Category Archives: tweens

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…

Advertisements

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.

Binge effect downaging

The teen trend of hunting for binge-worthy TV is aging down to tweens.

Entertainment execs have used serialized storytelling to fuel the summertime activity. Longer stories result in deeper engagement by viewers.

And of course, digital tech means those screens go everywhere.

“I care about you”

If you’re still making arrangements to keep kids engaged this summer, considering adding “social impact experiences” to the regular schedule.

Your child might walk an aging dog for a neighbor, don disposable gloves to pick up trash along your street or playground, or sort and stock cans at a local food pantry.

These “do good” activities are especially good for tweens, who aren’t old enough for a paying job. Empathy, or caring for and about others, takes root before the teen years, so summer is a great time to make this happen.

The Smartphone Effect

Nostalgia has even hit Millennials. Game Boys and other portable game consoles are being delivered to the cemetery.

What we see in casual observations has been confirmed by recent research: the age of first-time smartphone ownership continues to drop.

So what is the average age to get a first smartphone? 10.3 years.