Category Archives: tweens

“Doing good” this summer

It’s a familiar seasonal challenge: helping tweens and teens find avenues for serving others.

Kids want to make this world a better place, but aren’t sure how to go about it. After all, they don’t have the money to drop a bill in a donation jar or donate online like we can.

Yet motivated by the need to fulfill service hours required by schools, this summer, more younger kids are actively seeking causes that match their interests. Plus, they’ve discovered the power of hashtags. Actually, this might be one of the strongest ways to have an impact as they grow up.

That’s not surprising: they did grow up as digi-kids.

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Adulting comes early

Middle school, junior high and high school students don’t need to wait to take classes in adulting, like so many of today’s millennials are doing now.

Educators noticed that kids are growing up without basic life skills. As a result, learning to make a monthly budget, pay bills and buy insurance is now being built into both required and elective courses.

Bears age up

Just in time for holiday giving, Build-A-Bear stores are growing up with a new brand.

Three bears, a bunny, a princess and a kitten are targeted to tween girls. And of course, more spending opportunities will be available with outfits and accessories.

Isolate and connect

We’ve all seen how tech can isolate: merely observe a family out to dinner “together,” when everyone is scrolling a screen.

But tech has become an essential connector, once kids get their first phone, about the age of ten. That’s when they start hanging out with friends in digital space.

Even though 8-12 year olds typically have a growth spurt, they’ll still recognize friends at school next fall with whom they’ve FaceTimed.

Now, if those tweens can just remember how to make eye contact and read body language…

Body image season

Swimsuits appear the minute Easter baskets exit store shelves.

This means we’re entering high season for mom alerts to body image, especially among tween girls.

During the last several summers, moms have expressed increasing concern about the overly sexual, inappropriate messages on clothing and in ads.

Some brands have responded by highlighting healthy self-image and moving away from stereotyped body shapes. During the next couple weeks, we’ll see how many companies chose to help girls value and appreciate their bodies.

Wait until 8th

The question, “When should I give my child a smartphone?” has been a burning issue among parents who question why a ten-year old needs a phone. After all, 10.3 is the average age of phone ownership.

But a parent-driven movement, which started last year in Texas, has gained momentum.

When parents get together, they find it’s not true that “everyone has one”…especially if they’ve signed the pledge to wait until their child is in eighth grade before having a cell phone.

Check the site: http://www.waituntil8th.org

Grocery list influencers

If you’ve grocery shopped recently with a tween or teen, you know these kids shop differently than we shopped at their age.

Knowledge is at their fingertips, so it you want to know the effect of adding Chicoree Angel Hair to your salad, just ask your young companion- he’ll have an answer in two clicks, as his phone is probably already on.

Of course, consider it a minor miracle if a tween or teen will even accompany you to a grocery store. They are major influencers of the shopping list, but typically avoid such boring shopping.