pay attention to the things your teen likes. Tune into what he's talking about when he's chatting with his friends. Coming up with the idea can be the toughest part of the whole process. 

Keep in mind that a big surprise does not have to be a gift. You can also offer an experience. An overnight trip to the beach, an opportunity to get her nails done, or tickets for an adventure could be a great way to create lifelong memories. 

You might even create a gift basket filled with gift cards or themed items for a special night. 

Look for a Good Hiding Spot

If your teen is suspicious that she might be getting a gift, you may want to hide it at someone else's house. Your teen may have had your hiding spots scoped out for years and putting the gift in the same closet where you've been hiding the presents for years, might tip her off. 

Just make it clear to your friend that the gift is a surprise. The last thing you'd want is for someone else accidentally spilling the beans. 

Be Careful Who You Tell

If you can help it, don't share the surprise with siblings. They are easily bribed and can ruin the surprise before you even get a chance!

Don't trust your teen's friends to keep a surprise either. If it's a surprise party, make a note that you want to make sure your teen doesn't find out. But, be prepared that a loyal friend may clue her in at some point well in advance of the party. 

Decide How to Present the Gift

If it's a holiday, simply wrapping up the present and saving it for the end can be a good idea. If it's a special surprise, like a trip you want to give your teen for trying so hard in school, you might leave some clues or create a scavenger hunt. That can build some serious suspense that makes opening the gift even more fun. 

Or, you might decide to have a special evening. Tell your teen that you have a surprise for her but go to dinner at her favorite restaurant first. Then, give her the gift at the end of the evening.

Choose the Timing

If it's a birthday gift, your teen will clearly be expecting to receive a gift on her birthday. Giving it to her the night before might make it an even bigger surprise.

You can do the same for a graduation gift. Graduation is such a busy time and your teen may be busy running from one activity to the next. So you might choose a quiet day a few days before the actual graduation to present the gift.  

You might even decide to capture the big reveal on camera. Your teen's reaction might be priceless. 

Don't Worry if the Surprise Fails

While the surprise is fun, it’s the thought behind the gift that matters. If it doesn’t work, that's OK. You can always try again next time.

If your teen isn't impressed or excited by the gift, it's an opportunity to talk about graciously accepting items and dealing with disappointment. Depending on the gift, and your family's beliefs about gifts, you might decide to exchange an item. 

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