If your tween is asking to update his wardrobe or is begging for a pair of must have jeans, prepare yourself. The fashion industry knows that there's a lot of money to be made in preteen clothing, and tweens are heavily marketed to in television ads, magazines, and in the movies. Peer pressure
contributes to their sense of fashion conformity and personal identity.
All of this means that in the coming months and years you'll probably make several trips to the mall. But before you set out on a shopping expedition, make sure you've armed yourself with the knowledge you'll need to stick to your budget, help your tween find appropriate clothes, and have fun in the process. Here's what you need to do.
Take Your Tween Shopping
There was a time when you could pick-out all of your child's clothes by yourself, but that time has come and gone. Preteens are fashion savvy, and they know what they want when it comes to their clothes. If you purchase clothes for your tween when he or she isn't around, you'll probably have to return the items, or it's possible that items will end up in the back of a drawer somewhere, never to be worn. Avoid hearing, "I want to choose my own clothes now!" or "I can't believe you thought I would wear that!" by bringing your tween with you when it comes time to purchase preteen clothing.
It's become a tradition for many families to stock up on preteen clothing during summer sales or Back to School sales. Be sure you know your child's school policies and dress codes before you set out to purchase his or her fall clothes. Also, remember that tweens can still be pretty hard on their clothing, so look for items that will wear and wash well over time.
Girls can be especially difficult to please during the tween years. Be patient as your daughter tries to find her style. It's also important for you to point out if certain clothes are too revealing for someone her age. Be aware that girls can be fashion fickle, but that doesn't mean that you have to replace her wardrobe just because she's tired of a certain look. Make sure she understands upfront that any items she purchases will be a part of her wardrobe until they're outgrown or too worn to wear anymore.
Give Your Tween Some Space
When you shop with your child, give him or her some space and privacy. Hang back while she searches the racks or let her go into a shop while you wait outside or in the doorway. Once she's picked-out her choices, you can offer up your advice and approve or reject the items she's picked out.
It's unlikely that you and your child will make it through the tween years without a major disagreement over clothing. Your daughter may want a skirt that you consider way too short. Or your son may want a T-shirt with some salty words displayed on the front. Whatever the concern, you need to know how to deal with disagreements in a civil way. Discuss your family policies on clothing before you go shopping, and be prepared to stand your ground.
Establish your budget before you go shopping and share your budget with your tween.
Make a list of items your tween needs, and a separate list of items your tween would like to have.
Take occasional breaks while shopping. Split a snack with your tween in order to recharge your batteries.
Make sure the items you purchase are versatile, and can be mixed and matched with other items your child already owns.
Consider bringing one of your child's friends along. They can offer up advice that your tween may consider, and make the experience a little more fun.