Tweens are the new teens

Filed under: Teens, Media

Have you noticed that kids are growing up much faster these days?

That sounds so incredibly cliche, and I feel like next, I should start babbling about how when I was a kid, gum cost less than a dollar and I had to walk for an hour uphill in the snow to school each morning.

But, I've noticed for years that girls look different at fourteen than I and my friends did. I wondered if it were just my imagination, but it seemed so obvious: breasts were suddenly so much bigger on such young girls, 14-year old boys looked 19. I thought perhaps I was just getting old, and my memory distorted - but it turns out that tweens are indeed developing much more rapidly than the last generation.

Physical differences are happening earlier. Menstruation and breast development sometimes start in elementary school, and doctors note that this might have to do with improved nutrition and increased body fat. Access to R-rates movies and foul language is easy and available on the Internet and TV. Some blame advertisers, who pick up on tween desire to be "older" by marketing toys such as the dreaded Bratz dolls.

It all makes me feel so sad. The innocence of childhood is so tiny, so fleeting and until it's gone, you simply can't appreciate its full beauty. Perhaps that's why we want to shield our children so vehemently, we understand the fleetingness of early youth.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.