If you are looking for a gift idea for an 18th birthday present, you are certainly faced with a challenging task. Like all great gift ideas, you need to understand who you are buying for and what is happening in their lives. Only in this way can you find the perfect 18th birthday present idea.

Coming of Age
The 18th birthday for most teenagers is one of the largest millions in their lives up to that point. High school is finished along with all the accompanying stress of homework and in many cases, peer group pressure. Life is changing and adulthood is upon them. Some of their old high school friends may fade away or even move away to college. The prospect of deciding their future seems to be an unfathomable event. Confusion, elation, and uncertainty form a cocktail of emotions.

Yet in the midst of this excitement comes the opportunity for celebration. And of course, one of the ways we celebrate occasions such as this is by giving a gift.

The Teenage Mind
Having a teenage daughter myself, I can tell you with great confidence that you are facing a monumental task. Teenagers tastes seem to change by the week. One day, a certain clothing brand is popular and the next day they would not be worn dead wearing a t-shirt with the company name on it. Music and electronics trends also change at lightning fast speed.

I have chosen to avoid buying my daughter electronics because I feel that if I did, she would spend even more time plugged in than she is already. Since my attempts, her part time jobs always allow her to buy her own electronics and I can tell you, the iPods and portable devices change faster than I can keep track of.

My point is that if you are trying to decide on the perfect gift for an 18 year old, you're going to have a very difficult time finding something that they are going to love. And do not you want that for them? Buy something for them that they are going to love.

Gift Cards – The Best Solution
My daughter absolutely loves gift cards because she loves to shop. Shopping is a form of creative expression for teenagers because it allows them to express their choice without any influence from the parents. In a survey by the National Retail Federation, 98% of teens surveyed had either received or given a gift card in that year.

Because my daughter does not have a credit card (thank God), she has not been able to shop online yet. Teenagers are just dying to experience more online shopping because they have not been old enough. A gift card allows them to do that. It's also difficult for a teen to go shopping by themselves if they do not have a car. So make sure you buy a gift card that allows them to shop online.

Find a Gift Card With Many Product Categories
It's of no use to give a book store gift certificate to an 18 year old when all they really want is a new hoodie. Or what if you bought them a gift card to a clothing store, but it turns out that they've just decided that the store brand is out of style? The best solution is to buy a card from an online merchant that offers multiple product categories such as clothing, music, DVD movies and electronics. Let them decide and they will love you for it!

The Perfect Gift Card
When it comes to gift cards, I always buy my daughter the Amazon gift card. It's really an amazing no fee, no expiration date, card that offers all the product categories that a teenager could want with literally millions of products to choose from. Amazon is a marketplace, so you will find all the name brand products being sold by a multitude of local and global merchants, all under the trusted umbrella of Amazon.

Source by Isabella Cerruti
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