Youngsters losing their childhood, but are parents solely responsible?

MODERN CHILDHOOD: The kids of today

ACCORDING to a parenting website, modern childhood “ends at the age of 12”Netmums canvassed its members and received over a thousand responses blaming “marketing, media and peer pressure”.

With the appalling spectacle of American over-made up, under-dressed children of four years old participating in “beauty pageants.”

I’m surprised the end of childhood is rated as high as 12. Babies in designer and branded dungarees at six months. Little girls in stilettos at age three. Young kids dressed like miniature adults as soon as they can walk.

Personal CD units, TVs and mobiles? It isn’t childhood ending at 12 that’s the problem.  It’s childhood being taken away much earlier.

For me, there are two key facets to this problem: the quality of parenting and children’s over-exposure to inappropriate media.

Parents don’t want their kids to go out alone for fear of abduction, leaving them to entertain themselves which, in turn, leads to pampering their kids’ commercial whims in perceived compensation for parental absence.

This allows the media and corporations to exploit parents’ weaknesses, commercialise children and emphasise materialism.

The same parents, then, who buy their kids all the latest phones, iPads and designer gear to keep them amused so that the parents have a quiet life.

This need to have the latest technology and brands is what’s causing kids to grow up too fast. In brief, Facebook,Twitter,YouTube, celebrity culture and, of course, readily available online porn, to name but a few, that’s what’s robbing them of their childhood, nothing else.  

My generation was probably the last to be brought up traditionally without all of those things. How sad that’s gone and in its place what we now so often see is the breakdown of the family unit with benefits, priority housing and bills paid, all provided by the State.

As I see it, certain mums need to spend less time on social media sites like Netmums and more on being mums and taking responsibility for their kids. Dealing with peer pressure is easy, kids. Just say no!

And as far as the Netmums survey’s concerned, where’s the research and evidence to back anything up? It’s just the thoughts of a random bunch of mums on a website. What next from them: Nuclear Fusion debate? Alternative Energy Supplies …?

Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Soul Stealer’ & ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available from Amazon in paperback/ eBook (€0.89; £0.77) and iBookstore.Profits to Cudeca

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