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

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on talking with your teenager about the meaning (and possible outcome) of pricey presents.

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.