Does society force kids to grow up?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Calico

Est. Contributor
Messages
5,254
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Other
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.
 
Messages
360
Role
  1. Other
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. :sweatdrop:
 

dprdinky

Banned
Messages
722
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Carer
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.
 

Pramrider

Est. Contributor
Messages
2,203
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Other
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! :mad: 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. :smile:

~Pramrider
 
Messages
334
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Carer
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.
 

Xboxbaby

Banned
Messages
106
Role
  1. Other
Parents are the force that drives maturity. I stopped participating in childish events long before my time was up.
 
F

Falkio

Guest
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.
 

MixyNyxi

Est. Contributor
Messages
270
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Babyfur
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 :tongueout:), 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 :sweatdrop:
 

avery

Est. Contributor
Messages
1,675
Role
  1. Private
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.
 

Trevor

Est. Contributor
Messages
9,562
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Babyfur
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.

Thanks for this. I was reading along and wondering why everyone was seeing this so differently than I do. I do think that marketing wants to push kids to be consumers as soon as possible, so there is some definite acceleration going on, but I see very little hurry once that's happened to push into being real adults. I think adults are, for better or worse, more childish than they've ever been. I think this contrasts perhaps with the historical norm where children and adults did a lot of the same activities and did them together. Now separation is the rule, but it's more acceptable for adults to have childish interests as long as they don't indulge them with children.
 
Messages
3,464
Role
  1. Private
I agree with those that have said family, namely parents, are a big factor in the matter. I was raised in such a way that I should be able to fend for myself, but still have that support network there for me. I've been working since I was 12 years old, but I've known some people my age who've never had a job in their life. When I was making some grown-up decisions, others were still being coddled. And where I had to earn everything I received, others got it handed to them on a silver platter. Some things cannot be taught institutionally, and I'm thankful I didn't have to wait until I was 20 to realise that and learn those things. But conversely, I do feel in part that too much responsibility was placed on me too soon and that did strip a small piece of my childhood away.

There's a fine line between teaching your kids about the real world and the values & virtues that go along with it, and allowing them a fun and imaginative childhood.
 
Messages
3,351
Role
  1. Private
Actually, I see today's society as permitting people not to grow up. At the least, we in the West are failing in our duty of imposing maturity and growth to the young, and we're failing in imparting the skills and appropriate graces to children.

As a result, we have a great many twenty-somethings living with the parents, and that the parents don't meet this with tough love--and are not themselves stigmatized--is a telling sign of where we are as a society.

I am not making the claim that if someone is in their twenties and living with mom & dad that anything is "wrong" or that they are somehow "defective;" what I am pointing out is that many parents permit and do not actively discourage this kind of behavior; hence, the children never have to really grow up.

Tough love has its time and place. Nudging your child toward the door as their eighteenth birthday or completion of secondary education looms near is healthy, provided that the parents have given their child ample training for living. Throwing a child out or forever clutching a child to the bosom both do no good for the child--who must at some point become an adult.

I've seen some friends of the family suffer through boomerang children as well as children who have never left home; these tend to be overly permissive and indulgent parents, and their children tend to not have a clear understanding of the world outside the family home. In the long run, everyone suffers.

I am currently suffering more than I have in my life; though I know that my parents would accept me back home to stay for a bit, I would sell everything in my home before imposing on them like that. This doesn't mean that they aren't loving; it is just not the place of a child to live with their parents upon reaching the age of majority--it would screw up our relationship, which is not something I'm willing to do (unless things go south in some odd way).

I've quoted and gone straight into a reply, but I'll head back in the thread and see if there are any high points I've missed.

--EDIT--
Trevor, Lukie: Good points, both. It pains me to see a need, but I've started writing a book with a friend of mine (the one who I'd gay out with).
 
Messages
3,464
Role
  1. Private
Actually, I see today's society as permitting people not to grow up. At the least, we in the West are failing in our duty of imposing maturity and growth to the young, and we're failing in imparting the skills and appropriate graces to children.

As a result, we have a great many twenty-somethings living with the parents, and that the parents don't meet this with tough love--and are not themselves stigmatized--is a telling sign of where we are as a society.

I am not making the claim that if someone is in their twenties and living with mom & dad that anything is "wrong" or that they are somehow "defective;" what I am pointing out is that many parents permit and do not actively discourage this kind of behavior; hence, the children never have to really grow up.

