The disappearance of childhood and what we can all do to get it back
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I love this heart felt blog by Jamie Martin
“I want my kids to have a childhood. A living, breathing, mud-between-toes, romping-in-woods, staring-at-the-sky childhood. A secure foundation setting the stage for a secure life.
The gift of childhood. I allow my kids to slowly unwrap it each day within our home-school.
But as I look around–at influences, at media, at society–I see childhood disappearing, evaporating further with each passing year. Are we all okay with that?
I’m not. For the good of our children, for the good of our society, for the good of the world we need to reclaim it.
How did this happen?
Author David Elkind saw it coming–tried to warn us, but we didn’t listen. Over 30 years ago his book The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon was published. In the most recent edition from 2001, Elkind describes what he now sees as not only a hurrying of childhood, but a complete reinvention of it.
In explaining how and why this has happened, Elkind points to the concepts of “infant” education, out-of-home care for young children, targeting children as consumers, the influence of screens in kid life, and moving childhood indoors:
“When I first wrote this book, I was most concerned about the stress our culture placed on children and the mental health consequences of continued emotional upset. Today, however, the sedentary lifestyle introduced by our new technologies makes child physical health an equally important concern.” ~ From the Preface to the 25th Anniversary Edition, The Hurried Child
The tools and technologies we now live with are nothing short of miraculous. But in the same way that a hammer can be used to build a house or tear one down, we can use the tools of our society to build childhood or tear it down.
Read more here