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What Happened to Childhood?

I’ve found this increasingly being the question I’ve asked myself. I turn 19 in the August coming so I have passed the childhood/pre-teen state. I’m pretty sure I had a good childhood, I played with dolls, I coloured out the lines, I jumped over the sprinkler, I had about 1 hour on the computer a week to play my My Little Pony game or my Tweenies game, I went on holidays to Haven and got pictures with Anxious the Elephant and Rory the Tiger, I went to Disney Land. I then was a pre-teen, I had a year of trying out makeup (big no-no), I even went to the extent of sneaking out the house to spend the night with one of my friends – although it totally wasn’t worth it since I was on edge all night about getting back before my parents.

BUT lately I’ve began to see that children are skipping out on the child part and going straight into a pre-teen state of mind. I do Brownies (age 7-10) and I’ve found it hugely happening around the ages of 8 and 9. Our 7 year olds don’t give a damn about how their hair is, if their clothes match, if they have the latest phone or if they’ve heard the latest boybands songs,  then they turn 8 and BAM! When we took the Brownies away a weekend ago, one of them asked whether she could bring makeup for the ‘party‘ on the Saturday night – we said no, there was actually no point whatsoever to bring makeup, I said she could bring lip-gloss if she so wished but not makeup, she accepted it once I’d come to agreement about the lipgloss. When we got there we found one of our 8 year olds had brought makeup regardless and had attempted to put it on in the morning and then spent the rest of the day with a slightly blackened face from the mistake with the mascara – when asked why she’d brought it, she replied ‘It makes me pretty’ which honestly truly upset me, the thought that an 8 year old thought she needed makeup to feel pretty.

Of course it’s not just makeup, the amount of 8/9 year olds I have telling me they have a better phone than me is amazing and I really can’t believe that some of these children have iPhone 5’s and iPads! I also am amazed at the amount of Facebook accounts and Instagram accounts they have, including my cousin who really recently turned 10, she has a instagram, that I follow through curiosity and she uses it to express how sexy the member of One Direction are which I don’t know how I feel about because she is in fact just turned 10, she is only in Year 5 and she’s using the word Sexy to describe men.

This was just something that’s been on my mind, I find it really upsetting that children are no longer having childhoods and are being little adults by the time they are 14/15.

R.J.

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