Harmful Influences On Children, And Why Children Are Growing Up Too Fast

2354 words - 9 pages

In a Boston school, second-graders take a field trip to the local police station to hear a presentation about the dangers of illegal drugs and to be fingerprinted for “stolen child” identification cards.

In an affluent Chicago suburb, elementary school students carry cell phones, pagers, palm pilots and PDAs (personal digital assistants) to keep track of their hectic schedules. Says one parent: “Our kids are just trying to keep their lives ordered.”

In London, a 12-year-old boy spends a couple of hours roaming around the city with a few of his friends after school. When he comes home, he proudly displays a small silver stud inserted into his newly pierced tongue.

Admittedly these may seem like relatively minor upsets in a world scarred by school violence, teen pregnancy, adolescent suicide and widespread substance abuse. Nevertheless, such small examples illustrate the depth and scope of a serious problem in Western society: children and teens are growing up too fast, and the innocence of childhood is becoming a thing of the past.

One person who has been very outspoken about this trend is David Elkind, professor of child study, Senior Resident Scholar at Tufts University, and author of The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast, Too Soon (1988). “Our society is compressing childhood more and more to where children are not children for very long,” he says. “Children are under tremendous pressure to ‘be mature’ and to ‘grow up’ when they have not had the chance to develop emotional maturity.” This is a trend not only in the United States but throughout the industrialized world, including Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and Britain.

“It’s a difficult time for parents,” Elkind says, “because there are so many pressures from society that are unhealthy.” But what changes in our modern world have caused this loss of childhood? Elkind believes it comes down to four major factors.


Tops on the list of Elkind’s concerns is the type of clothing, entertainment and other products being marketed today to young children. As a result, “children in the 8- to 12-year-old age bracket are becoming more like teenagers, leaning more and more toward teen styles, teen attitudes and teen behavior,” he observed.

Many parents lament the fact that it’s becoming very difficult to purchase “little girl” clothes. They say designers have simply shrunk teenage styles to fit younger girls. “It’s just about impossible to find clothes that are appropriate for a little girl these days,” says an Illinois mother of three girls, ages 4, 7 and 9. “But you can sure find a lot of short skirts, string bikinis, platform shoes, and blouses that are cut off at the midriff!”

Families on the other side of the world have similar concerns. One Australian parent says his 10-year-old daughter wants to dress in “as little as possible—summer or winter.” Her mother does not dress that way, neither does the family allow any magazines into the house that would...

Find Another Essay On Harmful Influences on Children, and Why Children are Growing Up Too Fast

The Influences Parents Have On Thier Children

966 words - 4 pages Throughout our lives we're influenced and taught by many. It can have an effect on the way we view problems and events within public boundaries. One of the most important and most effective influences children have in their lives occurs from their parents. The parents of a child can have both a positive and a negative influence on their lives. In this novel there are two very good examples of how parents can be an important influence on their

Children Feel it Too Essay

1969 words - 8 pages correlation between antisocial behavior and psychological abuse. What can be done to stop this abuse from happening? Several countries have actually passed laws that ban disciplinary action that inflicts mental suffering on a child. (Romeo 438) These are only a few of the reasons why I am resolved that psychological abuse inflicted on children by their parents is damaging. All types of abuse are bad, but psychological is among the worst. Parents

How technology influences children

1520 words - 6 pages thousands of kilometers in distance difference. Not surprising however, children have enthusiastically embraced such ubiquitous information technology, and this may be the reason why the newer generations are growing up with a sense of ease toward evolving computer-based, communication, and game-oriented technologies. Nonetheless, countless claims are cropping up that because children are still developing cognitively and socially they should not

Child Marriage: Growing up Too Soon

1425 words - 6 pages it,” ('Marrying too young' 2012). Adding on to that, girls also are subjected to rape; 81% of child brides interviewed in Ethiopia described their sexual initiation as forced, and girls who are married before the age of 18 are more likely to experience domestic abuse than their unmarried peers. Because of gender inequality, girls are usually seen as weaker and property of their husband, so abuse and rape wasn’t viewed as a problem. In India

