I have started to notice something that I don't like. I am noticing more and more that parents seem to want their children to grow up way too fast.
A couple of weeks ago Daniel, Bella, and I were at Kroger doing the weekly grocery shopping and I heard a very hateful voice reprimanding a child. I heard this hateful male voice say "You are 10 years old and I'm having to hold your hand in the store, you should be so embarrassed, I hope you are embarrassed!" now aside from the fact that this guy was being borderline, if not straight up, abusive to his son, I don't see why this was a relevant thing to chew the child out over. I mean, it seemed like the father was embarrassed to be holding his son's hand, and was being extra gruff and hateful. Daniel looked like he wanted to clock the guy, and it was one of those moments when you just sigh and think "Does this parent not realize the number of terrible things this is teaching their child?" by making such a huge production over wanting this child to act older than his age this father was teaching the child that it is ok to humiliate and belittle his children...and in turn the son may turn around some day and think that that is a good way to deal with his children...really sad.
Then tonight I was at Walmart with Bella picking up stuff for her birthday party and to bake cupcakes. This mother stops at the end of the aisles and inquires of her daughter "Do you seriously want Barbie? You are 9 years old, do you REALLY want Barbie? Well if you want it so much march back there and get it!" I was slightly appalled. Since when is a 9 year old, a little girl who is not yet in the double digits age range, too old to play with Barbie? My long time friend Mary Catherine and I used to play with our American Girl dolls till we were prob 11 or 12...it was a fun and healthy thing to play with and imagine with...but apparently I missed a step and now it is unacceptable to let children be children.
I think that is really the point I'm getting at...I think it is a tragedy when children aren't allowed to live their childhoods out. Don't get me wrong here people, this in no way means that I think children shouldn't have discipline, responsibility, and accountability from their parents, but really, when is enough, enough? I think sometimes even the most well meaning parents can make the mistake of wanting their children to grow up too fast, but we have to learn to savor our children as they are and allow them to reap the many blessings of a real childhood...yes Barbie and all. Because from what I can tell before you turn around that little girl or boy will be leaving home and will have the rest of their life to live as an adult.