The Teen Years Can Wait: Keeping the Child in Childhood
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a war for my daughter’s childhood. Everyone from the characters on her favorite Disney channel show to her peers at school are plotting to make my little 6 year old live the life of a 16 year old. And I am the sole mommy gladiator fighting to keep her in an age-appropriate world.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that there’s a danger in children rushing through their primary years into their teens. I believe that if they’re so busy trying to be grown up they miss that magical experience that only comes once in a lifetime. It’s called childhood.
So I’ve framed a pink lollipop girly world for my daughter. It’s full of what every six year old girl should focus on — dolls, storybooks, fairies, games and other kiddie things. There are several things that I make sure to keep out of her kiddie world. Here’s a list of the top three things that I keep out of her world:
Cell phones. My little girl is six. There is absolutely no reason for her to have a cell phone. Everyone that she needs to talk to lives in her house. And no, I don’t worry about emergencies. If there’s an emergency at school, the school administrators will call. I can’t imagine her “needing” a cell phone until she is about 13 years old at the earliest.
Social Media. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. My six year old has no deep thoughts or experiences to share with the world. She’s not old enough to express herself to a wider audience, and her little brain is not mature enough to filter all the information that comes through social media. Interestingly, she has friends who are just a year or two older who are already social media pros.
Kissing Scenes. At this age, my daughter’s only kisses are for mommy, daddy and the grandparents. So, I don’t see the point in filling her head with romantic fantasies. My strict rule is “no television shows that have kissing scenes.” Since many of her favorite Disney and Nickelodeon shows are full of preteen romances, we’ve already had an argument or two about this rule. But I’m the mama, and my rule stands.
Some of my friends say that I’m being unrealistic. They argue that kids today are more mature than we were at their age. I disagree. My little girl will enjoy being 16 when she is 16. Right now she can just focus on those fairies, dolls and being six.
What are your rules for keeping the child in childhood?
Words: Yolanda Darville
Yolanda Darville is a mom, writer, and blogger focusing on philanthropy and empowering women. Learn more about her on her blog www.bahamamommyinc.com.