Something happened a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. My daughter (6 at the time) was watching Treehouse and said to me “Will you make fun of me for watching cartoons?”. (For readers in other countries – Treehouse is Canada’s commercial-free children’s television channel).
It made me feel so unhappy to think of my funny, happy, silly girl feeling embarrassed for watching cartoons. She’s 6! So I’ve been thinking about how my kids are growing up to quickly. I don’t mean in the sentimental way – I mean that they are acting like little adults and being exposed to things that they aren’t mature enough to handle. I watched cartoons until I was in high school, and I know I played with dolls in Jr. High – they were New Kids on the Block dolls, but still – they had Barbie girlfriends.
When I was grumbling about it in my head, I realized that I’m to blame for this. Thinking it was precocious – I encouraged them both to do things that were not age appropriate. Emma had a DS and was playing video games when she should have still been playing with dolls and puzzles. She’s been watching Hannah Montana and High School Musical for over a year now – and these are shows that are about kids in HIGH SCHOOL. Charlotte plays games on my iPod that aren’t toddler games and gets incredibly frustrated. I didn’t give any heed to age recommendations on toys, games or movies. I’ve laughed when they’ve used sarcasm, yet can’t stand when I see an eye roll. I hear Emma get mad at my husband and say “Daaaaaave!” in such an exasperated voice that it sounds exactly like . . . ME. Sigh.
So what to do? I’ve been encouraging more child play and less teen influences. I got her an American Girl doll for her birthday and a scooter to get outside and get exercise. (She still had a Hannah Montana cake though, we couldn’t quit cold turkey!) There’s no tv at night, which is when most of the “older” shows are on. Dave’s not allowed to let them sit with him and watch The Simpsons anymore and I’m trying to go easy on the sarcasm and be more involved in playtime with both of them.
I was thrilled to find out the there’s a Momcafe event on this VERY topic next week, and you can be darn sure I’ll be in attendance. I don’t want to have my kids embarrassed for watching cartoons. Except maybe Caillou, which is just plain wrong.
Little Adults – Creating Healthy Kids for the Future – learn about “Little Adult Syndrome,” why it is happening and what you can do about it? Discover how to slow down our kid’s physical and emotional development to create healthy kids for the future.