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Thread: Does society force kids to grow up?

  1. #1

    Default Does society force kids to grow up?

    Lets see, there are no Easter Egg hunts for adults or for teens, restaurants have kids menus for kids up to age 10 or 12, in London, they have playgrounds but they have age restrictions for who can play on it, in the malls here with play areas, they have age restrictions or height restrictions but there are no play areas for adults, McDonalds has age restrictions.

    Anyone else think it seems like society forces kids to grow up because they cater the youngsters only? Because of that it made me not want to grow up when I was a kid because I was starting to get too old for things. But I learned how to keep myself busy in sit down restaurants, bring a book to read or a game to play, music to listen to. Problem solved. And who needs play areas? I can live without them. Problem solved. In London I would rather spend my time touring the city than wasting my time at a playground I waste some of my free time doing things. Problem solved.

    Back in April I had fun doing Easter Egg hunting because a guy in the AB/DL community held one for us adults in a park. I haven't had that much fun in years. All grown ups need to do a hold a Easter Egg hunt for other adults, problem solved. Also adults can have them at their own house, problem solved.

  2. #2


    Actually, I believe it's the parents that place the most pressure on growing up. It's because nowadays both the father and the mother work (not that I have anything against women working), so kids are either in a daycare facility or being watched by a babysitter. I'm sure that alot of parents still make time for their kids, but there are just as many who don't, but when in a daycare it's true that there are people to take care of the kids, but because there's normally a large amount of kids, caretakers can't be everywhere at once, forcing kids to need to do stuff for themselves. Not only that, but with the increase of divorces and teenage parents, kids have to grow up quicker. Not only that, but there's also the abusive and neglectful parents that also force kids to grow up.

    But that's only my take on it.

  3. #3


    There's nothing like planning a play party for older people in a younger age setting! I understand there is a play park specifically geared for students at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Ca.

  4. #4


    I think it does to a certain extent. Much more so than when I was growing up in the '50s and '60s. Though I blame advertisers of children's products partly for causing kids to grow up faster. When I was little you wanted toys, games and other things that were fun - "cool" in the teen sense never was a factor! Clothes were just something you had to wear, not a fashion statement or status symbol. Even kids in early teens back then weren't so concerned about something being "cool", and ads didn't lean in that direction so much as today. Kids were portrayed just being kids in the children's products ads. It wasn't usually until mid-teen years you started worrying about the "cool" factor of what you bought and owned. Today, advertisers try to convince little kids their products are the "coolest" on the market, whether toys, clothes, or whatever, and they have little kids in their ads acting more like adolescents than the little kids they are. To me, that kind of influence is taking precious years of childhood away from little kids. You'll grow out of childhood fast enough without advertisers trying to convince you acting older at a much younger age is the "cool" thing to do. I'd much rather see ads with little kids enjoying playing with dolls or legos, riding a bike or trike, acting like the little kids they still are, rather than dancing around, shaking their booties to a rock song like they're ten or more years older! During our kids younger years I tried my best to overcome the influence of TV ads and convince them that it was OK to act like a young child, not an adolescent, when they were still little kids. I wasn't about to let some corp. shorten our kids' childhood years through their advertising psychology just to make more profits. I think my efforts were pretty much successful because, even though now grown and dealing with adult responsibilities, they both had a long and funfilled childhood and the little child in each of them is still very much alive and well.


  5. #5


    Idk I cant really offer any good point of veiw, and blah blah, bout found a funny joke today, it kind of relates.

    xkcd - A Webcomic - Grownups

  6. #6


    I think it varies by family. I see some parents always teeling their kids to grow up, others who do their best to make childhood an idyllic time, and still others who hover so closely that they retard their child's natural growth and the result is a kid who is not as mature as he/she should be.

    I think there are forces in society that have done some harm to childhood, and continue to. Namely the advertising and entertainment industries. But I think these are factors that can be ameliorated by good parenting.

