I have a ten year old. By definition now, she is considered a tween. In addition to her I also have two teenage boys. A senior in high school and a sophomore in high school. Teenagers. Teens. Those who are not babies and not yet adult people. They are those who still live at home.
So where are the websites, resources, and “expert blog sites” for me? Does parenting end at 8 or 9? I proposed this question to someone who was touting their new blog farm as “The Go To Site For Parents of babies, toddlers and beyond!” But I am guessing “and beyond” means up to 8. (Surprisingly, I got no response when I asked about their huge missing demographic of teens.)
In 2005 I spoke on the first mommyblogger panel at BlogHer. My kids were 10, 8 and 3. Today’s dream demographic for blogs and marketers! There are websites, blogs, magazines etc all dedicated to those ages. But guess what happened. Go on. Guess.
Did you guess they grew up? Bingo. Those kids are now the teens and tween. You see, these adorable babies and toddlers and young grade school kids grow up. And you want want to know what there is out there for the parents of these now older kids.
Not a damn thing. Squat. Nada.
Busymom wrote about it.
Cursingmom wrote about it.
Joanne, Glennia, Beth, Deb, and I sat and talked for hours at BlogHer’11 about how under represented parents of teens are online. How much marketers, magazine blogs and the latest in “blog farms” are missing out by ignoring such a huge demographic. (Trust me when I say I spend a helluva lot more on my tweens and teens than I ever did on the kid toys. WAY more!)
With one post on Busymom’s site commenters (parents of tweens and teens) agreed how sad it is to have such little representation out there. I am talking about well known, long time bloggers like Liz, Melisa, Headless Mom, Melissa, Shannon, Cheryl, Robyn, Babybloomr…those are just a few moms who piped up in agreement.
A big “argument” about why there are not many sites about teens is because our children no longer want us to write about them.(Your precious little one probably doesn’t you to be writing about them either, but that is a totally different topic.) I am not talking about writing about their lives like we did when they were children without a voice to tell us to stop. I am talking about resources, advice, support. When newborn cries, there are usually only a handful of things that can be wrong. (I know there are exceptions.) With a teenager? Oh for the love of all things moody, hormonal and life changing there could be a million things. But even if it isn’t “What’s wrong?” there are things that we– as parents of teens– would love to have support with.
- Changing relationships.
- Etc, etc.
Unless you have a support system, you are on your own figuring it out.
I have also heard that marketers are trying to directly hit the teen market rather than go through parents. I call bullshit on that one. Where do they think these teens and tweens are going to get the money? It’s called the bank of Mom and Dad. To try to bypass us is ridiculous. And very, very short sighted. It doesn’t help when a company who is trying to reach out to parents of teens use parents whose children haven’t even hit the double digits as spokespeople. Isn’t that kind of like asking a man to tell you what labor feels like?
I actually got an email from a PR rep that first mentioned that “even though your kids are still very young….” (tuned out right there) blah blah blah “and I have found there are so few bloggers with teens these days.” The hell? What Internet have you been on. I can give you a list of over 70 and still not have a complete list.
Those little kids on the adorable mommyblogs are going to become tweens and teens. Those adorable little Pampers wearing cherubs will become moody little strangers. Then what? To quote cursingmama, “The Internet is no place for parents of teens.”
What do you think? Do you want your voice heard? Do you want more resources? Do we storm the gates trying to get the current market to listen or do we do it ourselves? Just as we had to fight the whole “mommy bloggers aren’t worth our time” situation almost 8 years ago. (Now? They are are holy grail of bloggers. And yes, I am going to say that those who now have tweens and teens did help pave the way to that reality.) Is this our new stand? I’d love to hear from you! Share your blog. Share what you want to see. What do you think about the representation of tweens & teens– or under representation?
If they aren’t able to meet our needs, do we do it ourselves and pave the way for the Pampers generation to come? Again?