As our children grow into tweens it is hard to know where we should draw the line between treating them too much like children and expecting what we would our teens. Holidays such as Valentine’s Day provide an opportunity for us to demonstrate our love and affection. Few tweens I know would turn away a card filled with heartwarming sentiments and/or a box of candy or a bouquet of flowers.
Valentine’s Day is one of those rare occasions when it is hard to know what your tween will expect. For some tweens V-Day is about celebrating friendships and talking about crushes. Other tweens may experience V-Day as an opportunity to feel giddy or even crushed when a crush doesn’t acknowledge let alone return a heart felt sentiment. In some schools there are opportunities to send notes, candy or even flowers on V-Day as a fundraiser. The competition can become fierce as friends challenge each other to receive the most Valentines. Of course the true winners on Valentine’s Day are the few tweens who receive validation via Valentine from a romantic interest.
It is hard to believe our kids are growing up. Wasn’t it yesterday that Valentine’s Day was all about the love they received from us? They are way too young to think about romance aren’t they?
Tweenhood marks the beginning of many phases for our children. As they take their first steps in search of identity, they begin to think about who they are, who they want to be and who they will be. They begin to look outside of their immediate circles of family and friends and think about the world at large.
It is during the tween years that kids transition and mature. Perhaps what is most amazing and at times daunting is that each child seems to grow and change at their own pace, the ‘norm’ is not only vague but varies from tween to tween. While one tween maybe thinking about a classroom crush, another is ten steps behind focused on pleasing friends and parents.
It is indeed holidays such as Valentine’s Day that prove to highlight the differences among our tweens. As parents our job is to provide acceptance and support. Thankfully it is during the tween years that our kids continues to turn to directly to us to lead the way. Treasure these years. Before you know it yours will be a full fledged teen focused on moving forward and breaking away.