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Are children growing up too quickly? - Page 2

Poll Results: Do you feel children are being exposed to adult concepts, such as relationships and sex, far too young?

 
  • 62% (30)
    Yes
  • 35% (17)
    No
  • 2% (1)
    Haven't Thought Much About It
48 Total Votes  
post #21 of 85

Are children being exposed to adult concepts too early? No.

 

Are children (particularly girls) being marketed to in a way that is sexualizing at a young age? YES.

post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

Right.  Just don't go see an R rated movie.  I never got a babystitter for my child...but, we went to child appropriate movies instead.    I didn't see an R rated movie in the theater until she was old enough to stay home alone.  I learned to love and enjoy movies that were meant for young kids.  

 

*sidenote... I was in a theater recently where the adults brought young preschoolers with them.   Two of the kids had lightup shoes.  WHY would you  bring kids to an adult movie wearing light up shoes?  The movie was "End of Watch" which was very violent.  But, with LIGHT UP SHOES?

 No doubt the parents were "forced" to make the kids wear the light up shoes.

 

I think that a lot of kids are not exposed early or often enough (or at all) to adult concepts like responsibility, accountability and consideration for others.

post #23 of 85

I think it really depends on the gender of the child (girls seem to be getting more sexualized messages about how they should look, being sexy, etc at a young age while I don't see that at all in my sons, there are not even any sexualizing clothes for boys like you see at large department stores that are for little girls.  Also it would depend on what kind of limits the family has on media exposure (we do not have cable TV, but allow our kids to watch DVDs we buy them or certain shows on netflix, I would not buy the Bratz or other dolls or toys that make an obvious attempt to be "sexy" etc.)

post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post

I think that a lot of kids are not exposed early or often enough (or at all) to adult concepts like responsibility, accountability and consideration for others.

i am not sure how much that matters. 

 

i grew up in a culture where none of that happened before kid started K when they were 5. before that they werent supposed to clean their room, eat by themselves, put on their own clothes, etc. so no there was no responsibility expected out of them. in fact i would say this is the reality in most of the world than not.

 

so perhaps we try to make kids do things they are not ready for till they mature a little. like cleaning their room. i've kind of followed the same principal here - except dd was a super independent craving kid so she wanted to do it herself. 

post #25 of 85
I haven't read all the posts, but want to comment on the first few. Sex in the context of love is different than sex out of that context. One encourages you to find a good, caring partner, and balance giving with receiving. The other encourages a more selfish attitude.
post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

i am not sure how much that matters. 

 

i grew up in a culture where none of that happened before kid started K when they were 5. before that they werent supposed to clean their room, eat by themselves, put on their own clothes, etc. so no there was no responsibility expected out of them. in fact i would say this is the reality in most of the world than not.

 

so perhaps we try to make kids do things they are not ready for till they mature a little. like cleaning their room. i've kind of followed the same principal here - except dd was a super independent craving kid so she wanted to do it herself. 

 

I am totally confused.  Why is a child not mature enough to clean their room before they're about 5?  Or EAT by themselves, even?  I assume you don't mean fixing their own meal on their own, but feeding themselves?  Or putting on their clothes?  I'm not trying to be judgmental, I'm just genuinely curious as to what culture are you're talking about.  And most of the world does this??

 

I'm not talking that kids would do everything perfectly, but working towards it, certainly.  Straightening up, making the bed, etc.  My son is 5 and not only cleans his room but also makes the bed, does most of the laundry (with my help), sweeps the main floor, dusts, straightens out the living room, sets the table, weeds in the summertime, loads and unloads the dishwasher, empties out the smaller garbage cans, etc.  He didn't magically start when he got kindergarten age; he's been included all along. I don't see any of this as abnormal. 

 

My daughter is a bit younger and she helps him with all those, plus waters plants, folds clothes and such, makes sure there are always cloth napkins in the holder, helps with the marketing, and helps with the cooking and baking every day, and feeds and waters the cat.  She can't phsyically make the beds because the quilts are too heavy, so DS helps her with those.  (He even makes our bed in the morning, on his own!)  I expect she'll also help out with the baby. 

 

They're also not super-advanced for their ages.  I'd say they were pretty typical.  Helping out is just a matter of life.  We all live in our house and we all have to make it nice, and we all put on some music and do our chores in the morning.  It's just life.


