6 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Having a Tween Girl

Moms of tweens often ask, what do I need to know about raising a tween girl? My goal is to stay close to my tweens while parenting myself out of a job.
My daughter is less than a week away from her 11th birthday. A decade felt like a big deal–double digits!–but eleven, eleven feels like a teeter into older that takes my breath away. How is this even possible?

Baby photo credit to Jason, holy-wow-you’re-a-tween photo credit to Nicole Spangler Photography.

She has grown and changed so very much and so very quickly in these last few years. When I note how she maneuvers her world, without interfering, I see that there’s just so much to glean from this age that holds the very best of childhood and the very best of aging in its not-so-tiny-fingertips. These are six things I’m in awe of that my tween knows right now.


1. You can be “both.”
My tween never seems distraught by the fact that she loves volleyball and well-placed bangs, digging her hands in the dirt and painting a lovely picture, minion jokes and beautifully written books, archery and pinning. None of us are any one thing, one stereotype, one way. We’re all a series of “ands”–it’s what makes us interesting.


2. Do what you love.
My tween rarely spends time doing things or being with people who she doesn’t enjoy. She quickly completes her not-so-favorite tasks that have to be done, then dives into what brings her joy. There’s wisdom to this that we all have as children and somehow lose with age. I’m finding my way back there, it’s worth holding onto.


3. Simple answers make the most sense.
My tween doesn’t spend time wondering what something means or why something happens. She knows if she’s not included in an event, it’s because it’s not realistic to be included in everything. If a friend says “no” to hanging out it’s because she’s busy. If someone seems grumpy, they’re having a bad day. Keeping it simple means not making things more complicated, or more about us, than they need to be.


4. Laugh often.
My tween is silly. She laughs as much at sarcasm that I could’ve sworn was above her head just a few minutes ago as she does at body noises. When did life get so serious that we can’t find humor in the everyday? Not taking ourselves so seriously is a gateway to joy. Let’s walk through it often.


5. Dreaming big should be the norm.
My tween discusses the inventions she wants to create, the roles in plays she hopes to land, the books she plans to pen. There’s sparkle to be found in knowing what you want and going for it. Because why not you? Dreaming big should be the norm and talking ourselves out of the dream should be the exception, not the other way around.


6. There’s enough goodness in this world for all of us.
My tween is authentically happy for her friends when good things happen for them. She doesn’t get lost in What about me-s? Our universe is plentiful, there’s room enough in it for all of us.


There’s so much we can learn from our tweens. It’s our job to keep up with them and to keep learning from–and with–them.
This post was inspired by my work with OTCsafety which has rebranded beautifully as KnowYourOTCs. I’ve been partnering with them for almost a year now! In that time, I’ve come to rely on them as a great resource for health information. Thinking about my daughter’s birthday and parenting her for over a decade now (!) made me realize how important it is to seek out what we don’t know from the resources that are right at our fingertips–like our tweens and our friends and sites like OTCsafety. There’s a wealth of information to be found on the site covering everything from understanding symptoms to reading labels to the safe disposal of OTC meds. The helpful infographic below is just one example of resources on the site that make it simple to be in the habit of having over the counter medicine safety. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest to learn more. I’m paid as a KnowYourOTCs ambassador. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  1. Your daughter is so sweet! And it’s wonderful that she is such a mature and a sensible young lady! You have all the reasons to be proud of her! Wishing her the very best in life :)

  2. What a lovely post! I have two teen girls, and the transition from tween to teen has been a wild ride. It sounds like your sweet girl has her heart and priorities in the right place!!

  3. Awwww, happy happy early birthday to your beautiful daughter, Galit. She is just beautiful and lovely and has so much more self-awareness at her age than I most certainly did. You are doing a remarkable job not only in raising her but also teaching her the importance of being silly, spontaneous, and above all else–a GOOD person :) Of course she’d learn those lessons from her very awesome parents.