What is a Tween?
A tween is short for tweenager and is generally between the ages of 9-12. I have an 8 year old and 12 year old in the house and can very much relate to the difficulties and positives. The “tween” years are between childhood and the teen years. It is all about adolescence. Here are some tips to help you identify the tween in your child.
What to Expect in the Tween Years
The body and mind of a tween are in total chaos as your child starts the transformation toward adulthood. Here are some tips to help you determine if your child is going through the challenges of his tween years and to let you know that you are not losing your mind.
The light at the end of the tunnel seems so far away
Not all children fall apart during the tween years. Some breeze through it with an optimistic mindset, the ability to face all obstacles and to bounce back. For others, it becomes one endless drama after another. It could be due to your child’s friends or lack of friends, or the endless fighting with his siblings. It feels like you never really get off the merry-go-round of his complaints, tears and anger.
Who are you and what have you done with my child?
It is very tempting to believe in the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. I watched as my child progressively changed into some other creature. If you take a look at most of the television programs directed toward tweens, they are full of unacceptable behavior. Having older siblings in the house only managed to morph him into a “mini-teenager” more quickly.
Your child may become a stranger to you or take on the personality of someone who may seem familiar. Check to see what he is exposed to – television, computer, music, friends and older siblings. It is a time when a tween is trying to find out who he is and who he wants to be like. Because he is so impressionable, the habits and mannerisms of other people – good or bad – rub off easily on him.
Anger, where did it all come from?
First, I want to let you know you are not alone. Where did this hurricane force temper come from? It pops up at the most unexpected times and even the most miniscule sound will cause it to erupt. You are now standing in his zero tolerance zone.
Talking in tongues
I look at my son as he explodes and goes on a rant. As I am about to respond, I find myself at a loss for words – simply because I do not understand what he is talking about. It is surreal to stand there and try to listen to the reasoning that in no way adds up. The more you try to understand, the more elusive the whole explanation becomes. The conversation is like trying to figure out a word puzzle in a maze. You try to grasp the gist of what he is saying but then he changes directions and you hit a wall again.
The endless tears of unexplained doom and gloom
As your child explodes for the third time this week, you wonder what great thing could have brought him to such misery. The thing is your child does not even know why and he may turn to you for the answer. Pray, read a lot of books, and articles and educate yourself on this particular emotional and developmental stage. Reassure your child that it is a step toward growing into an adult. It is a messy ride of emotions but he will get through it, and so will you.
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