Edited by tiqa - 10/28/12 at 2:32pm
post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiqa View Post

 

I am totally confused.  Why is a child not mature enough to clean their room before they're about 5?  Or EAT by themselves, even?  I assume you don't mean fixing their own meal on their own, but feeding themselves?  Or putting on their clothes?  I'm not trying to be judgmental, I'm just genuinely curious as to what culture are you're talking about.  And most of the world does this??

gosh i dont know how to answer your why. 

 

its not about maturity. its not about what they can or cant do.

 

its a cultural attitude. and yes most of the world does this. i have seen this in asia, africa. any culture which is more community based, rather than individual based. 

 

children CAN do all of it, but they are not expected to. when a 4 year old eats, the focus is on are they eating a varied diet and all that is on their plate. the focus is not on can they feed themselves. 

 

the things we focus on here, is not focused on at all in the culture of my birth. most kids still cosleep till they are in double digits, though sometimes its lack of space. no one thinks in terms of my child is 10. she should be sleeping in her own room or sharing a room with a sibling. it is very very very rare to have babies sleep in another room. the baby always sleeps with either the parents or the grandparents. i remember in high school when we heard about western culture putting their babies in another room we thought that was worthy to call CPS against the parents. but then there is not the kind of pressure as there are here. many mothers could stay home. which is all changing of course. 

 

children are meant to play and listen to stories. when we went back when dd was 3 my mother and neighbors took turns feeding her during food time and telling her stories. dd just lapped it up. however also at 3 she was following my mom and neighbors when we visited home in asia and helping them in the kitchen. so she'd have her little place in teh kitchen shelling peas or rolling dough or mixing something. 

 

heck some of my special memories about my grandpa were of my studying hard for my finals in high school and him feeding me while i focused on writing my answers. i feed my dd sometimes too. she loves it. shocks many of her friends. 

 

its all about expectations. 

 

i am not sure how to explain the difference to you. 

post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

 

i am not sure how to explain the difference to you. 

 

I think you explained it very well.

 

I'm not sure why our American culture values independence so much. Maybe some of it comes from our early history, in which we idealised rugged individualism as we braved our way to claim territory in the western part of our country. I remember in my childhood a Marlboro commercial that consisted of a lone man riding on his horse, the epitome of the rugged individualist, smoking his cigarette. There must be something attractive about that image or they wouldn't have tried to sell cigarettes with it :)

 

Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a correlation between depression and our isolated way of life. My understanding is that in cultures where extended families all live together snugly under one roof, depression is unheard of.

post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a correlation between depression and our isolated way of life. My understanding is that in cultures where extended families all live together snugly under one roof, depression is unheard of.

oh i could kiss you!!!! i have been shouting this from the rooftops ever since i arrived in this country. the one thing that shocked me totally is how huge depression is here. how very common it is. 

 

and guess what. i have met people from my community who came here as adults and who got into the depression route too.

 

and me too. as a single mom i choose to live with roommates, coz i get depressed when i live alone with dd. cohousing would work really well for me but alas none in our city. 

 

there is something to 'living' with people around you. not necessarily in the same house, but in the same apt bldg or next door to each other. to not worry that your child is next door at dinner coz you know they will be fed and vice versa. mind you i have a healthy group of friends, and we all spend time together. but not to the extent that we have friendships in my country of birth. there is a sense of community. i could cry coz i saw this at a cohousing community in teh city next door to us. i have friends living there and joined them for dinner. to the outsiders they seemed standoffish, but in their community they helped a family with the adoption process in every way possible. and they came together to help a young mama die from brain cancer. her elderly parents who came to help were lost. the community found adoptive parents for her adopted son and took care of her and her parents while she lived in that community. 

 

i saw that when i visited portland, OR this summer. people in 4 streets kinda living the cohousing way. i didnt meet them so not sure if they had dinners together, but they had kitchen equipment swap (saw their bulletin board). 

 

when you dont have a community you have no idea what you are missing.

 

and when that community is taken away from you, you realise what a huge wealth they were. doesnt mean everything is hunky dory. they still have mil sil issues. but having lived both lives, i'd rather live with community than without. that means that while you have issues with some of your community and family, there are plenty there to support you. 

 

why so much focus on independence in this country? you are right. because of the lie of the promise of milk and honey. you come here, work hard and you can make it. in the 1700s there were ads for people to come over to the east coast because life is so plentiful. and you buy into that untill you read letters from family members saying dont come to the east unless you have provisions for at least a year and a half. 

 

and sadly the lie still continues. and the lure of milk and honey still exists - until one gets here - discovers the truth, but its too late. 

