Things Your Tween Doesn't Need

Boy using tablet on his bed
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While your tween may need a variety of things to make the most of the preteen years, there are certain things your tween can do without and is probably best not having. If you're raising a preteen, be sure you try to avoid the following negative influences. Your tween's happiness may depend on it.

A Toxic Best Friend

Peers are so important to the tween age group, and during the preteen years your child will probably expand friendships and dedicate a lot of time and energy on his or her friends. While friends can be a positive influence on your tween, there are certain friends that can really make your child's life difficult. Be sure your tween avoids toxic friendships, frenemies, and mean girls. The tween years are tough enough to get through, and the negative influence of a toxic friend will only make the next few years more difficult. Encourage your tween to seek out friendships that are fun, and supportive. Be sure to help your child tell a healthy friendship from one that isn't, and allow your child opportunities to engage in a variety of friendships through social activities such as sports, drama, or other extracurriculars.

Inappropriate Clothing

It's sad but manufacturers seemed determined to offer few clothing options for tweens, and many of them are totally inappropriate. Resist the temptation to purchase clothing that's too mature for your child, or too revealing. Develop a fashion strategy with your child and stick to it, as best you can.

Constant Criticism

Growing up is difficult for any child, but constant criticism from a parent or another adult can deflate even the most optimistic of children. Set realistic goals for your child and be sure to offer positive feedback when it's deserved. Your child may need to be disciplined from time to time, but it's important that tweens also know what they're doing right.

Every Trendy Toy

Of course, you want to make sure your child has what he needs and enjoys his childhood, but it's also important that you refrain from overindulging your tween and inadvertently creating a materialistic child. Even if you can afford every new toy or device that comes around, try to teach your child how to manage a budget and work towards a goal. If your child wants the latest tech toy, give him the opportunity to earn it himself. He can do chores around the house, save birthday and Christmas money and develop a timeline to get it.

His Own TV

It may be tempting to get your child or a television for his room, but that's not always a good idea. TVs and computers can be distractions and might interfere with your child's homework, downtime or even his sleep time. Try to monitor how much time your child spends watching TV or playing computer games, and be sure your child spends time outdoors playing, as well.

No Limitations

Your child is getting older but still needs structure, rules, and consequences. Be sure you provide limitations, so your child knows what is expected of him. Also, consequences should be consistent and carried out when needed. The more your tween learns during these growing years, the better off he'll be in the teenage years and beyond.

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