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The Tween Years

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The Tween Years – Bullying, Independence and More

Yep I have a tween and in fact with her 12th birthday fast approaching this will be her last year as a tween and then she’s, gasp a teen-ager! Sometimes just the thought of mention of the term “tween” brings up images of fashion eager but not always fashion smart, Selena Gomez or One Direction hordes of screaming girls, Hunger Games readers, sometimes too much make-up from experimenting and so much more. tween years

The Tween Years

We might be surprised (or not) to find that today’s tweens are tech saavy, smart phone owning, gamers and a sought after demographic shoppers. I even read somewhere that almost 50 percent of tweens own a smartphone, that’s just mind boggling to me.

While my daughter doesn’t yet own a smartphone she comes close with her iTouch and let’s face it internet access so it’s become a fine balance of protecting her (which we’ll always do) and giving her some responsible independence. If you have children yourself then you know the joys and challenges that come along with every age. Some say oh the terrible two’s others it’s the teen years that are tough. But I say how about the difficulties of tween girls? The preteen years can be tough for them as well as for the parents. This is when they start wanting to be independent but not yet able to be on their own all of the time.

With that comes the hard part for us as parents to start letting them do more things on their own. It may be hard to imagine your baby girl staying home alone or even riding in the front seat. But it has to start at some point right? I mean well all wish we could keep them little forever but we know we can’t. Start the process with simple small things, like letting them stay home while you take a 15 minute trip to the store. This will allow them to develop their independence. We’ve started this but we waited until our daughter said she was comfortable with it. Now we’ve done up to two hours but we were still within 15 minutes of home. I’m not quite ready to be farther away than that 🙂Unfortunately, tween years are also when bullying can start to be even more prevalent (obviously it’s not exclusive to this age). Statistics have shown that this is more common with tween girls than with boys. We all wish there was some way to keep it from happening at all but know that is not possible. So just be sure to keep an open talking relationship with your child. Also, be mindful of their reactions. Some kids that are being picked on or bullied, shut down. If you notice things that are not normal for your child address it right away.

Just remember they are only going to be tweens for a short time so try and embrace it while you can. Trust me I know we will all miss these years later.

Feel free to comment below and let us know what has been your tween experience? Tips, advice, questions?

By on September 8th, 2013

About Powered by Mom

I’m Michelle aka Powered by Mom. I’m married with one daughter, my hubby was my high school sweetheart, our two dogs Nyx and Cleo and our cat Oliver. As you can see we’re a family of animal lovers. We love to travel when we can, try different food and activities all over the world and enjoy being together. My passions are writing, travelling, creating new recipes, encouraging people to adopt not shop and just to enjoy life while we can.

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61 thoughts on “The Tween Years”

  1. Bullying is such a hurtful thing to anyone especially a child! It’s so sad that this goes on. I do think the schools etc are getting more aware of this and taking it serious now. ..which is headed in right direction. Enjoyed this blog, ty

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  2. I have a 13 year old daughter that was beat up by a group of boys at schools. I was so mad I switched her schools. I have two girls and its scary as they get older because your not always there to help them anymore.

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  3. Kids are so mean!!! My son is in a special class at school and gets made fun of by other students because he doesn’t really understand jokes or sarcasm…he thinks a lot of the times that the kids are laughing WITH him, when in fact they are not. It’s deeply upsetting for a mother to know that their child is being picked on…some of the situations have brought tears to my eyes!

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  4. I as well have a tween daughter and I love you outlook on the smart phone. My daughter as well don’t own a smartphone although as you said she does come close with texting apps and such with other devices. I am just struggling handing her a phone. I want the best for her and I don’t think phones do kids any good. I have seem far to much bad out weigh the good in your kids with phones! Enjoyed reading this post!!

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  5. I have a tween granddaughter and I am happy to say we have a great relationship. Not only can she go to her parents, but to her grandparents and she does. The bullying can come from teachers as well as students. My sweet one was slow to read because of dyslexia and the teachers made it so she hated school. My daughter and I home schooled her for 1 1/2 years before letting her go back and trying regular school again. This year is much better.

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  6. oh my 13! i don’t even want to think about what this will feel like. I have 3 kids. Oldest is 6. Just having her going full time to school blows my mind. Amazing how fast it goes!

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  7. My daughter now 13 was verbally bullied and now those people want to be friendly because my daughter has a big heart and was always nice to her, funny how she is one of the more popular kids now. She still doesn’t have an attitude now that she has a lot of friends

    Being yourself does pay off you young girls out there. Stay true to yourself and people will notice the great person you are in the end, so hang in there 🙂

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

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  8. The tween years are no fun for a girl. My kid was bullied, all through school, K – 12th. Her 2nd grade teacher suggested to the other kids that they throw rocks at her. TRUE STORY. I told the teacher I was gonna kick her you know what if she didn’t quit acting like one of the snotty kids. Looking back now, I should have put her in Catholic school. (And we’re not Catholic). Woulda, coulda, shoulda….all too late now.

