Essay question: Why is it important to understand another person’s culture?
It is important to study a person’s culture because you learn their way of life and you respect it and you don’t force them to have your way of life and you don’t start war. –
Olivia, 9, South Florida
WHY LOS TWEENS & TEENS?
It is important to study a person’s culture because you learn their way of life and your respect it and you don’t force them to have your way of life and you don’t start war.
That statement written by my daughter for a recent Social Studies exam summed up 9 years of striving to open up a young mind to so many possibilities around us.
I must go back to infancy to derive the motivation behind this digital platform and blog’s creation. When children are born you hear all sorts of blessings and well wishes and funny warnings about “just wait for the TEEN years.” As I reflect I think, “and what of the TWEEN years?”- where was the warning on that? The years between around 7 – 12. To me, this is the scariest, and most amazing, time as a mother (so far!).
There are sooooo many changes. The kind of changes and development that can have seriously impact your child in the near future. It seems like a few months earlier they were these sweet kids that loved Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, Hannah Montana and superheroes. Suddenly this is all “so babyish” and not cool anymore. It seems EVERYTHING is an issue! Their clothes don’t fit, things are growing all over the place and even their faces take on a new look. So they aren’t babies anymore and they certainly are not teenagers- that’s the unique Tween perspective. Since I’m duly blessed with Twin Tweens- the changes are directly in my face even more so.
Some may suggest that the term ‘tween’ is less of a cultural issue and more of just an age thing. I DISAGREE. As a Latina mom I realize that this is the age where any cultural links I attempt to establish outside the ‘norm’ will be most challenged. IF you don’t focus on schoolwork, friends, coolness, discipline, spirituality (the list goes on) AND culture- the teen years certainly will not be the place to start emphasizing its importance. I go back to the opening statement. I can support my child’s learning to have an open mind if I anchor my efforts through presenting cultural understanding- starting with my own. And I use the term ‘cultural’ broadly to include a culture of faith, health, kindness, confidence, etc., and of course, ethnicity.
As our family treads through these amazing times with my girls and their friends (many of them boys!)- I was motivated by the fact that I wanted to create a forum where not only we can share our challenges and ideas surrounding this age group, but we could create and allow a forum for them- MyLosTweens.com. A safe, creative and lots-of-fun site for them to share.
I have asked my amiga and proud P.A.N.K, Anllelic Lozada, to jump on the bandwagon and lead this charge together. She brings the perspective of a boricua Personal Marketing Coach and a tia (auntie) of 6 living in NYC.
Our friends from Haitian, Japanese, Chinese, and other cultures will be joining us in the coming weeks to post their perspectives and challenges. Also, we will dive into raising tweens with disabilities and other concerns. All part of creating a broader culture for our tweens.
The content will continually develop and expand. We will have posts from pediatricians, adolescent counselors, teachers, community volunteers, athletes and of course, parents. We certainly welcome you on our journey and await your feedback and thoughts. Juntos podemos y esperamos tus comentarios!
– Cristy Clavijo-Kish
Los Tweens & Teens Publisher & Creator
@latinomarketing | @lostweens