This is a very good point. Speaking for myself, I'm well into that transitional period from a rebellious, partied-out youth into an independent and generally well-rounded adult (one would hope). Although I've been told directly that it's okay to stay at home until I complete my tertiary education. I do help out on occasion around the home and I do keep things orderly so that my family doesn't have to go to the effort of picking up my slack. Besides, I plan to find work before I even graduate and I'm currently working, so it's not exactly like I'm abusing any sort of privilege.

As I mentioned previously though, some people reach my age and just don't have any clue about what it's like to hold a job, or bust your ass to earn your way in this life. I do not advocate giving kids a sheltered childhood; put analogously, it's akin to telling your child not to play with others because they might get sick. That's the whole point of letting your child play with others, so they build up their immune system! Likewise, if you give them everything they want/need on demand, they don't build up the tolerance to others and to life in general, and I doubt they'll cope very well when they find out their boss is as tough as nails.

However, we cannot deny that culture does have a say in all of this, as has been pointed out in this thread already. The values of family, teamwork and hard work have become less prevalent, and our general tendency to be a consumerist society places more emphasis on trends and "fitting in", rather than being an individual. A non-creative environment is one with few shepherds and many sheep, and what does it say about our motivation and being compelled to invent and innovate when we worry more about what the trendsetters are doing rather than actually having some productive worth of our own.

And just a quick, semi-relevant note to that: I believe Japan produces much larger sized baby diapers these days because the parents are leaving it until later to toilet train their kids. Instead of addressing the issue properly they took (what I believe to be) the lazy option.
 

Calico

Est. Contributor
Messages
5,254
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Other
Guys, this is about taking fun things away from kids as they get older such as getting too old for coloring menus, too old for Easter Egg Hunts because no one holds them for your age group when you are a teen or an adult or pre teen. This isn't about teaching children responsibilities and how to behave, it's about taking away fun things.
 
Messages
3,351
Role
  1. Private
Guys, this is about taking fun things away from kids as they get older such as getting too old for coloring menus, too old for Easter Egg Hunts because no one holds them for your age group when you are a teen or an adult or pre teen. This isn't about teaching children responsibilities and how to behave, it's about taking away fun things.

Point taken.

However, I just noticed something fascinating about your post. You assert (and are correct) that playgrounds, Easter egg hunting, smaller menu portions (with reduced prices) are removed from a child's world once they reach a certain age.

Look at the vast majority of these things: they are physical or otherwise inform or have an impact upon our physical bodies.

The void that yawns in front of us when we exceed that age--specifically before we leave secondary schooling--seems to have become video games and other sedentary activities.

Interesting, no?
 

Darkfinn

Banned
Messages
3,676
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Incontinent
Personally I think we are all in too big of a hurry to "get on with life". We rush pregnancy with scheduled C-sections and timed deliveries... hurry the kids out of diapers and through potty training by age two, just so we can get them into daycare.

Then begins the horrors of the Pre-K program... leading into primary and secondary school... which are rapidly becoming so focused on teaching solely reading, writing, and math/science that social and cultural classes like history, art, and music are being totally abandoned. All in an effort to "get the kids ready for college and the real world".

When these kids do get out into the real world... they are shocked... they're not well rounded individuals with their feet on the ground and new ideas in their heads. Our society seems more focused on cranking out drones to fill the offices and factories of the world than it is on producing thinkers and innovators or artists and musicians. It leads to an overall decline in the sophistication of human culture.
 

Pramrider

Est. Contributor
Messages
2,203
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Other
Personally I think we are all in too big of a hurry to "get on with life".

I'm always saying, "the only place everyone these days is in a hurry to get to is their own funeral.":frown:

~Pramrider
 

ShippoFox

Est. Contributor
Messages
3,051
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Babyfur
  4. Diaperfur
  5. Little
  6. Other
Yes, parents and society do force kids to grow up. The kids are conditioned to go along with it to some extent too. Brats at school will pick on you if they decide you're not growing up fast enough. It seems even tougher on boys too, though maybe that's only because I wouldn't know what it was like to be a little girl.
 

Gingy

Est. Contributor
Messages
2,124
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Sissy
I never grew up. I still don't take full responsibility.... And I don't want to grow up!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top