Helping your Pre Teen Make Good Clothing Choices

The pre-teen time is when a parent truly begins to feel like it is the world vs. the parent. Media and advertising are flooding ten, eleven and twelve-year-olds with styles that make them believe they must wear those outfits to be accepted by peers. Skimpy, sexy and torn outfits, not to mention their drain on the wallet, beckon youth to purchase them to show off their emerging sexy bodies. How can a parent help their child to make good clothing choices and still be accepted by peers? Remember how you felt when a relative made you a sweater that simply was unlike anything your friends were wearing? you attempted to bury it in your closet until your parent insisted that you put it on.

Now that you are in the mind-set of a pre-teen, it is easier to relate to their dress code dilemma. You want them to parade around in more traditional style and they want modern. Is there room for compromise? By this stage of development, most youth know how to wear complimentary colors, as well as how to mix or not mix designs, plaids, stripes, etc. Should this not be the case with your youngster, that will need to be the first lesson on your agenda. Next would be to conquer what style is best for your child’s size. Either refer to books you can find in the library or search on the Internet for such information. The Internet would be your better choice to make it believable and “now.”

Another option that goes along with this one is to have a sibling or one of your pre-teen’s friends model outfits that you help put together. Make it a game to see which youth makes the better choices and have them express how they made their decision. Of course, most parents are concerned about the sexual appeal of outfits, especially when it comes to their daughters. This is a sensitive area for all concerned. Hopefully, your family’s religion and beliefs have instilled in your daughter modesty and respect for her body. If not, now is the time for discussions, which may include a lesson about advertising and manufacturers tactics to obtain sales.

Check out styles in stores with your daughter. Ask questions like, “What clothing makes a girl look too old for her age?” and “If you were a parent, what would you allow your pre-teen to wear?” You may be surprised by answers when you are not being negative about clothing choices. When she is trusted to make good decisions, she may surprise you. It all boils down to trust, openness and freedom to talk about likes, dislikes and what is appropriate attire. This will carry over into teen years, so long as the parent is open to some compromise in light of the changing times.