The 16th birthday is a major milestone for both parents and teenagers alike. For many, it unofficially signifies the start of the transition from teenager to adult. Bittersweet and poignant, the 16th birthday should also be meaningful and special. Make it a birthday to remember by embarking on some special activities designed to celebrate the milestone of turning 16.
Get a Driver's License
For most teenagers, the highlight of turning 16 is the ability to get a driver's license. This is not always easy to do, however. It can be difficult to satisfy the many state requirements by the time your teen turns 16, and if her birthday falls on a Sunday or on a school day, you might not be able to get to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that day. Still, if you can manage it, getting a driver's license on your teenager's 16th birthday is a terrific way to celebrate. If you can't, consider getting a copy of the car keys made and choosing a key chain in anticipation of the big day.
Go On a Shopping Spree
The 16th birthday is the perfect occasion to splurge on that one special thing your teen has been dying to get. Take him out to a birthday lunch, then surprise him by stopping by the AT&T store to pick out an iPhone, or the nearest computer centre to get his own laptop. Chances are he'll love these items much more than if he received a pile of not-as-special presents.
Hold a Party
While many teenagers shy away from birthday parties, preferring instead to "hang out" with friends at a movie or the mall, the 16th birthday is one where a major party is really called for, especially if your child is a girl. The "Sweet Sixteen" party is a time-honoured tradition for girls in America. Make it even more special by throwing a theme party, such as a Hawaiian luau (perfect if it's in the summer and you have a pool) or for a boy, try a "Rock Star" theme (have a Guitar Hero or Rock Band contest).
Change the Rules
The occasion of the 16th birthday is a perfect time to adjust the rules in the household. Grant your child a later curfew, give him a raise in allowance, and also find a way to increase his responsibilities. These are all good ways of showing him that you understand that he is becoming an adult.