Today's tweens live in a techno-centric world that their parents never would've dreamed of at that age, back when video games were still in the primitive stage and the word "tween" didn't even exist. While the parents of today's tweens spent a lot of time playing outsidewhen they were growing up, today's children face a temptation to spend more time in front of an electronic screen of some sort than doing anything else. All of this screen time not only has the potential to expose your child to inappropriate images, it also takes up time that he or she could spend socializing, getting some exercise or studying.
To rein in your tween's screen time, talk to your child about why it's important to make room for other things in her life. If she wants to spend part of a weekend afternoon playing video games, encourage her to invite a friend or two over to make it a play date (but don't call it that!); this makes the game into a social activity, instead of an isolating one. Steer your child toward video games that involve physical activity, such as dancing. If your child shows interest in something such as computer art, introduce her to the physical version and encourage her to try different materials, like watercolors or charcoal, for example. There is joy and movement so encourage your tween to explore the world around her.
Your tween is growing up -- but with some reasonable limits, he can grow to be a much happier and well-balanced adult than he would have without your guidance.
- 10 Ways to Change Your Loser Parent Image
- 10 Ways You Might Be Embarrassing Your Tween
- 10 Family Bonding Activities
- 5 Ways to Make 'Forced Family Fun' Less Forced
- 5 Things to Know About Managing Family Schedules
- How Not to Talk to Your Tween
- How to Make Your Tween Think You're Cool
- Why Your Tween Might Think You're a Loser
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Tips for Parents - Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight." Jan. 4, 2010. (Jan. 8, 2011)http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html
- Common Sense Media. "Don't Touch that Dial: Tips for Limiting Screen Time." 2011. (Jan. 8, 2011.)http://www.commonsensemedia.org/dont-touch-dial-tips-limiting-screen-time
- EmpoweringParents.com. "Does your Child Have 'Toxic' Friends? 6 Ways to Deal with the Wrong Crowd." (Jan. 8, 2011)http://www.empoweringparents.com/Is-Your-Child-or-Teen-Hanging-Out-With-the-Wrong-Crowd.php#
- Family Education. "Tween Sleep Facts." (Jan. 6, 2011)http://life.familyeducation.com/tween/sleep/55986.html
- The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. "The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity." Feb. 2004. (Jan. 8, 2011)http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/The-Role-Of-Media-in-Childhood-Obesity.pdf
- Metro Parent. "Setting Clear Curfews for Teens." 2011. (Jan. 8, 2011)http://www.metroparent.com/Metro-Parent/August-2010/Setting-Clear-Curfews-for-Teens/
- MSN Money. "Does Johnny Really Need a Cell Phone?" 2011. (Jan. 7, 2011)http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseKids/does-johnny-really-need-that-iphone.aspx
- Norton by Symantec. "Internet Safety and your Tween." Feb. 19, 2007. (Jan. 9, 2011)http://us.norton.com/library/familyresource/article.jsp?aid=pr_internetsafety_and_your_tween
- Parenting.org. "Addressing Dressing: Helping your Daughter Make Good Clothing Choices." 2011. (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.parenting.org/tween-years/parenting/addressing-dressing-helping-your-daughter-make-good-clothing-choices
- ParentsConnect.com. "Dealing with Bad Grades in Middle School." (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.parentsconnect.com/articles/dealing_with_academic_trouble.jhtml
- Raising CEO Kids. "Money Money Monday: Teaching Tweens about Money." Sep. 20, 2010. (Jan. 9, 2011)http://raisingceokids.com/teaching-tweens-about-money/
- St. Petersburg Times. "Must-Have for Tweens: A Cell Phone."Aug. 26, 2007. (Jan. 8, 2011)http://www.sptimes.com/2007/08/26/Business/Must_have_for_tweens_.shtml
- Stevens, Heather A., M.S. Counselor. Personal Correspondence. (Jan. 3, 2011)
- TweenParent.com. "Sleep, Tween, Sleep!" (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.tweenparent.com/articles/view/140
- Tween Tribune. "Tweens Online 24/7. Is That a Bad Thing?" Jan. 22, 2010. (Jan. 7, 2011)http://tweentribune.com/content/sudy-finds-tweens-online-247-are-you
- Tween Tribune: "Tween's Pierced Nose Gets Her Suspended." Nov. 10, 2009. (Jan. 8, 2011)http://tweentribune.com/content/tween%E2%80%99s-pierced-nose-gets-her-suspended
Working as a teenager can have a ton of benefits. But there can be drawbacks, too. HowStuffWorks breaks them both down.