Growing up, there were kids and teenagers. There was no special demographic called "Tweens". You were either a kid who rode your bike around town & played till the sun went down, or you were in Highschool and a bonafide teenager. Today we have an entire market built around the ages of 10 to 13, complete with clothes lines, body care, TV shows and cell phones.
And I, am the proud, if befuddled, parent of one of these tweens. She's 11 and I'm constantly trying to keep up and keep her in check. This week Disney's Shake It Up is totally in and Justin Beiber (thankfully) is SO out. Jonas Brothers are a distant memory. Jeans MUST be skinny jeans or they will languish on the shelves and shoes is a complete guess (I think my kid is a sneaker type). Peace signs are cool, dancing is hip, and a tween should NEVER be seen holding a parent's hand.
It's a daily effort. As many parents can attest, you take the good with the bad. We try to find common ground (we can agree to watch the FoodNetwork when I'm SO over Disney channel, and we both like strolling through IKEA), and we learn together. I don't always feel like the best parent, but I get us to therapy, read tons of books and do my best.
My niece and I are celebrating 2 years together. I cannot believe how quickly those 2 years have passed. Some days I feel like she's been with me her entire, sassy life. Others, I wonder at each moment which has passed. Yet somehow in these 2 years, I still haven't gotten my head wrapped around how the heck to deal with this complete person who is in such physical and emotional transition. What do the demographic studies say about that? :)