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Tween Parenting Advice

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When children reach this in between age, parents are faced with a number of challenging parenting decisions. This is a guide about tween parenting advice.


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By 2 found this helpful
January 19, 2006

Does it seem your son or daughter always "needs" (or wants) money? One way to save YOUR money is to help your preteen/teen develop a small business. Your son or daughter will learn the life skills of work, responsibility, and accountability. He/she will experience the pros and cons of independent business ownership/management, learning self-reliance and customer service. Recognizing the value of money and making better purchase decisions can result.


Last fall our 12 year old daughter started a pet care business for the neighbors on our street. With just a few regular customers, she now has her own spending money.

She tithes to church and contributes to her savings account, developing positive life habits - all with no monetary cost to me. She bought her own Christmas gifts this year and even took us to lunch. My only investment is parental support.

Now she is researching her earning limits before paying taxes to the IRS- another life lesson in the making and I open my own purse much less!

By Meritmom from Byhalia, MS

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January 20, 20060 found this helpful

when my children were old enough to work their paycheck was split 3 ways...

1/3 into their savings account

1/3 for school supplies and clothes

1/3 was theirs to spend any way they wanted to (within reason)

i'll never forget the day when i took the oldest shopping with her first $100 they had saved and walked out of walmart with 2 shirts,2pair of shorts and a pair of jeans and they commented how they hadn't gotten much for as much as they had spent

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
August 30, 2015

My daughter really likes this boy. She's 11, as is the boy. I heard a few days ago from the boy's mom that the 2 are a 'couple'. What do I do?

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January 1, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Well, hopefully you and your daughter talk to each other about everyday, mundane things as well as all the "necessary" stuff- such as, "Don't forget to start on that school project soon", etc. .At 11 years old, she may still seek your input and approval. I hope that this is the case.

Something similar happened with my son at that age, but a few easy conversations with him helped to end my worries , AND helped him think about-and sort out for himself-what " dating" meant for him and his schoolmates.

This is more or less how the convo went:

Me: So, how are things going with Sylvia?

Him: Oh, pretty good. She's nice. And she likes me a lot.

Me: Well, yeah, if she is your girlfriend, she must like you the best. And you like her more than all the other girls in class?

Him: Yeah. (Hesitates) But, she gets upset when I spend time talking to Joey during lunch.

Me: Why's that?

Him: She wants me to spend time with her instead.

Me: ha-ha. That doesn't change much as you get older, I'm afraid.

At that point I had the opportunity to ask him , what, exactly could they do, that would be boyfriend-girlfriend kinds of stuff. And I began with, well there can't be any kissing or hugging really, because that is not allowed in school.Plus, her parents definitely would not like it and he might have to answer to angry parents . And there's a little time to talk during lunch and after school, but not very much time- especially if he wanted to also talk with his friends, which he did. And when older people date, they sometimes go out to dinner or to a movie or bowling , but that requires money and permission, rides,etc. You could talk on the phone, probably. (This was before everybody had cellphones). And my son thought about all this. Basically, his "relationship" was just letting everyone know that they liked each other best.

Probably a week or so later, my son told me that they had broken up.

Talk to your daughter, try not to criticize or belittle, discuss what it means, and let her figure it out. If it sounds like the boy is being improper with her, discuss that with her too. How she feels , and that she ALWAYS knows that Nobody should ever make her feel she " ought to" if she does not want to. Emphasize that rule ALWAYS applies, and if she needs help getting out of an uncomfortable spot(or relationship) she should let you know, and you will help her immediately.

Sorry for the length, but it's an important topic.

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August 31, 20150 found this helpful

Your daughter is not old enough to date or really do anything "couples" do. So they are really only a couple if certain adults think it's cute to call them that.

As for the boy, this will probably go nowhere. It's rare that somebody meets their soulmate at the age of 11. You can probably consider it harmless.

The computer and phone are exceptions. Make sure you have access to your child's phone texts and her online activities. Note that she should not have any accounts on any social media sites. She's too young. Not only are children exposed to bullying and pornography online, they are also exposed to predators. Have her do her homework in a family room if she uses a computer.

Most kids are watched like hawks nowadays and are rarely out of sight of a protective adult. However, online is where they can get themselves into trouble.

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August 31, 20150 found this helpful

Have you considered talking to her? Do you know what her feelings are, what her thoughts are about things couples do? You probably don't want to consider it, but many young people are becoming sexually active. Please give some careful thought to the words you choose and don't ignore this?

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September 2, 20150 found this helpful

I sorta doubt when the boy's mother used the term 'couple', she meant it in the sense of a relationship. I think you can laugh off this little 'encounter'. But, do so while taking all of Abigail's advice. She has brought to light some important information all parents need to consider.

