May 2, 2018


We always figured “tween” was marketing speak for stuff with glitter on it. But 9-12 year olds actually have different brains than younger kids. And then sometimes they like stuffed animals still. Here’s how parents can deal with the whiplash.

We always figured “tween” was a catch-all marketing term for stuff with glitter on it. But since today’s kids are going through puberty earlier than ever, the years between 9 and 12 can be plenty rocky. And then sometimes stuffed animals still. It’s a mix.

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, says it’s important that we parents not take our tweens’ sudden withdrawal as rejection:

All too often parents personalize some of the distance that occurs and misinterpret it as a willful refusal or maybe oppositional behavior.

In other words: sometimes tweens ask for love in the tweeniest of ways.

In this episode, we discuss:

how the way 9-11 year olds think actually changes from when they were younger

the importance of establishing a new-ish relationship with what Juliann Garey calls an “updated version of your kid”

how to read between the “get away from me Mom” lines

and why Margaret says parenting is like building a boat.

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