A while back, The Mulk was asked about tips for raising tweens. Fortunately, The Mulk had, in collaboration with Agent Spitback, written a Tween Manifesto  (which will be released on the Graduation from Potty Training Anniversary of the burning of cloth diapers/diapers day) which will prove extremely useful in the Tween Wars in the next post.

But before we release the Manifesto, The Mulk will first define the subject in question : Just what exactly is a Tween?

Official Definition of a Tween : Any human being between the ages of 5-12 years old (and any human who still thinks like a 5-12 year old).

The Mulk Definition of a Tween : A human being, born out of your body, who now is growing towards, gulp, the P word (let’s not go there yet) and gasp, free will.

Tweens will

  • know when YOU are lying about eating that last piece of cake.
  • know that the TV/Gaming Consoles/favourite characters/Wii do not need to take an eye break.
  • know that medicines do not taste like lollies even though they may look like one.
  • not open their mouths for that said medicine because it does not even come close to what a strawberry/orange/grape would taste like.
  • know that the Dentists are evil and not just a nice man who looks at teeth.
  • come to realise that recess and lunch are their favourite subjects at school.
  • still want you to be with them, play with them or “come and see” but just a bit further, that’s right, by that building over there, across the park, after the lake and two streets now. You must be within visual range but far enough so that they can have their private conversations about Lego battles in the sand pit.
  • experience situations that YOU cannot protect them from – rejection from a peer group, losing at a race, having to share news, or realising that not everyone thinks their new haircut is cool.
  • have better control of their basic emotions but new social emotions will emerge – empathy, sympathy, leadership, standing up for a friend, jealousy, anxiety, victorious, defeat, disappointment etc.
  • Will ask WHY as their awareness of the World grows : Why is the sky blue? Why is the cheese stinky? Why is the grass green? Why do we have a nose? Why do we breathe? Why do we have teeth? Why do Volcanoes erupt? Why did the Dinosaurs die out? Why do birds have wings/feathers/fly? Why is Superman weak with Kryptonite? (kindly inspired by the lovely Becky’s comment)
  • will then ask WHY to everything : Why do I have to go to school? Why do I have to eat that broccoli? Why do I have to do everything you say? Why do I have to brush my teeth? Why do I have to sleep now? Why isn’t Power Rangers on now at 12midnight and I’m not going to sleep until I watch it!
  • Will have TEN whys to everything – either it’s a delay tactic or they really want to know- up to you to figure that one out! Why do I have to wear? Why do I have to go? Why are we going? Why are we going in Daddy’s car? Why is this taking so long? Why aren’t we there yet? Why is my music not working in the car? Why is my biscuit yucky? Why is my water warm? And then it repeats again during the 3 hour ride to Nana’s.
  • have more adults/people on their radar whom they will love and admire – the wonderful music teacher, the swimming coach, the funny big brother buddy at school etc.
  • have a bigger world where they realise they are part of a friendship, a class, a school, a neighbourhood, a state, a country, the human race, the world.
  • have growing minds that actually find out about where you stashed that last piece of cake,
  • growing legs that will walk towards that said hiding place,
  • growing hands that will take YOUR last piece of cake,
  • growing mouths that will eat that cake, LIE about not eating it and then actually talking back (well, I didn’t see your name on it, did I?),
  • growing ears that don’t listen to your wails of desperation for that sugar fix and
  • a bigger heart that has no sympathy to your adult problems of no cake.
  • Did I say they will know that YOU actually eat all the Cake at home and is the #Cakethief at home?

A Tween is basically a bigger version of a toddler except YOU cannot physically carry them over the shoulder to get into the car for that detested swimming lesson anymore,  put them in a play pen for time out when you need some time out yourself, or negotiate with them as their voices are now much louder and sometimes, quite sensible.

Yes, the shocking realisation that your child might be, wait for it, but never ever repeat in public or at home (only allowed to repeat this in your shower with the music blasting), your child may be smarter than you. There I’ve said it! The defining moment when you realise you have a Tween in the house. They actually out-smart you on so many levels!

Some examples as below :




Go to bed.

No. I’m not tired. I want to watch TV.

Go to bed now!

How come you get to stay up and watch TV?

You have school.

You have work.

The MULK could not answer TRUTHFULLY on that occasion.



What do you want for breakfast?


That’s not breakfast.

Don’t YOU want cake for breakfast too?

The MULK could not answer that again TRUTHFULLY on that occasion.



Make your bed.


Make your bed.

Why? I’m only going to mess it again. Why do we have to do things that we have to do it again?

The MULK could not answer again as she secretly agrees with that Tween remark.



Get off the Wii.


It’s time to exercise.

I am exercising my thumbs.

Get off the Wii NOW!

You Get off Twitter/Facebook/Youtube First!

Check mate, The MULK!



Enough of Wii/Xbox/iPad/Youtube/Computer/TV now

Mummy, do you really love me?

Yes, very much.

Then why are you always telling me to STOP doing things I love to do things I hate (refer to #6).

The Mulk understands. She is also always being told by her partner and her boss to stop going on Twitter so that she can make them cups of tea and do some actual work.



Eat your vegetables, let’s do some homework, let’s clean up, Do your chores

Mummy, do you really love me?

Yes, very much.

I REALLY find that hard to believe.

The MULK understands. She is always being told what to do at work by her boss, her clients, in School, by other mums, and worse by her OWN mum.


THE MULK’S LEGAL DEFINITION : A Tween, is simply a Teen in waiting (now we know what the w stands for).



The Mulk’s handy guide to the Three Ts (Toddler, Tween & Teen) :

  1. Toddler – You buy the outfit. You choose outfit. Toddler yells, screams and cries. You bribe the child with praises, kisses, lollies, or chocolates. You dress the Toddler while the said Toddler is having a lolly or chocolate. You kiss your Toddler for being a good baby and you praise yourself for being a great mum.
  2. A Tween – You buy the outfit. Tween chooses the outfit. You scream, yell or cry. Tween becomes deaf. You then disconnect the wifi or turn off the electricity. Tween then agrees to dress himself in the dark while you eat your chocolate or lolly in the dark. The Tween writes a 2000 word acceptance speech for having accomplished the Nobel Prize Winning Moment of having dressed himself for YOU! #TweenMountEverestMoment. And he actually recites this speech on-loop on the three hour journey to see Nana.  He then repeats the whole speech to Nana when he sees her while you wished you had brought more chocolates and lollies in your bag.
  3. A Teen – Teen buys the outfit. Teen chooses the outfit. Teen dresses himself. You scream, yell and cry.  Teen praises you for being a Good Mum and then asks for the car keys. He leaves the cake and lolly for you. You eat the chocolate and lolly by yourself while the said Teen is probably kissing and praising someone else.

When The Mulk tries to be funny, she becomes Agent Spitback writing life nonsense.

Follow her on the silly brick road at https://www.facebook.com/agentspitback/

Tweet her nonsense at https://twitter.com/AgentSpitback


© ELT 2015. All rights reserved





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