Big Kid Tweens

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    Looking for a fun, out-of-the-ordinary travel experience with your kids? How about a destination that will scare them? We're not talking dangerous. Just a little bit creepy. Here are 5 fabulous vacation destinations that will give your kids the chills, in a thrilling way, of course. They'll be talking about these trips for years.

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    A soldier dad based at Fort Stewart in Georgia was totally fed up with his daughter's messy room.  He warned her what would happen if she didn't clean it. He said he'd "treat her like a soldier." But the teen didn't heed her dad's warnings. So one day when she was at school, he did something that finally got her attention.

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  • Rant

    This Is 11

    posted by Miss Isabella April 1 at 12:00 PM in Big Kid
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    Being 11 is harder than it looks. I know all the grownups are always like, "Oh, you're so lucky to just be 11 and not have so much to deal with." My response is usually a nod and a smile, but sometimes I give them a shrug and a "so so" movement with my hand.

    This is what really goes on in the life of an 11-year-old ...

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    Sometimes it takes your kids to push you to make a change you knew all along you needed to make. King of Queens star Leah Remini is talking about why she left Scientology, and she says the biggest reason was her daughter, Sofia. At 9 years old, Sofia was required to undergo "auditing" -- a controversial kind of spiritual counseling opponents to Scientology believe can be abusive. Remini felt she was at a crossroads where she had to choose which was more important, her daughter or her religion. She says she chose her daughter.

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  • LOL

    25 Simple Ways to Annoy Your Tween

    posted by Jenny Isenman February 21 at 3:49 PM in Big Kid
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    When your child hits tweenhood, everything becomes bothersome, especially you. All the injustices of the world are highlighted with eye-rolls, grunts, and blank stares. 

    I'm taking advantage of this time by being extra annoying. For instance, when I'm sitting in the garage waiting for J, my 12-year-old son, to exit the house, I watch the door intently. As soon as he cracks it open, I beep. J startles, without fail, and glares at me as if I've done something unforgivable, like smashed his Beats or released all the remaining Axe body spray from the can.

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    Despite what the most opinionated, outspoken people might have us think, I'm not sure it's actually possible to definitively prove one parenting style is superior to another. Attachment parenting vs free-range kids, co-sleeping vs crying it out, commercially packaged baby purées vs the thing where you chew up organic foods and gently spit them into your child's mouth … really, it all comes down to personal choice. Except, of course, when the legal system gets involved -- which is what recently happened with an overly "permissive" mom.

    A High Court judge recently decided that a British mother had failed her children by letting them play video games for hours on end, not enforcing their bedtimes, and that ultimately she treated them more like a friend than a parent. The ruling: custody of her 11- and 14-year-old sons went to their father, who is much more in favor of "structure, boundaries and discipline."

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    When 12-year-old Taylor Smith penned a letter last year, it was intended to be opened in 2023 -- by herself. The letter Smith wrote was of the "to my future self" variety, and it contained the sorts of things one would expect to a pre-teen to write about. She talked about her iPad, and mulled over selling it for an iPad mini. She congratulated herself on graduating high school, since she was supposed to be 22 upon opening it. And she wondered if the show Doctor Who is still on the air, and whether or not she'd yet been on a plane.

    But Taylor never got to open her letter in 10 years time, because she passed away last spring of pneumonia. So, her parents opened it instead, despite it's very specific "To be opened by Taylor Smith on April 13, 2023" message on the envelope.

    And I can't imagine what parent wouldn't do the same.

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    My baby turned 10 today. Ten years ago today I was holding this tiny creature in my arms. In the months before he was born I couldn’t stop wondering who he (or she) was, who this little person would become. Once your baby arrives you keep wondering -- children take years to reveal themselves. And as far as my son is concerned, they just get more fascinating. It’s like what Bill Murray’s character says in the movie Lost in Translation, your kids are the most interesting people you know.

    I feel like we’ve crossed over into new territory lately. My son is in his “tween” years, and I’m seeing the changes already. Sometimes I see him with fresh eyes -- and I'm amazed.

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    This year my son's Christmas wish list held the usual assortment of video games and gaming-related swag. And then he sent me a link to a necklace. It's not a tough-guy leather necklace, not a little surfer dude puka shell necklace. It's a NECKLACE necklace, heart-shaped with a garnet (his birthstone). Dear readers, I will probably buy my almost-10-year-old son that necklace. But WTF?

    To tell you the truth, this didn't come as a huge surprise. My son has had an eye for bling ever since he first spied the gems at an exhibit at the Natural History Museum. He has shoulder-length hair. He goes to a small, independent school filled with the children of bohemia. Every kid at that school is an eccentric snowflake. But did I mention he's carrying around my purse, too?

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    If your 11-year-old daughter needed $4,800 braces and wanted to help you offset the costs by working for the money needed, wouldn't you be damn proud of her? Imagine if she went to her uncle's farm, cut twigs of mistletoe and wrapped them herself, and then went to a crowded market to try and sell them? Wouldn't you just think you had a young Donald Trump on your hands? (Hopefully minus his assholeism?) This is what kids SHOULD be doing. Learning how to work. They will need those skills someday. But apparently if you live in Portland, Oregon, the cops would rather see kids learning how to beg. For budding entrepreneur Madison Root was told she could NOT sell her wares for cash -- she could, however, BEG for money. Huh?!

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