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  1. #1
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    Default How do you help a preteen stand up for themselves

    DD1 is 9 and has a good friend who has much older siblings. this girl is really lovely in so many ways but her big sister is extremely wild and DD1's friend is exposed to stuff DD1 doesn't have a clue about. Nothing too awful, just bad language and ideas about things that are a bit beyond her. Hard to explain, but nothing like smoking or anything like that. She knows swearing is not on in our house (although I'm no saint) but I'm a realist and know she'll hear it lots of different places.

    Anyhow my question is how do parents help their kids say no to bad choices? She has a very sensible head on her shoulders and knows there are lots of things her dad and I don't want her to do , but she squarely asked me tonight, how do I say no without looking stupid?

    I remember my parents telling me not to be a sheep, and that if I stood up for myself everything would be ok, but in the thick of it basically that was cr@p advice as I didn't want my friends to stop liking me.

    So to those with older kids, what do you actually say to your children? Has anything worked for you? I appreciate it comes down to the personality of the kids but this is on my mind and I want to make sure I give her the best skills to negotiate these issues.
    Last edited by Sonja; 09-11-2014 at 23:33.

  2. #2
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    Thanks a lot for replying. You are a wise woman so I value your views.

    I think what she's being exposed to now is pretty harmless in the scheme of life and I take comfort that she tells me. I probably just need to focus on keeping the lines of communication open between us at this stage. I was a bit taken aback though by her specific questions about how to handle these issues. I'm not ready to be the parent of a teen!!!

  3. #3
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    Feeling you! Due to 17 year old sil, im having to tackle a lot of issues with dd1 way too soon. She has asked me about drugs (what they are etc), boyfriends, also lots of issues like fake friends etc. I have to remind both dd1 and sil that she is only 7, not 17 like dd1 thinks she is. She idolises sil and sil does have a lot of positive influence on her BUT sil was brought up around things no child shouls see or even know about and there was never any supervision and she forgets that dd1 isnt like that.

    Dd1 is extremely mature and clicked on for her age, always has been. So I answer her questions honestly, we talk about things openly and I try to teach her how to make the right choices. There was an issue at school the other day, she was hanging out with some older girls who were fighting with another girl. These girls dd1 was hanging around convinced dd1 to spy on this other girl and 'report' back to them. Poor dd1 didnt know what to do so she pretended to 'spy' and then told the girls she didnt hear anything. We spoke about why that was wrong and that its ok to say no if you feel something isnt right, and that real friends dont do that and real friends dont make you do things you arent comfortable with. We also spike about how she would feel if someone did that to her and it helped get the message across.

    She knows a lot of things many kids her age probably wouldnt/shouldnt, she is a very aware kid and im not going to lie or brush her questions or concerns off just because she is too young. Age appropriate answers, yes. And we talk about how other kids parents might not want them knowing about that stuff yet because its for older kids to learn so she knows she doesnt go blabbing. Which she has been very good at following.

    I guess for me, the best thing I can do for both of us is keep communication open. She gets the answers or information she is wanting, and builds trust in me. I know she is getting accurate information and comfort knowing she is comfortable coming to me.

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