Why are we in such a rush to have our children grow up? It seems like kids today are asked to be mini-adults basically from birth. There is a palpable and pervasive parenting style that appears to be more the norm than not in which children are pressured to be the best – the best athlete, the best musician, the best scholar. While it is not surprising, it is still shocking the extent to which some parents push their children at such an early age to be better at everything than their peers. Now, don’t get me wrong I think some competition is healthy. But when it comes at the expense of a childhood, what is the point?
What happened to the days when kids could just be kids? There was a time not long ago when they didn’t need to be reading in preschool, hitting pitches at age five, or watching Transformers or Iron Man at six. As a parent there is so much pressure to keep up with everyone else that you begin to consider things that you would have thought were completely inappropriate before. Even if you are confident in your morals, it is hard not to question them when the mob is forging ahead without questioning why and at what cost.
It is hard to sit back and let you kids enjoy life, pushing them just enough to keep them motivated, as others are repeatedly pushing their children to the point of burnout before the third grade.
If you choose to dig in on an issue that is important to you, such as movies, then you risk being labeled as the outcast of the group. I try to be pretty conservative about what movies the boys should watch. The pervasive violence in movies today is troubling to me, but I will save that for another post. A number of Jack’s friends have seen movies such as Transformers and Star Trek (a few of them have older brothers, so that changes the rules, ask me about Will and Star Wars sometime). As a result, he asks to watch them frequently because “so-in-so is allowed to watch it.” What am I to do?
I really want to mimic some other friends who are also conservative and wouldn’t let their ten year old watch Avatar, because it was rated PG-13. He was ten, not six. I just don’t know how I am going to hold out until I am ready for him to watch movies like that. I feel like the ratings are there for a reason and more often than not, are a good benchmark.
Kids are kids for such a short period of time – why are parents compelled to force their children to grow up so soon? Life isn’t a race. It’s a journey comprised of all the vivid memories you collect along the way at all stages. Don’t waste it looking beyond.