My motto is: Teach them everything you want them to know before they are 10 (or 11). You've got 10 years to instill good manners, healthy communication, morals, values, a work ethic, self reliance and a lovingly well bonded relationship. Then prepare yourself for a new role and a different relationship.
I think the tween years are a wake up call for parents as much as for our kids. We suddenly realize, 'uht oh, things are starting to get different', our child is growing up but they're still a kid. Tweens struggle with their own realizations and fears about growing up. The internal struggles both parents and children go through during this time can cause a lot of conflict and misunderstandings.
This topic needs it's own website. Fortunately there are some already out there so I don't need to reinvent the wheel, (I have enough on my hands) but I believe in what they are trying to do. Yauzzle.com has all kinds of info on all types of topics related to parenting teens and pre-teens. Decode the text messages and current slang as well as get relevant researched info about teens attitudes and habits in today's culture.
Another one is called Radical Parenting, and the tag line is "Parenting advice written by kids" (should be "teens"). I wont say that I agree with everything on this website because I have not read all of it yet. However, what I have read and heard is very good because it's mostly about bridging the communication gap, helping parents and teens understand and respect each other.
Now On A Real Hot Topic!
How to talk to your kids about Love and healthy relationships.
Here is a great place to start:
Relationships101.org - Not only is this website a wonderful resource of information for you as a parent in educating your children, it may be helpful in your own relationships. Love, relationships and sustaining a happy and healthy marriage in today's society is not easy, even for the best of parents. There are so many practical and helpful tips on this site, on a wide range of topics, I can't begin to describe it, check it out for yourself. Great video content on this page: http://relationships101.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=180&Itemid=99
Love & sex is a delicate issue many parents find themselves procrastinating about. Here is a young man who's telling it like it is, he touches on the heart of the matter. I encourage you to listen to the things he's saying about how casual sex and popular culture affect the heart and mind of both men and women. Regardless of your religious beliefs (or lack of) this young man tells the truth about the damages of casual sex, and that what we are really seeking is a committed relationship of true love.