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Tween Spotting: 10 Signs Your Son Is Growing Up

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Teens—My 10-year-old son was just a baby yesterday. The growing pains must have been tremendously painful, because, in what felt like overnight, he's above my shoulders in height and can almost look at me eye-to-eye. What's worse is he talks back every chance he dares—all signs he is leaving childhood in the dust. The years have flown and I'm not succeeding at stopping the clock even for a second now. Last week he was taking a bottle. Next week he'll be filling out college applications. Can you relate?

Boy taking a bite out of a fake gigantic cheeseburger at Universal Studios

Top 10 Ways to Tell Your Child Is a Tween

Here is a top 10 list of dead giveaways that showed me my son left childhood behind to enter the pre-teen years. I'm not gonna lie. I'm more than a little afraid!

  1. He asks to do chores to earn money for a bike and clothes? CLOTHES? When did he start caring about tween style? Next, he'll be asking for deodorant! Right when he decides it's cool to shower.
  2. He flips his hair like Justin Bieber (even though it's super short and can't remotely flip).
  3. He wears the same shoe size as I do.
  4. He tells me I embarrass him all.the.time.
  5. He won't let me give him high fives, or, heaven forbid hug him, in public.
  6. He notices girls. WHAT????
  7. He started running on my treadmill every day to get exercise. (He's ridiculously skinny already!)
  8. He turned down a picture with Spider Man and a Harry Potter wand on our recent trip to Universal Orlando Resort, because those photo opps and souvenirs are for "little kids," not tweens like him.
  9. He started ordering off the adult menu, because the kids' menu doesn't fill him up anymore. OUCH! PRICEY!
  10. He started his own business (a lemonade stand) and hired employees! Why are they teaching business classes to kids in school. He keeps quoting that McDonald's is a 32 billion-dollar company. I think he's going for the big bucks with his business!

In better news, behind closed doors, he still snuggles with me and does fist bumps as long as I don't tell anyone. Shhhhhh!

What signs have you seen that show you your kids are moving from one phase to the next in their growing up years?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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