The Tween Years – Bullying, Independence and More
Yep I have a tween and in fact with her 12th birthday fast approaching this will be her last year as a tween and then she’s, gasp a teen-ager! Sometimes just the thought of mention of the term “tween” brings up images of fashion eager but not always fashion smart, Selena Gomez or One Direction hordes of screaming girls, Hunger Games readers, sometimes too much make-up from experimenting and so much more.
The Tween Years
We might be surprised (or not) to find that today’s tweens are tech saavy, smart phone owning, gamers and a sought after demographic shoppers. I even read somewhere that almost 50 percent of tweens own a smartphone, that’s just mind boggling to me.
While my daughter doesn’t yet own a smartphone she comes close with her iTouch and let’s face it internet access so it’s become a fine balance of protecting her (which we’ll always do) and giving her some responsible independence. If you have children yourself then you know the joys and challenges that come along with every age. Some say oh the terrible two’s others it’s the teen years that are tough. But I say how about the difficulties of tween girls? The preteen years can be tough for them as well as for the parents. This is when they start wanting to be independent but not yet able to be on their own all of the time.
With that comes the hard part for us as parents to start letting them do more things on their own. It may be hard to imagine your baby girl staying home alone or even riding in the front seat. But it has to start at some point right? I mean well all wish we could keep them little forever but we know we can’t. Start the process with simple small things, like letting them stay home while you take a 15 minute trip to the store. This will allow them to develop their independence. We’ve started this but we waited until our daughter said she was comfortable with it. Now we’ve done up to two hours but we were still within 15 minutes of home. I’m not quite ready to be farther away than that 🙂Unfortunately, tween years are also when bullying can start to be even more prevalent (obviously it’s not exclusive to this age). Statistics have shown that this is more common with tween girls than with boys. We all wish there was some way to keep it from happening at all but know that is not possible. So just be sure to keep an open talking relationship with your child. Also, be mindful of their reactions. Some kids that are being picked on or bullied, shut down. If you notice things that are not normal for your child address it right away.
Just remember they are only going to be tweens for a short time so try and embrace it while you can. Trust me I know we will all miss these years later.
Feel free to comment below and let us know what has been your tween experience? Tips, advice, questions?