Updated: Apr 20, 2022
If you have a child aged eight, you might be wondering why some days you feel like you are back in the toddler years and others you are getting a glimpse into the future.
Welcome to the 'Tweenage' Years - the four years before your child becomes a teenager. If you're wondering what's in store, here are some handy tell-tale signs to look out for.
Terrible Twos again anyone? - Yep, the tantrums are back. And, just like a toddler, they will often leave you baffled as to why, but unlike a toddler, there are more words to go along with the screaming, and there's door slamming involved too. You might wonder what mood your tween is going to wake up in some mornings - the phrase 'got out the wrong side of the bed' certainly applies, but just know that it's not intentional and 'this too shall pass' - eventually!
They spend longer in the bathroom - You no longer have to remind your child to wash their hands and there is no resistance to hair washing. Hurrah! There is, however, a need for privacy in the bathroom - and probably a timer. You see, showering now takes longer when you're a tween, and others bathroom needs are less greater than theirs.
It's so unfair! - Alright Kevin! If your tween isn't having a tantrum, you might find they have spawned into a teenager - only an exaggerated version. Those hormones are more all over the place than a pregnant woman's, so you can expect to be told "it's not fair!" and "I hate you!" along with some eye-rolling and hair flicking one minute, but then the next, it's like nothing happened and they love you more than YouTube Kids.
It's babyish! - All of a sudden, they will be requesting new bedding, wanting their cuddly toys out of view and needing much more independence - unless of course, you are asking them to tidy and clean their room or put their clean washing away. If you suggest re-homing toys that they deem 'babyish' it will be a firm 'no' with anything that is just too special and as it can't be in view of friends who come over, you will find that the loft becomes a bit fuller.
Your phone, my phone - All of a sudden school hours are not enough to chat with their mates and if they can't have them over, they want to video call them. This means they need your phone, and if you are not careful, they will spend more time speaking to their mates more than you do yours.
They no longer want to eat off the kids menu - Partly because it's 'babyish' and partly because they are non-stop growing. Of course, they still want the fish and chips, just the more expensive, bigger version. Oh, and they still want pudding after too.
"Mummy" becomes "Mum" and "Daddy" becomes "Dad"- It's like a dagger through the heart. Obviously, in front of their friends, you must keep referring to yourself as their mummy or daddy. They will love you for it!
They no longer hold your hand - Another dagger through the heart, but your tween loves to be a bit more 'free-range'. It won't be long until they don't want to be seen in public with you, so cherish being 'hands-free'.
Christmas and birthday's become more expensive - No more small Lego sets, they want BIG! And they become less interested in toys and require bigger stuff, like video consoles or experience days. The plus side to this is that you get to do things together, there is less small plastic tut lying about the place and you're living room no longer looks like a Smyths Toys which has been ransacked.