Your child, cute little Bobby, sweet Suzy, you think they're cute and sweet and no one can tell you any different. You know they are plus perfect on top of all of it. But they feel ugly, not pretty or cute, and they feel awkward. We have all been through it and have traveled down that road. One lady knows exactly what they are going through. Merilee Allred watched and observed and created the Awkward Years Project.

The site has become a space for survivors of all of the horrible trauma we went through known as 'teenagehood.' On the site you can share pictures of yourself taken then and now and share stories of who your were and who you've become. Yes, grownups holding a picture of themselves as awkward preteens and teens.

Our children need to know that they are 'great people in the making' according to Merilee. They need to know that their lives are only beginning; see their potential and not let anything get in their way as they go through this difficult period in their lives. Don't let people bully you. Remember, it is the differences that set you apart from everyone else and you should celebrate that.

Yeah, I was there as well. I was in dire need of orthodontics when I was a tween. My brother dubbed me 'Uncle Buck.' It stuck and kids took that one for a long ride. For years, in fact.  My brothers kids still call me by that name to this day. (Can't wait until his kids have kids.) And I was a chubby mug as well. It took a long time to get over all of the teasing and bullying I received over the years. I wish this site had been around some years back.

So how did you survive your tween / teen years?