The tradition of giving jewelry to our daughters spans across generations, regions, and cultures. While most parents give their little girls play jewelry to start – brightly colored bracelets, necklaces, and rings made out of sturdy plastic – there often comes a time that we consider getting our loved ones their first piece of “real” jewelry. There’s no denying that a precious necklace, bracelet, watch, or pair of earrings is a milestone gift for any parent to give a daughter.
However, it’s important to consider the right age and maturity level at which it’s appropriate to give your daughter her first piece of real jewelry. Each kid reaches this age and development level at a different time, making the process even more complicated. However, by paying attention to certain developmental signs, there’s no reason that you can’t buy your daughter jewelry at the time that’s perfect for her.
Responsibility with Belongings
Perhaps the most obvious sign that your daughter is ready for her first piece of jewelry is when she demonstrates responsibility with her belongings. For active, young girls who like rough housing, jumping off of jungle gyms, and leaving their toys in the mud, getting jewelry can be a safety hazard – as well as the danger of your heartfelt gift breaking.
To ensure your daughter takes good care of the jewelry you buy her, you can slowly teach her about jewelry as she grows older. Show her how to put it on, take it off, clean it, and store it; letting her try on your or your partner’s prized pieces once in awhile can also help her understand its value. As she grows and demonstrates interest in and care of your jewelry, it may be a good time to consider getting her a nice piece of her own.
A good rule of thumb when dealing with a daughter who wants jewelry but hasn’t shown enough responsibility with her belongings is compromising with her. You can help her choose a nice bracelet or pair of earrings, but keep it in your own jewelry box and allow her to wear it on special occasions. If she shows that she can take care of it, she can wear it more often – and ultimately get to keep the piece full-time, once she’s ready. At that point, she has earned the right to hold onto her jewelry, and you can show that you have trust in her.
Understanding of Gifts
An often-overlooked aspect of buying your daughter her first piece of jewelry is making sure she understands the significance of gifts first. Kids can get used to getting things all the time: from books, to candy bars, to new toys. It’s easy to forget this, as the things we buy our kids are often small treats, but it’s easy for kids to forget about being appreciative when they’re constantly receiving what they want.
This lack of appreciation can have long-term implications for kids who are used to getting treated all the time, which means that it’s up to parents to teach them appreciation before getting them more significant gifts like jewelry.
Learning this appreciation can be a long, complicated process, especially for younger kids who tend to be more egocentric. However, making sure your daughter understands and appreciates gifts before buying her jewelry will keep her from feeling entitled, and make that gift all the sweeter.
Another great time to buy your daughter her first piece of real jewelry is when the gift will be a milestone, as it will be a teachable and cherished moment. By setting up the expectation that jewelry is worth waiting for and is for special occasions, you can instill strong values in your daughter about delaying gratification. Even better, by waiting for a milestone to buy her jewelry, you can create a memory with your daughter that she will remember for years to come.
In essence, make the process of buying and gifting a piece of jewelry to your daughter a special one. Many girls remember their first jewelry pieces, so understanding that sentimental value and attaching it to an event like a birthday, graduation, or other big event will allow her to cherish it that much more.
A beautiful piece of jewelry can be a great gift for your daughter. To make this exchange as meaningful and positive as possible, pay attention to your child’s readiness for it – this way, she can look at the piece in the future and remember the gift-giving fondly.