Are Children Growing Up Too Fast These Days?

Knowledge is a powerful tool in the hands of man. Knowledge can both help and hurt people, build and destroy relationships and help determine right from wrong. Because of its power, children are taught to seek knowledge at a rapid pace, which could lead to both a revolutionary and destructive future if it continues. At the wrong time, this knowledge could potentially teach children inappropriate behaviours. Parents believe that exposing their children to vast amount of knowledge at a young age will aid them in adulthood, however, what they don’t know is that this knowledge could at the same time ruin their innocence. This is in turn related to the competitive environment being created in education.

When a child first learns the concept of right from wrong, they learn the truth of what is morally acceptable to do and what not to do. Usually, parents and teachers don’t go into detail of what truly constitutes as right and wrong, but instead, give a basic black and white explanation. This is to protect the innocence of a child, but times have changed from then. Parents now are so focused on building their children up for “success” that they forget to realize they are opening up a dangerous Pandora’s Box.

Even if parents attempt to bring up a child in the best way possible, they must be aware of the influence the outside world has. Parents must be careful of what their children get exposed to such as the sexualisation of young children. Things like this, specifically the sexualisation of young girls, can be a huge factor in the loss of innocence. In 2012, researchers did a study to identify self-sexualisation in young girls and identify factors that protect girls from objectifying themselves. Also psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, assessed self-sexualisation in girls, ages 6-9 through the use of paper dolls. The assessment goes on to say that, “Across-the-board, girls chose the "sexy" doll most often. The results were significant in two categories: 68 percent of the girls said the doll looked like how she wanted to look, and 72 percent said she was more popular than the non-sexy doll.” Other studies have shown that “sexiness” boosts popularity in girls but not boys. Needless to say, young girls and boys should not have to feel the pressures of popularity through sexualisation. These pressures cause children to explore their sexuality at too young of an age.

Kids between the ages 8 and 12, midway between childhood and adolescence, are nowadays termed as “tweens”. But tweens are becoming more like teens, leaning more and more toward teen styles, teen attitudes and teen behaviour at its most troubling. "The 12- to 14-year-olds of yesterday are the 10- to 12-'s of today,"

The data supporting this trend are sketchy, since most studies of risk behaviour begin with 15-year-olds.

With their parents working long hours away from home, many youngsters are spending more time unsupervised. Both parental absence and the powerful peer group are intricately connected to the rapid loss of innocence in children. If parents ever want to combat the loss of childhood innocence, they need to be mindful of what their children are exposed to. They need to focus on nurturing their children instead of being too concerned with success that lose sight of what is important. Parents are responsible for teaching their children what they will need later in life but everything must be done in moderation. If this is not done, their might be irreparable damage done to children because of the actions of their parents.