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What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Tween

If you gave birth in the early aughts you probably studied What to Expect When You’re Expecting and you’re probably getting uncomfortably close to being the parent of a tween—that much maligned, often misunderstood mash-up of child/adolescent around the 108th to the 168th month.

Forget about carrying a jar of pickle juice with you in case your water breaks and put the so-called “Best Odds Diet,” that formula for guilt and binging, behind you.

There were plenty of guides and manuals to help you get through nursing and every phase of pregnancy and the first 12 months. After that, things get murky. But you don’t have to venture into the unknown territory of tweens alone. Here’s what to expect when you’re expecting a tween.

  • Their Bodies Will Change 1 of 8
    Their Bodies Will Change
    But you have to treat them the same. Don't recoil if you catch a glimpse of something. STEEL YOURSELF FOR THIS. Hugs, pats, hand-holding, and, surprisingly, bandaids for owies are still required. Long story short: They're still just big babies.
    Image Credit: iStock
  • They Can Dish it Out. . . 2 of 8
    They Can Dish it Out. . .
    But they can't take it. Your tween is still more child-like than adult. You might forget this when the sass starts to fly. Don't respond in kind or use sarcasm to belittle them. It will hurt their feelings and, remember, you're the grown up.
    Image Credit: iStock
  • They Cost A Lot 3 of 8
    They Cost A Lot
    Get ready to spend more money. The cost of their school fees, clothes, "toys," and data plans begins to grow exponentially after about 4th grade. Start saving now.
    Image Credit: MorgueFile
  • They Aren’t You 4 of 8
    They Aren't You
    It's not about you. I know your doula tried to convince you otherwise while you were making your labor playlist and inflating your birthing pool but, uh. . . That was a lie. Tweens are people in their own right, not extensions of you. Accept this now and save on therapy later.
    Image Credit: iStock
  • They Like Cool Things 5 of 8
    They Like Cool Things
    They're into super cool stuff now—Enjoy it! You get to read Harry Potter and see The Hobbit with them. However you feel about the Bieb, he's a thousand times better than the Teletubbies a thousand times—which is how many times you used to watch it per day. Anyway, your tween still likes cartoons. This is normal, I think.
    Image Credit: iStock
  • Don’t Be a Tech Dummy 6 of 8
    Don't Be a Tech Dummy
    Stay up on the latest technology or your tween will own you. Password protection, parental controls, boundaries, monitoring, rules, and limitations are the name of the game if your tween wants a phone or a Facebook account. You Ferberized your baby to sleep through the night. You have to do the same with the internet (in a manner of speaking).
    Image Credit: iStock
  • Sleep Is Still an Issue 7 of 8
    Sleep Is Still an Issue
    They still need a lot of sleep. They gave up naps a long time ago but if they don't get enough their grades, mood, and well-being are effected. Yes. Melt-downs are still a thing. Sorry, dude.
    Image Credit: iStock
  • Influence Them 8 of 8
    Influence Them
    Their friends will start to have more influence than you. Don't let that happen! Hold on to every last shred of influence you have over your child by hanging out with them, being interested in their stuff, and making family dinner a priority. Trust me, you do not want your 12-year-old daughter deriving the whole of her self esteem from other 12-year-old girls.
    Image Credit:iStock

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