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by Ronald A. Rowe | January 17th, 2011 | Elementary, Tweens

It happened. I don’t know how it happened, but it happened. Just last week I was happily the father of two little boys. Now I have one little boy and one Tween.

In my vast research on Tweens, which consisted of Googling “Tween,” I’ve learned that there isn’t a generally agreed upon definition for the term. The upper limit is pretty well defined – one ceases to be a Tween and becomes a Teen on one’s 13th birthday. The starting point is less clear.

Except in my house. My older son is quite clear on the fact that his tenth birthday marked his debut as a Tween. Upon further questioning, I learned that Tween-dom comes with the following benefits:

Movies – Tweens get to watch movies that were previously banned. According to the Tween handbook that is apparently handed out to every child in America on their tenth birthday, the 13 in PG-13 applies only to the Amish, fundamentalist Muslims, and the underprivileged Tweens who have extraordinarily strict and un-hip parents. For everyone else, 13 means 10. Or so I’m told.

Video Games – There actually is an E10+ category on video games. The biggest upshot of this is that he now has games that he can play but his little brother cannot.

Bedtime – It seems that Tweens are capable of, and entitled to, staying up much later than their single-digit aged counterparts. The negotiations are still ongoing.

Further digging (clicking on additional links provided by Google) turned up this interesting tidbit – the term “Tween” was used in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein more than half a century ago to describe hobbits who were in between care-free childhood and responsible adulthood (the former ending in the early twenties and the latter achieved at the age of 33 for a hobbit).

Maybe the Hobbits are on to something. Maybe I can convince my son to put off this whole Tween thing for another decade or so.

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