Are Kids Growing Up Too Fast?

catie flaherty

Kids are kids for a reason. This is so they can play with no fears, express themselves freely, and ultimately live vicariously with no boundaries. Childhood is about innocence and the memories should be simple. Its seems that since my own childhood this is no longer what’s happening among kids. They are being corrupted by the social medias and trying their best to grow up as fast as possible. But why?

Examining role models; From my own experience, my role models from my youth included those who I saw on TV and movies. Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, and Barney are just a few to be named. But now what kids are seeing on TV is not what should be regarded as “role model worthy.” Hannah Montana, a teenage pop star is played by Miley Cyrus has had multiple scandals about drugs, sex, and alcohol. What are kids supposed to perceive as right if their favorite character is doing the complete opposite?

Publicity; Toddlers and Tiaras, a TLC reality show follows mini beauty queens on the journey to win coveted titles at children’s pageants. The main focus of this reveals the luxuries 7 year olds admire such as getting spray tans, hair extensions, handfuls of makeup, manicures, and fake teeth. Since when does a little girl that young need to look the part of a 20 year old who struggles with natural beauty issues and covers her insecurities with modifiers? The clear message is promoting the idea that appearance is everything and in order to be truly successful one must be good enough the cover up the imperfections while looking flawless.

Technology; Because of the increase in technology children are becoming more adept at mastering devices that previously were not available. Video games, ipods, cell phones, and computer are accessible in the rooms, pockets, and ears of kids everywhere. They are current with the newest available gadgets which has become their current toys of choice.

The idea of children growing up faster than previous generations has become almost impossible to avoid because of outside pressures and influences. Nostalgia is only reflecting on the past, but in order to fully understand the youngest generation one must look at the present perspective. They will then see it is not the fault of the kids, but only the fact that they are being raised in an ever- changing time where media, publicity, and role models are not the same as before.