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  9. We lived through them, but sometimes I wonder how. The world is both a scary and exciting place and my only advice is to be there for your kids when they need you and love them the best you can.

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  10. thank you for this article. I had a hard time growing up because I was shy and either too thin or too big. I was also sick a lot and missed a lot of school.

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  11. I only have one son, but he was bullied a little in middle school because he was chunky. He went through different stages of being thin, then chunky and it is not right that kids pick on any other kids no matter what the circumstances are. But, it does happen. I feel for all those who get bullied whether girl or boy.

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  12. I am lucky enough (or crazy… the verdict is still out) to have both a tween and a toddler and I have to say the tween years and the terrible twos are pretty close in there abilitiy to make mom nuts! My tween daughter has the most mind-boggling mood swings I have ever seen and I swear she can go from acting like a 2 year old to acting like a 20 year old in about 3 seconds flat!

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  13. I would like to make another post about this bullying. What do you do about it. My 16 yr old niece is having some serious problems with a old boyfriend and his new girlfriend. She hasn’t even seen him in a year and was only a short time they even dated if you can call it that, They went to the skating rink when we went together a few times, These 2 are relentless the GF writes on the bathroom walls about her nasty. She walks in front of her real slow and wont let her pass. Calls her names constantly and today the boy called her a retard. Im fed up and short of calling the cops and having them out to the school Id like to know what to do. Just so ya get the idea of what Im dealing with the GF got kicked off the cheerleading Squad cause she was so mean to the other girls. The school wont do anything about these 2 and I am at a loss.

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  14. (The Tween Years – Bullying, Independence & More) These years can be hard for tween girls. I wish there was not such a big problem with this in the schools, but there is. It is not nice to be mean to anyone.

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  15. Being a parent is hard … Any time your child is upset you just want to fix any problem they have … I love being a mommy .. I would do anything for my children … 6 boys 1 girl

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  16. I have a 13 yr old grandson who was bullied year before last. Last year he was home schooled as the school district he is in did nothing to stop the bullying, Great article .

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  17. The tween years are so challenging. The most important thing is communication with your kids. Finding ways to help them open up to you is key.

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  18. I had a really hard time with my son getting his driver’s licensce. I think I cried everyday for 2 weeks. I still worry about him of course. But he is 17 years old, goes to school full time and works. I am so proud of him but it is so hard to let go.

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  19. Even though girls can be cruel when it comes to bullying, never forget that guys get bullied too. When boys are bullied, they often try to hide it because they are embarrassed. Buys have self esteem issues, too ya know! So when you check in with your daughter, don’t forget to see what’s going on in the little man’s life as well!

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  20. The best thing that we parents can do is to keep the line of communication open. We need to ask them about their day and we need to listen, Let your children know that you are always there for them if they have a question or if something is bothering them.

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  21. URGH…the tween years are so difficult. They don’t feel like a little kid anymore and yet they don’t quite fit into being a teen. They want to still play kid games at times yet they want to fit in and be cool. Thank you for this great post!

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  22. I have 1 tween boy at age 12 and another…full-on teen boy at 14. It’s challenging. I think constant, open communication is key. They don’t want to talk and share as much at this age…but as parents I think we need to find creative ways to make that communication keep flowing.

    I think boys are a bit easier. My 8 year old daughter will likely be much more of a challenge once she hits the tween years.

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  23. I really enjoyed this post. It is hard to let your little ones be independent. My son is 14 and I still have trouble with him doing things on his own. Not that I don’t trust him necessarily, I don’t trust others with my kids.

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  24. I will have a tween next month. I am thankful that both my husband and I have a good relationship with her. I didn’t have the best with my parents and so I have made a point to make it better with her. She has a great relationship with her Dad and she is able to talk to him about anything. She has dealt with bullying already that started in 4th grade, thankfully her school doesn’t tolerate bullying and we were able to work with the school to resolve it. There is so much more of it now a days and it seems to keep getting worse. I hate seeing any kid getting bullied/picked on!

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  25. Such a sad state of affairs when you have to protect your children from small minds that do so much damage.
    These are the formative years. Makes you wonder what are we forming!
    Love them too much! And let the kids know you do! For whatever your beliefs are…instill them with compassion and strength.
    This is a task we can all succeed at 🙂

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  26. Raising ‘tweens” is a hard job. I made it through 4 of them. Bully is a real problem. As a former teacher and a parent it is of upmost importance to the welfare and safety of your tween to “nip it in the bud” immediately. Safety and self esteem are most important!

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  27. Schools should listen when bullying is reported – it is a serious issue. Kids do it for stupid reasons. We need to start building our kids confidence in themselves way before they get to them tween years. I had all boys no bullying issues but they dealt with alot of peer pressure at that age.

