Over the past decade, a profitable new marketing group has been identified: tweens. Many people mistakenly believe it represents a bona fide psychological stage of development when it was actually created by the business world to carve out a new marketing niche. The term is applied almost exclusively to girls, not boys, and implies that girls ages eight to eleven are “between” childhood and their teen years, rather than the young children they still are. When younger girls are directly targeted by the media, they are that much more susceptible to messages that negatively influence their self-regard and distract them from more important developmental tasks, such as learning how to act kindly toward their peers, write a proper paragraph, or imagine their future as a novelist or astronaut. In turn, the positive self-image characteristic of eight to ten-year-olds erodes, leaving a flimsy foundation for adolescent identity development. — SuEllen Hamkins, MD and Renee Schultz, MA
I prefer mud to media; it’s so much easier to wash out. Keep froggin’ girls!