close ad

Clothes Calls: Your No-Tears Shopping Guide!

Piggy bank with money
Enlarge Image

Motherboard Moms are all about talking with their older kids about budget so that they can set their children's spending expectations, and encourage them to pitch in if they want something above and beyond their limits.

Put (some) power in her hands. It's a small thing, but if you purchase a gift card for your tween so she can shop at her favorite retailer, you're giving her some (needed) freedom. Keep the amounts low (say $50) and explain the ground rules, i.e., she's free to spend the entire amount on one item (no comment, mom) or wait for items to go on sale when she'll get more for her money. Work with her on her budget, stressing that she should look for items that are versatile and will last throughout the year, rather than purchasing one item that's trendy. Explain that she won't be able to ask for more money to spend at this retailer. Once you've had this discussion, let it go. "She's ultimately going to buy what she wants to buy," Sutton says.

Encourage your tween to help out. Now's the perfect time to encourage your kids to take on some extra chores to pay for all the items on their back-to-school lists. Suggest that your child wash the car, mow the lawn (if he or she's old enough) and help take groceries into the house. "Even though summer is almost over, it's not too late for older kids to do some extra babysitting to pay for a new outfit or two," says Sutton.

Tell Us What You Think
What's the strangest thing your child ever wore to school?

Spidey jammies? Toe socks? A teeny-tiny mini?