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Talkback: Children are growing up too quickly, say 88% of parents

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  • I agree that there is a lot of influence but it can be monitored if you know what your kids are doing but as they get old I know it's not always going to be that easy and I'm just glad my eldest is two. I think there are way too many things that encourage them to act too grown up, even with some toys. The worst I have seen was a crop top with padding to look like a bra that was age 2-3. Why would you want your kids to start looking like that so young. It's terrible. It's the thing that narks me the most (narks a northern word for annoyed just in case, I have to explain a lot of what I say to some of my friends, lol). I have to take Mia to a certain shop for clothes as she's got a skinny minny waist and there is only one place that has the right size for her and some of the clothing is disgusting. It's the sort of thing you'd expect to see girls on the pull wearing on a night round town and there are people loading the stuff into baskets for their little girls. I want mine to be kids for as long as they can because there isn't much let up when your being a responsible adult.
  • It's not just TV.  It's magazines, books, the internet, toys, clothing, and as they grow older peer pressure.  I'm fortunate that my lo is only two and she's quite happy to draw pictures or go out for a walk but I know that the older she becomes the more difficult it will be to shield her from these influences.

    There is explicit content on TV on virtually every channel at all times of the day (classic examples of this are programmes which are usually shown after the watershed being repeated in the morning) and I think the worst channels of all are the music channels.  Some of the videoes on there are just one step short of pornography!   Teen magazines are a problem too.  When I was a teeneger (in the olden days) magazines had things in like how to get rid of spots and kissing a boy for the first time.  Now it's 'position of the week' and how to look like a 20 year old.  Childrens books are not the innocent Famous Five and Secret Seven stories they once were and I just hope that my daughter doesn't get into 'Bratz' dolls.  The internet can also be a problem because no matter what you do or how many parental controls you have in place there's always something that slips through the net and let's face it kids are far more clever with computers these days and can probably override most control passwords. 

    I think one of the biggest things of all though is peer pressure.  Girl's in particular can risk being ousted out by their friends if they're not wearing the right clothes, shoes or make up or if they don't dye their hair or look like a supermodel.  We live in a very image conscious world where people can't/won't accept people for who they really are.  I'm sure there are plenty of girls who have little interest in fashion and make up but go along with it so they don't get left out by their friends.  The same principal applies to underage smoking and drinking.  And then there's the 'Who's done what with who' where the most shocking thing will gain you the most popularity, or put another way if you haven't done anything yet then you'd better start or your friends will think you're boring.

    Another thing i'd forgotten about is film age classifications.  A film that say 20 years ago would have been rated as a 15 or an 18 will now be 12A so just about anyone can see it as long as they're with an adult.

     As I said before it's easy to shield younger children from these influences but as they get older and more independant it's an absolute minefield and you can't oversee what they are doing/watching/reading all the time.

  • If 88% of parents say that TV is too influential on their childs growing up then use the on/off button and restrict the viewing. Do things with your children that does not involve TV, both you and your children will feel the benefit.
    It is too easy to use TV as a babysitter, but if you do you cannot complain that it is too influential
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