But my friends dress like this!


In the quest for independence, tweens push to be more like their peers and less like their parents. And in today’s digital world, tweens have “peer” examples everywhere from social media posts to school hallways that are often hypersexual and overly mature.

Be an eParent®! While watching TV, movies, or advertisements ask your child why the clothes and people in these shows or ads are considered attractive. Ask them what other messages the clothing choices or behaviors of these actors or models send.

With increased independence and physical maturity comes a curiosity and interest in being attractive to others. Tweens often feel as if people are always watching them and judging how they look. Copying the clothing and style of models or following the latest trend is one way that tweens attempt to shape the way they are viewed as mature and independent. Unfortunately, tweens can easily appear more sexual or mature than they are emotionally or mentally. By using “teachable” moments, such as discussing the impact of sexual ads or the way actors are dressed, parents can help their child focus on and value the beauty of the whole person more than beauty that is just skin deep.

Watch these videos on Common Sense Media to learn about what parents can do to support a positive body image for boys and girls. Check out Puberty & Growing Up from UW Children’s Hospital.

To learn more explore our Parenting and Family Relationships website or like us on Facebook.

Revised November 2018

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