At the end of this year, our home will become Tween-less. My daughter turns 13 and is now well on her way to becoming a woman. I’m simultaneously sad (she’s no longer my baby) yet excited about helping her develop into an engaged and vital young woman.
This set me to thinking about the experiences Tweens* deserve before they depart childhood. So I compiled a simple list of 30 things I believe will engage them, fill them with wonder and set them in good stead to thrive during the next stage of their lives.
The list is in no particular order and it is impossible for it to be defined or finite. Many of the experiences should definitely be carried through into adulthood.
- Give and receive hug every day
- Do something kind with no expectation of recognition or reward
- Keep a journal
- Experience triumph
- Go to a classical music concert
- Form a friendship with someone at least 50 years older than themselves.
- Watch a horror movie and scare the tripe out of themselves
- Bite their fingernails and regret it
- Be bewildered but secretly thrilled by their first wet dream
- Hate their first period (but be relaxed and happy about the commencement of their journey into womanhood)
- Take public transport somewhere by themselves before the age of 13
- Fart with relish and not confess
- Experience disappointment
- Confound their parents with something related to technology
- Grow something
- Write a letter to someone
- Play an instrument. Whether this is done well or badly is irrelevant
- Relish and foster creativity
- Learn the value of patience and humility
- Take up a craft
- Try various cuisines from around the world
- Do a self-portrait
- Understand the value of unstructured play and relaxation
- Score (or save) a goal at some form of sport
- Go to a church service of their choice
- Understand and accept the fallibility of their parents
- Learn a language
- Pick their nose, eat it and decide that doing so is daft
- Have (and keep into adulthood) a favourite toy
- Look after a pet
What would you add to this list?
* For the purposes of this post, I’ve defined Tweendom as 8-12.
** Copyright image courtesy of Katrina Crook Photography
*** This post originally appeared in another format on Caro & Co.