One of the realities of tweenhood is that a child's body image -- and self-esteem -- can take a real beating during these years. For a boy, this may mean anxiety about being smaller and less developed than others in his peer group. Girls can sometimes obsess over their bodies and go to extremes to emulate what they see as ideal in other girls their age. If it goes unchecked, this can lead to depression and eating disorders.
So what can you do to help encourage a healthy body image for your tween? For starters, you can make sure you avoid making critical comments about your child's appearance -- or your own. Also, University of Minnesota research showed that family activities, like regularly having dinner together, go a long way toward improving tween self-esteem and reducing the likelihood of eating disorders, proving that sometimes the simplest approaches work best.