Monday, November 23, 2009

pressures

Tonight the girls and I had an interesting conversation at supper. They were lamenting. Struggling a bit. Feeling the pressure to grow up, when they have hardly had the chance to be a kid.

Apparently, a couple of kids have said directly to them, that they think they are too old to play with barbies and dolls. They have also perceived this in general from a few others.

The thing that is crazy is that my two older girls are 7 and 9. Pushing 8 and 10. Yes, they can spend hours dressing, caring and making elaborate games with their dolls and barbies. They still play dress-up and polly pockets. But isn't that what childhood is about?

I think our girls are creative. They read feverishly. They spend hours outdoors and find interest in many things this computer generation passes by. Too be honest, in many things I pass by.

They teach me to slow down.
Enjoy the moment.
Look and listen.
Stop.
Breathe.

I wonder what happens when a society tells our children "Grow up!"
"Hurry up!"
When children as young as 10, 11 are reading "Twilight" instead of "Pippy Lockingstocking"

It leaves me sad that our society would want to rush them through this preciously short stage of life....to what?

9 comments:

Meg said...

I hear you on this! One of the reasons I started blocking the Disney channel (yet thanks to ABC and their Saturday morning Hannah Montana, I'm not totally successful). A lot of their shows are really written for teens or tweens, but the younger kids get caught up in the music and the merchandising. I think they're inappropriate for under-10 kids--and as much as I dislike them, you can be sure that all three of my under-10 kids have watched them plenty. All the more reason to unplug the TV and go play outside!

Rebekah said...

kids are definitely forced to grow up too soon. It's too bad that their friends are forcing them to grow up by calling them childish. Good for you for encouraging them to be themselves and do what they enjoy

frillbow said...

I am so glad that my 2 are in no rush to grow up. Although Lily is very mature for her age (sometimes :D) she has a real sense of tradition and nostalgia. Her favourite book is still Swallows and Amazons. Both Lily and Joel still call me Mummy as opposed to Mum and I know they get some stick for this but they still do it!

mmichele said...

for a great counter balance to the craziness, look for books and educational aids that use a Waldorf approach... he was big into preserving the magical time of childhood.

Luckily I had a dear neighbour who was really passionate about it and encouraged us to raise readers and imaginative boys instead of automatons, cranking out the next video game and 'playing' what they had watched on television.

It's hard though! people may think you are crazy!

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Oh that makes me sad....I loved playing with my Barbies until I was about 12 (and I saved them for my daughter). Kids are exposed to so much at such a young age. It's not really fair because they are getting cheated.

Stephanie said...

This post really hit home with me, I was just like your daughter's at that age. I can remember wanting to play with my cabbage patch kids, when other girls my age just wanted to wear makeup and act much older. I had a rough time in middle school because I didn't want to "grow up" quite yet and act like the other girls, so I just kind of stayed in the background and was very shy. Your girls are lucky to have such a wonderful mother, to help them through this time, and teach them that it's ok to be young while you still can! There's no rush to grow up!!

The WoodLand School said...

This post resonates with me! My dd is nearly 12 and still enjoys being a kid and playing with her dollhouse and (gasp!) her brother :-) But wow ... the pressure to be into Twilight and boys and text messages and skinny jeans is just everywhere!

Kristyn Knits said...

I'm with you, keep them young and innocent as long as possible!

Alison said...

Well said! The world is a better place because people like you are encouraging their children to be creative, imaginative and playful. The sad thing is that, even those girls who are making fun probably want to play with their dolls too, but feel like they can't and that they have to ridicule those that do. Through the years, more than a little preteen anxt has been worked out in the pretend and play world at our house. You are giving your girls the freedom to dip their toes in turbulent waters of adolescence at a pace that feels comfortable to them, while still offering them a safe place to come home to. I can't help but think that this will be such a healthy and balanced way for them to enter their teen years.