Hobbits, hoods, and everything ‘tween

I was doing a random blog surf looking for template ideas and noticed that there is a slew of young bloggers out there – mostly with blog titles that include words like “maiden”, “young lady”, “man”, “girl”, “(insert favorite celebrity or animal)” rocks but mostly (insert given name)’s blog. 

As I was surfing I  came across the word “tween” on one such blog.  I wasn’t even sure what a “tween” was so I looked it up on that most trusted site Wikipedia and still I am not certain.   According to said site, some figure a “tween” to be anyone between the ages of 10-12, while others between the ages of 16-22.  Futhermore, there are hobbit “tweens” who are between 20-32. 

Maybe middle age people could start calling themselves “tweens” also – as in ‘tween the cradle and the grave?

 However, I believe the most common meaning is “pre-teen”.  I can’t express how much I hate that word “tween” when ascribed to a person.  Admittedly, I am not overly fond of  “teen/teenager” either, but I’ll address that in a moment.  

It’s like grandma wearing leather and low cut tops trying to be something – unnatural.  Maybe that’s what happens if you aren’t allowed a slow natural slide into young adulthood.  You go too fast and then you try to reclaim your lost youth by wearing your granddaughter’s wardrobe.

What’s wrong with just being a child and enjoying every moment of life as it comes?  Why do parents brag about their children being “5 going on 30” like there’s some grand prize for getting to the end of childhood first?

When a child turns 13 it shouldn’t be a rite of passage into the world of rebellion, disrespect, and apathy.  It should be a time to reflect on childhood and a sweet celebration of the coming of an age of accountability into early adulthood.  I much prefer the term “young adult” to “teen”.  

For some reason “teen” conjures up the image of a hoodlum dressed in the most outlandish fad attire of his generation with an “I’m above the law ‘cuz I’m young and stupid” attitude and an exuse for a wasted youth.

On the other hand, “young adult” reminds me of a mature youth with a clear vision of who he is,  living life with a clear purpose.  This young person brings honor to his parents and glory to the Lord. 

When a young adult makes a mistake, it shouldn’t be excused or “expected” simply because “he’s a teenager and that’s what they do”.   Neither should a person be ignored or looked down upon if his only crime is being young.

Parents are not supposed to carry their children over the threshold of adulthood, neither should they hold them back from entering, but by prayerfully giving them the tools needed so their children will be able to walk on their own.  To walk with their shoulders back and with their head held high, their eyes focused on Jesus, their heads full of the love of Jesus and a mind with a clear purpose.   They know they are loved and have been encouraged to know others (past and present though books and life experiences) of Godly character and example.  They have been taught morals and truths and opportunities which have, in good time, grown them into the independent person that they were meant to be.

Be careful what you call your children – they may live up to their name.  Do you really want people to see them as a “spoiled brat”?  The way others treat a child is often a reflection of his parent’s own treatment, or illtreatment.

Now, I know most parents are in jest when they use these terms.  My Darlings or my Little Buddy sounds just has a tad nicer ring than “my little snot-nosed kid.”  (OK, little buddy might sound a little too Skipper/Gilligan-y…)

All that to say, parents just love your children.  Tell them you love them.  Tell them often.  There is truth in the popular email signature that  declares: “Your presence. It’s the greatest gift you can give your child. ”  Parents are human, we all make mistakes.  May we all seek God’s wisdom daily.


Published in: on February 11, 2009 at 7:12 AM  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It’s terrible what kids are given to aspire to sometimes. My nieces used to buy themselves shirts and pants with the words “Brat” or “Spoiled” or “Princess” on them… Used to drive me nuts.

  2. Oh, I know. I really feel for the girls trying to find decent clothes. It’s sad to see so many outfits that once only worn by “girls of the night” are now showing up in younger and younger sizes, too. Not to mention the Halloween costumes for little girls.

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