Listening to Radio 4 this week I heard a performance poet refer to one of his first pieces set to music which was called Premature Parenthood. It was about teenagers who find themselves becoming parents before they have chance to grow up.
This lead me to thinking about our journey to parenthood, the need to reproduce some say is inherent in our genes, It can be something that can happen by accident or by design, are we ever ready?
The idea of premature parenthood made me consider the phrase that is often said on shows like Judge Judy or Jeremy Kyle … children having children and reverse notion of Premature Adulthood. Children growing up to early ….. It doesn’t have to be extreme like a teenage pregnancy, but children grow up fast. Do our children grow up too fast?
As a parent I like to do things with my children that make them feel special. Sometimes that is doing something that is a stretch for them, be that seeing a 12 film aged 11, or pushing them to try something new be it ride at a theme park they are only just big enough for trying a new food like sushi. Some cognitive psychologists or educationalists might refer to it as proximity learning, pushing and growing. However is pushing in this way robing a child or time at a certain age. We want them to explore and gain new experiences, in essence force then to grow up?
We blame society or computer games and dvd’s for children getting exposed to violence or sex at too young at age… but a 13 year old doesn’t walk into Game, HMV or Sainsbury’s and buy the latest 18 rated shoot them u game… it is an adult who buys it, then gives it to the and allows them to play it. They see images and a game rated as suitable for 18 year olds at 12 or 14, this means they start to develop and create a desire to be seen as older.
I am not exposing the virtues or failings of the system, just that fact that it is enforced by us as parents. Our actions, as the parents, can and do impact on our children becoming premature adults. Are these little things important? When we see and criticise the rise in premature parenthood and make statements like “I blame the parents” we need to consider our own role in premature adulthood.
The question is should we stop it or just ensure that a child is equipped as they move into adulthood, or do we do our best to keep our children young for as long as possible, or do we bend the rules a little occasionally ? Do lots of little bends eventually cause a a crack, a break or snap?
Till next week
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