Take this story which my daughter recounted recently. Her 5th grade teacher was reading out loud to the class and came across a word she wasn't familiar with. It was the word "plight," and I admire my daughter's teacher for using it as a teachable moment for the class. She stopped reading and told the class that she was going to look up its meaning. She referenced an online dictionary and then assigned "plight" as a spelling word for the week. One girl in the class said to the teacher, "You don't know what plight means?" Believe it or not, this did not land her in the principal's office like it might have during my time...I suppose my daughter's teacher is more patient and astute with tweens than I am! Ten minutes later, when the kids were copying down the spelling words, the young lady had the audacity to ask my daughter what the definition of "plight" was, because she hadn't been paying attention.
Or here's another example: I showed my daughter my bio for this blog, and she snorted, "Breadwinner! You aren't the breadwinner in this family. I am. I can't even remember the last time you baked bread!" My husband and I just looked askance at her.
"Do you know what 'breadwinner' means? Because it doesn't mean someone who bakes the best bread…"
Luckily my tween still has childish good humor and a little bit of humility. "It doesn't?" she giggled.
What behaviors are common with your tweens? (And how do you cope?)