May 25, 2010

I have a serious gripe about the childhood experience in the new millennium.

It's absolutely and completely devoid of innocence. In fact, the concept of innocence as a basic right of childhood has disappeared. Whatever happened to the good ol' days when children were allowed to be children? They wore children's clothes. Played children's games. Talked about things children should talk about. And worried about things only children should worry about, like, How am I going to clean my room quick enough to go outside and play? Or, Will Johnny play with me when I get outside? Or, How fast do I have to pedal this bike to make it home before the streetlights come on?

Does anybody else remember these glory days?

Instead, today most parents are dressing their children like mini-adults, in smaller versions of the trashy stuff adults wear. I see little girls in miniskirts, tight jeans, high-heeled shoes and wearing training bras before they have anything to train. I see 4-year-old boys with pierced ears and diamond studs -- sometimes two. Everybody is in a rush for children to grow up.

On any given day in the parenting blogosphere, you'll find someone, somewhere asking if 10 years old is too young to start waxing legs, or some other mommy-angst over eyebrow- or lip-waxing for 8-year-olds. If a child is being teased because of excessive hair growth, then I may understand a parent giving it some consideration (depending on the child's age), but this excessive attention on grooming at such an early age is dangerous. It increases a child's self-consciousness rather than their self-confidence, as far as I'm concerned.

Meanwhile, our conversations, popular music and clothing have oversexualized our children and introduced them to "grown folk" concepts long before they are ready. Then we wonder why 14-year-olds are raping 7-year-olds, and what this world is coming to. My 10- and 6-year-olds barely watch any TV as it is, but when Disney Channel's Hannah Montana started kissing boys and Zack and Cody started "dating," I quickly cut those shows out of the approved rotation.



  1. I totally agree that our kids are exposed to way too much too soon. It's no longer safe to watch day time tv because anything goes. People no longer value the age of innocence.

    It seems like most parents are relying on the schools and the media to raise their kids instead of doing it themselves. It's time that we take back our children and take a stand.

  2. Sista, I'm feeling this post!

    I work with young children. I'm stunned frequently by the style of dress that mom selects for her baby girl. The type of dancing that is okay. (Those girls on the video aren't the only ones grinding and bumping) I have heard little girls talk about their weight, hair and business in ways that make me cringe.

    I'm the grandmother of four girls. I'm glad that all of their parents feel very strongly about keeping things age appropriate. One of our girls is a teenager. I've been relieved and happy that she is pretty cool about her styles and concerns.

    I am glad to know that there are other adults who feel the children should enjoy their childhood.

  3. Childhood has been under attack for a long time. When I was a child they made kits with makeup and high heeled shoes. Now with infant wigs, high heels, and other adult things, childhood has been completely destroyed. People have allowed themselves to become desensitized to what is okay and isn't okay for children. In today's society, nothing isn't okay for a child. It is really sad because from day one children are pressed into little adulthood. It doesn't look like it is going to stop.