It’s so easy to look at the changing face of our tweens, the seeming demise of our relationship with them or to focus on the mood swings from both the boys and girls. It is easy to concentrate on the negative.
But, there are so many positive aspects to the changes in our little humans as they move from childhood to the tween stage.
Inspired by a recent viewing of one of my all time favourite flicks, Ten Things I hate About You, I’ve formulated a list of the things I love about this phase*:
- The independence. Whilst it’s difficult to let go and watch your children want to fly solo from the family nest, it also means that as parents, we gain more free time. WIN!
- The strong sense of style. Miss11 knows what she likes and will finally – FINALLY – take care of the clothes she loves. They are the only pieces not in her floordrobe.
- The love of sleep. This is something I never anticipated in a household where the children wake at 6am despite what time they go to bed – yes, even on New Years Day.
- The understanding of consequences. My nephew is a keen sportsman, and since moving into the tween years he has really taken to caring for himself with the understanding that it will help him on the field and on the court. Although this one doesn’t help with hygiene unfortunately, that doesn’t kick in until the late teen years I believe!
- Keener knowledge of the value of a dollar. Now this is one of my favourite things! Miss11 now asks for chores and offers to ‘babysit’ so she can earn a few extra dollars to buy something that Zoella recommended on Youtube.
- A new love of grooming. Whilst this doesn’t always equate to hygiene (see above) I’ve noticed that the grooming dial has been turned up significantly. Her hairbrush has never seen so much action!
- An inquisitive mind. Although I’ve enjoyed every stage with my kids for different reasons, and they’ve always been inquisitive, things have changed in the tween years. We can talk about world events, politics and religion and her thirst for knowledge seems to have grown.
- The subtle love. We went through a short stage of me insisting on ‘lips and noise’ when my tween would begrudgingly wave her pursed lips somewhere near my cheek for a kiss. I insisted that a kiss must include both lips on my cheek plus noise. Now we’re past that and although she’s not overtly affectionate, I notice the subtle love.
- Sharing books. We have a rule in this house that we have to read the book before seeing a movie. Paper Towns is the latest. The tween phase means that we can now share certain books and then chat about them. You all know about my love of reading so this is one of my favourite things I love about my tween.
- The arguing. Now stay with me on this one, it’s not the arguments per se, but the fact that she comes up with such clever defences to her stuff ups. My tween often has me in stitches or having to agree with her when she justifies certain behaviours with a valid or humorous defence.
Next time your tween is driving you batty, take a deep breath and remember that it is these things that test us, that will also shape them to be strong, competent adults.
*remember it IS a phase, this too shall pass!
What’s one thing you love about your tween?