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The Fight Over School Clothes

by T Akery | July 25th, 2011 | Tweens
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The fight over school clothes is one that lasts for quite some time. It is one of those fights that is seemingly unavoidable between parents and tweens. An all-out fight can be avoided if you and your tween come together when shopping for school clothes.

It is important for you to understand exactly how a tween views school clothing. This does not mean that you have to agree with them on their choices. But part of communicating is understanding why a tween thinks they need that particular piece of designer clothing that costs ten times your budget for their clothes.

School clothes are seen by other tweens as a status symbol. Clothes are one of the major things tweens are evaluated with by other peers. This is a notoriously looks-orientated time in their lives. Appearance is valued more than anything else. The expectation on tweens to look like certain people or to have certain clothing is especially high when it comes to school. No tween can avoid this peer pressure.

Tweens are also very sensitive about body development. Especially with girls, comparisons between bodies happen. They are very self-conscious and very aware what others are thinking about them. It is a very precarious time as tweens struggle with acceptance of themselves and their development into teens. Clothes are a part of this self-image regardless of whether or not parents accept this.

However, it isn’t all bad news. Parents still have a major trump card in their arsenal. They have control over the money. So, parents have the option to exercise the “no” by not buying the requested designer piece. You give up this control if you hand over a credit card and expect your tween to buy what you want instead of what they want.

To ward off part of this fight, start with a simple discussion on clothes. Find out what their peers are wearing. Find out the celebrity that they want to dress like. Then talk to them about what image they want to portray. Turn the discussion to what other people see when they are wearing certain clothes. Talk to them about the good and bad statements that clothes make about them as a person. Show them different looks in magazines and ask them exactly what they think that individual is saying by the clothes they wear.

Then go shopping with them. Take them to places you can afford rather than places that might set their expectations too high. Let them pick out what they want to try on. Compromise a little but don’t be afraid to say no either. Your tween will be happier if they have input and a compromise rather than no say. You can find some designer brands in places like thrift shops and the Salvation Army for a fraction of the original price.

There will still be skirmishes in this fight. But you can temper it somewhat by communicating with your tween about their school clothes.

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