Does the Elementary Set Seem More "Mature" to Any of You.

Updated on October 17, 2009
J.Z. asks from Jupiter, FL
14 answers

I ask this generally; as it seems to be constantly presenting itself to me.

My child is 8 and I find discussing things that happened in school/playground that; as a parent I associated with a higher age set. The children in this age group seem to "know more, say more and do more" than they did say, 10 years ago. In other words these 6-10 year olds are acting like preteens/teenagers. It's disturbing.

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answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I agree with Brittany and Kitty... makes me want to homeschool too! With books like "And Tango makes 3" being read to first grade children and other controversial material that schools feel they have to present to children makes me wonder where the basics went(?). Peers, friends, etc all make the social environment that feeds into acting way beyond their years.

Good luck!

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answers from Miami on

It's called "the Media". Too much information, fear and anxiety. It's causing our children to by-pass the carefree, fun-loving childhood and rushing them into adult-hood.
Try some relaxed activities with them: a picnic, polo match, public parks nearby for a gentle walk in "nature"...
Best wishes, S.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I teach 4th grade and I have to agree with you! These kids are 9 and 10 and already much more knowledgable than I was at 13 even! They even have a jump rope song that says something like "... (girl's name) is having a baby, her boyfriend's going crazy... then they start counting to see how many babies she is going to have! I told the girls in my class if they are going to sing that, they need to at least change it to "... her husband's going crazy..." It is very disturbing!

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answers from Tampa on

I have noticed that as well. Makes me want to home school.

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answers from Miami on

It's scary isn't it? I am an elementary school counselor and you would not beleive half of the things I have either heard or seen coming from my students. Unfortunately, it's not your imagination.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Some of the issue may be that schools are expecting the younger kids to BE older, act older and learn things that are not developmentally appropriate for their age...If you look at the curriculum, you will see that (for example)at age 5 (Kinder) they expect them to read by mid-year at the latest! Developmentally, children are not prepared for this until age 7...Now some may feel 7 is a bit late, and a "but my kid can read" attitude comes up--this and many other things lead our children to act older than they are. I agree that TV shows that are even deemed "G" rated, have more adult themes to them than when we were younger. The strictness of words, attitudes and more is no longer being limited to late night TV, just turn on the TV to see it any time of the day. Technology is awesome--but has influenced our children in some negative ways..especially with the ease of use of the inter (and intra) net. (Don't take that wrong..we have lots of technology--too much! lol)

I agree that parents and kids are a lot more open with each other, as well...Many things that i wouldn't even talk to my parents about, some kids are actually opening up and telling them.

What I believe contributes to it is the restriction on parents to discipline their child. Now I do not believe in hitting a child...I see it the same way as hitting another adult, except worse for they can not defend themselves. But even being strict, or putting your child in a time out in public will get a frown or CPS called on you. So many parents are SO scared to punish their child for SOMEONE may call child services on them. In many schools, they teach Kinder children that if anyone hits you, grabs you, or does anything you don't like, you can call the cops on them. Now, as adults, we see what they are trying for--but they do not see it through the eyes of a child, and many parents and babysitters have had the cops show up at their door because the child called for punishment...and yes, even legit "time outs".

In views of home schooling...just because that family you know home schools and this is how their kids are, does NOT mean they are the majority. Remember, there is a reason college's hold a certain number of positions for home educated children only--and there is a reason research after research study has shown that home educated children are more adapt in socialization (See and there is a reason that when home educated children are compared to public/private school children, that the scores exceed what mainstream child learns in an institutional setting as school.

I know home education is on the rise due to the problems in school systems, and even because the education system is falling apart in teaching what needs to be known for life--the focus has been turned to "How do we get these kids to pass this test, so we can get more money?"

But this may also be a factor in why children seem more mature--Home educated children spend more time with adults, reflecting their behaviors, and manners--and less time learning what their peers are doing--this leads to many children acting more grown up, and mature...They then make friends with children from all walks of schooling (public, private, charter) and peers do influence each other. It has been shown in research studies, that home educated children are considerable less likely to be influenced by peer pressure, tho.

ok..sorry--off my soapbox...but since another poster mentioned home education, i felt some knowledge needed to be shared...

And yes, I am a home educator, but have worked in the school system, as well.

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answers from Orlando on

I'd like to say I agree with you and the other posters, but here is my theory instead...

I think each generation is closer to their parents than the one before. Several generations ago, children where seen and not heard and you didn't openly discuss things with your parents, nor were your parents your "friends".

