Become a Tween Advocate in 2016

As we enter a new year and think about goals, I think about many things that I want to do. I have a long list, and I have come to the conclusion that I am too busy to address everything I want to do. 

Even though my life is really crazy, one thing that I want to make sure of is that I am posting here. 
I plan to have a post every Monday. 

I am a little late this week, but I have been grappling with sharing this post. This post is really personal for me. 

One big thing that has really been on my heart is to become a more active tween advocate in my community. 

So much is shaped in the tween years.  As a tween physically changes and enters into puberty, they are burdened with the task of finding out who they are. 

If that isn't a big enough task, body image issues and self esteem become a problem within this age range. This is especially true with tween girls who are maturing faster and faster. As these tweens are changing and growing, they need the tools to deal with these issues. 
More and more studies are being conducted to understand this. Recently, I ran across a Yahoo article entitled The Age Girls Become Self-Conscious and found it really troubling. 

If  tweens don't have the tools needed to deal with these issues early on, they might face body image issues, depression, drug abuse, or even cutting and suicide. 

I know this isn't a cheery subject, but it has really hit me hard this holiday season. 

 I have a lot of friends have faced cutting and I have lost a friend to suicide. So many more of the people around me  silently face depression.  

When the holidays come around, I think of my loved ones that face these issues, and I think of my friend who passed away. 

Mental health issues are a silent epidemic that none of my school administrators acknowledged and as a kid I didn't know how to handle it. 
Questions just kept swirling around in my head. 

What if someone was there for us in middle school? What if we had a mentor to teach us these skills? What if they got help for their depression?  Would it have changed things? 

Then these questions turn into- what can I do about this? How can we change this? 

I don't ever want one my tween library kids to face these issues. I don't ever want them to know what it is like to lose a friend to suicide. 

This year, I want to be there for them on a deeper level. I want to become their mentor and help them to connect to free organizations in the community for help and resources. By working with tweens and their families, I believe we can make a difference. 

So many families and kids don't get help because they don't have the money, are embarrassed, or don't know where to go. 

We need a bridge to connect these resources to our community. I think the library is the perfect avenue for this. 

In addition to reading middle grade books, creating regular tween programming, and staying up on current trends and fades, I will be learning how to become a mentor. My hope is to partner with families to create a stronger support system for my tweens. I hope that by working together, we can give tweens the tools they need to deal with the hard issues that they face. 

Will you join me? If you would like to join, grab one of the buttons below. 

Let's connect our tweens to books, programming, and mentors in our community. 

- Pamela


  1. Pamela-

    You are amazing and the perfect person to an advocate for tweens. You already do such a great job and I am always inspired by you! The library is a perfect place for tweens and to help them discover who they in a safe and inviting place. I think this is a great goal-let's work hard to make it a focus in 2016!

    1. Sarah,
      That means so much to me! Thank you for all of your support.