Posted September 20th, 2012
Each generation of parents ask the question, “Are kids growing up too fast?”
Because each generation of parents observe just how much earlier their own child is being exposed to developmentally significant information and experiences than the parent was at the same age.
You see, the conflict here is that the pace of what’s being put in front of our child at any given developmental age is morphing into lightning speed and a child’s development just cannot keep up mentally, emotionally, and physically.
When a child’s development cannot keep up with the social expectations set by the pace of what society is willing to thrust at our children, (and perhaps we are willing to tolerate), kids feel the stress and anxiety to find a way to keep up and fit in.
The effects on a child are huge and can influence:
1. Self-concept and self-worth
2. Developmental readiness for adult-like experiences
3. Mental stability, such as anxiety and depression
4. Concentration and focus
5. Physical development, such as puberty and body functioning
6. Social functioning with adults and peers
We, as parents, may not be able to slow down the ever increasing pace of what our kids are exposed to in the world around them.
Parents can however, slow the pace for their own child regardless of what the rest of the world is doing.
It takes resolve and courage.
Parents have the responsibility to create the Family Culture their child grows up in within the family experience.
1...create a Family Culture that represents their values, morals and ethics.
2...create a Family Structure that has consistent rules and consequences that uphold the culture of their family.
3...create the relationship dynamics and dialogue that allows their child to experience the intention of their feelings and have a safe place to talk about their experience.
4…create the roles and responsibilities that promote a strong self-concept independent of what others are doing and at a pace that the child is comfortable with.
5...create a safe place to practice life’s developmental challenges without judgment or fear.
Are kids growing up too fast?
ABSOLUTELY!!! And life isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
It just seems to be a pattern that continues from one generation to the next, children are exposed earlier and grow up quicker than the generation prior.
So, for me, it’s more about whether a child can handle what’s being put in front of them at any given developmental age.
Ultimately, our purpose as a parent is to promote "self-regulation" for our child in the world they have in front of them
So…parents must teach, coach, guide, and love their child through their child’s own experience.
If we can accomplish that, the pace of the world may not slow down, but through self-regulation, our children will.