Tweenagers – They are there but just not yet

Tweenagers - They are there but just not yet

Tweens is that twilight zone in a child’s life when she is no longer a baby and not a teenager yet. Till a few years ago, we were blissfully unaware of this terminology but today we cannot afford to ignore it. These days most urban households are children centric so by the time they are around ten, they have a voice that’s heard and they have an opinion on everything that concerns them (or for that matter even if it doesn’t concern them) 

How do I know this? I have a tweenager in the house!! Although teens are still a few years away but I’m getting a glimpse of what to expect. Tweens are a dress rehearsal, a sort of prep for the dreaded teens. Being a doctor, the analogy that comes to my mind is that tweens are like vaccine. A vaccine is a miniature infection that helps body to develop a defense against the actual infection. Similarly tweens sensitize us so when teens hit us, we can mount a response. 

Its those years when on some days you have the your little baby as you know her, who needs to be hugged and cuddled and then there are days when she expects to be treated like an adult. One has to be smart enough to sense which day it is and be ready with the appropriate response. Try smothering the child against her wish and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. 

This is the time when the hormones are just about kicking in and mood swings start surfacing. The trouble is that all of us keep building our arsenal against teenage but are ignorant about tweens. So although our child has outgrown the baby phase, as parents we still haven’t evolved! 

So how do you deal with it? First step is to acknowledge its onslaught. Show her sensitivity, give her space and allow her to find herself. Be around so she knows you are within calling distance. Be the wind beneath her wings and be assured of your upbringing that wherever her flight takes her, like the homing pigeons, she’ll find her way home. Be sure to open your arms wide enough so she can rush over for that special hug. 

If you have tweens, tell me how you deal with them? What is it that you are doing differently than before to ensure a connect between you and your growing child? 

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