real life

"Why I'm finally giving in and giving my teen daughter the present she wants."

Thanks to our brand partner, Sony

Ah, the teenage Christmas list. Yep, gone are the days of scrawled, smudgy, impossibly cute and fanciful childish wishes decorated with drawings for Santa. The teenage Christmas list is a precise, often seriously researched itemised inventory of desires.

Teens – especially these days – know exactly what they want, or if you believe them, what is needed to enhance their lives. They know the brands, the sizes, the colours and the styles they like, and they come prepared and can be highly persuasive!

But it’s not all bad. It’s always better to get someone something they’re going to love and appreciate, and in some ways, it takes away the guesswork. Remember the carefully chosen presents you bought for your little ones hoping they’d love it as much as you did? And then they tired of it after one day? Not with the teen.

That’s not to say my daughter will get everything on her list each Christmas. I’ve explained to her over the years that while I appreciate her input, I still get to decide what I am buying for her. I also have a budget and I try to stick to it, but every year there seems to be one item that she wants more than all of the others. This year, it’s a smartphone.

Like a lot of parents, I resisted getting my daughter a smartphone when she was a pre-teen, making sure her first phone was as basic as possible and only designed for phone calls.

Then she graduated a step up in terms of functionality for her next phone, but this year, I am prepared to accept that she is ready for her own smartphone. So much of the way she communicates with her friends now is via technology, and she has proven that she has been able to handle the responsibility of a phone for a couple of years now.


"Every year there seems to be one item that she wants more than all of the others." Image: iStock.

My only real hesitation was not just the cost of buying a phone outright, but the responsibility of her looking after something so valuable.

But I have to say, she’s actually made it easy for me and presented me with her recommended phone and plan – and I’m really impressed! She swears it’s the best value deal out there and knowing my daughter, she would have compared every single plan out there.


So, I’ve decided I’m getting her the Sony Xperia XA for Christmas this year, and there are a few reasons why.

1. The Sony Xperia XA is a great first smartphone.

At 16GB, this is a great first smartphone with everything a teen is interested in. A front and rear-facing camera with features like autofocus and panorama, digital zoom, and importantly quality video recording.

All this coupled with a stylish look and good battery life, it’s got everything she is after. Tick!

2. You can get one for other members of the family – even you!

The best thing about getting the Sony Xperia XA is that as it is part of a prepaid deal you can top it up so easily, meaning as a parent you have the control over how much you spend on your teenagers phone bill. Gone are the days of receiving additional costs per month because your teen has sent an abundance of unnecessary texts.

It is great value for other members of the family too. With all the features anyone in 2016 can need and with a very appealing design it’s even got me thinking that when I’m ready to upgrade my phone, this would suit me perfectly!

It’s a great way to get a new smartphone with all the features you want, but without the over-the-top upfront costs that some other brands charge. Why spend that extra money if you don’t need to? Plus, it looks and feels great.


One for me, one for you. Image: iStock.

3. There’s no need to worry about repairs.

Highlighted very sensibly by my daughter, the $199 Vodafone upfront prepaid plan* comes with a 24-month repair warranty. Now that’s very appealing to me, as I’ve seen the way my daughter flings her bag down when she walks through the door after school… Not that I don’t trust her, but I like the idea of knowing we’re covered if the phone does get damaged.

So, while I do grin at some of the Christmas items on my teen daughter’s list – ah, no, I’m not getting $400 headphones! – I am happy that I’ve been able to tick this one off, and give her the biggest grin of all on Christmas morning.

*Unlocking fee may apply.

How do you manage your teen's smartphone use?

This post was written thanks to our brand partner Sony Mobile.