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5 Survival Skills to Teach Your Tween

Show these strategies to your tween so she can defend herself against gossip and rumors.

Learning Benefits

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Social Skills

Tweens are trying to make their mark, and there is often a constant undercurrent of competition as they attempt to be top dog — or, at the very least, not end up on the bottom. Gossip mongering and spreading rumors are typical and time-honored battle tactics. Your child can use these strategies to defend herself:  

  1. Avoid the victim role Suggest your child use an assertive phrase, such as, "Yes, this is happening to me, and it's teaching me stuff, like how to stand up to the real losers around here!"  
  2. Focus on the positive. Suggest that when she feels down or betrayed, she write down her strong points and successes and the names of friends who have been loyal and kind.
  3. Be true to yourself. Help her develop and feel good about her values, so she can stand her ground with confidence.
  4. Know what makes a good friend. Together create a checklist of qualities that describe either a good friend or a bad one. It can help your child to actively distinguish between the two and be less vulnerable.
  5. Understand the motivation. Explain why some children at this stage of life may need to target others.

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