Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why You've Gotta Love Your Tween

Parenting Magazine had a great article about why you've gotta love your tween. I have to admit, I was dreading these years, but now that we are in the thick of them, I am finding the tween and early teen years to be a lot of fun. Here are the reasons given in the magazine, along with some photo illustrations, just in case you are a visual learner like me!
Why you've gotta love your tween.
"The good news: You have a new buddy. The tween years provide endless opportunities to bond on a deeper level than you did when your child was little."

"You're past the do-everything stage. When the tween years come around, it's exhilarating to be free of the drudgery that comes with parenting small children... the day to day stuff is much easier."

"He gets the jokes. Your tween will love sharing a whole new level of wit - puns, wordplay, sarcasm.... Laugh along with your tween; some of the sweetest bonding times come from sharing inside jokes and offbeat references."

"He wants to help. When tweens take on a project, it's all or nothing... Let them know how proud you are of their kindness and generosity, and do everything in your power to help them act on it."

"His friends are hysterical. Sure, a group of tweens can get loud and squirrelly, but you're privy to some of the most off-the-wall conversations ever. Carpooling with tweens is a world unto itself." (I can attest to this - I heard in the backseat of my van yesterday, "Feel my Butt Fire!" OK, sure they were playing a game of some sort, but not the kind of thing you hear, say, when having lunch with a grown up friend, right?)

"He's interesting. Tweens develop passions and hobbies, whether it's basketball, Wii games or musical theater. .... I have a fairly good understanding of the 11 year old male mind. Obsessive collecting - video games, Bakugan, songs from iTunes - is the norm."
My tween's interests? I think you can tell, he loves gymnastics. And don't get me started on Bakugan! We are still going through that one with the teenager!

So, if you have a younger child and you are nervous about the upcoming tween years - fear not! Just be sure to keep your camera handy and be ready to take all the embarrassing photos you will need for blackmail. Because sooner or later the tween years will have passed and you will have a full fledged teenager. You might need the blackmail then.
A big thank you to Parenting Magazine and Charlotte Latvala (the author of the article.)

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