"Tonight we are young, so let's set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun" We Are Young by Fun.
Last week the most requested ages to cover were 9 and 10. Your wish is my command! This is part two of my newsletter on milestones. If you missed last week's discussing ages 6-8, you can find it here.
Let's talk about tweens...
A tween is a child aged 8-12 years old. Short for "between" because they aren't little kids, but they aren't teenagers yet either. When we start asking questions about children this age, the conversation usually turns to puberty, but they are so much more than their hormones and changing bodies.
My information is coming from my favorite child development book Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development Ages 4 - 14 by Chip Wood. I highly recommend buying it and reading one chapter a year as your child ages.
9 year olds: are developing their personality and interests, they may change rapidly. They need someone that listens to them and supports them. Instead of lecturing on "never quit," help them understand the thought process to make that decision. They can be moody, competitive, make inappropriate jokes, and be argumentative. Their fine motor skills have improved- this is a great time to teach arts and crafts. They are capable of completing longer projects like drafting a story or writing their own word problems...but only if they are invested.
10 year olds: tend to have a sunnier disposition than 9 year olds. They are often aware this is a transition year and can be nostalgic about their childhood. They are interested in community- this is a great time for group activities or community service. They are quick to anger, but quick to forgive. Eager to learn and complete long term projects. As their bodies grow, handwriting and coordination may become sloppy. They need encouragement and recognition, because despite their interest in community and helping others, they are self conscious.
11 year olds: are entering their first year of adolescence. Growth spurts may cause growing pains, clumsiness, and forgetfulness. 11 year olds test limits, they may get in more trouble at school or home- rely on existing boundaries to remind them of common sense. Children this age can speak impulsively, so family journaling and letter writing is helpful at this age to allow them time to process. Think of it as "communication at a distance." Children this age have a better understanding of time- this is a great year to read biographies and history books. Create timelines and family trees together.
12 year olds: want to be heard by their parents even if they act like they don't. They care deeply about other people's opinions, so guide them toward people with a positive influence. They may try on different personalities. 12 year olds are ready to take on classic kid jobs like babysitting, petsitting, tutoring, and mowing lawns. They are interested in leadership and responsibility. Despite their interest though, many will struggle to follow through with their commitments. They need support from an adult. Tread lightly though, some of these struggles and consequences are important for their development. They are ready to think more abstractly about moral issues- expose them to interesting news and queries to help them think through ethics.
Got a question about your child? Email me, I might cover it in a future newsletter. I also work privately with families to problem solve concerns at school and make a learning plan based on test scores. Hello@Primaryfocus.tv
🎥 New video: Thanks to everyone that watched my newest video My Child HATES Reading. It's got great tips to ensure your children see reading as a treat, not a chore.
🦃 Behind the scenes: The story of Indians and Pilgrims is outdated and incorrect- but it continues to be prominent in children's media. This video shares a modern way to talk to your children about Thanksgiving.
Things I Love (contains affiliate links)
🃏 game night: Your 8 year old's wildest dream came true: Uno collaborated with Mario Kart! Surprise the with a fun round of this classic game after Thanksgiving dinner. It's on sale for $8.50 😄
🥤 Eating Healthy: Over the next month or so, I have a slew of holiday gatherings filled with beige carbs and treats to eat. But it's important I keep eating healthy, so I have Daily Harvest smoothies and bowls for lunch. My fav is the blueberry + cacao which tastes amazing but is secretly filled with kale. Get up to $65 off your first Daily Harvest order with code: RE-KK938YD
🎄 full oven? no problem: I went to a Friendsgiving celebration last weekend and used my dutch oven to bring stuffing. It ended up being the best decision since everyone needed to reheat their food in the oven. We heated it right back up on the stovetop. I'll be using it for all my holiday meals to save oven space!
Thanks for reading and being here.