*My daughter received complimentary Invisalign® treatment, due to my collaboration with the brand, but all opinions are my own.

Every year, parents struggle to think of new and unique gifts they can give to their children during the holidays. Sometimes, parents feel frustrated that they’ve spent lots of time and money on items that may only be used once or never at all. Parents can also feel the material gifts they give to their teens may foster too much focus on materialism. I see this a lot in my practice, and to help parents get over some of these roadblocks this year, I put together a couple of unique ideas that might make you and your teenager feel better.

Invisalign® clear aligners – It’s doubtful that your teen would initially consider orthodontics a gift, but gifting them Invisalign clear aligners could really excite them when they stop to think about all the benefits of showing people their true smile. Plus, once teens begin treatment, they quickly see that Invisalign treatment works to fix their smile, from simple to more complex cases. Teens oftentimes really struggle with their self-esteem and how they look. So rather than wasting money on gadgets or clothes that may not be “cool” or may not fit in 6 months, giving Invisalign clear aligners could be appreciated by (and long-lasting for) your teen.

To that point, gifting your child the ability to look like themselves (while correcting their smile) can have a profound affect that lasts well beyond the festive season. Seeing them feeling better, being more comfortable and more confident will help them in school and with their social activities, and will also benefit you as their parent! It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving to everyone in the family! This gift can also be something the extended family chips in to help purchase. I often hear about extended family members struggling to find just the right gift for their niece or nephew. Giving your teen a beautiful smile is a great gift that can come from the whole family!

My daughter is currently in treatment and we are all seeing the amazing difference in her smile! It’s wonderful that she smiles more and wants to take photos! If you’re interested in exploring the option of Invisalign clear aligners for your teen, learn more at Invisalign.com.

A Volunteer Trip -The value of giving back is often something parents want to teach their teens. The teenage brain is typically very self-focused (it’s part of how the brain develops), and it can be hard to get them to think about others – particularly those in need. Although your teen might not jump for joy at the initial idea of a trip to go “do work for others,” there are many studies that prove that doing precisely this can be a means to bring families closer together and to also reduce stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression – particularly in children. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to teach your teenager about the value of contributing to society.

Here are two ideas to choose a trip that’s best suited to your family:

  1. Choose a location that’s interesting to your teen (are there particular areas that they’ve learned about in school that interest them?)
  2. Pick a cause that’s “near and dear” to their heart. Do they love animals? Languages? Particular kinds of causes that they’re passionate about? 

I hope you found these thought-provoking and useful.