Since you probably didn't have the Internet as a tween, it can be easy to overlook this limit when it comes to your children. But beware -- researchers say 10 percent of tweens have frequent online conversations with total strangers, and 16 percent have thought they were talking to another child, only to discover that their online buddy was an adult posing as a child.
Talk to your child about Internet safety; you tell her not to talk to strangers in person, so make it clear why it's a bad idea online, too. Have your child regularly show you his or her social networking pages and other favorite Web sites, and check your Web browser's history to see where your child has gone online (also forbid erasing the browser history). Consider investing in a software package that lets you monitor your child's time on the computer and keep the computer in a "public" part of the house. Today's tweens are tech savvy, but they 're still kids without an adult's ability to assess risks.
Next up, we consider when a call to the fashion police is in order.