GRAND Magazine - April 2009 - (Page 26)

teens Bewitched, betwixt and tween To an 11-year-old, you may be embarrassing By Carol Wall T he day may come when the grandchild you’ve cuddled, diapered, photographed, gifted at major (and minor) holidays and bounced on your knee opens the door to adolescence, breezes through and slams it in your face. For my friend Jill, devoted grandmother to 11-year-old Hannah, the moment came as she stood shivering (camera in hand) along a Christmas parade route in a small Southern town. She’d spotted Hannah’s float from afar and was experiencing the familiar rush of grandmotherly endorphins as the slowly moving flatbed truck with its fluttering streamers and bevy of go-go-dancing preteen girls approached. She anticipated the fetching pose Hannah would strike, the brilliance of the for-the-camera smile she always offered up on cue. Yet, when that photo opportunity arrived, the go-go-dancing Hannah in her ruby leotard and shimmering white boots responded with an icy stare. Jill watched in disbelief as the child she’d come to think of as a kind of junior soul mate pivoted on one stacked heel and made a dash through jerking arms and bobbing heads to the opposite side of the vehicle—a place where she could be neither recognized nor photographed, presumably—to continue her go-godancing rhythms to “Jingle Bell Rock” before an audience of proper strangers. According to Dr. Beth Kotchick, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at Loyola College in Maryland, behavior such as Hannah’s is typical for a child in the “tween” years—ages 10 to 13, a time associated with biological and other changes that can bring increased levels of stress. “Socially, peers and friendships become very 26 GRAND APRIL 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - April 2009

GRAND Magazine - April 2009
GRAND Central
Editor's Podcast
Lettuce Love You
Bewitched, Betwixt and Tween
Ask Grand: The Toxic Mom
The Breakfast Club
Sibling Boosters
Will They Be Misfits?
A Return to Elegance
What Makes Us Sick? A Quiz
GRAND Finale

GRAND Magazine - April 2009