Are Children Growing Up too Fast? What Changes Can We make to keep Up with Them?
No parent can know the feeling of raising a child until they raise their own. It has its own moments of delight and happiness, but a fair share of sadness too. With every passing year they witness their child’s gradual exit from childhood. Looking back down memory lane at pictures of their toddlers, it is hard for them to believe that their children are growing up so fast.
Yes, every parent knows that there is going to come a time when they are going to have to leave their child on their own. It is a bittersweet moment. But in the world, we live in today, children are growing up too fast. They are changing with every passing day. Every time the parents think that they have finally grasped who their child is this second, they change again.
It feels like it has not been long when your little toddler cuddled with you on your bed, played with their dolls and assured you that they are at an age when it is right for them to wear mascara, just with the blink of an eye. It feels like it was only yesterday when they were learning their ABCs and crying over losing their first tooth. But time is passing by so fast as they are growing up that even they are confused as they stay stuck somewhere between childhood and adolescence today.
With the advancement in technology, gadgets, Google and various social media websites have led to children getting mature at a faster rate. According to studies, most parents are concerned about their children growing up too fast and 77% of them blamed the web for this. They feel that the use of internet and access to social media websites accelerates maturity in children due to the vast amount of information they see on social networks.
Being a parent in today’s world is not easy. Consumed by the demands of this fast-paced modern life you already have very less time to spend with your children and watch them grow. Now, with them growing up too fast you are almost deprived of the real essence of parenthood because you do not get to witness all the special moments. So, despite the fact that you cannot completely prevent your child’s childhood from running away, you sure have the power to slow it down.
Know about their changing bodies while growing up
In last few years, younger girls have started to become more aware of developing breasts and public hair at an earlier age. Now a day’s in schools this is a subject that the teachers will bring up and discuss in the classroom. They may get the giggles in the classroom but, they will understand that their classmates are also growing up and going through the same feelings and changes. It’s about parents having the confidence to have an open conversation with your child and being able to answer their questions and any concerns they may have.
Even many young boys develop earlier. It is your duty to educate your child and tell them that such changes are bound to happen and all children experience them.
Yes, puberty hits all children and of course it will hit your child too. So, if they are headed for it early, it is not something to get worried about. Every child goes through a developmental stage where they start discovering more about their bodies. Boys wish to look tall and muscular while girls fear gaining weight as they want to stay slim and beautiful. In cases where they do not look like how they want to, they become self-conscious. They start feeling inferior in front of other children and it has an impact on their confidence and morale. It affects their studies and social relationships. So, as a parent you must try to divert their focus from their bodily appearances towards other things whilst they are growing up.
By keeping a check over and watching what your children are watching you will know how the media is influencing them. It is not about the ample amount of time they are glued to their computers or television sets whilst growing up but the message being conveyed in the programs that they are watching. According to studies, children less than 10 years old spend a significant amount of time watching televisions. These accumulate to as many as 17 hours a week.
There are more such programs being made for children now that were thought of as being inappropriate for them, previously. Even many companies today advertise their goods to them since they know that 8-9-year old’s worship and follow teens. They may not have the money needed to buy those things on their own but they do force and persuade their parents to buy what they want and all of this is advantageous for the company.
Thus, every program or advertisement running on a children’s channel may not necessarily be good for your child to watch. So, if you find them watching something inappropriate or something that they are too young to watch, simply divert their attention and change the channel.
Keep them close
Capitalize on any time you get to spend with them. Take them out for dinners, to watch movies and spend a little extra time with them each night encouraging them to discuss with you any problems they have growing up. This way you can make sure that they are ready for their teen years too through solid communications. Children always crave for their parent’s time. Give them your time and witness how they gradually change from kids to teens to adults.
Let them enjoy life as kids before growing up
It is a time of your child’s life that they will never be able to live again. Make it memorable for them. Let them try out new things. If they want to involve in sports activities, let them. If they want to take part in music, let them. Give them their favorite toys and dolls to play with. They will play a vital role in their development and ensuring that their innocence is preserved.
The problem with children today is that techno gadgets such as cell phones and tablets appeal more to them. The longer you restrict yourself from giving them these big-kid privileges, the better it will be for them. If your child’s friend has a cell phone, this does not mean that your child needs one. Do not let peer pressure influence them.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.