Balancing Family and Friends

by Bridget A. Nelan

Tweens typically want to hang out with friends every weekend, so setting ground rules can help a tween learn to balance family time and her social calendar.

One mother sets a clear expectation. "If my child asks to have a friend over with the friend standing next to her, the answer is always no." If asked ahead of time, she’ll consider it. Her tween learns to respect Mom’s time and her decision.

To accommodate this need for friendship and allow for family time, some families let children invite friends — one per child — to outings. Others alternate every Saturday between letting their tween have a friend over and going to a friend's house.


This article appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Thriving Family. It was reprinted from the May 2008 issue of Focus on Your Child Tween Ages, originally titled "Set Boundaries." Copyright © 2008 by Bridget A. Nelan. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.


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