This is a sponsored post about letting tweens express themselves written by me on behalf of DOLE Fruitocracy. Having a tween is a lot of fun. It can also be stressful. It’s also the time when kids really want to start expressing themselves in a lot of new ways, and maybe as parents we aren’t always ready for that or ok with the ways in which the kids want to express themselves.
Finding a balance, that’s the key. At least, around here it is. We choose our battles. Our thinking is, if we choose our battles now, when bigger stuff comes along, we may have more leverage. And I’m pretty sure we’re going to have some bigger things that come up later with teens and young adults than with our tweens. I’ve heard many say that tweens are the new teens. Hormones start stirring during the tween years and emotions can be all over the place (in a 10 second time frame, even!). Tweens are growing up whether we like it or not and are wanting to find ways to express themselves and it’s up to the parents to help guide them to express themselves in ways that are safe and won’t harm them…or make them feel great regret down the road.
Letting tweens express themselves
Yes, hair. They want a purple streak? So what. Seriously. Hair grows back, my friends. They want a half shaven head and a long colorful mohawk? That’s honestly ok. It doesn’t have to be YOUR favorite. Have family photos coming up? Make a deal. They can do whatever to their hair after the photo session. Or they can do 2 colors. My 10 year old got the ends of her hair dyed green a week before Christmas. (Sorry for the photo size- this was from my Facebook wall and the photo has vanished from my phone).
I hated it, but she was SO excited and so happy with her hair- and you know what? It was faded by mid January and she just chopped 4 inches off her hair- by her choice- you’d never know it happened. She knows we’ll let her do it again- although I’m not sure I will pay for it- but I promise you– it’s not permanent. AND she felt empowered that she was able to express herself even for a short time.
This one I learned when the kids started reading chapter books. As long as the underlying messages aren’t grossly in contradiction with your family values, if they are wanting to read… let them. Just because I didn’t find Captain Underpants funny doesn’t mean the kids didn’t- and honestly, it was one of the things that got my son excited to read. Same with Junie B. Jones. We want our kids to learn and grow- choosing what they read is an easy way for them to be able to express their interests and have freedom to make a choice for themselves.
YES. I believe you can let your kids have freedom in clothes. If you have a strong feeling about a style or how long something needs to be, that’s totally fine. But find ways within your beliefs to give them some wiggle room. Chances are, they won’t insist on wearing all black for the rest of eternity. Save the battle for a family photo day… or push for matching knee-high socks when you are doing a family dinner at grama’s…not every day. I have always let the kids choose their clothes- and mostly, it’s because I’d rather have a BIG say in what they wear when I want photos done or when we are going someplace and I want them to wear something specific. Letting them have that freedom the rest of the time gives me a whole lot more leverage!
While black paint may be desired – it may not be a possibility. If the cost is acceptable, why not let them choose what they like and want for bedding? Sheets and blankets are replaceable! Our girls share a bedroom and have very different tastes- their bedding doesn’t even coordinate. I would love to have it all matchy or at least coordinating but that’s not for me to choose- and they are far happier with their own look!
I have a 10, 8 and 6 year old. Gone are the days when cute characters on things are acceptable snack packaging for lunch boxes with the oldest. It’s not that she doesn’t still like the foods, it’s the packaging. But there’s easy ways around that. We have fabric snack pouches the kids use for many of their snacks, so she’s got some tween-approved prints for hers. But one of our go-to, always have in the house snacks are fruit pouches and those are in their own packaging. They just aren’t fun. Or weren’t.
Dole just hit the cool jackpot with their Fruitocracy pouches- they have fun, cool colors and my tween feels like she’s able to express her funky side simply because her fruit pouch has a funky print. Lately, tie dye apparel is all the rage again and having fruit in a pouch that looks like tie dye is SO COOL. With six delicious flavors (like Apple Banana, Apple Mixed Berry, Apple Pineapple, Apple Strawberry, Apple Cherry or good ol’ Apple) in vibrant designs, tweens are free to express their individuality with Fruitocracy and choose the all-natural fruit pouch that best showcases their unique personal style.
I’m winning every time she chooses Fruitocracy for snack because they are made of real fruit and no high fructose corn syrup. When they came, I added them to the snack drawer in the cabinet. Acceptable snack items are in that drawer and the kids can choose their own for morning snack, lunches, sports snacks, etc. They are always the first to go- and I love it!
How do you go about letting tweens express themselves?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DOLE Fruitocracy.
My only son is already a tween and I do let him express himself. Good thing is, his taste when it comes to clothes, hair, etc. aren’t bad for my taste at all. 🙂
Bites for Babies says
I think it’s so important to allow tweens to express their individuality, as long as it is appropriate. I went through so many different clothing phases when I was growing up and my parents always supported me. I want to do the same for my kids.
I also think kids should be able to express themselves how they want. My daughters sometimes want colorful hair, so I use hair chalk. They’re still young yet, so I won’t go to anything permanent, but when they get older it’s all up to them.
Ann Bacciaglia says
It is so important to let kids express themselves. Hair color is not forever and it is a great way to add personality to their style.
Clothes definitely get interesting in the tweens stage! So many ways to communicate with them though, even with snacking
John Lopez says
My son is a constant battle, he has no problems expressing himself or stealing my cool t-shirts for school.
Kelli @ 3 Boys and a Dog says
The tween-age is such a delicate time for children to learn and stretch their own wings in finding out who they are. It’s great that you encourage that but still hold a parental hold on it. Keep up the good work mom!
Ryan Escat says
I have a tween sister, and we are very different. Letting tweens express themselves are much better.
Chubskulit Rose says
I have a tween girl at home and she gets moody sometimes but I always fix that with good snacks like fruits. I have never heard of this.
Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey says
I have teenagers now and I do agree with most of these. Let them be themselves but always guide them still.
Angela Bethea says
No tweens in our lives yet but look forward to having some little beans soon. I am sure this will come in handy for parents and will share it to my friends as well.
I think they should let be express themselves, I have a son that wants to buy me a good snack for him
Gwendolyn Mulholland says
It is important to learn to pick your battles with kids and especially tweens. They are learning who they are and they can do so within boundaries if you let them.
You are exactly right when it come to picking your battles. I have found my kids are the happiest when they are being themselves and that is so important!
Bonnie @wemake7 says
My tween son wanted this ears pierced for his birthday I let him. He has his certain clothes too.
I’m just waiting – I’ve got quite a while until mine hit the tweens, but I will try to be lenient 😉 My sister has rainbow hair so she has no grounds of saying no to that!
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
I think it’s so important to let tweens express themselves within reason. They’re coming into their own, and they want to feel like their own person.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
My oldest is a tween now and while I don’t love several of his fashion choices, I pick my battles.