Monday, January 17, 2011

11 is the new 16

My latest fears have been confirmed.  11 is the new 16, and 16 is the new 21.  Kids are just growing up so fast.  With technology they are exposed to so much more than we were when we were kids.

When are kids going to just stop trying to do everything before they turn 18.  Life is long, and there is time to do everything.  Unless you are unfortunate and die young, but really, you won't know you missed out on anything anyway, because you will be dead.

I go to birthday parties that are like weddings.  What are these kids going to do when they have weddings?  How are they going to top the extravaganza that was their 10th birthday?  Their sweet 16?  It makes me wonder, why do the parents do these things?  I understand that parents want the best for their kids.  Yet, is setting unrealistically high expecations about what life is like really the best thing?

I see 5th graders with cell phones.  They mostly have better cell phones than I do.  If I don't need a smart phone, why in the world does a 10/11 year old?  Who are they calling?  I hear the arguments from the parents, oh it is so nice to be able to call Julie and check up on her.  Let me deliver some breaking news.  Cell phones work any where, so if Julie tells you she is at Stephanie's house, she may really, actually be at Tom's house half naked.  I generally find calling Stephanie's mom or dad to see what the kids are up to be a better way to actually ascertain where my kid is.  If the parents aren't open to that, or aren't going to be there, then, really, is that the best place for my 5th grader to be?  We won't let the kids ride their bikes to CVS, but we will let them wander around with cell phones and this makes us think they are safe.

Another thing, there are 4th and 5th grade boys talking about banging chicks.  There are 4th and 5th grade girls walking around with their nails done, their hair highlighted and dressed provactively.  These are little kids people.  Let them be little kids.  There will be plenty of time for them to get their hair highlighted and their nails done when they are in their 20's.   There is time for these boys to bang these chicks, when they are in their 20's.  Why are we, as the parents letting them think that this is alright to do now?  (I don't think anyone is actually banging anyone, but the meer fact that they talk about it is distrubing.)

It is so oxymoronic that we dress our small kids up like little adults, but we hoover and try and make every decision for them.  It seems that the helicopter parents are the same ones that want their kids to be little adults.  Isn't that sort of a mixed message?  You can look and act like an adult, but I don't trust you to make any decisions for yourself.

Remember parents, you are the parent, and this is not a popularity contest.  Perhpas it is time we stop worring about what the other parents are doing and what our kid wants us to do an enforce some rules.  Let them make some controlled decisions and be in charge for a change.  If we want our kids to be productive adults, we have to stop playing dress up and let them fall a bit.  The do not need to do that with manicured nails and a cell phone.

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