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Q&A: Is It Okay for My Teenage Son to Buy His Girlfriend Expensive Gifts?

Q. My 17-year-old wants to buy his new girlfriend an expensive necklace, which seems extravagant to me. Should I say something?

A. At 17 a boy is old enough to purchase pricey gifts for his girlfriend (with his own money) but not mature enough to realize he'll feel like a fool if she breaks his heart afterward. Your job? Notice whether the gift is a one-time thing or part of a pattern of buying love. If it's the latter, ask him how the relationship's going, then bring up your concerns.

Originally published in the May 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.