    But to the extent that the problem exists, I think it is largely driven, and again this varies by individual and family, by the pressure that tells people to set aside childish things and "act their age." This is to the point that I think people become embarrassed if they are seend oing something "childish." But this is also internal, part of a child's natural desire to grow up and do new things they couldn't before.

    I felt pressure from within and without growing up, and it was a wonderful experience for me working at a summer camp and getting to play and sing silly songs and not "act my age." Interestingly, the counselors and senior staff sometimes loved that stuff more than the campers, who were embarrassed to sing or dance or act silly.

    A radio station sponsors an adult easter egg hunt in my area. The eggs have numbers in them and the numbers correspond to prizes, namely concert tickets, gift certificates, cash, and even vacations and a car, along with candy. I think it costs five bucks to enter. Maybe I'll do it next year.

  7. #7


    Parents are the force that drives maturity. I stopped participating in childish events long before my time was up.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by dprdinky View Post
    There's nothing like planning a play party for older people in a younger age setting! I understand there is a play park specifically geared for students at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Ca.
    In some way or another, I remember hearing about that before.

    *scratches head*

    Of course, not that I'd actually try it, but what AB wouldn't want to play in a park? Growing up really sucks.

  9. #9


    Yep, it does. No question. Especially recently, it seems. So much pressure is being put on kids nowadays and so many things are being taken away, perhaps for different reasons, such as over-sensitive people that don't like Halloween or plays or recess, to people that would sue at the drop of a hat, making teachers afraid to even look at a child in fear of being sued (when I was little, I got hugs from all of my elementary school teachers and it made me feel happy and a lot better if I was feeling bad). But either way, it seems like kids are often treated like little adults, which is a shame since you only get one chance to be a kid before the realities of the cruel adult world creep in and make you take responsibility.

    It is in the interest of society to have kids grow up quick, to be less of a burden, but it's not right for the child. I've heard way too many "Grow Up!"'s. The way society is today is part of the problem. Making it so both parents must work, leaving the child in the care of others. That's fine if both parents work (since some do because they both want career's, not just because they need to), but it gets bad when neither have any time for the child, which I think is wrong.

    Parent's are oftentimes the problem. They force kids to give things up too quickly. They push them to be more mature before their time and praise adult-like behavior. I was the oldest child in my family and extended family and I hated it every day. I was told to grow up daily and be a role model for the younger kids. I hated it, but I did it. So much that I developed a weird complex that I was embarrassed by any kind of childish behavior. Even acting cute or playing with kids I couldn't do. Even receiving hugs and affection. I've gotten over a lot of that and just don't care anymore (but I'm still very stoic IRL unless I know you well, being instead dry and sarcastic and odd rather than cute), but I still wish I was the youngest :P

    What's wrong with letting kids decide when to grow up? Parent's, or anyone else in society shouldn't either push kids to grow up or keep them young, just let them decide. Oftentimes, they will. I'm not saying they don't need a little nudging every once in a while (parents aren't completely worthless after all ), but for the most part, kids are more capable then many people want to admit. It's also healthier in the long run to let people choose their own path to adulthood. A little guidance here and there is good, but excessive pushing is not and can actually be damaging. That's my view anyway heh

  10. #10


    actually i learned during a course in sociology at college that kids in our society grow up slower than in nearly every society until now. during most periods of history, children were expected to function in society as independent adults starting in their early to mid teens. kids as young as 14 or 15 were expected to marry, start families, and work to earn a living. childhood wasn't idealized as a pleasant time of life to linger in and enjoy. the goal was to get to adulthood as quickly as possible so that you could begin pulling your weight in the community. many non-western societies still function this way.

    starting sometime in the victorian era, western culture developed a new attitude toward childhood. nowadays we don't view children merely as incomplete, developing adults; there's a whole set of expectations for what kids are like and how they'll behave. turn on some kids TV station and you'll see what i mean. children are expected to settle into childhood and linger there for a while before we require them to transition to adulthood.

    i'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing, but western society definitely likes to nuture and pamper its children. today's kids reach nearly every developmental stage later than in most human societies.

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