Shopping for clothes and setting fashion rules with our children can be a delicate balance at any age, and that is especially true when it comes to tween girls clothing. Girls often want to branch out and explore new styles during the years just before becoming a teenager, making shopping for them more difficult.
Kids usually start experimenting with different fashion ideas at around 9-13 years old, leading to conflicts with their parents regarding prices, brands, and styles. The tween girl or girls in your life have probably just started visiting the local mall with friends and shopping independently, and aren’t interested in any clothes you pick out without consulting them. This can be a lot for some parents to deal with, in part because these changes can happen seemingly overnight.
This age period doesn’t have to be stressful, though. With the right approach it can be an opportunity for parents to teach their daughters about saving money and choosing the right clothing brands. The holiday shopping season is upon us, so let’s take a look at a few tips for managing your tween’s clothes shopping this winter.
Like adolescents, tween girls don’t like being told what to do. While it may not be easy for you initially, it is important to remember that your loved one has reached an exciting time in her life and is feeling out her own individual style for the first time. Mundane clothes choices that adults take for granted can be really exciting for kids at this age because it is the first time they have a say in their wardrobe. Of course, you still have the final say, but remember to be flexible and open with your tween girl. Strict rules are almost certain to lead to conflict.
Set a monthly budget for clothes
Your daughter’s new found interest in fashion is also a great chance to teach her about the value of a dollar. Modern society encourages shoppers to constantly buy the next hot item or style, and it’s easy for tween shoppers to become caught up in the hype. It’s your job as a parent to teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees and they need to budget their clothes shopping accordingly. According to CNBC, the average U.S. child aged 4-14 only receives around $9 per week in spending money, and while your tween may already have a larger allowance, it may be time to set a monthly budget for clothes.
Examine your own shopping habits
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, or PAMF, recommends that parents of tweens and teenagers take some time to analyze their own behaviors in relation to the rules they set for their children. Kids around this age will almost always notice if their parents aren’t following the same ideals they set for them, and this also holds true when it comes to shopping and style. If you are spending a lot of money on clothes, or buying certain brands, they will probably want to do the same.
It doesn’t have to be designer to be stylish
It’s best to teach your pre-teen that clothes don’t have to be expensive, new, or designer to look good early on. Thrift shops, discount racks, and online sales are all great opportunities to show your child that sometimes lesser known brands give them more of an opportunity to show off their own individual style as opposed to blending in with everyone else.
Talk to your tween about unrealistic advertising
Many parenting organizations recommend that parents of tweens take note of the advertising campaigns targeting their children. These ad campaigns can set unrealistic expectations about appearance, and may even encourage overly sexual styles. Your tween should know that advertising isn’t reality, and that no one brand or piece of clothing is going to make their life like a TV commercial.