Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pressure!

I went to Kamary's Parent Teacher Conferences this past week. The teacher had a lot of great things to say and Kamary has made a lot of progress. One thing she mentioned though is that her students with younger siblings tend to be more socially immature than other students. She said that 4th grade is a transistion stage, where they leave the toys and make-believe behind. She suggested that I help Kamary with this transistion by taking Hanna and Kamary out to do "Big Girl" things together, like painting nails, etc.

So, I've been thinking about that. Kamary and Hanna already paint nails together, we made flowers to go in their hair (which is the "thing" now), I've taken Kamary to the mall and we shopped for 5 hours, she's taking an interest in her fashion and what she wears, and even yesterday I took her to Hobby Lobby where she looked at every little trinket possible. Really the only "young" thing she does is play with barbies (which she loves because it's a creative outlet) and watches "Hannah Montana". Is that really so bad?

It's hard to know what is truly age-appropriate when society is pushing kids to grow up so quickly. Kamary mentioned to me that she was the only one in her class that liked Hannah Montana or playing with barbies. Well, what are the other kids into? One girl is obsessed with Lady Gaga and wants the class to call her "Mini Lady Gaga". A lot of them talk about TV shows like 'Bones' or 'The Family Guy' and PG-13 movies like 'The Lovely Bones'. Hmmm.

Well, I don't think I'm a prude, but I am very careful about what both I and my kids watch. There are many PG-13 movies that I don't even watch because of content. I'm always amazed when I see 5 yr. olds walking out of movie's like 'Hitchcock' saying, "That was a great movie!" I mean maybe it is a great movie, but is it really appropriate for 5 yr. olds? With some of the TV Shows, we actually have to change the channel when the commercial comes on.

I see 12 year olds reading books that are riddled with sexuality, or really young girls wearing make-up, high heels, mini-skirts and tank tops. During the Summer it's really hard to find a one-piece swimsuit and hardly anyone dresses modestly anymore.

I think that Kamary (age 9) is feeling the pressure of standing up for her values, trying to find common interests with those that are growing up too fast and participating in things that she doesn't believe in. It's a hard thing.

Do I really need to 'help' my daughter grow up? I think she's doing fine on her own.

6 comments:

Greg & Anna said...

The Lord sent your children to you. Since you are the educational expert with the motherly instincts I think if you continue to follow your own impressions it will do more for your daughter than any social pressure!

Angee said...

I completely agree with you! My older sister played with Barbie's until she was 13. She begged me to play with her when I was 10. I think it's so sad that the world is pushing our kids to grow up so fast! You know what's best for her and for your family. Keep those high standards and your daughters (and Kohler) will appreciate it so much as they get older! :)

pdwheeler said...

I played with Barbies when I was 11 and 12. Of course they were the new things then but it did not hold me back. Imagination is a good thing and playing with Barbies helps to keep it going. Hanna Montana is fine too. There is so much on TV that is not worthwhile. Let them watch the good things. I also disagree with the teacher that younger siblings keep the older ones from maturing faster. Everyone has their own pace. Some take longer and some are pushed too soon. Let her be a child. Adulthood comes too fast as it is.

Natalie said...

I'm with you, let them grow up as slowly as they will allow. I don't want to push them to grow up any quicker then they already have to!!!

Jen said...

I played with barbies until I was 12 too. I agree with everyone else that you are doing a great job and she will grow up soon enough. Let her be a child! :)

Rachael said...

Wow, I guess my life and my kids' lives are pretty simple because they are so young still. Thanks for giving me a little 'heads up' on what sorts of things I may face in the future.
I think you are one of the best Mom's out there - and your children are so blessed to have you! Don't change a thing about how you are raising them. And thank you for your example!