So you got through the teething, terrible twos and the trauma of them starting school and things settled down into a good routine. Then, boom, you hit the Tween Years! Your child reaches the in-between stage of their development, when they are no longer a child but not yet a teenager. This can happen anytime between the ages of 8 and 12, leaving everyone feeling a little shell-shocked!
Here are 16 reasons you know you have a tween in the house
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#1. Sarcasm is Everywhere
They have suddenly (almost overnight) developed an extremely good understanding and ability to employ sarcasm. You can except plenty of it, peppered throughout sentences, and regularly used in response to a simple request.
#2. You Get ‘The Look’
The eyes widen, and roll up, they let out a loud sigh and the head shakes sadly every time you open your mouth. Welcome to the Tween years!
And trust me – your own ‘look’, which was often enough to stop them in their tracks, no longer works! You can now expect to feel more exasperated, a lot more often.
#3. I Can’t Hear You
Your tween will mutter stuff under their breath. Especially if given instructions that involve cleaning. A simple “please clean your room” can elicit a “why don’t you clean yours?” or worse still, “make me” muttered under their breath with a great deal of sarcasm (see #1).
#4. You Are the Worst
You will be ‘the worst’ many times during the tween years. The worst Mum or Dad, the worst spoilsport as, of course, everybody else’s parents allow them to go there, do and watch what they want, stay up later, get Snapchat, TikTok, etc.
#5. That’s So Unfair
Expect to hear this phrase plenty during the Tween years. A bit like you are the worst, your tween will feel you are stopping them doing what everyone else is allowed to do.
In reality, everyone else is not allowed to do/go/see, so when you decide something is not suitable, stay firm.
#6. Get Out
Just leave me alone. Your tween will not always want you in their space. As they grow they want more privacy and independence, and you can expect doors to be closed, and even perhaps locked, in your face! Respect this but make sure they know you are there if they need you.
#7. You Have Tissues on Hand at All Times
As the hormones rage through your tweens body they become more emotional, crying easily at things that make no sense to you.
From the plot of a film to a maths problem, sometimes it just feels too much for them. Comfort them as best you can and listen to their issues.
#8. You’ve Turned into Your Parents
The first time I uttered “you are not going out in that” is when I realised I was turning into my Mum. Your tween will experiment with their look as they try to get their own individual style. Remember just because it is not what you would choose does not make it wrong!
#9. Showering & Body Odour
As your tween develops they may need to shower more often and may need to use deodorant. Whatever you do, do NOT make a big deal about this. Just include some in the weekly shop and leave in their bedroom.
You no longer have a problem getting them to take a shower either, the issue now is getting them out of it!
#10. Hair Products on Weekly Shop
If you have a boy tween, it is most likely that they have now taken a liking to gel, and they just can’t seem to comprehend your advice that ‘a little goes a long way’. Tubes of hair gel are now being sneaked in to your shopping trolley on a weekly basis.
#11. Mornings No Longer a Quick Dash
More time is now been spent on school mornings in front of the bathroom mirror, than they did in the entire last 10 years. Now if only we could get those boys to put down the seat, flush and wash their hands while they’re in there!
#12. Shoe Wardrobe
It’s no longer cool to only have one pair of runners, a choice is now definitely required. And none of these branded babies seem to come cheap! On the plus side, they are now often more willing to do extra chores in return for getting these oh-so-cool Vans/Converse/popular brand of the schoolyard.
#13. Head Phones Seem Attached to Them
They walk around constantly with headphones on, which now appear to be surgically attached to their ears. Learn the art of sign language – you will need it to communicate with them at this time.
#14. Easily Misunderstood
Be careful what you say, your tween will pick out the negative phrases and focus on those. For instance a simple request “Can I help you what that?” can be met with “What, so you think I can’t do it?”
#15. Opposite Sexes
All of a sudden they have nothing to say to those classmates of theirs of the opposite sex, despite knowing them since they started school at 4!
#16. You Get Lots More Hugs
It is not all bad news your tween will often just want a big hug from you. In fact, tweens can often look for more hugs than they did in the preceding years. But take note, definitely not in front of their pals – this is a definite no-no!
Remember this is only a stage of growing up. Have patience and stay calm, they don’t really mean it. Your tween will come out the other side and with your help, will thrive and you will become good friends again.
Have boundaries and stick to them but remember your tween is developing their personality and gaining their independence, adjusting to their bigger bodies.