I don’t know about you, but when my kids were young and acting a fool, people loved to tell me, “You think this is bad, just wait till they’re teenagers.” Now having 2 of our kids successfully out of the teen years, another one halfway through, and our youngest just entering the tween phase, I can tell you that warning is a load of crap. In my opinion, the teen years are a breath of fresh air compared to the gap referred to as the ‘tween years’ that usually runs from the ages of 8-13, or in my experience, the worst 5 years of parenting a child ever. Here’s why.
They’re not a teenager yet, but they want to be treated like one. They’re not a baby anymore, but they want to be treated like one. Which means that half the time they're screaming for their independence and the other half they’re trying to crawl onto your lap.
They make complete pests of themselves trying to be included in adult conversations and are oblivious to the body language of those adults who are desperate for them to scram.
They have no regard for personal space. Nada. Your toes are their stomping ground. Your bath time is their chance to corner you and you’re obviously sitting on the toilet so that they have your undivided attention.
The eavesdropping. OYE! Just because you don’t see them in the room, doesn’t mean they’re not hearing every word that’s said from wherever they’re lurking just outside of the room. You’ll know this because 10 minutes later, they’ll have 400 follow-up questions about things that you said while they weren’t in the room.
Personal hygiene is not their top priority.
Their sense of humor is questionable at best. They want to be funny. They’re trying to be funny. You see occasional glimpses of potential to someday be funny, but right now…they’re not funny.
Their head hasn’t quite grown into their new adult teeth yet. Fear not, they will.
They’re nowhere near ready for the crop tops and daisy dukes sold in the Kohl’s Junior Department, but they’ll aggressively disagree.
Mood swings…holllllly crappppp…and the periods haven’t even started yet. God help us all.
Zero sense of inside voices. (((THEIR BIGGEST FEAR IS THAT YOU CAN’T HEAR THEM SPEAK!!)))
Drama. Everything is met with an extreme over the top outrageous response. Every.Damn.Thing.
They ask endless questions and then they freak the crap out when you actually tell them the truth. “Am I going to get a shot at the doctor?” Quite possibly. “Is it gonna hurt?” Yep. Now how bout we stop asking about things we’d really rather not know.
Repetitiveness. No matter what it is, they will say it till you answer. And sometimes they’ll continue to say it even after you answer because apparently they’re not at peace until they summon your inner demon voice and hear it growl, “STOP. TALK-ING."
They want their way and won’t stop nagging until they annoy the crap out of you and you cave to their demands. I highly recommend the ‘will not negotiate’ policy. No means no. If they argue, no means never.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re lovable little creatures but this awkward phase of life can be enough to drive you, and everyone they come into contact with, downright batty. So. If you’re the momma of a tween and you’re tempted to pull your (or their) hair out by the roots, please allow me to say, just wait till they're teenagers…it gets sooooo much better.