Friday, April 6, 2018

A Ten Year-Old Is NOT a Teenager!

Recently our oldest child turned ten years old. She was quite excited to be up in the double-digits, and tried to convince us that this meant she is now a teenager.

No!!! A 10 year-old is NOT a teenager! (And we made this fact abundantly clear to her.)

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the birth of our daughter.
(And celebrating the fact that she is not yet a teenager.)
Our ten year-old is our oldest, so The Wife and I have not yet dealt with a teenager of our own. But, my wife teaches at the junior high, so she knows a thing or two about how to handle teenagers. Plus, we were both teenagers once, too. (Although for me that was a long, long, long time ago.) What I'm trying to say is that, despite what my daughter might think, there are some significant differences between a ten year-old and a teenager. Here are just a few of them:

*The word "teen" does not appear anywhere in the labeling of someone as a ten year-old. (Or an eleven year-old.) (Or a twelve year-old.) Yes, "thirteen" will come soon enough, but in the meantime we've got three years in which our child is most definitely not a teenager.

*10 year-olds do not have any need for their own cell phones. This is an irrefutable fact, even though they might not agree.

*Facebook does not allow a 10 year-old to have an account. A person must be 13 years old before they can sign up for a Facebook account. The same is true for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Kik, and Snapchat. (I have no idea what half of those things are. I looked it up on Google, for which I am definitely old enough.)

*Liberal Hollywood even recognizes there is a difference between 10 year-olds and teenagers. The movie rating system is not PG-10, it is PG-13.

*Ten year-olds still play with little kid toys, and there's nothing wrong with that.

*A ten year-old might get from one place to another by means of skipping. (You don't see teenagers skipping anywhere very often.)

*In a ten year-old's imagination, anything is still possible. (Teenagers can become a little too grounded in reality.)

These three double-digit-but-not-yet-teenager years can be some of the best years of a child's life. They're old enough and smart enough to occasionally interact competently with adults, but they're still young enough to enjoy all the benefits of childhood.

There's no need to be in a rush about growing up.

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