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December 20, 20060 found this helpful

Do you think a child is too young to start going to the movies alone or anywhere alone at age 12 and a half in 7th grade? Should I wait till she gets older?

Rachel from San Antonio

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December 25, 20060 found this helpful

I didn't see the feedback by azDana before I started to respond, but I COMPLETELY agree!! They're still children at 12. Even though the public is more dangerous than the private, how comfortable would you feel about leaving her alone in the house should you ever decide to go for a long night out? If you're cautious about that, think about her in the public alone. Does that bring about a sense of peace and well-being when you think about it?

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December 27, 20060 found this helpful

I was allowed to go to the movies with my best friend when I was 12 and in 7th grade. Usually, one of us would ask our parents if it was ok, then call the other one. Then, before hanging up the phone, we both passed the phone to our moms and they chatted and arranged transportation. Our parents got to know each other after we became friends at school and I think that helped them feel better about who their kids were hanging out with.

I agree with the two younger people (I am 24) that mention at some point you do have to stop holding kids' hands. My mom sheltered me a lot and did a lot for me and I still have a trouble in social situations even now. I was always a good kid and my parents didn't have any reason not to trust me, but they didn't trust the rest of the world and that kind of hindered me in learning to function in it. But I think the way they assisted in arranging my social life in 7th grade was healthy.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

I think if your child is responsible and you trust them at age 12 then they should be able to go to the movie by themselves. If they have something that they could reach you with if they need you then i would say, what the heck (:_*

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February 14, 20090 found this helpful

I'm 12 but also in martial arts for 3 years.i go to the movies with friends(of course my embarrasing mom has to drive me).My dad is paranoid and if he knew he would go ballistic.i'm not allowed to date till 16 but like wateva.not gonna listen.parents have,as long as she knows where i an it's the mall,my aunt lets me wonder.she'll find me.i think it stresses my perents less to know that i take teakwon-do very seriously and can defend myself.I look out for creepers(as my friend calls them).Parents are easier on their sons. especially dads.their daughters are like prisoners.yes more can happen to a girl but guys are more egotistic and will steal or watever to be in "the group".most guys wont hit my school,if you hit a girl,your friends will tell you off.I guess i only go to Lloys with a poplulation less than 500 00 so if ur a big city mom then i can sorta see your point.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 16, 20090 found this helpful

Yes. But the parent should be in the mall somewhere just in case of an emergency. At least 2 of the kids in a group should have there cell phones with them, 12- 16 should all be in a group, and I would agree on the lighter parent supervision, just don't stalk them because it used to be embarrassing when my parents did that, give them like 30 dollars to buy something for themselves in the mall, and just let them go, most likely nothing will happen with a group of 12 year olds, but never leave 12 year olds responsible of a nine year old, because nine year olds will not listen to the tweens!

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April 4, 20100 found this helpful

Definitely. I'm 12 and started going places with my cousin (who is now 15, 13 then) when I was 10. Then when I was 11 I was allowed to hang out with friends my age alone. So I definitely think you're old enough to go places alone.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 14, 2007

I have a 10 year old daughter who is starting to have a fresh mouth. I have tried punishing her and taking away privileges but nothing seems to be working. My babysitter is starting to complain. I am afraid I might lose her. What should I do?

Fily from Texas

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August 17, 20070 found this helpful

I too will probably be hated, but i am going to agree with lonefive 21. A few times of this and the child will think twice about doing it

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August 17, 20070 found this helpful

Tabasco Sauce on the tongue or lips works great!

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August 17, 20070 found this helpful

You can point out that she is giving others a poor impression of her character when she mouths off.

Ask what she can do to refrain from using language (like you are trying to help).

She may be a tough nut to crack and you may find that nothing works for long, but if there is a strong male influence with a deep voice who sides with you, I'd give it a try. She may resent you for trying to improve her manners (see tough nut comment) and get mad at you instead of herself, but the time to build in a conscience is now. Start with "In your own best interest..." in a deep loud voice with intense eye contact and see if it rings a bell. Also have a good loooong look at her friends. See if they are this way.

A long time ago, I knew of a particularly bratty boy in my son's class. Later on I met a mother who was thrilled that her son had found a 'best friend'. Turns out the best friend was the brat. Knowing for many years how the brat behaved, I suggested that she monitor both of them because they didn't know the brat all that well. She wasn't interested. Well, you can lead a horse to water.... and, no, I did not call him a brat to her face.

