Remember the song, Stuck in the Middle with You? That's where you and your tween are for the next few years, stuck in the preteen years. Understanding the social pressures and challenges tweens face, as well as some of the dangers, can help prepare you and your tweens for this bumpy phase of development.
15 Facts About Today's Tweens
- A girl's first period starts at the average age of 12 1/2.
- Forty-eight percent of tweens said they've been bullied.
- Forty-two percent of tweens admit to bullying occasionally.
- Twenty percent of 8th graders admit to being drunk one or more times.
- Nearly one in three tweens say they have been in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Sadly, more than one in four of those tweens say that having sex is a part of tween dating.
- Ten percent of tweens already have cell phones, and you can bet the remaining 90 percent are jockeying to get one.
- It's recommended that preteens get at least nine hours of sleep a night.
- Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for children in the preteen age group. The primary risk factor for these children comes from who is sitting in the driver's seat. According to recent studies, tweens who ride with teen drivers are most at risk, followed by tweens who ride in the car with a drunk driver.
- Marketers want your tween's money. It's estimated that the buying power of today's tweens is roughly $40 billion.
- Ninety percent of tweens are online.
- It's estimated that most tweens only receive half the daily recommended amount of calcium.
- Tweens care what adults think about them and imitate their behaviors.
- Adolescents with gambling addictions often report beginning gambling at around age 10.
- A national survey of more than 2,000 girls ages 8 to 17 found the majority are more worried about being teased than about natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
- Half of girls ages 8 to 10 are unhappy with their size, while 40 percent of fourth graders have been on a diet before and more than half of girls ages 9 to 15 have exercised to lose weight.