So, I’ve heard a lot of comments about how kids these days are growing up way too fast. When I first heard complaints about this I didn’t think too much of it. Afterall, it’s the same thing our parents said to us, their parents said to them, and so on and so on. Nevertheless, I’ve recently come to believe there is a lot of truth to these accusations.
I have an eight year old niece who is more concerned with clothes and makeup than I ever was at that age. When I was eight years old I was into Barbies and the latest Fisher Price play set. My niece grew out of that stage two or three years ago. I’ve also noticed that children (girls) seem to dress far more sexually as time goes on. I work in retail and have seen 12 year olds walk into my store that imitate styles of girls in their late teens. Mini skirts, crop tops, and heels have become must have items for many young girls. These are much milder examples compared with other cases. Everyone hears horror stories about how kids are having sex at younger ages than ever before. The youngest I remember is a boy having sex at age 10 or 11. That completely baffles me.
One has to wonder why this is happening. Is the behavior of today’s juveniles really as extreme as people say? Or is it the typical opinion of the older population versus the up and coming youthful culture? Is our society becoming more corrupt and influencing kids? Or has this always been happening and now we just hear more about it?
In my opinion, it’s a combination of all these issues. Members of older generations will always find fault with younger generations. This has always been the nature of our community. Also, as our society becomes more open to discussion and technology encourages the spread of information, many aspects of our lives come to light that were not necessarily discussed or widely known before. I also think our world is slowly becoming a more dangerous and corrupt place, however, that is not entirely to blame for the behavior of the kids. Children have been shown to be more susceptible to outside influences (usually negative) depending on their background and home life. From what I’ve seen, some of the kids who dress and act far above their age group have parents that either support or show indifference to what their kids do.
I honestly think parents becoming more lax in discipline has a major impact on what these kids are doing. I wasnt allowed to wear lipstick on a semi-regular basis until I was around 13/14 years old. However, today I was just watching a fashion video about how Suri Cruise (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter) was becoming a trendsetter, wearing gold heels on one day and a dark red lipstick on another. Suri is only five. That’s just a Hollywood example but I have seen children in that age group with similar style habits.
Then of course there’s the media. Television, music, and movies have always influenced society’s youth. My niece is obsessed with the Nickelodeon show Victorious. The girls often sport short dresses, skirts, and stilettos, as part of their wardrobes. In certain snapshots you could easily mistake some of the teens girls for grown women.
In short, I do think that kids today are growing up way too fast. However, this is not a new phenomenon. They are products of society. This has always been the case. I think all we can do is monitor what these kids see and hear as much as possible and refrain from encouraging them to grow up to quickly. There shouldnt be groups of 12-year-old kids roaming the town unsupervised, five-year-olds in eyeshadow and heels, and preteens dressed like they’re going to the club. Childhood is a very important stage of life and it only comes once. When its gone they can’t get it back so try not to let them take it for granted.