The mouth could be coming from friends, tv or classmates. You could always ask the school counselor and teacher if she is doing it in public. I suspect she is that way in front of friends in private and you will get nowhere chastising her in front of peers. Just act deaf and save the lectures for later when they go home. Make notes so you don't forget. Tape record it if you can. She doesn't know what she is saying.

Deduct $ from her allowance per comment. Or sweep the kitchen floor. But be tough now, before it gets worse.

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August 17, 20070 found this helpful

If having a fresh mouth is saying disrespectful things to you, then just don't allow it. Explain to her that having a disagreement about something is different than blatant disrespect. Allow her to voice her opinion but ask her to do it respectfully.

As far as swearing, my mom would make us put a nickel in a jar anytime we said something bad, if she did it, she'd put a nickel in the jar, too which I can remember happening only once. My dad had to put a fair amount of change into the jar. A nickel back then was worth probably about a dollar now. I think we got a 25-50 cent allowance. It worked! I remember the threat of getting my mouth washed out with soap but don't remember it ever happening.

It is difficult with so much bad language everywhere you go but it is an interesting experiment to see what other words or adjectives you can use instead. A real lesson in improving your vocabulary.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 17, 20070 found this helpful

STOP attacking them. Talk to them by attacking things not people... Example: Swearing.... Don't say stop( infers you stop).. Say instead "Smart kids don't say bad words" Or " Big kids don't swear."

THey will ignore you for a few times then they will get the message..... THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK++++

Sit them down, tell them their conduct is not acceptable and will not be allowed. Determine the punishment (no TV for a week, Spend an hour in their room without TV, no phone calls, etc.) and tell them what it will be. Write it up and post in on the refrigerator or their bedroom door. That makes the rules of conduct clear. If they do it, follow through.

Kids know parents send them to their room one time, the next time they take away TV, the next time they ignore them. Kids will take their chances to see what they can get away with and push you to the limit. They know parents will tell them 10 times before they act. Only one chance and action should be enforced right then or as soon as possible thereafter.

There are other things but this should be a good start.

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August 18, 20070 found this helpful

If your 10 year old is using inappropriate language the first thing I would ask is where are they hearing these words, especially if they are not used in your home. You might try the following:

Demerit System

Everytime he/she uses an inappropriate word they receive a Demerit Point

2 Demerits = Loss of a priviledge

2 Loss of Priviledges = 2 hours of Dictionary Work

Dictionary Work is looking up the meaning of 5 words, your choice, but I would suggest that the offending word be included so that they are fully aware of exactly what they have said and why it is inappropriate. They have to learning the correct spelling and meaning of the words chosen.

If there is "resistance", be prepared! Let them know you will be prepared to remove the thing they love the most for the day. And Stick to it.

The more you loose your "cool" over "smart mouth" words, the more attractive the words become. Stay cool, remain consistant in your punishment for the offenses. Do what you say, say what you mean, and always follow thru.Good Luck

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By 0 found this helpful
May 3, 2007

I am raising my grand daughter and this season she is into Jr. sizes. I have looked and looked and CANNOT find a decent bathing suit in her size! I know it is early in the season, however, none of the places I have looked even showed a one-piece suit and all the two pieces are too skimpy for an 11 year old. What is a person to do with a child who wears an "adult" size but is still very young?

I know Speedo makes nice one-piece suits, but who can afford $60-70 for a suit for one season for a growing child? Does anyone know of a store that carries decent suits? I am not a great fan of purchasing online, especially of something as hard to fit as a bathing suit.

Thanks for any help I can get.

Bonnie from Martinsburg

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 24, 20070 found this helpful

try looking at Old Navy or Old I just was looking at some swim suits for my 13year old that was leaving for camp where they could not wear skimpy swimsuits. I found this cute and adorable one piece that was not expensive.

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July 26, 20070 found this helpful

"im in high school so i wear jr. sizes too but i have always prefered to wear tankinis over bikinis because in my opinion they look better and its just not right for little girls to be wearing bikinis and they are still technically 2 pieces but a lot more modest"

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful

im a teenager and i think that your grand daughter would rather have a tankini they are actually very cute and they will cover her up. If your really set on getting a one piece bathing suit then try and get her board shorts to go over it. They are very stylish and they usually last for 2 years.



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By guest (Guest Post)
February 19, 20080 found this helpful

I know that Old Navy and Target have some like tanks and shorts that are way cute and a pretty decent price also Delia's has some one piece ones that are way cute also.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 11, 20080 found this helpful

I am 14 and I made my own tankini bathing suit with a skirt bottom. It's very modest, but not too covered where you'll drown! The back is a little open but I tried to cover it using ties. I made it up myself. Maybe you could get a pattern from a fabric store, fit your grand daughter, and make one for her. It'd be a better fit, too.

