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Why shopping with a tween is an eye opener

Former author and creator of Twentisomethings.com, a site served to mentor/humor female twentysomethings through the most tumultuous decade of their lives. Resides in NYC.

Many of us can remember back-to-school shopping with mom. I’d run around the store with excitement finding all the latest trends while mom had either a full cart or two hands with clothes spilling over each arm. Her patience and selflessness during the process was something I failed to soak in at that age, but looking back I am still debating if she really is wonder woman or even human.

Sans my own children at this point in my life, I had the pleasure of taking a group of teens and tweens out for a BTS shopping spree at Forever 21.

Although the girls varied in age, each one of them had their own unique style and flair that set them apart. As soon as we entered the store they were off. Each on their own separate mission to find very specific items one in dire need of a practical pair of pants to pair with her tops, and another in search of a suit jacket that reminded her of wearing her father’s coat on a chilly night. They steered clear of purchasing similar outfits, and instead went with their intuition. My heart wanted to implode as I watched these girls come alive with each piece of clothing they picked out.

I’m sure for many mothers, back-to-school shopping is a hectic and even frustrating task. Holding back your honest opinion when they put together an outfit you can’t stomach, or are drawn to a trend you can’t fathom, cannot be easy. I can only hope when the time comes for my own tween to shop I will inherit my mother’s spirit to embrace it all.

I can honestly say that I learned more about these girls from five minutes of shopping than the hours I had previously spent with them. While my 29-year-old self wanted to be as selfless and patient as my own mother, I couldn't help but shop for an outfit for myself in the process.

Luckily for me, I blended in with the tweens pretty well.

What have your BTS shopping experiences been like?

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