There Are No Children Here - If I Grow Up

1273 words - 5 pages There Are No Children Here - If I Grow Up          "If I grow up, I'd like to be a bus driver." If -- not when. Sentiments like this echo hauntingly through the pages of Alex Kotlowitz's account of his two-year documentation of the lives of two brothers, Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers. The boys are afforded little happiness and too much grief, trying to survive from day to day in their appartment at the crime-ridden Henry Horner Homes

Sugar and Spice or Snails and Puppy-dog Tails: Influences on Gender Identity in Children

1547 words - 6 pages , encouraging cross-gender play, and so shaping him to identify as a girl. When children are born, and when they are young, no one knows how they are going to turn out later on in their lives. That is why parents always do their best to raise and shape their children according to the ways in which they want their children to live. This includes instilling in their children concepts about gender identity and gender roles. In today’s society in

Influences of Modern Technology on the Children Development

1081 words - 4 pages 1. Introduction. Modern technologies for children: useful or harmful? Living in the 21st century we obviously meet the huge stream of information every day. This information finds us everywhere, from TV, computers, metro, on the street and in the shop. There is only one way to avoid this stream – to live far from civilization. Modern technologies can be useful and harmful at the same time. There are so many aspects and opinions about this

Television can be harmful to children

3655 words - 15 pages they are with friends.In the case of children's morality and commonsense, now, violent scenes on television influences children's morality. Too much TV violence on children causes the problem, which "Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. Viewing violence encourages children to see other people as "enemies" rather than as individuals with thoughts and feelings like themselves. Children who cannot put themselves

Fast Food Chains Have Brainwashed Children and Parents

2196 words - 9 pages .”  --  Michael Moore, Here Comes Trouble -- So cheap, so convenient, and so comforting – qualities so alluring, it is easy to disregard the life threatening nature of fast food. Children and teens are especially vulnerable to such tempting qualities of junk food, since fast food chains have developed a marketing omnipresence on television and in schools. In fact, as Michael Pollan, a prominent food journalist reveals, “one

Multiracial Children: Growing Through Identity and Racism MLA format

1850 words - 7 pages child understands the light skin or dark skin concept, the beginnings of stereotyping are arising. Wright a child psychologist states “However, like the black child, she may pick up on feeling behind racial names she is called long before she understands what these terms really means”(Wright 30).Multiracial children at this age can see the correlation between their mothers and themselves but, not their fathers. The genetic concept of race is

Attachment Theory and Its Basis for Advice on How to Bring Up Children

3060 words - 12 pages Attachment Theory and Its Basis for Advice on How to Bring Up Children One crucial concept of bringing up children is attachment. British psychologist John Bowlby (1907-90) developed the attachment theory and argued that a basic characteristic of human need was to form strong emotional bonds with particular individuals, deprivation of secure attachments through separation, bereavement or emotional distance he believed

Similar Essays

Is Media Violence Harmful On Children?

962 words - 4 pages in order to lead an ideal life. Of course, this all depends on whether the effects of the exposure to media violence that have taken place or short-term (immediate) or long-term. To understand this concept, first we must understand why it is that media violence attracts children.In their early years, children under the age of five, are influenced and attracted to vivid production features, such as rapid movement of characters, rapid changes of

The Most Common Fear Children Have Growing Up

1670 words - 7 pages A great majority of society feared the monster under the bed or in the closet. Perhaps they were just afraid of the dark and the weird noises when home alone. Those are common fears that children have growing up. What is fear? Does everyone have fear? Does fear control one’s life? Can fear be controlled? Fear is something everyone experiences in life. Fear is a part of life. According to the Oxford Dictionary, “fear is an unpleasant emotion

Myth Children Growing Up In A Single Parent Home

1741 words - 7 pages parent finds work they have some difficulty maintaining the employment due to issues with their child/children that no one else can handle. Most companies do not care if your child is ill or you can not find a sitter to watch your children. Businesses do not hire employees based on if they are parents they just hire based on need and experience. Community services are rare and few, every community has different services available and the smaller

The Factors In Parenting Styles And Their Influences On Children

2292 words - 10 pages ), so the findings principally represent the parenting styles adopted among the parents of this generation. Besides, the majority of the respondents are females (See Figure 1.2). There are 4 parts of the questionnaire: the personal information, the factors in parenting styles, the types of parenting styles and the influences on children. The questionnaire contains 21 questions in total, with 4 questions regarding factors, 8 questions regarding