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August 1, 20090 found this helpful

I realize I'm getting in on this kind of late. I have an adult mentally handicapped daughter, who has a quite hairy bikini line, and it seems like all of the one piece suits we can afford, along with bikinis, which I don't approve of, have really high cut thighs. Anyway I finally got her a tankini top, with boy cut bottoms. The problem with this is the backs of the legs creep up, however, they do that on most people and look really gross. It isn't just on the boy cut ones, it happens on all of them.

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

My twelve year old daughter wants to invite a boy from school she likes and that likes her to the movies with us on Friday. Her dad said no! maybe next year. My daughter says it's not a date and why don't we trust her. I need advice please.

By Yolanda H

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

This is the perfect way to begin the dating experience. With your family, under their subdivision and watchful eyes. I am 57 years old and this sort of thing was the beginning of my "dating" experiences. There are different ways to look at it, but I think it is good practice, with no peer pressure and considerably more safety. I suspect your husband is going to be a pill about any dating for her, you better work on him now :). He should be grateful she isn't promiscuous already, there are plenty of twelve year old girls that are!

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

I am 71 and I would say no, too. My thought is that 16 is plenty young to start dating and then only an occasional date, like for prom and homecoming with strict curfew of home by midnight. Also no going steady.

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March 22, 20120 found this helpful

Sounds as though Dad is having a very normal dad reaction to his little girl growing up.

Like ThrifyViki, though, I think he needs to start dealing with this now, before she's old enough to want to go on real dates, or else he's going to have a daughter who hates him even more than most teens hate their parents, lol. But it's really not funny. From my recollections of my teen years and from raising two of my own, it seemed the girls who 'snuck-out' were the girls with parents who didn't think things like having a crush spend time with the family was a good thing.

And lol, Dad is going to regret saying no when the inevitable time in her life arrives that she would rather anything but spending time with the family! She'll be working overtime to cut the family right out of her social life soon enough (usually hits about 14 if I recall accurately).

The fact that she feels comfortable enough at this age being with the family to want to have any friend, male OR female, spend time with them says she is a well adjusted young lady who respects and loves her family, and wants to share that with her crush. Wow, that says every good thing about the job you and Dad are doing, bravo to you, Mom!

I'm 55, so maybe it's a generational thing. But I'm considered old-fashioned for my age, too, so maybe not:)

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March 22, 20120 found this helpful

We struggled with this too with my daughter is 12. We ended up taking her to the movie and staying there a few rows back and the boy and his older sister came so it was more a friend thing! It's so hard these days she will not be allowed to date for a while of course I wanna say "never" as her mom but that's not realistic! My hubby and I went and stayed! I do not drop her off anywhere I am strict on that!

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March 26, 20120 found this helpful

You probably won't like my answer, but I am speaking as not only the mom of 5 daughters, but also as a director for years and years of a crisis and preg center. I am in my 50's - probably considered old fashioned by many.

12 is way way too young for dating.

I would say no to the movie thing as well or make it a group thing with several other kids and parents.

Media and movies have our kids growing up too fast. I have seen 10-12 year old girls in push up bras, and very skimpy clothing trying to catch boys.

We always surveyed the girls/women who came into our center. One question we always asked (on a form they didn't have to put their name on, along with other questions) was at what age did you start dating. We noticed right off the bat, that the women who were in an abusive relationship, or those who were single and pregnant or thought they might be, very often started dating at an early age - some as early as 10-12.

I would say 16 is more in line, although the rule in our house is 18, Several younger families in our church argued in a friendly manner with me on this topic several years ago. All 3 of them are now grandparents with daughters below the age of 16.

I am not saying this is what would happen, as not all girls end up in this situation. But at age 12, kids just don't have the ability to judge situations like an adult would, and a 12 year old really hasn't even had the life experiences to know what she is looking for in a date or a mate.

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July 19, 20120 found this helpful

Ok, I'm 15 years old. My dad said that I couldn't date until my older sister had a real date where the guy comes to the front door and drives to a nice dinner and all the works. I am now dating and I didn't start dating until I was 14. Then I realized that he wasn't such a great guy. It takes mistakes for dating but I would say 14 is a fairly good age to start dating.

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August 26, 20070 found this helpful

My daughter asked if she could have a boyfriend today. It worried me that she will start things early. She is 13 and I'm not sure if she's ready. Any opinions?

Diana from Grainger, TX

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October 16, 20110 found this helpful

I think 13 is too young. I think she can have a boyfriend when she grows up. When she goes out with her boyfriend then she can not concentrate on her studies. People have a long life. So she can have a boyfriend when she is older. Then rest of her life is effective and happy.

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