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  28. my kids are grown an have thier own kids…the challenges kids today face are sooooo hard…making it harder is the economy because most families have both parents working an spending less time with the kids

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  29. Every year brings new joys , new fears and always responsibilities and questions on how to raise children.. We have to keep the lines of communication open and hope the child will always be willing to talk to us.

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  30. A very lovely, informative article. I’ve also always believed in staying right behind my child through each of the growing years and even closer during the tougher ones. The best thing is, it worked.

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  31. I have 5 kids and 4 of those are girls. All but the 3 year old is past the tween and teen years. I have to say I was fortunate to not have too much trouble with them. I am more worried now with the 3 year old and wondering if she will get bullied, I think things have gotten a little more scary these days and now that we are not in a small city in the country anymore, it’s just different. Bigger schools, a lot more kids. I think we just need to talk to them often and show and tell them all the time how much they are loved and cared for. And pray for them daily

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  32. My grandson went through be bullied in elementary school and is now in his tweens and it’s over. I am so happy that it ended without any trauma. He’s a great kid and has a good support system. He has an iPod and a phone so if he is in trouble he will have one to use from now on to contact someone.

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  33. When I got that age my mom handed me a book explaining the changes in my body and moods and what happens and why when I get my period. I had the talk with my daughter at a younger age and she has had the talk with my grandaughters. As far as getting phones etc she is leaving that to when she think they are ready to be responsible enough to have one.

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  34. Our kids grow fast and this is the time to build their confidence and make them feel good to be in their own skin. There’s no competition, and no need to have insecurtities.

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  35. The tween years are difficult at best. They’re trying to figure out who they are and dealing with peer pressure. I wish kids wouldn’t bully one another Period! I think they do it for some warped sense of power. Obviously, the bully is very insecure.

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  36. My daughter is almost 11 and loves her technology. I have had to limit her to an hour a day on hers because she would be on it all day if she could

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  37. My niece is only 6 and she’s been bullied since she started school 2 years ago.

    The principle would get my sisterinlaw so angry and p.o’d would it saying my niece was lying. Same principle made excuses about my nephews severe peanut allergy as well; not believing it, etc. Whenever my SIL would call the school the principle would never be there..during school hours…and never call back. My SIL went to the school board many times and the principle would get mad at her and nothing ever got done.. the bully is on the same bus an the bus driver yells at my niece.

    It’s crap. But thankfully the principle was replaced this year and the new one is very kind and considerate [the way a principle should be].

    But anyways. I feel so sorry for kids growing up these days… youtubes, viral videos, facebook..phone cameras everywhere.. nothing is sacred or private anymore and anything you do anywhere could be posted. One silly thing done at a private party could be plastered all over facebook and set to everyone in the school.

    It’s crazy.

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  38. I have 3 daughters and I have to say it really is a milestone when girls turn 13. In fact, my husband and I use to tease; isn’t there somewhere you can send them out until they turn 19? Somehow we got through the teenage yrs.They are all grown up and in their YA phase which interesting as well… By the way we went through a VERY scary bully situation with my middle daughter in her freshman yr. Some girls were “after her” and they made constant verbal and written (through notes), threats. They told her they would beat her up after school, but never said when or where and warned her to “watch her back”. One girl sent brother to our home to pass a “message” and that is when I had enough. I called the high-school and spoke with the counselor who deals with bullying and he said these situations NEVER end well. Someone ends up in the hospital. That it wouldn’t stop until then or they found someone else to harass. He wanted names and I just couldn’t give them because my daughter begged me not to. He called her in the office the following day and tried to get it out of her. She was SO scared. My daughter wore braces and I actually had nightmares of them hitting her in the mouth and what a bloody mess it was. These girls were twice as big and reputed to be violent. I wish I could say we handled it correctly, but looking back… I just don’t know. I felt scared that I would make a decision that would get my daughter harmed worse. Eventually they stopped and moved on to another target. What was the reason they taunted her? One of the girls saw my daughter “look” at her boyfriend. She didn’t even know WHO her BF was! Sounds CRAZY, doesn’t it?

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  39. I have a teen AND a tween. All of this technology makes it hard for a parent to protect their children from things they should not be exposed to yet.

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  40. Even though times have changed drastically compared to our tween days, the basic thrills and pains remain the same. It will always be about crushes, peer pressure and fitting in. My heart goes out to the Tweens who tend to struggle, but my sympathies really lie with the parents who must endure all those trials and tribulations of their child’s growth.

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  41. I never had a daughter, but I do have a granddaughter and I worry about these things all the time. I know that all we can do it be there for them and LISTEN to what they do and don’t say. Sometimes it’s what they don’t say that is the loudest comment. <3 both of my Grandkiddos!!

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  42. I know where your coming from shooo they grow fast. All we ccan do is be supportive and know its important to be a parent but also remember to be their friend. Guidance is what were best at Im guess so we better refresh some skills lol

    Reply

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