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Dr George Simon, PhD

“Are Our Children Growing Up Too Fast or Too Slowly?” Comments, Page 1

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2 Responses (One Discussion Thread) to “Are Our Children Growing Up Too Fast or Too Slowly?”

  1. avatar image

    mhm… I´m fairly sure by now that the factor “preparedness” is the most underestimated. I know kids who had to manage daily life issues big time (not as extreme as the girl in “I Am Sam”… but likewise, on a lower level) and they make it well. It`s not (or not mainly) a question of a default mental state of developement (i.e. that one has to be able to do/understand/manage issue X on age Y because his/her brain is simply inapt to do it before) but rather a question of “social image”: because society doesn`t expect or even accept certain actions/insights before the “right” age, no one – neither the kids nor the people around them – thinks it could be “normal” or “okay” to do things, which are reserved for the adults (and that means by far not only sex or smoking or driving or whatsoever… political participation, anyone? …and no, I don`t talk about kindergarten kids, but what about 12-years-old?)

    The concept of “childhood” is – in my opinion – largely artificial and depends on changeable social images projected on kids, hence there are skills/interests/affinities/actions where they won`t be prepared for by educators… even though they could handle it. The result: without preparation they can NOT handle it appropriately, which affirms the image of the “unready”, “incapable” and “overextended” minor.. a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    We should overthink these images from time to time. Some see childhood as a romantic, “innocent” world apart form ours, others see kids only as “our future”, as ressources of tomorrow. I see them as human beings who could participate well in our society… if prepared acceptably.

    • 1.1

      You make some great points here. Many factors contribute to a persons “readiness” to deal with various environmental conditions and demands. And every individual varies in their biologically-based and experientially-based preparedness to handle various potential stressors. Too bad we don’t pay too much regard to this variability as we bombard our youngsters with all the stimuli to which they are typically exposed these days.

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