Interesting article on MSNBC this morning. It immediately brought up two questions in my mind. Are kids really growing up faster? What can we do about it as parents and Youth Ministers? I think the answer is that they are being forced by society to grow up faster. I am already seeing signs of this struggle in my eight year old daughter.
I think that this issue will force churches to rethink their older children/jr. high ministries. The topics of sexuality, relationships, and appropriate behavior that we spend time talking about in youth ministry will trickle down into younger age groups. This saddens me, because kids need to be kids. They don’t need the added pressure and complexity. As parents, we need to really think about what we let our kids do. It’s too easy to just go with the flow of society and not take a stand and honor our God-given responsibilities as parents.
Here’s a clip from the article.
In some ways, it’s simply part of a kid’s natural journey toward independence. But child development experts say that physical and behavioral changes that would have been typical of teenagers decades ago are now common among “tweens” — kids ages 8 to 12.
Some of them are going on “dates” and talking on their own cell phones. They listen to sexually charged pop music, play mature-rated video games and spend time gossiping on MySpace. And more girls are wearing makeup and clothing that some consider beyond their years.