Category Archives: tweens

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:


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.


We’re in the heart of the iLoveMG initiative.

A translation: iLoveMG represents a push by Workman Publishers to increase attention and interest in middle grade reading.

Although cynics might snicker at devoting an entire campaign to this niche, grades 3-6 are key in determining what kind of reader children will become. During these years, students discover favorite authors, genres and series. Kids begin to truly read independently.

It’s worth looking past the promotional talk to recognize the importance of the issue.

Under age socials

“I can monitor my tween’s online activity if I start a social media account for him/her.”

That assumption often backfires, even for parents who “friend” their child.

Online bullying, identity theft and fake profiles are problems that creep up among under-age social media users.

The bottom line: have good communication with your child in realtime instead of online.