It might seem like just yesterday that your little one was learning to walk or saying their first words. Flash-forward and they are soon to be a decade old! While you reminisce on the days of itty bitty booties and baby blankets, your tween is developing more and more every day. During the tween years, from ages 10-12, kids face new and sometimes daunting situations. From unfamiliar, complex emotions to new hygienic needs, (not to mention the birds and the bees), tweens bodies and minds are rapidly changing. They are going to need some additional support to get through it as happy and healthy as can be. So, keep reading for tips on how to prepare your child for the tween years. 


Puberty gets a bad rap. It is often seen as a big scary monster coming to change everything your child knows about themselves. But as we know, it only seems scary. Before the tween years start, be sure to explain to your child that a lot is about to change, but rather than having fear, they can look forward to the beautiful (albeit confusing) process to come. The best way to ease any worry or confusion is to let your child know what is going to happen before it starts. 

Everything that comes along with puberty such as body development, skin changes, hair growth, and, of course, periods for girls, brings them further into adulthood. Start by sitting down with your child and chatting about puberty while leaving room to answer any questions they might have. Let them know that while it might feel awkward at times, they have nothing to be embarrassed about and can always come to you or their pediatrician for help or advice. This sets your child up for a positive, healthy relationship with their body and with you.


While it might not have seemed too important to them before, as your child enters the tween years they need to keep in mind the changes that their body is undergoing and how this might affect their hygiene needs. Maybe they would like to shower more often, start using deodorant, or even begin shaving. Along with her period, your daughter will need products to support her cycle. 

Keep in mind what your child is going through and remember what you would have wanted to help you during your transition into adulthood. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about what resources they would recommend. Consider providing your teen with educational resources such as books that they can read to help them understand their development and make good choices.


With age comes responsibility! As tweens pick their preferred hobbies, start developing crushes, and spend more time unsupervised, it is essential that they know how to distinguish healthy habits from unhealthy ones and how to make good choices while avoiding danger. Encourage them to choose nutritious, filling meals, exercise regularly, limit time on technology, enjoy nature, and get enough sleep. 

Beyond the basics, parenting tweens involves teaching them about safety in and out of the home. Educate them about the dangers of drugs, how to say no, and what is appropriate behavior in a relationship. Yes, this means talking about the birds and the bees! While it might seem awkward, it is invaluable for tweens to learn now and feel supported by open, caring parents. Remember that you have the support of your tweens’ teachers and pediatrician to help you foster their independence in a healthy and positive way.


With newfound independence comes a new routine. Even though tweens might want to stay up a little bit later or eat more unhealthy foods, it is really important to help them establish a regular routine for their health and wellbeing. That means ensuring 9-12 hours of sleep per night, three balanced meals a day, getting outdoors, and regular exercise. 

As they start new academic years, they might need or want to take on more homework and extracurriculars. Work with them on how to schedule their time to support their physical and mental health. And of course, along with all of this, attending a yearly wellness checkup is a crucial part of any routine for kids in the tween age. It is critical to start establishing a lasting relationship with healthcare for their lifetime to come.

At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we know that parenting tweens can be tough! There is so much to explain and so many new experiences that you want to help prepare your child for. While it can be a challenge to step back and let your child discover the world and their bodies independently, remember, they are not without help. Your passionate Coastal Kids pediatrician is here to answer any questions about the tween years that you or your child might have. To make an appointment visit us at