Parenting Update: Why Kids Don’t Want to Grow Up

Photo of happy childrenAccording to recent trends, numerous surveys, and mounting national data, “there's an increasing intensification of what it means to be a good parent.” And that rise in parental standards is paying off: Kids today are more likely to say they enjoy being kids and aren't in a hurry to grow up!

85% of children ages 8 to 14 agreed that “I like being my age!”

Nickelodeon surveyed more than 900 children in an effort to accurately portray kids and families on-screen; and the results were shocking.

While it was generally thought that most children these days were in a hurry to grow up – girls shaving legs and wearing makeup and barely there clothing, and boys attempting an adult perspective on attitude, muscle pumping, and sexual appetites, at an earlier age – they are now watching how their parents are struggling through this modern-day economy and taking a step back, wanting to relish in how good they have it at home.

Experts are calling this shift in attitude “the lengthening road to adulthood.”

Many professionals are also attributing this change to the additional “helicopter pampering” and involvement of children’s parents.

According to the article, “If kids are happier being kids, the growing work of parenthood may be paying off. Several studies back up the idea that parents are stepping up efforts to nurture their children. Moms and dads are spending more time with their kids than in decades, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of surveys stretching back to 1965.”

“Parents are also spending more money, devoting a growing share of income to their kids … and more attend or volunteer at school meetings and events than in the ‘90s, a Child Trends analysis of federal data shows.”

Parents, we all need to take a moment to pat ourselves on our backs and yell out in joy! Perhaps the experts’ thoughts that our “booming investment in parenting” is due to our anxieties about whether or not our children will survive adulthood are accurate; maybe we DO feel the need to become our children’s teachers, coaches, friends, and chauffeurs … but this is not a bad thing. It’s great! We love our children, and the statistics prove that this helicopter parenting is paying off.

Children are relishing in childhood – finally! Parents are becoming more child-centered – and centered around family life in general – and children are taking longer to leave home and venture out into adulthood.

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However, the studies also show that children, as a result, are slightly less obedient as well.

“According to data from the General Social Survey, a project of the University of Chicago, UCLA researchers who followed middle-class Los Angeles families noted that parents often negotiate with kids over household tasks, rather than simply ordering them.”

If parents are becoming more lenient and agreeable (children aren't being told “no”), then why should kids want to leave home?

Staying young and at home is more “attractive.” Growing up looks like “responsibility,” instead of “freedom.” And instead of growing up “to be seen and not heard,” children are growing up to have a voice and an influence within their homes.

But I personally think that this isn't a bad thing at all – it’s great. We are enjoying our children and savoring frequent memories; and our children are actually enjoying their childhoods.

What do you think? Have you noticed this shift in your child’s behavior?

Comment below!

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Parenting Update: Why Kids Don’t Want to Grow Up

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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