Saving the World One Teen at a Time - Column on Parenting Tweens and Teens

Betwixt and Between.

by Kristy Campbell



I’d like to extend a virtual handshake to Mommy Tracked readers. I’m Kristy Campbell and if you have kids from 8-18, I’m your new best friend. I have five children from age 1 to age 17. If I've survived the madness – certainly so can you.


Many parents fear the pre-teen and teenage years -- and for good reason. The issues and stresses that arise during this period can be so overwhelming that it may seem like a better bet to close your eyes and just hope for the best. If you are brave enough to raise your head from the sand, perhaps together we can explore some ideas for raising perfectly imperfect tweens and teens.


Raising relatively happy, fairly well adjusted teens and young adults starts in the tween years. Tweens are defined by child development specialists and marketers as being ages 8-12. Some trend researchers are starting to talk about the pre-tween years being ages 6-8. Yep. The groundwork starts now. Sex talks. Crushes. Thongs. Eating disorders. Drugs. Ages 6-8. Seriously.


Here’s a quick quiz to see help you identify the species in case there is one lurking in your home.

  1. Have you had a request for a cell phone or email account or iPod from your child?
  2. Have you said no only to hear a door slam a few seconds later?
  3. Do you find yourself repeating directives only to hear stony silence in return?
  4. Does your child answer your questions with responses like “uh duh!” or give you that “you’re so lame” look?
  5. Have you added these words to your vocabulary: Wii, DS, Playstation?
  6. Is the “is your homework done” question a part of your nightly routine?
  7. Has your daughter passed into a strictly anti-princess phase?
  8. Are you wondering what the perfect age is to allow ear piercing?

Don’t be scared. I can help. My goal is to talk straight about the tough stuff.



Eager to hear someone speak candidly on topics like: Do you admit to your kids that you've done drugs?
Do you tell them how many people you've slept with?
Well - you said that you were going to "talk straight about the tough stuff." I figured that's the kind of stuff you have in mind.


You have 5 children ages 1 to 17? Oh my goodness.
I bet you have tremendous stories to tell.
Thank goodness you have a sense of humor. I've been waiting for a column that talks about what to expect when your kids pass into the scary tween/teen years. I can handle Hannah Montana - but sexting - not so much.


Thank goodness - and just in time for me!! will look forward to your articles. once again, MT saves my day.


Looking forward to reading your column. Even in the mommy blogging world, most stop blogging about their kid when they reach the teen years. Part of it is a privacy issue, but it make commiseration (an important mom survival skill) a lot harder to come by.