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A mommy's rabling.

817 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Piglet68
Why are parents afraid of their children growing up?

I have been lurking and talking elsewhere. I repeatablely have seen parents (mostly mom) talk about how young 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 for their child to start their periods, start an interested in boys/girls, wanting to be adult like.

There seems to be a looming fear of their children becoming sexual beings (having a sexual identity), adults, and responsible.

I keep on hearing "IT IS JUST TO YOUNG!"

I sit and think, no it is not to young just all this growing up is happening way to fast!! I feel alone with this thinking.

I am enjoying watching them grow up. I find it fascinating that my son, 9 (who has always been a lover boy and girl crazy) actually got embarrassed about a girl. I see the starting flames of puberty, even though I know it is some time off, but will come. I relish the phases and stages we are in, but I am not afraid of the next. They are supposed to happen! Why fight it? Why think they are too young, when biology dictates it? Why not enjoy it, like their first steps.

I remember my children's first steps. I was excited! Why is puberty and a child's development to adulthood any different, his/her's sexuality is part of it? It is like they are making their child's sexuality a dirty thing. Now, I am not talking about the Britney Spear's clothes for 6 yr olds nor the forced/sensationalized sexuality. I am talking about natural age appropriate growth and development.

Am I nuts to want my kids to grow up, become responsible, and enjoy (maybe savor or relish is a better term) what their bodies and minds are capable of.

I find their future growth as magical as the growth they had in my womb.

Why and I not afraid of this "next" stage, that admittingly will come much to fast? Am I wrong for not being afraid?

It is suppose to happen, why dread it? Why not find the joys in it?

Aren't we, as parents, supposed to be guiding our children through this journey? Why hinder it? Why despise it? Why try to rush it as infants/toddlers then try to stop and deny it in puberty, teens, and young adulthood? Why not enjoy the moments, growths, and milestones?

I am in no rush to see my children leave my home/care, but at the same time I am excited for their future and their possibilities. I greatly miss our nursing. I miss holding and rocking babies. But I see how long their legs have grown and I see how well they are doing and it makes me happy to be here at this stage with my children.
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I whole heartedly agree.. I know it sounds odd to alot of people, but i am looking forward to my boys being teens.. I can hardly wait to meet the men they are growing to be...

Warm Squishy Feelings..

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I have enjoyed my 12yo dd's stages of development. I am looking forward to her enjoying her sexuality but I am also very afraid of what she hears from society about her sexuality. I am also afraid for her because preteen/teen girls seem to be targeted for kidnappings/sexual abuse most often. She is not a girly girl and doesnt dress ala Brittany Spears but the threat is still there.
Interesting question. I don't think it is sexuality itself that scares us (though many of us may have issues in this area that we dread having to deal with via our children).

More I think that is it that at this stage children leave our protection and so we worry about them and feel more helpless.

It is also at this stage that our identity as "mother" becomes less central for us, since mother is a relational identity and our increasingly independent child will no longer place parents at the center of his/her life. In other words, it is a period fraught with identity crisis for us as well as our child.

I also think there is loss associated particularly with the advent of sexuality (in terms of puperty not necessarily in terms of activity). Thier friends, esp their boy/girlfreind, will most likely come "first," at least in tangible ways. So our fear is about grief and loss too.

I hope I will be able to "let go" gracefully. That I will accept this new developmental stage and the changes it brings as gleefully as I accepted the earlier ones. But this one is a little different. It is the beginning stage of thier first major step away from us. And I don't think I'll beat myself up too much if I scream "no, too soon" and lament a little.

I am also share your skepticism that kids are growing up faster these days. Kids in the south do tend to be a little "fast" (I was shocked at what kids knew when I moved there from the midwest when I was 10). But based on the journals I kept in a small-to-midsized town in Southern Louisianna in the early 80s, preteens were pretty grown-up in terms of adolecent behavior. We were all kissing boys, wearing tube tops and make-up, and focusing major time and energy on our peer group by the time we were 11 or 12 (for a late bloomer like me) and 9-10 (for the popular girls).
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Children are reaching sexual maturity earlier than they were 80 years ago; on average today, a child is sexually mature at 16, and in the 20's it took until 18. There are all sorts of theories on why this is, and it's probably due to a variety of factors. I got my period when I was 10, and I only knew one other person who got it that early in high school. I later met one girl who had her first period at 8.

I think the reason that parents say it's "too soon" has a lot to do with their own memories of how trying a time it can be. It's difficult for most people to go through those years, and, as mamawanabe said the parental role becomes less central. So while your child is going through the most difficult thing they've ever faced, they're forcing you out of the picture. You can't make it any easier for them, and a lot of parents probably want to, especially when they think about their own pre-teen years.

The other thing is, most people have a hard time remembering what it felt like to be a kid. They don't remember the way their heart fluttered and they blushed when an older boy paid attention to them when they were (8, 10, 12). They don't remember what it felt like to try to explain to their parents (who could never understand no matter what!) why they just *had* to have the sexier skirt for that party, or why they didn't want to wear babyish knee socks (this was a never ending battle with my mother when I was 8/9 years old.)

Marsupialmom: I've been having a lot of thoughts about kids growing up as my son approaches his first birthday. I find myself thinking that it's happening too fast, and I can't believe that my baby is getting to be such a big boy. I was in no rush to see him take his first steps.
At the same time, I do find it very exciting to watch him learn and grow. It's so cool to see him master a new skill, and to see how he's changed over the past year. I wondered briefly if I wanted it to slow down, and I have to answer no. I don't think that my feelings will change that much as he moves on to his teens. I'll be sad to leave childhood behind, but excited for the future. I'm not looking forward too it, but I think I'll be able to enjoy it when it happens.
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"Motherhood means watching and letting you kids leave you a little bit every day."

oops... night waking with tears, gotta run...
ITA with mamawanabee(you got it figured out without even being a mama yet, way to go!)!!!! and eilonwy! I know my sister(11 year age differance) reached hers waaay before I did which very much worried me. I personally worry about the maturity level on an 11 year old with a period, ya know.
Great post, mamawannabe!

It is hard knowing that one day, their peers will mean alot more to them than you do (well, in the short term anyways). I guess that is what makes me sad about DD growing up.

But I'm not afraid of her sexuality, and I hope she has a good, safe, enjoyable sex life. I do think there are alot of people who think that sexuality is somehow "wrong" in young people. I disagree. I think it's normal and healthy and that its my job to teach her how to deal with it responsibly.

Great thread!
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