Tonight, Monday evening, I happened to catch some of Two and One Half Men on CBS. It is a modern day comedy-a far cry from I Love Lucy that I so loved to watch on Monday nights at 9:00 PM so many years ago. That show had an innocense that Two and One Half Men lacks. However, it is a different era. And that’s what made tonight’s show so poignant, in terms of being a tween. The youngster, who is the son of one of the characters and the nephew of the other is going to Junior High or Middle School-I didn’t catch which. So the men are taking him shopping. They make him buy old people’s looking sneakers so no one will try to beat him up and steal his sneakers. They make him buy beige pants because no gang members wear beige. By the time they put him on the school bus he looks scared to death. As they walk away, one of the men remarks, “We’ve done all we could do, now it’s up to him.”
And I suppose that is true. We have done or not done what we can and now our tweens are out in our society, sometimes scared to death, exposed to pressures and worries that we would never have dreamed of as children. This is not good for them. Kids are still developing emotionally and physically. Having the pressures on them that someone might beat them up for their sneakers or simply beat them up because the other guy is in a gang is frightening.
Even though the ‘girl’ in my new book, The Truth, I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything, lives in a simpler time, she gives parents and tweens a great chance to talk about so many ’scary’ and complicated subjects. She is also worried about transitioning, just like the boy in the show. She also wants friends and to fit in. Sometimes it is easier to talk about important subjects when we simplify the setting. That’s what I did in this book. The Truth gives us direct access to look at all the issues surrounding growing up. And we should! Our tweens deserve it!