Share article Understanding Today's Pre-Teens: Definition of Tween A tween is a child between the ages of 9 and 12. A tween is no lon ...
Definition of Tween
A tween is a child between the ages of 9 and 12. A tween is no longer a little child, but not quite a teenager. While a tween is not yet in the midst of adolescence, he or she will face a variety of obstacles in the next few years including transitioning from elementary school to middle school, approaching puberty, increasing responsibilities, increasing amounts of homework, and exposure to dangerous behaviors by their peers including drugs, sex, and more.
Tweens have an enormous spending power in the United States and are targeted by marketers for their money. It was the tween market that made Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, and Harry Potter household names. Many parenting experts believe today's tweens are growing up too fast, and are exposed to unhealthy doses of violence, sex, drugs, and other behaviors through television, video games, online games, and books.
Dramatic physical, mental, and social changes take place during the tween years. Many tween girls experience their first period around the age of 12, and brain development at that age is also dramatic for both tween boys and girls. Socially, tweens are under pressure to fit in and it is during these middle school years that tweens are most likely to face bullies and other social challenges.
Understanding Today's Tweens
Confident, savvy, and high-tech, they're followers of pop culture and know what social networking is all about. They're tweens, children between the ages of 9 and 12. These youngsters are no longer little kids, but they're not yet teenagers. Understanding your tween can be difficult at times, because tweens are in a constant state of transition.
The tween developmental stage is a difficult one for tweens and parents. In just under four years, most tweens will face middle school, puberty, and increasing responsibilities at home and elsewhere. These children also have to contend with changing friendships, changing family roles, peer pressure, drugs, and a whole lot more.
Parents of tweens can be just as confused about what is happening to their children as the tweens are themselves. Your daughter might snuggle up to you on the couch one day, the next day she's decided you're no longer needed. Your son may go out of his way to help you with the laundry, and then proceed to leave a pile of dirty dishes in the family room. Your normally polite child may add a few salty words to his vocabulary, and then try them out in front of your in-laws. Such is life with a tween.
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