Modern Day Culture is Shortening Childhood | TeenInk

Modern Day Culture is Shortening Childhood

June 3, 2015
By Lavender1114 BRONZE, Amherst, New York
Lavender1114 BRONZE, Amherst, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In the last two decades, children have started growing up more rapidly, thus shortening childhood. Children mature faster with the media they come across, but also get lazier and unhealthy due to spending too much time on technology. The overuse of unmonitored technological devices can put children at a risk of damaging affects on their mental, social, and physical growth and development. Childhood obesity stats boosts as advertisements on junk foods increase. School also contributes to premature advancement when children are given tests at a younger age. Finally, children’s development is prone to get harmed due to the toxic chemicals in the air that is inhaled. All of these factors contribute to a shortened childhood.
    Childhood has shifted indoors in the past twenty years. Kids dedicate more of their time indoors using technology than they do outdoors for play. Our children are unhealthy, blind to what is essential, and stressed out due to the deprivation of a connection to the natural world, which is necessary for growth and development. Outdoor activities increase levels of fitness, and build healthier and stronger bodies, which is crucial for the one in three kids that are obese in America. Outdoor play helps the children’s emotional development, and prevents anxiety and depression. Children spend hour after hour gluing their eyes to a screen, blind to what is happening in the rest of the world, which negatively impacts their growth socially and mentally.
    Children’s media is sometimes unmonitored, which puts them at a risk of damaging effects on their mental, social, and physical growth and development. To grow healthy, children need social interaction, physical movement and activity, and the love and encouragement of adults in their lives. Increasing use of computers can bring harmful effects to the eyes, back, and wrists. Children are exposed to violent and sexual imagery, corrupting their minds with things they shouldn’t have to think or worry about. The increased use of profanities also has a negative impact on kids. Almost one in five children say that they had come across something on their electronic device that upset them. Parents can resolve this situation by setting parental controls on their kids’ devices, so they can diminish the amount of upsetting encounters on the internet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Institute, obesity rates for children have boomed in the past twenty years. Children are influenced to eat unhealthy junk foods, due to the over advertising of junk foods, even at school. According to reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology, over 5,000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals connecting to hormone disruption, reproductive problems, and even cancer. Walmart, Gap, Gymboree, Hallmark, and H&M have reported using chemicals in their products. There are 66 toxic chemicals that are used in toys, kids’ jewelry, and kids’ cosmetics. Kids are endangered by the fact that the products they use in their everyday lives contain a major amount of toxic chemicals, taking part in abusing the kids’ growth and developments.
Lasty, the tests given in school at an early age, also adds into the reason why childhood is getting shortened. Early childhood screening helps kids prepare themselves for kindergarten. It tests to see a child’s emotional, mental, and physical development, and searches for development if it is concerned, and will provide help sooner. It is used to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
Some people say that the knowledge necessary to perform everyday tasks have evolved, that people need technology. They claim that every child has the ability to find something wonderful and adapt to their environment, society takes no part in it. Here is where they are wrong. At such a young age, girls are made to worry about their physical appearance and weight, while boys are made to worry about being brave and growing up to be big and strong men. Society stresses out kids in making them worry about certain matter that they don’t have to have any concerns about this early in life. It makes them grow up too fast.
It is our duty as a society to make our environments safe for our children. Think about your own kids, your little cousins, your nieces and nephews, your siblings, we have to protect them and let them grow up naturally, instead of stressing them about things they don’t have to worry about. Sure, some of us just give our kids an iPad or some sort of technology device when we want to make our kids stop crying, but the growth and development of the kids are important and is worth it to protect their environments. Parents need to monitor what their kids watch, that might scar them, and ensure that they are getting enough play outside, so that they will grow healthy, physically, emotionally, and mentally.



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