I was out doing some shopping the other day and saw something that really bugged me. A little girl of about 8 was picking out some back to school clothes. She was complaining that the shorts weren’t short enough and that the shirt was too long. Her Mom said nothing, and just handed her another shirt which the girl immediately vetoed because you wouldn’t be able to see her bra straps. She then asked to go and look at the little kids clothes because they’d be tighter, and her Mom said “Good idea”, and took her to check them out. Not one time did her Mom suggest that she didn’t need tight clothes to be beautiful and that made me sad.
Have you noticed how much younger our kids are getting “older” now? Do you have a 9-year-old that thinks she 16? Do you let your 9-year-old dress and act like a 16-year-old? Or do you encourage your little ones to just be little? How often do you talk to your toddlers about their little “boyfriends/girlfriends”? Do you encourage them to hug and kiss their friends? Do you let your kids dress inappropriately for their age, because it’s in style?
When my daughter was young, I was amazed at how hard it was to find her clothes that covered her belly and didn’t have words plastered across her butt. Plain, old nice little kid clothes were hard to find, and that was 14 years ago. It’s even worse now. I do not understand the point in dressing our toddlers and pre-teens like young adults. I just don’t get it. Why in the world do they need to wear skin-tight clothes that accentuate their “non-curvy” areas? Why do they make padded training bras? Why does a 7-year-old need “daisy duke” length shorts? WHY??
I also don’t understand why we encourage our young children to have boyfriends and girlfriends. What’s wrong with teaching our kids that they don’t need a partner to make them whole? Why in the world do some parents feel the need to “facilitate” dates for their pre-teens? Do these same people have no idea what their kids are talking about and/or planning? Trust me when I tell you, their “date” isn’t always an innocent puppy-love thing.
I’ve read emails, and Facebook and text messages between hordes of children and can confirm many things that you probably wouldn’t even believe. 11 year olds are performing sexual favours on each other. They are actually not “swimming” but are hiding behind the pool in the bushes having a “date”. Family change rooms at recreation centres aren’t only being used for getting dressed. Skype and Facetime are overflowing with racy pictures, and homemade movies. Sexting is very popular, and you would be surprised at how graphic their messages can be.
I know that this may sound extreme to some people, but please think about these things before you encourage dating and “normalize” the whole relationship thing. I’ve got no issue with teenagers dating, but I do have issue with children dating. Teach your children to respect themselves and members of the opposite sex from a very young age. Encourage them to be strong and confident and to wait. Then when it’s time to start dating, they’re ready. They will recognize their own worth and will be able to stand up for what they believe and want. They will be strong enough to withstand outside pressures and they will look for a “partner” as opposed to “something to do”.
What about drinking and smoking? Are you one of the parents that buys their kids liquor and let them drink at your house because at least you know they’re “safe”? Do you let your kids have “just one sip”? Do you buy cigarettes for your kids and/or their friends? Do you ignore your kids smoking? Newsflash .. those things are illegal. You are not only allowing your children to do the wrong thing, you are teaching them to break the rules. May seem like a little thing, but it’s not. Your children are watching you and learning. Be a good example.
I guess I just say all that to say this. We need to stop pushing our kids to grow up so quickly. Let them be kids. Don’t glamorize drinking and smoking. Don’t encourage them to start “dating” at a young age. Don’t let them get caught up in changing their appearance to look like someone else. Let them play, let them sing and dance. Hug them, hold them and let them cry. Say No sometimes and Be the person that you want them to one day become.
Why are we so intent on raising X-Rated kids? Please make it stop.
This post is Day 27 & Day 28 of the Summer Blog Challenge – 31 posts in 31 Days
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