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A Little Help With Their Friends

 Your tween doesn't need you to set up playdates anymore, but when it comes to her friendships, your job isn't done. Being a friend is a skill, and your kid still needs your help, especially when she gets to middle school and finds that many of her friends are in different classes. Three ways you can lend a hand:

Keep tabs for her. You may have to remind your child that, say, she needs to reciprocate that sleepover she had last month, so she learns that she's also responsible for keeping up her friendships.
Work pals into family time. When her 12-year-old twins' sports and homework schedules left no time for having friends over, Mitzie Cherkowsky of New Hope, PA, suggested that each bring a friend to the other's games. The triple play? The non-playing twin wouldn't be bored on the sidelines, he could spend time with a friend, and he could show his support for his sib's team.
Get her away from the computer (and cell!) When your daughter discovers texting, she may want to do it all the time to keep up with her pals. Remind her that it's face time that counts the most. Tell her it teaches her how to decipher body-language clues, which is impossible to do over the computer -- even with emoticons.

 

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