15 Must Know Facts About Today's Tweens

Know the facts about your tween's generation.
Tween Fact: Your tween may feel overwhelmed with homework and activities.

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 -- in between the elementary years and the teenage years. Understanding the social, academic and cultural 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. If you think you don't know your child as well as you have in the past, here are a few fun facts about our ever changing tweenagers. 

15 Facts About Today's Tweens

  • 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.
  • Twenty-two percent of tweens already have cell phones, and you can bet the remaining 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.

A Few More Tween Facts

  • Middle school can be a tough time for tweens. They are striving to fit in but they don't always know how to do it. Even once confident tweens can be self-conscious and unsure of themselves during the middle school years. Encourage your tween to expand his social circle both inside and outside of school. Extra curricular activities can help your child find friends, learn confidence and develop interests. Support your tween's interests and spend time trying to keep family traditions going -- your tweenager is growing up, but there will be times he or she reverts back to childlike behavior.
  • Tweens may switch from one interest to another without hesitation. If your child is into guitar one week and soccer the next, don't be surprised. Your tween is experimenting to find out more about himself. Be patient as your child picks through possibilities and encourage your tween to try and seek out new experiences. 
  • Your tween is old enough to pitch in around the house. Be sure your child understands that he should be contributing family chores and responsibilities and that he should be picking up after himself. 
  • Get to know your tween's friends. Your child's friends will tell you a lot about your tween when he or she is not around you, and you may learn about potential hazards or peer pressures that your child is facing.