Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tween Boys Interest in "Grooming" is Growing

Did you catch the article in yesterday's NYT about tween boys and grooming? The "For Tween Boys, Masculinity in a Spray Can" article finds that tween boys are using grooming products, such as Axe and Old Spice, in growing numbers. The reason? To assert more control over their own changing bodies and to attract girls.
The next time your tween daughter attends a co-ed party or dance and is stressing about what to wear, this should be some consolation that the playing field is more even than she thinks.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tweens and Allowances

Does your tween earn or receive an allowance? Earlier this month there were rumors flying about the amount of allowance Madonna's daughter, 13-year old Lola (or Lourdes) Leon, receives (one Italian newspaper claimed she received the most of any Hollywood celebrity kid - a whopping $11,000/week). Before you jump off the deep end, however, know that there were other reports last Fall that claimed that Ms. Leon's allowance was a more modest 10 pounds/week or $16/week.

But this got us to thinking: what is an appropriate amount of allowance for a tween? There are lots of schools of thought about whether an allowance should be earned or granted, tied to chores or not, or given at all.

We do give our tween girls an allowance, but it's on the lower end of what we hear is average here in Washington, D.C. The devastating earthquake in Haiti has actually had an impact on this topic as we discuss with our daughters the steps they can take to help the people of Haiti. We admire the construct of saving a third, donating a third, and spending a third, and discuss this model with them and how it might change in times of great need.

Do you give your tween(s) an allowance? Do you tie the allowance to chores, or are they separate issues in your house?

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More Pics of Joe Jonas with the Special Olympics in D.C.



As reported earlier, tween star Joe Jonas is in Washington, D.C. today to support the Special Olympics. He posted several photos of his trip on the Jonas Brothers' Facebook page (Twixt is a fan, of course!), including the one above.

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Tween Heartthrob Joe Jonas on the Hill NOW!


Joe Jonas is in DC today. You can join us on the Hill for a reception for the Special Olympics from 5-7pm or follow Joe's tweets on his trip.


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Joe Jonas in Washington, DC TOMORROW, Jan. 27th on the Hill!


Joe Jonas will be in Washington, D.C. tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27th, to urge for continued government support and to advocate for the proposed Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act of 2010. He will be on Capitol Hill along with leaders of the Special Olympics, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, and many others. Mr. Jonas will spend the day meeting with other members of Congress and then will attend a reception in celebration of the spirit of Eunice Kennedy Shriver (Mrs. Shriver, who passed away in August 2009, founded Special Olympics in 1968).

WHERE: Hart Senate Building, Room 902, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
WHEN: Wednesday, January 27, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
WHY: More than 200 million people worldwide have intellectual disabilities, making this the largest disability group worldwide. Intellectual and developmental disabilities cross racial, ethnic, educational, social, and economic lines, and can occur in any family.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It Takes a Village: No Name Calling Week is January 25-29, 2010



No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled "The Misfits" by James Howe. The book tells the story of four best friends trying to survive the seventh grade in the face of all too frequent taunts based on their weight, height, intelligence, and sexual orientation/gender expression. Hmmm . . . sound familiar?!?!

Motivated by the inequities they see around them, the "Gang of Five" (as they are known) creates a new political party during student council elections and run on a platform aimed at wiping out name-calling of all kinds. Though they lose the election, they win the support of the school's principal for their cause and their idea for a "No Name-Calling Day" at school.

No Name-Calling Week was created by GLSEN and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing and consists of over 40 national partner organizations. The first No Name-Calling Week in schools across the nation took place March 1-5, 2004; this year, it will take place the week of January 25-29, 2010. The project seeks to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools, and to provide students and educators with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities. The focus is on grades 5 through 8 - you know, those awkward middle-school/tween years.

You can get more information on this project on their website, www.nonamecalling.org, and download free materials on how to stop bullying in our communities. We blogged about bullying before (this is one of Demi Lovato's big causes), and we also covered this topic during the Tween Summit last fall. It takes a village, people, so check out this site and get involved!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Tween Parenting Guru in DC Tonight - Rosalind Wiseman!


Tween parenting guru Rosalind Wiseman is in Washington, DC TONIGHT at the National Press Club to discuss women in politics. This event is free and open to the public.

Ms. Wiseman's newest book is a novel for tween girls called "Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials" and just came out January 12th. She will be back in D.C. on her Girl World Tour on April 6th - a must see for all mothers and their tween daughters. Stay tuned for more details.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gorgeous Fun Gems for Tweens from Tarina Tarantino


One of our fave designers, Tarina Tarantino, has just introduced a new line of fun gems for tweens called Electric Hearts. They come in a rainbow of shades and are bedazzled in Tarina's signature crystals. We LOVE them!

BTW, did you see Selena Gomez rocking this look in Seventeen? So pretty.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tweens Plugged In All the Time


The New York Times today ran an article entitled "If Your Kids Are Awake, They're Probably Online" citing new statistics released by the Kaiser Family Foundation on kids' online habits. The study, released today, finds that kids ages 8 to 18 (which includes the tween demographic) are consuming 11 hours of media a day - if that statistic seems high, it's because kids are master multitaskers who will listen to music on their iPod while working on a laptop with the TV on in the background. They spend about seven and a half hours "plugged in" a day, PLUS one and half hours talking or texting on the phone. Furthermore, the study found a strong correlation between the number of hours spent plugged in and obesity, behavior problems, and poor grades. The study also found that the heaviest media users were tweens.

