Thursday, November 17, 2016

Stop Birthday Shopping For Your Kid's Friends

Birthday Card From Parent Revised

“Oh yeah, Dad, Johnny’s birthday is today so he’ll need a gift...”

How many times have you been suckered into the last minute birthday gift scramble by your kids?

Well, if your kids are at least into their tween years, I have a new answer:

Not. My. Problem.

Hey, Johnny is cool, but he’s my son’s buddy, not mine.

So here’s the new birthday present protocol:

  • Set a birthday present budget. Decide on a reasonable limit that makes sense for your family’s situation. Remind your youngster: a thoughtful selection always means more than an impersonal one — no matter how modest the price range. If your kids want to spend more than the budget, you can invoke the Premium Price Rule and have them pick up the difference.
  • Provide the funds. Hand over the cash, credit your kid’s card, or reimburse the precise amount after the fact. A prepaid card loaded with limited funds works well for online purchases in particular.
  • Get out of the way. Let your kid own the gift selection and the shopping. Beyond chauffeuring when necessary or vetoing in extreme cases, your involvement should be minimal.

Viola. A birthday gift for Johnny. A responsibility gift for your child. A stress reduction gift for you. Trifecta!

Want to turn these tips into action? Check out


  1. OMG! so what i needed to hear! And what about those thousands of bar and bat mitzvah invitations?