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Our 13 1/2 year old son is a very good student and an exceptional athlete--one of those kids who is naturally gifted in sports. He has a sister exactly 3 years older who is also gifted not only in her studies and sports, but also in filmmaking, art, community servcice activities, and music--a hard act to follow. We have always been careful to let our son make his own choices and never to compare the two, and so far, each one seems to have a good sense of self esteem. The problem we perceive is that our son's activities are pretty two-dimensional. Aside from schoolwork, all he cares about is sports and shopping. He has learned to shop the name brand discount stores for deals and is very preoocupied with finding new outfits (he spends his own allowance money and birthday money, so it's not a drain on our budget). All he seems to want to do when he's not being athletic, is shop. He even goes online to look for clothes. Although he is popular, well liked, and has plenty of friends at school, there is nobody he wants to get together with after school or on holidays. He seems happy to watch ESPN and shop. Sometimes I think we've created a consumer monster. Should we be concerned?


Neale Godfrey Replied: Teens will be teens - it's good he's spending "his" money but he should also be giving to charity. If fashion is his thing - maybe encourage a deeper relationship in it. Working in a fashion store (limited hours) interning with a designer, etc. He could be a great candidate for a marketing career. Try to find some books on the topic. Hey - he could be into worse things. Check out my web site - and the book you should look at is MONEY STILL DOESN'T GROW ON TREES - Don't be concerned, yet!
Posted On 2004-10-14 17:52:00
Mark Viator Replied: It sounds like you have a very "thrifty" adolescent. His pre-occupation with shopping probably centers around the thrill of finding the best bargain. It is very similar to the thrill that an adolescent experiences when beating a video game or scoring that winning run in a baseball game. While he may not be as involved with other activities as his older sibling, it sounds like he does have a fairly active social and extra-curricular activity life. With regards to his wanting some "down time" to watch ESPN or surf the internet, he may need this time to re-energize. There is nothing wrong with an adolescent wanting to spend some quiet time. It shows a sense of a independence. He does not always need to have someone around to entertain him. As long as he continues to participate in sporting activities, and has friends as school, I would just let him be himself.
Posted On 2004-10-06 08:55:14
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