I've been thinking about the term Tween lately. It defines the ages between 9 and 12; that time period between being a child and a teenager.
It's a weird age to be when you don't really feel like a kid anymore, but you're not yet a teen. It is sort of like being twenty—when you are no longer a teenager, but don't feel like an adult either.
I personally truly disliked middle school. I didn't get it why all the girls were so dramatic about everything and why everyone suddenly separated into groups. I wanted to be friends with everyone. So, I totally understand why this term caught on and describes accurately that "in between" stage.
But, I just wonder if it is doing it's own little damage. The fashion and toy industry is specifically marketing aggressively to the "tweens." The problem is that they are not always marketing things appropriate for kids in that age group. For example, Abercrombie and Fitch recently came up with a line of padded, push up bikini tops for tween girls. Actually, they were made for girls as young as seven. That makes me a little sick to my stomach. Fortunately, they came under heavy criticism and pulled the line, now making it only for girls 12 and older. Still too young, right? What must girls think about themselves at this age if the marketing machine is telling them this is what they need?
I wonder if calling kids tweens is making those 9 to 12 year olds feel even more like they can't just be kids. Maybe it's making them grow up just a little bit faster. And maybe it is giving the marketing machine a feeling that they are not actually marketing to kids. Personally, I'm not going to use the term anymore.
I think the terms kid or child work just fine!