Tween Parenting Advice

January 19, 2006

Teen girl holding a pink piggy bank.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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By Lindajeang (Guest Post)
January 19, 20060 found this helpful
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As a single mom of 4 I got checking and saving accts for each of the kids at an early age. Their $15 / month allowance went into the checking account and birthday, holiday $ went into the savings acct. They tithed 10% to the church from their earnings--we all worked together for the good of the family and were all entitled to have allowance for working together.


Every Friday we did Friday Jobs which rotated weekly: 1) dust, vacuum kitchen, laundry room, dust and vacuum their room; 2) dust and vacuum the living room, hall bathroom, and their own room; 3) "Blue Juice" --the youngest's name for windex! --all the mirrors, glass doors, tv screeens,etc., their room, ; 4) Kitchen Helper--set table, clear dishes and load/unload dishwasher daily., and spot clean tile floors.

Extra jobs--yard work, polishing silver, etc. could earn extra $, as well as babysitting, and part time jobs at age 16.

The little ones got strange looks at Christmas time when they wrote checks at Walmart and had no ID--my license worked fine! They grew up knowing how to balance a checking account, never bouncing, being very responsible. They got a credit card to take to college, which they then build credit in their own names.


The 25 yr old was 9 when I started this, the baby is now 16 and they all are very savy with money!

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9 Questions

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.

December 20, 2006

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


December 20, 20060 found this helpful

Personally, I think 12 is too young to go out by themselves, especially if your daughter is on the petite size. At 12, is she still small enough to be picked up and carried off?


Also, I don't think most 12 year olds have the maturity yet to handle themselves in the situations they may encounter while out all by themselves.

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By Kathy (Guest Post)
December 20, 20060 found this helpful

Is she going with friends, or all by herself? We allow my 12 year old daughter to go to the movies with her girlfriends, but only to the theaters that are not attached to a mall and one parent drops off and the other is waiting to pick up when they get out. I would not let her loose at the mall! I trust my daughter and I believe she has been lectured enough to know what to look out for.

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December 20, 20060 found this helpful

With that said ---
We have to, as parents, consider the maturity level of our children and their knowledge of how the REAL world works. I don't even allow my 15 y/o to go anywhere alone. Most children this age are not good judges of character in their "friends" let alone strangers that prey on children.


Even if she has had the talk from the policeman that visited the school, she isn't ready and neither are you ready to let her go out alone. For your own peace of mind, keep her close as possible.

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By Jan (Guest Post)
December 20, 20060 found this helpful

I am with you,I am a Grandma and and in this day and age,I wouldn't let a 16 year go out unless they were with someone ,it only takes a minute for something to happen and the rest of your life to regret it.

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December 20, 20060 found this helpful

There is no way I would let my 12yr old daughter go places alone in this day and age. Let kids be kids for as long as possible. Going somewhere in a semi-supervised group is a different story. For instance, a group of girls go with one mom to the mall and go off by themselves for awhile.


I know kids are all in a hurry to grow up (especially girls) but stand firm and eventually she will appreciate it.

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By Mysti (Guest Post)
December 20, 20060 found this helpful

My daughter just turned 13 and the only place I let her go alone is the dollar theater. BUT, that's with a group of peers. I drop her off right before the movie and then pick her up right afterwards. She has a cell phone and is very responsible or I wouldn't let her do this. I think being a smart parent involves teaching your kids about different scenarios. I mean, you could be at Wal-Mart, your 12 year old could run to the bathroom, be out of your sight for 5 minutes and just vanish. Teach her to be smart and go over different dangerous scenarios with her. Like, my daughter knows that she is NEVER to leave a store without me. She isn't to go looking for me in the car because I will NEVER leave the store without her. She knows how to go to the front and ask for my name to be called over the loud speaker. Just stuff like that. But erring on the side of caution is always best. :)

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 696 Feedbacks
December 20, 20060 found this helpful

No, I don't think a 12 yr old girl...or boy for that matter should be out somewhere alone....just my personal opinion based on the way the world is today. It's just not safe!

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December 20, 20060 found this helpful

I am certainly glad that I am NOT the only one to say Absolutely NOT.
I was thinking I would be alone, due to my age!! I am 62 and raising my grand daughter who is now 11.
She will NOT be "malling" or driving or running around in packs with her peers. It is just too dangerous and too tempting for getting into trouble. And never mind "but, I trust, her"-
teens are NOT CAPABLE of seeing down the is all about the pleasure of the moment.
YES,...12 IS TOO YOUNG, AS WELL AS 13, 14, 15, 16 possibilly 17

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December 20, 20060 found this helpful

Unless an adult is with her she should not go out alone..To many things could happen..When my Daughter was that age I went with her and her friends to movies or anywhere else they wanted to go.

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By Kaitlin Frazier (Guest Post)
December 21, 20060 found this helpful

Well I think it all depends on maturity. Although age could be something to look out for, maturity is a big key and so is trust. My husband and I decided that we'd see what happen if we let our daughter go and just show up early, to see what's going on. Its a old trick in the book although its might be embarrising to the kids you can get a taste of the enviroment your children are in. I also consider the fact that every child needs to grow up and I just started letting my 14 year old son and 12 year old daughter go together.

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By gen (Guest Post)
December 21, 20060 found this helpful


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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
December 21, 20060 found this helpful

It is really an individual thing depending on where you live and how responsible your daughter is. When I was young, I walked to school by myself from a very early age (6). It's always better though at any age when she can go with another person.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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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?


January 1, 20161 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 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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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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March 26, 2020

My daughter really likes this boy and they are in the same class and he asked her if she wanted to date him. She asked me and I don't know if I should let her; she is 11.

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March 21, 2012

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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September 20, 2017

Many parents are concerned when their 13 year old wants to have a boyfriend. Going out can mean different things at different ages. While 13 may be too young for unsupervised dating, there may be alternatives that are acceptable to both parents and teens. This is a page about, "Is 13 too young to have a boyfriend?".

Girl with Her Boyfriend

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