Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stealing Youth

First, I want to start by wishing you all a happy new year! I have a good feeling about this year. I don't know what it is, but even at the very stroke of midnight, as 2010 vanished into 2011, I felt the heaviness lift. Let's enjoy this moment of hope while we can.

Second: it's time again to get down to business...and a new post, eh?

OK. So...recently, I was shopping in an "upscale" department store for a gift for a young child. A 4-year-old girl to be exact. Now, I'm not a mother yet, but I know a few children and still have a sense for what kids wear. Or do I?

Sure, there were the quintessential long-sleeve shirt with a kitty and rainbow on it, footy pajamas, ruffled sweaters. But there were also colorful tu-tus seemingly from the Lady Gaga children's fashion line; sequenced pants for that aspiring Solid Gold dancer in the family; a faux black leather jacket complete with a hoodie for the littlest biker chick; and the military-inspired jacket and newsboy cap that would do either Che Guevara or any coffee-house regular proud.

I understand that parents want their kids to look cool...maybe even to reflect the parents' own styles. But, when I saw those clothes, it made me realize that we keep pushing our children to be little adults - not children. And it seems to me that it's not just fashion, but also other products. A few months ago, I went to a restaurant to see a child around 7 years old playing with an iPad like a toy. An iPad. Really? Very few adults I know have one, let alone a child using it as a plaything. Music, TV, movies, the list goes on.

I guess I shouldn't be so judgmental. I mean, when I become a parent, maybe I will be sucked right along with these trends all in the name of making my child happy. Then again, I can blame all of these external sources for stealing the youth from our children, but isn't it the responsibility of the parent to guide and make the decisions for a child until he or she is old enough to make his/her own decisions?

What do you think? If you're a parent, what is your opinion on what is being offered for kids today?

1 comment:

Moonfeather said...

I have many oppinions on this childhood subject, but I'll stick to your question: as a mother, I don't think the problem is so much on what is offered, but more in the fact that people choose to buy those things. That's why they still sell it.
Do you think a place for a baby is in front of the TV? Or that a 6 month baby should be eating mcnuggets? I don't, but some parents do.
In a store you'll find those "adult like" items for kids, but also the same old toys and clothes that have been there in our childhood. I buy those... Each one "knows" what's best for their kids, right?