 

no matter where the immigrant is from to whom i talk to. we all speak the same language. the one common thread. so much isolation. you are happy here for the opportunities you have that you didnt at home, yet so deeply unhappy at the isolation and the 'underworking'.

post #30 of 85
When extended families live together and *cause*depression, then it is likely to be hidden. The flip side is that if the family is functioning well, there is no depression. Looking at the family from the outside, it would be impossible to see the difference. My point is, don't assume facts not in evidence.
post #31 of 85

OK, well, whatever.  I'm still confused.

 

And I think I feel a little judged, or perhaps just that assumptions were made about me that are not true.  I'm not American and I don't come from an especially Western culture.... Well, I suppose it's Western, but with some variations (Eastern European)

 

I too come from a culture where extended families are the norm.  My family back home still lives together in one apartment.  I co-slept with my mom until I was 11.  My children are welcome to co-sleep with me (they generally don't choose to, though.).  I would never dream of putting a baby to sleep out of my arm's reach (even in a crib in my own room - they sleep with me, that's it).  I was married at 23 and never lived alone.  Lived with roommates for a bit, then with my family again, and then got married.

 

It's not that I value INDEPENDENCE for my kids.  I value doing things together with them.  Like working alongside them.  To me, that's community oriented.  Not independence oriented.  Being a part of the family community involves us all doing things together.

 

I do understand the cultural variation of "babying" a child for a long time, like feeding them or doting on them.  We don't do that really but I can understand it.  That's not what I'm talking about, though.  I still snuggle with my kids and give them little snacks and such... If I visit home my mom still does that for me, the snacks thing anyway.  But it's not an independence-dependence thing, though... 

 

And yes, I agree, kids are meant to play and listen to stories.  When we're not working together, they ARE playing and listening to stories.  We do story-time throughout the day - both via books and orally.  And stories about our family etc.  And legends.  And all.  I'm just not sure why that excludes doing chores together.

post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

 

Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a correlation between depression and our isolated way of life. My understanding is that in cultures where extended families all live together snugly under one roof, depression is unheard of.

 

Depression certainly increases with isolation.  But, erm... as for the rest of that statement, I don't believe that.  Lack of family can but does not always cause depression.  Even lack of community doesn't.  Depression has a lot of components and it's different for different people.  Trauma, biochemical changes, etc.  Heck, let's say I have three kids.  A sickness comes through our village and only affects kids.  They die.  Not just mine, but my nieces and nephews who also live with us.  I'm gonna be freaking depressed.  Having a community might help insulate you against negative life events to some degree, but it doesn't protect you completely.  But... that's a tangent.  (I would also assume that for introverts, there might be more depression involved if always surrounded by others, if they don't have enough privacy that they crave.)

 

And there are a LOT of cultures where young wives are very depressed - they get separated from their own beloved family and often have relatively low status in their own new extended family they married into, where the mother-in-law is queen and the new wives get treated like dirt.  Not all is roses and sunshine for non-Western cultures, either. 

 

I'm not advocating that a nuclear family is the best and only way to do things, but there are advantages and disadvantages to different ways, and none of these paths need be idealized.  Discussed, sure.  Glorified, no.

post #33 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiqa View Post

  I'm just not sure why that excludes doing chores together.

there is no exclusion of doing chores together.

 

the difference is - here you are NOT doing chores together. you are making sure your child helps you clean up the toys so they can get into the habit of doing it. it is expected the child has to help. the child is not given a choice to say no. they have to pick up one or two toys. the child is cajoled to help clean.

 

however in that culture the person who picks up the toys DONT expect the child to help. the child may follow along for fun, but they are not expected to. if the child does it great. if they dont, that's great too. just like 2 year olds here, the children LOVE helping. there are more montessori type toys in my country of birth than here. here you have a tea set and children have tea. there you have a whole kitchen set, so the child prepares the meal, serves everyone and then eat together. 

 

no nothing is fully roses and sunshine. no one is saying there is no depression in those cultures. the young wife who is mistreated also goes home to give birth and stays with her parents till the children are a few weeks to a few months old. enough to give her a break. plus as much as she doesnt like leaving home, she knows that's what is coming.

 

when your family size is a hundred or more (beyond just nuclear and grandparents, but uncles, aunts, etc) there are some you dont along with but there is always someone that is there. there IS a rise of depression in these countries too. guess where it is? in nuclear families. in families separated from each other. 

