Why Every Tween Needs to Follow Certain Rules

Every household needs discipline, and establishing rules for your kids is a part of that. Rules help children learn self-discipline, and they help establish a sense of right and wrong. If your tween doesn't have a sense of boundaries or thinks they can make up their own rules as they go along, it's time you take control and be the parent your child needs. Below are rules every tween should know and follow.

1

House Rules

Boy sitting upside down on chair using tablet
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Running a home and a family isn't easy, but it's a lot harder if your children don't know the house rules.

Make sure everyone understands that they need to pick up after themselves, tackle their chores without being asked, and to show respect to all the other family members. Oh, and keeping your hands and feet to yourself is a must.

2

Middle School Rules

Students sitting at desks taking tests

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Middle school is a transition for any child. The warm and fuzzy school environment that your child knows from elementary school is a thing of the past. In order to prepare students for high school and beyond, middle schools have a number of rules that all students must follow.

Be sure your child knows and understands the rules of their school. If you have questions about school rules, contact the school staff or guidance counselor for details.

3

Establishing Curfew Rules

Tween girls looking at phone at night

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our tween is growing up, and that means your child is learning how to make decisions and develop a sense of independence. But even preteens need to know what their curfew is so that they can learn time management skills and responsibility.

Curfews should be early on school nights. Your child needs time to finish homework assignments, relax, and get ready for bed. On weekends or during the summer months, you may decide to extend curfew a bit.

Discuss curfew responsibility with your child ahead of any plans, and be sure to be flexible for those special events.

4

Summer Rules for Kids

Group of girls hanging out at the pool
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Keeping your child safe through the summer months is a lot easier if you have rules in place before summer begins. Make sure your child knows where they are or aren't allowed to go alone and what their curfew is.

Also, make outdoor play a part of your summer rules, and educate your children about dangers they might encounter over the summer, such as dehydration or sunburn. If your kid is out with friends, make sure they are not abusing alcohol, experimenting with inhalants, and succumbing to dangerous peer pressure.

5

Summer Camp Rules

Kids climbing tree while camping
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Summer camp is a time for kids to explore, grow, and develop a sense of independence. But there are certain summer camp rules parents and kids need to follow. Make sure your child shows up for camp wearing the appropriate clothing and ready for adventure.

Review rules on conduct and behavior with your child before camp begins in order to prevent any unnecessary incidents.​​

6

Family Cell Phone Rules

Girl leaning against school bus looking at cell phone
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Are your children allowed to text at dinner? Do you set a time when the phone has to be turned off? Many families establish cell phone rules for their children in order to cut down on texting or to make room for family time or bedtime.

Share your family's cell phone rules, and help other parents establish rules of their own. Consider whether or not your child will lose their cell phone if they don't do their chores. Also, what if your child exceeds the data limits you set for them? Will they pay the difference?

Be specific about your cell phone rules, and if necessary, draw up a cell phone contract for you and your tween. 

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Article Sources
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  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. What’s the best way to discipline my child?. Updated November 5, 2018.

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Staying out late & curfews. Updated May 19, 2016.

  3. Zhao SZ, Guo N, Wang MP, et al. The association between electronic device use during family time and family well-being: population-based cross-sectional study. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22(10):e20529. doi:10.2196/20529