Raising a child is perhaps the single most rewarding thing a parent can do. The day your child turns 18 is a bittersweet one, representing the end of a long journey and nearly two decades of effort. But in front of you stands a headstrong young adult, and someone worth all the love in the world and more. Still, it isn’t half difficult to pick a gift for them! If you’re about to celebrate a daughter’s 18th, what should you be thinking about buying them?
A Polaroid Camera
Every generation has their own relationship with ‘retro’, as the youngsters of today seem especially enamoured by the fashion and culture of the 1990s. While you may not have your finger on the pulse of which eras are ‘in’ or ‘out’ anymore, there are some evergreen gift ideas that dip their toes in the retro aesthetic.
One of these is the Polaroid camera. An instant and enduring classic, the Polaroid camera has been a winning gift item for young adults for generations – and no doubt will be for generations more. You certainly can’t go wrong with buying your daughter one; whether she uses it, or uses it for decoration, is another matter entirely.
The fastest way into any daughter’s heart is often through her music taste. Global phenomena such as K-Pop group Blackpink; alternative songwriting trailblazers like Phoebe Bridgers: whatever her taste, a well-judged set of tickets to an upcoming show could easily trump anything else she expects to receive.
Of course, it’s not practical – or indeed likely – that the date for the concert or gig in question line up with her birthday exactly. She may already have other plans, or her favourite artist may not be touring for months yet. As the value of the gift itself is offset, be sure to pick up an 18th birthday card to place the tickets in, in order to present them nicely to your daughter.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
There are other forms of experience that your daughter may delight in trying, as well – especially if she is the more adventurous sort! Skydiving is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that she may never try off her own back; likewise with other thrill-seeking experiences such as ziplining or adventure days in the woods.
A Day Together
Sometimes the best gifts aren’t items or ‘red letter’ experiences with a big financial value attached; sometimes the best gift you can give your daughter is your time. As part of a package of gifts, you should take your daughter away for a full day of pampering and fun, on her terms. You could do all manner of things, from shopping in your nearest city to utilising her newfound legal drinking age to tour some of the best bars in the area – sensibly, of course.
It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, as long as you spend your time wisely. 18 is the start of the rest of your daughter’s life. She may be starting university, or moving away for work; whatever her situation, this may be one of your last opportunities to impart some good old-fashioned parental advice – and to earnestly enjoy a day as parent and child.