What is a tween?!

Did you guys know I apparently have a tween? Do ya’ll even know what a tween is? Because I had to look it up.

My 9 year old daughter, who will be 10 in few short weeks came home not too long ago and informed me that she is indeed a tween.

My first thought was tween? I mean, I’m just guessing that this is some sort of time frame between being a little girl and a teenager.. which I still think should be referred to as “little girl” but of course I’m biased since we are talking about my little girl.

Second thought was.. what the heck does this mean? Am I to expect teenager like hissy fits already? Because I’m not ready, I need more time to prepare! And truthfully she shouldn’t be ready either! She’s too young! This is happening too fast! Ok, so that’s more than two thoughts…

I did what every parent does in this wonderful age of technology and googled it. Side note – Am I the only one who thinks it is kind of sad that sometimes our first thoughts are to google stuff instead of calling our parents who have gone through the same things we are as parents now?? Anyway I looked into it. It’s a thing. One site said a tween is between ages 8-14. What?!

Why would an 8 year old be considered a tween? Why did my 9 year old come home and tell me this? Who made this up? Or am I just out of the loop? It freaked me out.

See, in my mind, 9 year old little girls should be playing with dolls and not worried about liking boys or makeup or anything like that. In my humble opinion, TV and society in general are partly to blame for this. I mean I love Disney channel as much as the next parent (ok I love Disney probably more than most – I’m a little obsessed) BUT look at the clothes these kids are wearing and the makeup. I mean kids! With their stockings and short shorts and makeup and heels etc. Take a walk back to the 90s when I was a kid and look at the difference in just how kids are presented on these TV shows.

Why does everyone want our little kids to grow up so fast? Doesn’t everyone realize how important and how precious childhood really is? Kids need to be kids for as long as they can. We only get one childhood and in the scope of our lives the kid years are very short.

Childhood is magical and it should be. Kids should be allowed down time to play outside and use their imaginations. They should have fun and believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny and fairies. It’s a wonderful time when they don’t have to be stressed about anything, money, or bills, or jobs. They get to just be and let their parents provide whatever is needed.

So now I’m presented with this tween-like mentality in which my 9 year old wants to be a grown up and I have to fight against it. Not because I don’t want her to grow up (even though, lets be real, I would have rather her stay 4 forever) but because she shouldn’t try to grow up before she is ready AND she should revel in her childhood since it will not last much longer.

I know I’m in danger of sounding like my own parents when I now hear myself saying things like “back in my day”… But I really do believe tween frame of mind is a little much!

Am I crazy? Am I making something out of nothing? I don’t know, probably. I do know as my little girl starts to make her way into adolescence I will be there along the way because there’s nothing I can do to stop it but I want her to be prepared as well as prepare myself! What I can do is slow it down and not rush this transition stage before its necessary.

You can’t replace your childhood or do it over, ever.. so I’m letting my little ones be little while I can. 🙂

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