KIDDO Mag Issue 29 – Tween + Teen Feature – is out now

As a mum to two 12-year-olds and a 9-year-old, I'm in the midst of one of the most emotionally complex phases of parenting: the tween and teen years. 

I remember the early days, when my three were toddlers. Back then, it was all about sleep, snacks and my own sanity (or lack thereof). Wiping noses and bums. Endless food preparation. I vividly remember longing  for the day we’d leave those toddler years behind. Anything seemed easier than the constant vigilance and the endless parade of chores. Bed time. Nap time. Dinner time. Bath time. Absolutely no me-time. 

But here we are nearly a decade later, and I realise now that those moments of innocence and wonder are slipping away. It’s like I’m clutching onto those memories  with clenched fists, no longer wishing the time away, suddenly wanting them to stay my babies forever. In some respects, I have come to accept that the days when they’d look at me with wide-eyed admiration and hang on my every word are gone. They say a mother’s job is to teach her children not to need her anymore, and the hardest part of that job is accepting success (*not me sobbing as I type this*). We’re certainly not there yet, but we are perilously closer to that point than we were ten years ago.

Don’t get me wrong though, there’s more to this next life phase than just sobbing into my pillow looking at their baby photos. These transitions also open the door to new, fun experiences, like the kids understanding my sarcasm and effectively employing the use of the term “ironic.” There’s taking my youngest to a Taylor Swift concert and screaming at the top of our lungs together, or exchanging knowing glances with my son about something we both find funny that there’s no way he would have understood five years ago.

Tweens are also tough though. They’re on a quest to discover who they are. As they grow older, the challenges become more complex. I find myself facing difficult conversations about the harsh realities of the world, and trying to help them navigate the complexities of friendships and relationships. And with every milestone they reach, I feel a pang of sadness for the innocent toddlers they once were. I miss those days, but I also know that this is part of the journey of parenthood. As much as I long for the simplicity of those early years, I wouldn’t trade the moments of joy and laughter that come with raising tweens. They may be tough, but they’re also incredibly rewarding. 

All this to say that curating this issue of KIDDO, our tween and teen feature, felt incredibly close to home for me. I felt well positioned to dive into the questions parents of kids this age are asking—because I’m asking them myself. From communication, to family tracking apps, to the skincare that they’re all talking about, we’ve tried to cover the gamut here of what is relevant in the lives of tween and teen parents right now. We’ve even talked to a group of tweens about what’s important to them and how they see their future so you can hear it from their mouths. 

The only thing we can’t tell you is… how to translate your teen’s text slang when they start sending you “LOL TTYL CU L8R” instead of “OMG ILYSM”. You’re on your own kid! 

Liv xoxo

Read issue 29 here

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