Wow. Makes one think.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Kids Can Help Haiti


Kudos to Nick!

Adding to Selena Gomez's UNICEF message last week, more tween organizations are helping to get kids involved in helping Haiti. Nickelodeon has created a website in record time that helps kids identify age-appropriate fundraising ideas, organizations to support, and ways to help the people of Haiti. The site is at www.nick.com/helphaiti and is called the Big Help.

Definitely worth visiting.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tween Queen Selena Gomez Urges Action to Help Haiti

Selena Gomez was busy in 2009 in her role as UNICEF's (youngest ever!) Ambassador and constantly uses her celebrity to hype worthy causes. The horrific earthquake in Haiti is no exception, and Ms. Gomez posted this video asking for help for UNICEF's efforts on the ground in Port-au-Prince. Please join us in our prayers and thoughts for the Haitian people.



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Friday, January 15, 2010

Indi's Blog: Review of the American Girl Place in Boston, MA

As reported by 10-year old tween, Indi:
The American Girl Place in Boston is definitely one of my top ten things to do. This winter my family and I went there, it was AMAZING!!!!

When I first got inside what I saw was rows and rows of every American Girl thing I had ever heard of. There was everything from doll clothing to doll food, there was even clothing for you to match your doll! Even that did not end it, upstairs there was even more clothing but there was also a doll hair salon!! At the salon you could get your dolls hair done or even treat them to some special skincare. I had my doll’s hair done; she looked really good afterward. I was really impressed. Across from the salon there was a cafĂ© where you could order food for you and your doll. It was really good food. I am definitely going to go there again very soon.

I give it 5 stars!

We blogged about American Girl craft kits earlier.


Should Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/MySpace Be Blocked By Schools?

Tweens are using social media (Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/MySpace) a lot more these days - they post pics of their friends and family, watch episodes of Fred or Justin Bieber videos (that's how he was discovered, actually), and follow their favorite celebrities on Twitter (or not, as Miley Cyrus famously quit Twitter last year) (check out MsTwixt's list of Tween Celebs on Twitter) and bands on MySpace (including Honor Society, Selena Gomez and Emily Osment). And in recent days, we've all witnessed how social media has been used for good - more than $6 million has been raised in the U.S. alone towards earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, much it driven by social networks and text messages. Demi Lovato even took to Twitter to encourage her fans to get involved to help.

Some of this takes away from studying and certainly shouldn't be done in school, but should schools totally block them? The debate is on, with proponents of blocking social media sites claiming that they are a distraction at best and used for cyber-bullying at worst. Opponents of banning social media in schools are beginning to grow, claiming that they're simply a new channel (not unlike mobile phones) and can actually be used to monitor and pre-empt social problems. Slate magazine, an online opinion blog, recently ran an op-ed on the subject.

Full disclosure: MsTwixt uses social networking a lot (you can follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MsTwixt, join our Facebook page, or see us on MySpace at www.MySpace.com/MsTwixt), but this is about tweens using social networks.

What do you think?

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Taylor Swift Says "Thank You January"


Tween fave Taylor Swift blogs, but only occasionally. Here's what she just posted yesterday:

"Thank you January. I have had this month off. I have walked on snow-covered grass and discovered new coffee shops and laughed hysterically with friends about things that probably weren't technically funny. I've written songs on napkins and sat at a giant table with my whole family on my mother's birthday, all of us in one place for the first time in too long. I've gotten to take what has happened to me and process it to my full capability, and celebrate it the way it deserved to be celebrated. I've made new music. I've gone over the memories and jumped up and down with my producer and floated around with nothing on my schedule other than just appreciating what my life has somehow turned into. So thank you for giving me so much to be thankful for this January. Thank you beyond what I know how to say.

I got a new camera. Do you want to see some pictures?"

She has some GREAT PIX on her site! One is posted here.

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Tween App for the iPhone: Littlest Pet Shop


How cute is this? Littlest Pet Shop, which SO many tweens have on their Nintendo DS, has just launched a mini version as an iPhone app. The price is right, just $2.99 from the iTunes store.

Another popular tween game, Cooking Mama, was also launched as an iPhone app a little while ago.

So cool to use with those fun candy-themed earphones she got during the holidays.

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Miley, JosBros, and Justin Bieber to Present at the Grammy Awards!

The Recording Academy, organizer of the Grammy Awards, announced that Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, and Justin Bieber have joined the cast of presenters at the Grammy Awards. The show airs live on January 31st at 8pm EST. Taylor Swift, Green Day, and Lady Gaga will also perform.

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Tween Band HONOR SOCIETY is coming to D.C.!


