by Joy Dombrow
Just a step past the golden years of parenting (the age between 5 and 10), both of my kiddos are firmly in the years preceding teenage-hood. The tween years, they call them.
Simply the word, “tween” conjures up images of the idolization of iconic young pop stars, or mall stores catering to the fashion of these young ones, or silly teen magazines. Thankfully, this is not the reality in our home. We are very much enjoying this stage and all the fun that comes with it. However, we have noticed that having a 10-12 year old influences our family practices and culture.
It is a unique time of life, arguably one of the busiest. Sports ramp up to a peak. Kids are still trying out all sports and activities and have yet to narrow them down. All practices are arranged for the convenience of volunteer coaches and therefore are usually scheduled for the dinner hour (unlike high school sports which occur right after school), and since they cannot drive, families are constantly shuttling kids around.
School requires more diligence, organization, and effort…all things that tweens have not yet mastered. They still need parental help and supervision for homework. Never mind the hormonal and emotional ups and downs that must be navigated with care. It’s a unique season, indeed. Out of necessity, we have stumbled upon some key tools and strategies to help us thrive during this wonderful stage of life.
1. A Good Carpool. This, my friends, is the only way to survive if you have active children. Anyone who tries to go it alone is crazy. Crazy, I tell ya.