The word grates when I attempt to say it out loud. I feel like I am living in a bad sitcom every time I hear it, but it seems to be the most accurate term to describe my oldest kids right now. They are ten (twins) and while they are not yet teenagers, they are also not little kids any more, and yet they often seem to show traits from both!
They are definitely in-beTWEEN.
What is a Tween or Tweenager? What Age Is a Tween?
The definition of ‘tween’ varies, with some using it describe children aged 10-14 years, some 8-12 years and others who use it only to describe girls… but I think the most accurate definition of a tween or ‘tweenager’ is any child, boy or girl, aged 9-13 years.
Regardless of how you define it, what is certain is that children in this age range are going through a lot of changes and, as a result, we might also need to rethink our own approach, now that we are parenting tweens.
Tween Changes and Development
Physically tweens are growing rapidly and approaching puberty with all the hormones and physical changes that go along with it.
Their brains are also going through a rapid period of growth and development. They are now capable of more abstract and complex thinking and of using deductive reasoning to successfully anticipate consequences.
Socially they are moving away from their parents and family being the centre of their world, and becoming more and more influenced by their peers. Peer pressure and other friend issues may become important as they become more aware of ‘fitting in’.
At this age children are capable of more complex emotions, and coupled with worry about what others think, this can make them quite sensitive.
Tweens are busy developing a sense of self, and trying to figure out ‘who they are’, but they can also have very fragile self-esteem. They are often eager to take on more responsibility and independence, even if they are sometimes unsure about it.
All these changes see us parents facing kids who can be moody, angry, anxious, confused, grown up and still oh so little.
But it’s not all bad!
More complex thinking means that tweens are able to think through their actions, see potential consequences before they occur and make changes to their behaviour…at least sometimes!
Eagerness to be independent means that are capable of taking on more responsibilities around the home and being generally more responsible for themselves.
And above all, our tweens still need us parents, so now is the time to strengthen relationships and build connections.
Do you have a Tween? What is the hardest thing about living with tweens? What is the best thing?