Attention tweens! This article will assist you in your quest for adulthood. I mean teenaged-hood.

How about Tween-dom? So put down your I-whatever and read up.

Many decisions are made in a family environment. These are decisions that will directly influence you and, if you aren't careful, will be made without your input. These will be important things, like:

What you will have for dinner

Where you will go for a family vacation

The color of T-shirts for the family reunion

What movie you will be seeing on Saturday night

If you are a boy having to sit through a plethora of films starring either Demi Lovato or Ashley Tisdale, then I'm sure you get me, man. (Do you know what a plethora is, young man? Use it in a sentence.)

If you are a girl who has had to sleep through another Transformers movie, then you should just say no! Or, if you have said no in the past and it has meant absolutely nothing, ask for a vote.

By the raise of hands

When you do not feel that your interests are being respected, it is your right to ask to be heard. Asking to be heard is not available in many nations that begin or end with the letters K, TH, or Z.

(If you live in Dzhezkazgan or southern Alash-kala Semipalatinsk, for example, you may have to sit through whatever movie has been distributed by dogsled, and chew on some blubber hide.

If you are in a country spelled with lots of vowels and you don't feel that your best interests are being represented, you are entitled to ask for a vote.

Here is a pointer in asking for representation in the polls, or the kitchen table. Be aware that your older brothers and sisters will try to influence your vote. They will be ruthless. They may duct tape you to the dog and try to vote for you in absentia.

You may have good luck hiring a lobbyist. Lobbyists are people of influence whom you can pay to convince your parents to do things your way.

Lobbying is a time-honored method to mediate between competing points of view. It is a system of checks and balances that keeps any group from a permanent position of power.

Policymakers (read: mom and dad) listen to lobbyists, especially when they are bought off with gifts and have their lunch paid for. These blood suckers (lobbyists) used to hang out in the lobbies of the English House of Commons trying to persuade members of parliament to vote their way.

Today, these same people would be called Kitcheners except, that's dumb.

All lobbyists do not have equal influence. Having your dad's mother lobbying your mother may not be a good idea. Instead, watch who your mother goes to for advice. Is it her mother-in-law, or her sister, Ruth?

Get Ruth on your side. Tell Ruth that she is your favorite aunt. It doesn't matter if she is your favorite aunt or not. Tell her what she wants to hear to get her to support your stance. This is politics, baby.

Be watchful, however. Ruth may feel she has too much power and get too big for her britches and may need to be pulled down. Deal with that another time.

Be aware that,

If you are constantly being outvoted, you may petition the body for a redress of grievances. This means that the voting hasn't been fair or that one side always gets its way. The best way to do this is to write down your issues, put them in an envelope, hand it to your parents and then scream at them until you get your way. Use this wisely as it will only work a time, or three, at best.

Remember that everyone needs to compromise. I am not talking about the compromise of one's standards or one's principles. I am speaking of the difference between a three-cheese pizza or a barbecued chicken.

Make alliances. Remember that the enemy of your enemy is, for this election, your friend. After voting on the movie, you can dump your little sister like a hot potato.

Don't rig the family election - unless you are very, very sneaky.

Please remember that you are not necessarily trying to uphold the current regime, nor are you trying to stage a coup. You are just trying to not see another Kevin Costner movie.

May the odds be forever in your favor.

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