 

the concept of space - a whole different story. a whole different attitude. here space is a birth right. so a lack of is hard on introverts. there the expectation of space is so different.

 

there is none of the debilitating isolation that you have here.   

 

it is funny. we have an eastern european family in our apt. complex. they've been here a few years and have 2 toddlers and a school going child. and i see they do the same with their toddlers that i would have been had my dd grown up in my culture. 

post #34 of 85
I grew up watching my siblings and their children being loved and supported, while I was treated as a slave. Abuse can, and does, sometimes come from parents. And that can sure cause depression! It did for me! So an extended family situation for me would have been a nightmare!

Again, on the flip side, my siblings would have benefitted greatly from living with extended family.
post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I grew up watching my siblings and their children being loved and supported, while I was treated as a slave. Abuse can, and does, sometimes come from parents. And that can sure cause depression! It did for me! So an extended family situation for me would have been a nightmare!
Again, on the flip side, my siblings would have benefitted greatly from living with extended family.

 

But I don't understand. It sounds like you are making a case for living with a larger community, not against. Because the more eyes that saw what was happening to you, the less likely it would keep happening. Other people would point out to your parents that what they are doing is abuse. Your safety would have been in having more people around you, not fewer.

post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiqa View Post

Depression certainly increases with isolation.  But, erm... as for the rest of that statement, I don't believe that. 

 

Are you saying that you don't believe that depression is unheard of in community/extended family-based cultures (there's probably some official term but I don't know what it is) not because depression doesn't exist there, but because its underreported? That could certainly be true. In America, its become acceptable and even in some cases fashionable to acknowledge depression, while in other cultures it might be very stigmatizing.

 

Anyway, depression is different from legitimate grief. In your example, the grief would be profound, it would be shared, it would be a very traumatic experience for the entire community, especially the parents of children who died, but that is not depression.

post #37 of 85
Quote:

Originally Posted by tiqa View Post

 

And there are a LOT of cultures where young wives are very depressed - they get separated from their own beloved family and often have relatively low status in their own new extended family they married into, where the mother-in-law is queen and the new wives get treated like dirt.  Not all is roses and sunshine for non-Western cultures, either. 

 

 

Yes, exactly! The bigger the family, which in this case could include both the bride's old family and her new family, the greater the resiliency to depression. If she is isolated from her family, the greater the risk of depression.

post #38 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

 

Are you saying that you don't believe that depression is unheard of in community/extended family-based cultures (there's probably some official term but I don't know what it is) not because depression doesn't exist there, but because its underreported? That could certainly be true. In America, its become acceptable and even in some cases fashionable to acknowledge depression, while in other cultures it might be very stigmatizing.

 

Anyway, depression is different from legitimate grief. In your example, the grief would be profound, it would be shared, it would be a very traumatic experience for the entire community, especially the parents of children who died, but that is not depression.

I see a bit of this in the more family-values oriented people I know.  There is a troubling amount of denying that depression exists, and believing that "good" people are happy, etc...  I'm not sure if that holds true in more traditional cultures, or if it's just that the people I know who are maintaining their interpretations of family amid more mainstream western culture are doing so as a means of maintaining power over their family members.

post #39 of 85
Thread Starter 

I grew up in a larger family.. older sister, and two older brothers. My sister is 12 years older and my brother is 9 years older. They were expected to help take care of us, especially when my parents were working. We learned young to fold laundry, wash dishes, and make our beds. It was not so much for the fact of being independent (whenever I got scared, I'd go cuddle with my mom.. even when I was 16 or 17, she'd tell me stories and bring me to work, help me with what she could for homework) but to take responsibility for what I did. If I made a mess, I was responsible to clean it up. It really didn't have much to do with independence.. was I happy that I could pick out my own clothes, take showers by myself, eat by myself, and drive a car? yeah of course, but that wasn't the main point of growing up.. The point was to be a responsible person. I'm actually really happy that I did so much for myself, because it made it much easier on me when I moved out, 2 hours away from home, and got married.

post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaandbunny05 View Post
That being said, I help my mother-in-law take care of three children, ages 8, 12, and 13 (my husband and I are more or less responsible for raising them, she just does the financial part and we do the rest). I have noticed that they all know an awful lot about boyfriends, girlfriends, drugs, alcohol, and sex. I've also noticed that the eight year old wears some of the least appropriate clothes I've ever seen... low cut tops, reallllly short shorts, tight jeans that expose a lot, shirts that come half way down her stomach...

 

Who buys these clothes for them?

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