Because 10 year olds have at least one year of tweener-age experience under their belt, what your birthday wish doesn’t say is more important than what it says. What shouldn’t appear in your 10th birthday message? Essentially…
…You should not include anything that remotely suggests that the 10-year-old birthday boy or girl is still a child — because, I can assure you, that he or she is not a child at all. Your average 10 year old is what advertisers refer to as tweeners” (primarily children aged 9 to 12 who fall somewhere between “little kid” and “teenager”). The “tweeniest ” boys and girls are aged 10 to 12. That’s because, as South Australia’s Women’s and Children’s Health Network argues, “from 10 to 12 years of age, children start to move from childhood to a view of a more adult world that they will clearly want, or be forced to join, in the near future.This change in perspective, more or less, dictates the kind of 10th birthday wishes you should choose for a 10-year-old birthday boy or girl. Instead of childlike birthday messages with, for example, references to birthday cake, balloons and ice cream, you’ll need birthday greetings that respect and encourage the more adult view of a 10 year old’s world. A raisingchildren.net article, entitled Pre-teens development: overview, suggests that tweens “are busy working out who they are and where they fit into the world” at this age, so you should consider the following milestones (and my birthday wish recommendations based on these milestones): They are “searching for identity,” so an inspirational birthday message that focuses on their best qualities would go a long way with them.
They are “seeking more independence and might want more responsibility (and may want to spend less time with family and more time with friends and peers),” so, once again, an inspirational birthday message would be the way to go, but this one should focus on their growing independence in a very positive light (so no jokes about this milestone).
They are “likely to be more self-conscious, especially about their physical appearance and changes,” so a happy or sentimental birthday greeting that praises what you like about their appearance would be most welcome (if you can’t find anything nice to say about their appearance, don’t take this route because they can smell a lie a mile away).
They are “showing strong feelings and intense emotions at different times,” so a funny birthday message that pokes fun at some aspect of their appearance or personality is clearly not a good idea for these overly sensitive tweens.
They are “seeking out new experiences and are engaging in more risk-taking behavior, yet are likely to be thinking more about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ (and are starting to develop a stronger individual set of values and morals),” so an inspirational birthday verse with a subtle message that could build their moral fiber might do the trick here (“trick” because you need to pick a birthday wish that can camouflage this message).
They are “influenced more by friends, especially when it comes to behavior, sense of self and self-esteem,” so a sentimental birthday wish about the importance of their friendships would be the right path.
When all is said and done, you’ll need 10th birthday wishes that aren’t babyish in nature, since treating a 10 year old like a child is slightly patronizing for them (and you won’t get the reaction you want, which is to make them feel special). The tweener-oriented 10th birthday wishes aren’t patronizing at all, giving you ample opportunity to actually coax a smile out of your 10-year-old birthday boy or girl.
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