Archive for the ‘The Tween Years’ Category

The “S” Word

Monday, August 31st, 2015

talking to kids about sex
*Quick heads up: This post is about sex. Read at your own level of comfort.

I was 11 years old when George Michael told everyone he wanted our sex. I remember it clearly. As soon as George’s first note hit our car’s antenna, my mom turned the station. She was lighting fast. I still marvel at her reaction time. How did she know? But even with deft censoring, my curiosity was piqued. I had already heard the song somewhere—either at a friend’s or on the bus or anywhere pop music was played—so I wondered why my mom turned the station so fast. Why didn’t she want me to hear about wanting someone’s sex? And what was sex anyhow?

Experts agree we should start talking to our kids about sex at younger ages than we think. But how young are we talking here? My husband and I were forced to have the talk when our daughter heard from a kid on the bus how babies were made. “He said it’s when the mom and dad rub their private parts together.” She was in first grade. I know, some of you are feeling very uncomfortable right now. (more…)

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The Tween Years | Easing Back to School Anxiety

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

tips for easing back to school anxiety

As our tweens begin a new school year, many of them are a ball of emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety to terror! Here are some tips that can help ease your tween’s back to school anxiety—whether they are starting a new school or a new grade. (more…)

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Tween Style + HP Sprout = Design Your Own Teeshirt

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

This post is sponsored by Sprout® by HP

The thing I notice about having tweens is that their sense of individuality kicks into high gear. It’s pretty incredible to watch. It also brings back strong memories (e.g., peg-leg rolls, big bangs, and a regrettable pair of burlap shorts). I’m incredibly fond of those memories, even if I look back at pictures and wonder, What in the world was I thinking?! Going through those moments of self-expression were critical to both my development and my self-esteem. It makes sense, because allowing kids to express their individuality is key in helping them develop a positive self image.

It’s interesting to see how my kids’ generation uses art and technology to express themselves. For instance, our daughter recently spent an afternoon designing her own teeshirt using the HP Sprout. She started with a sketch, then gathered materials. She used the overhead camera to take pictures of her materials and manipulated them to create a collage. It was super simple and I sincerely love that the HP Sprout allows users to blend handwork with digital capture. Watch the video above to see how she did it…

You’ll Need: (more…)

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A Letter to My Kids

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015


Before I get to this letter, there are some things I want to say. I’ve never been the type of blogger who wrote an open letter to her kids. Maybe I didn’t have the words. Or maybe I needed the distance between parenting little kids to where I am now. Whatever the reason, today, thank you for allowing me to be that type of blogger…

Where have the years gone. It’s hard for me to believe that I have been a mother for more than a dozen years now.

Once you relied on me for everything, now you are capable of so much on your own. I see it in our interactions. Our relationship has deepened. (more…)

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Summer Activities for Tweens

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

a great list of activities for tweens this summer

Summertime is upon us and if you’ve got a tween you might be wondering how summer will unfold compared to years past. Tweens are in a funny in between spot where we aren’t comfortable having them go off on their own all day with friends, and yet they aren’t as excited for summer camp, or maybe they’ve even outgrown some of the summer camp options in your area. As much as my tween and teen would spend all their summer days playing foosball and air hockey, or glued to their iPads, I want more from summer for them. I’ve put together a few ideas to investigate in your own area to keep your tween busy, and yet still help them enjoy their summer experience. (more…)

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Tween Gift Guide for Graduations

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

tween gift guide for graduations

Graduation season is just around the corner. Tweens will be leaving elementary school and starting middle school. Middle school teens will be heading off to high school! And high school students will be off to college or work! Even if your tween may not be graduating, if they’re anything like my children, they might have their eye on something special as they finish up the school year. We’ve put together a tween gift guide to help with ideas for this special season. (more…)

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Text Speak – A Guide To Understanding WTH UR Kids R Saying

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

text speak a printable guide to understand wth your kids r saying

Have you ever picked up your tween’s phone and tried to decipher what in the world they were attempting to communicate through a text? Or maybe you received a text from them and couldn’t make heads or tails of the acronyms. Well, the good news is you aren’t alone. The bad news is that you have to become bilingual to understand ‘txtspk’, or ‘text speak’ for all you beginners. (more…)

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The Great Homework Debate

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

the great homework debate

Recently, I’ve seen quite a bit of debate about homework and the effects it has on our children. Just in the past week I’ve read this newspaper article, and upon doing further research, I found this Stanford news article equally interesting.

I have to admit, as a parent I feel strange when my teenager or my tween comes home with no homework. I ask, “Well, did you do it all in class?” or “Any project you can work ahead on?” Instead, I probably should be savoring those days and letting them enjoy their free time without interrogation. I was raised with the perception that All homework is good homework! Homework is necessary! You won’t learn without homework!

My seventh grader attends a progressive school where they do not believe that all homework is good. In fact, their view is that an aggressive approach to homework can result in a negative view of learning in general. That’s right, homework may cause kids to hate learning. (more…)

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