My mom and I had a very open relationship growing up, but there were still things I didn't tell her about. My friends and I knew and sometimes would secretly use curse words as early as 3rd-4th grade, for example, but I would have never told my mom that for fear of getting my mouth washed out with soap or her not letting me play with those friends any more. And I was one of the GOOD kids-- I had straight A's and never ever ever back talked my mom or got in trouble in school or anything-- I was even a good teenager (until college-haha). I think kids are the same as they always were but our children are more open to talk to us about it than in years past. We all have different levels of how much we shelter (or try to shelter) our own children-- my 10 year old daughter's friends range from a preacher's daughter who isn't allowed to listen to the radio, to a neighborhood friend who has told me that South Park is her favorite TV show! These 2 girls could have easily been friends of mine as a 10 year old nearly 30 years ago. I remember my dad telling me he had a friend who wasn't allowed to read comic books, yet his own brother was secretly selling drugs. That was over 50 years ago. Kids are kids and nothing has changed.

Just my opinion.



answers from Tallahassee on

I agree it is disturbing and part of it is because the corporations have invented an age group called tweens that never existed before. These tweens are marketed to in such a way that they are "wanna-be teens" with the oversexy clothes for their age group and then shows, games, books, movies with more drama than they ought to be dealing with and more boyfriend girlfriend stuff than they should care about normally. At my house we don't watch the other channels, mostly just PBS for my daughter, and I am careful about the movies and books we choose. She wears mostly hand-me-downs and I try to filter out the overly grown-up stuff.
The other problem is that the hormones in conventional dairy foods and meats (the hormones humans gave the farm animals to make them grow faster or produce more milk, for instance) combined with the estrogen-mimicking chemicals in the plastics and those that are leaching into our water supply are causing many children to hit puberty earlier than they used to. I read an article about toddlers with pubic hair. Teenage hormones are hitting some kids way before they have the emotional maturity to deal with them. This is indeed scary. Especially when you combine it with the "tween" marketing stuff.
We eat organic and mostly vegetarian, avoid plastic, hang out with like-minded people, etc. and hope for the best.



answers from Daytona Beach on

i would definitely say YES! :), children are much more mature now, do to the content of tv, video games, etc. parents aren't home with the kids as often or busy doing their own thing and kids are getting more of an "education" then they should be. it's extremely disturbing to know what your children will be encountering when they go to school. my sister works with children and one of her 5th graders is pregnant! and it doesn't matter where they go to school, or really who they hang out with, because they will be around it or be able to "see" it wherever they go. it's very depressing.



answers from Mayaguez on

Yes, they (think) they know, say more and regretfully do more than your generation. They have so much exposure from tv they want to imitate everything. Inside they are still kids and still need the cuddling, closeness and guidance from their parents. Make the best of it. They do grow overnight.



answers from Miami on

I've noticed the same thing. It is in large part due to the environment all around them. Clothing, commercials, tv, everything is marketed at them like they are little men and women instead of children. Just do your best to explain what is right and wrong and help your child stay a child. I talk to my kids about what is appropriate and what isn't in regards to age appropriate tv and clothes. And I remind them how making good decisions makes you look smart and gives people respect for you. This climate of "everything adult" is one of my many reasons for homeschooling. My children know what I feel they need to know, some basic anatomy, general info on drugs etc. They don't need to be in the dark, but they certainly aren't adults.



answers from Tampa on

I agree, I think its because at 6-10 they are being exposed to more teenage/adult things. Like music, media, ect. Its becoming more acceptable to curse and play M rated video games all day instead of riding a bike or playing baseball in the yard. Things have most definetly changed and I also agree that its disturbing. Just the other day I was on my way to the store listening to 93.3 FLZ when someone started screaming you S-O-B in the backround. This was around 3-4pm in the evening, so you know kids coming home from school can hear this, since they play pop songs on that station that most kids in the 6-10 age group listen to. Kids are no longer being kids, they are growing up too soon and I think both media/internet/cell phones and parents who are too out of touch to know what to do are contributing factors.



answers from Miami on

J., it is disturbing and I'm just as disturbed as you are. Yes, it's true that today's young children are exposed to so much more on television and the internet that they are essentially wiser then their years. It's not the school but it's what the children are exposed to day in and day out. TV is no longer suitable for children at any hour of the day unless they are ONLY watching the Disney channel. Music is filled with sexually suggestive lyrics that I only play country and Christian music now. I keep my TV off during the day and the evening. Our children are acting like little adults and I'm surprised that more parents are not outraged. I've countless times, emailed the networks (TV stations) to stop putting things on TV that shouldn't be on TV. I don't even watch the news around my children anymore. Kids need to be kids! We also need to be praying for things to change in our country and around the world.



answers from Jacksonville on

Yep, not your imagination. I too have three grown and a young one at home. We could spend all day debating the cause, but the fact is they are nowhere near as innocent as the generations before them. Even more disturbing are the number of girls who have the onset of puberty as early as 7 or 8!

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