A Return to Innocence

5 Alarming Facts:

1. Two out of five 10-year-olds said they had seen pornography on the internet in the past year.1
2. Of kids who had seen internet pornography, 66 percent said they hadn’t gone looking for those images.2 Those images found them.3
3. Animated females in TV shows for kids are much more likely to wear sexually revealing clothing than live-action female characters.4
4. The number of 8- to 12-year-olds regularly using mascara has almost doubled in the past two years.5 Almost 20 percent of 8- to 12-year-old girls now wear mascara on a regular basis.6
5. Who’s buying these young girls mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick? Their moms.7

Here’s My Take on It:

What happened to kids being kids—instead of trying to be miniature adults? I’m still stunned when a 10-year-old tells me about the R-rated DVD he watched recently, or when a 9-year-old girl shows up wearing eye shadow, eyeliner, and lipstick. Kids today are being exposed to things that they shouldn’t be seeing.

Twenty years ago, it was difficult for 10-year-olds to sneak into an R-rated movie. Now all they have to do is turn on the TV—or surf the Internet. (And sometimes the R-rated material pales compared to some of the other things they stumble upon.) As parents, we need to put limits and age restrictions on what our kids can and cannot see—and also what they can and cannot do. Otherwise, we’re going to have an entire generation of kids who are either traumatized or jaded; kids who miss out on the wonders of being a kid.

Talk Further

Ask your child: “Are kids today growing up too fast? Why or why not?”

Explore Further

Are parents allowing kids to grow up too fast? Share your comments below.

Footnotes

1. The Associated Press, “Study: More Kids Exposed to Online Porn,” msnbc.com, February 5, 2007.
2-3. Ibid.
4. Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, “The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Releases New Findings: Males Outnumber Females Almost 3 to 1 in Films,” news release, February 7, 2008.
5. NPD Group, “NPD Reports Tween Girls Increase Their Beauty Usage; While Female Teens and Young Adult Women Are Becoming Less Engaged with Beauty Products,” news release, April 29, 2010.
6. Ibid.
7. Douglas Quenqua, “Graduating from Lip Smackers,” The New York Times, April 28, 2010.

There is no way that our children will return to the innocence that once belonged to children as long as parents refuse to take a stand. Parents need to be the final authority. They need to ‘lay down the law’ concerning what is and what is not appropriate. Unfortunately, many parents want their kids to be trendy. They do not want to step in and say no. They are caught up in the wave of ‘tolerance’ (dare I say that) that says not to put limits on your kids for fear of ‘stunting’ their development.
Come on, parents. Do your jobs. Impose limits that are appropriate and sound. Guide your children in the way they should go. Do not let them take the lead and convince you to allow them to wear, behave, or seek inappropriate ‘stuff’. Be parents!

John Weyenberg: http://www.parentinginfocus.com

5

My co-worker and I were discussing weather or not his 3 year old should get a 2-piece swimming suit for the pool. He was saying that those decisions are usually made by his wife but he had some discomfort about the style of the suit. It’s so hard to decide what is and isn’t “normal” for kids these days. We’re so over-exposed to so many things that if a parent decides that a 3 year-old is too young to get a leopard skin two-piece she may feel out of date…How do you keep up with the Jones without feeling like you’re a big push-over?

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