Tween fave Honor Society (under the Jonas Brothers record label) is returning to Washington, D.C. this weekend. They are touring with Timbaland and will be at the 930 Club on Saturday, January 16th! It's the early show at 630pm, and tickets are available for $35.00 at the 930 Club website.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tween Girl Raises Funds for Ballet Shoes for Disadvantaged Kids

One of our fave sites, Tween Tribute, just ran a story about 10-year old tween Drew Buckley who was able to prove 100 pairs of new ballet shoes to kids in need at a local dance school. The young philanthropist said, "The shoes make it a little more official for the kids. It makes them feel like any other kid in a ballet class." Great story!

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Happy Birthday to Emily Grace Reaves!


The actress, cousin of Noah and Miley Cyrus, is 11 years old today. You may remember her from her role as Cindy Lou in the Hannah Montana Movie or from the Noie and Ems Show.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Justin Bieber to Perform a Free Show Before the Super Bowl - Tween Fans Cheer!


Tween heart-throb Justin Bieber just announced that he will perform at a free show before the SuperBowl in Miami as part of the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam. The show will be Thursday, February 4th, and fans can get free tickets starting Monday, January 11th at www.ticketmaster.com

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It's Tintin's 81st Anniversary!


Chances are, your tween is a fan of the graphic novel (that's comic books to us parents). If they're not already, you should DEFINITELY introduce them to the Tintin series by Georges Remi - written under the pen name, Herge. This set of 20 comic books follows intrepid reporter Tintin on adventures around the globe. These are well researched, sophisticated comics that continue to capture the imagination of kids and adults. The tween years are the perfect age to appreciate Tintin as they have begun studying other countries and can follow more complex plots. Tintin first appeared in a children's supplement to a Belgium newspaper on January 29, 1929.

Image from an 1945 ad by Casterman.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Here's to The King!

Happy belated birthday to Elvis Presley! The King would have been 75 years old on January 8th. Enjoy a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich, rumored to have been the King's favorite!

Another Elvis, Elvis Costello, is also in the news today for being a key inspiration to Nick Jonas on his upcoming solo album, Nick Jonas and the Administration. You can read about our coverage of his D.C. concert here.

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Nick Jonas Debuts New Song in D.C.

Nick Jonas is on tour with his solo act, Nick Jonas and the Administration (so named for his Presidential aspirations), and did a show at the Warner Theatre in Washington this week. He performed a brand new song - which will not be on his album - called "Stay". The star is also a big Tweeter, and he posted the following about "Stay": “Played a new song I wrote last night, at the show tonight called ‘Stay.’ Its about fallin’ for someone. I hope you like it when you hear it.” You can follow Mr. Jonas on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nickjonas and stay up on everything new and cool for tweens with MsTwixt at www.twitter.com/MsTwixt



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Happy Belated Birthday to Noah Cyrus!


Miley Cyrus' little sister, Noah, celebrated her 10th birthday on Thursday. This young lady is star of her own YouTube show, "The Noie and Ems Show", along with her cousin and BFF, Emily Grace Reeves (who had a role in The Hannah Montana Movie). She also lent her voice to the Ponyo movie along with Frankie Jonas. This photo of Ms. Cyrus was taken yesterday at her father's (Billy Ray Cyrus) movie premiere in L.A. for The Spy Next Door (which opens in theatres January 15th) - what do you think of her You-Belong-To-Me-Taylor-Swift big glasses look?

Photo taken by oceanUP

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New Sparkly LipGloss by Tarina Tarantino - Perfect for Tweens!


Tarina Tarantino, one of our favorite designers, is set to launch a line of cosmetics at Sephora in February. We already love Tarina's sparkly jewelry and can't wait to see the packaging for her make-up. Perfect for tweens, the Pure Sparklicity lip gloss is sure to be a big hit.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

R.I.P. Fashionology LA



We received the sad news that tween store FashionologyLA is closing as of January 21, 2010. No details as yet, but we are so sad to seem them go.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Review of Dylan's Candy Bar - the Candy Wonderland


The following review is written by a 10-year old tween:

Over the break my family and I went to New York on our way to Boston. In New York, one of the most famous candy stores in the world (in my mind at least) and the biggest in the world (It is 15,000 square feet! Can you believe that?!), is located there: this place is Dylan’s Candy Bar. As I walked into the store the first thing I notice is a HUGE lollipop tree right in the middle of the store. It is surrounded by lollipops for sale which looked delicious! Next I went near the stairs of the store, right in front of it was a HUGE chocolate bunny (I wish it was real chocolate) its clothes looked and felt like foil, the sign next to it said “DO NOT TOUCH”. Oops!

I went down the steps next, what I saw was awesome: the steps were filled with candy from the store. As I descended the steps I saw two places in which gummy letters spelled out “May every step you take be sweet” and “Stairway to candy heaven” - it was so cool. When I got downstairs I saw every kind candy in the world. I had a hard time deciding which ones to get.

For lunch, as a treat, my family and I had a sundae (yes, a sundae for lunch) but this was not just any sundae, this was the “I Bet You Can’t” sundae, it had ten scoops of ice cream, each a different flavor, whipped cream, sprinkles, and bits of peanut butter cups it was delicious! When it was time to go, no one wanted to go but we had candy and had eaten enough ice cream for a lifetime and were tired. FIVE STARS FROM ME!

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