Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Tweens - a whistle-stop tour

I have a guest post today from Sarah about a stage which I'm sure will come around faster than I am expecting it - being a Mum to tweens!

My name is Sarah and I’m mum to three growing kids – aged 11, 9 and nearly 7. I blog over at Mum of Three World writing about family and everything that affects us. If you like what you read here, pop over and join us. If you don’t, apologies, normal service will be resumed here tomorrow.

Tweens - a whistle stop tour

I’m the proud owner of two tweens, although I didn’t even realise I was at first. So what are tweens? Tweens are 9-12 year olds. A bit too old to be proper children, who enjoy toys and the like, but not yet teenagers (thank goodness!).

This is a whistle-stop tour of some of the things I’ve learned about tweens. My tweens are of the male variety, so I can only reflect on how these years affect boys.

Tweens - a whistle stop tour

Tweens are more independent. They are perfectly capable of making their own breakfast and putting their clothes away. Although whether they choose to is very much down to the individual! The good news is, they sleep longer than younger children. The bad news is, they also go to bed later and you find them under your feet in the evenings when you’re really ready for a break from them for the day.

They can be affectionate, child-like and cuddly and suddenly they go cool and they don’t want to know you. Then they will be back again for a cuddle. My 9 year old won’t let me kiss him at school to say goodbye, but will happily come for a cuddle at rugby when he’s cold or hurt.

The tween years can be great or they can be hard work. It’s all too easy as your children get older and a bit more independent to take your eye off them and just let them be. And before you know it, you’re left with couch potatoes with no interests and no motivation. This is something which is likely to happen in their teens anyway, so now is the time to put the work in to delay it.

My boys are like dogs that need to be let off the lead and have a run round. They enjoy their Wii games and watching the television, but too much of it turns them grumpy and argumentative.

Tweens don’t need toys, but they do need to be kept busy and interested. It might be Cubs and Scouts, or rugby or dancing or music. Preferably it should be more than one of them if you have the time and if you can afford it.

At the age of 9 or 10 (year 4 and 5 at school), your tween will still be recognisable as your child. But that all changes when they hit year 6. In year 6, kids get an attitude – it’s like the law. You can spot their swagger a mile off. They have an air of superiority which comes from a school full of little kids looking up to them and thinking they’re great or being scared of them.

It changes again when they go to secondary school. For some of them, the attitude grows further as they are now (in their heads) ‘better’ then their younger siblings. If they weren’t before, they are now concerned with what’s cool. Or they turn in on themselves and go introverted and quiet.

Either way, they are heading for puberty and the teen years fast. Your baby is well and truly grown up and your relationship will have a rocky few years ahead.

Tweens - a whistle stop tour

Thank you so much to Sarah for sharing this great post!


  1. Thanks very much for inviting me to do a guest post for you! :)

  2. 3 of our nephews are currently tweens and it's so true about when they hit year 6. Definitely get the swagger (ours are all boys too)

    1. That seems so far away for me yet, I'll definitely be looking out for it!

  3. Y6 comment true of girls too, I have 4 DDs, 2 are officially tweens but no-one has told the 9year old one yet, still a child :-)

    Not so sure about all the extra-curricular stuff if you have siblings to play with, we manage fine without and I don't want to start the taxi years before I need to! With no telly ours tend to draw, read, or build dens to play in. And a bit of squabbling too as normal.

    1. I look back on all the things that we did when we were younger, my poor parents driving us about all the time, I'm not looking forward to the taxi years!


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