Children Health

Children are growing up too fast. Dr. Sylvia Rimm, author of Growing Up… | by Robert Morton | Sep, 2021

Dr. Sylvia Rimm, author of Growing Up Too Fast, surveyed over 5,400 middle school kids and talked with over 300 students in focus groups. She found that, while parents remember high school as the time when they encountered sex, drugs, body image issues, and other “teenage” problems, today’s kids face these pressures in middle school. In fact, many confront “teen” issues by age 9 or 10.

Dr. Rimm made me flashback to what it was like being a child in the unhurried 50’s, and as a one-time young’un myself, I’m going to wave my magic wand to reestablish standards that made past childhoods happy:

1. Declare childhood a “Golden Period” where freedom is not permitted to be seized by the tensions of the adult world.

2. Teach children how to create something from nothing instead of getting expensive playthings that do everything for them. Unplug them from the computer screen and have them go outside to create their own fun: allow hide-and-seek, statue, and kick-the-can to brighten an entire afternoon once again.

3. Allow tomboys to return.

4. Empower children to feel genuine and not as if they’re on a stage all the time. How? By making many of today’s Baby Boomer and Millennial parents, the most educated and richest parents in history, less narcissistic. Then, they may stop using their children’s achievements as another manifesto that they can afford the good life.

5. Make parents appreciate that a small child is more captivated by a tiny, green worm crawling across the sidewalk than by an elaborate play set erected in the backyard.

6. Allow plenty of unstructured play time and chill time. Require parents to schedule ample time in their week-at-a-glance calendars for kids to run barefoot, pick dandelions, climb trees, and to catch crayfish or frogs in the local creek.

7. Finance schools so they’re the most tantalizing, safe, and comforting places for children to set foot in, especially those in lower income areas.

8. Furnish kids with Good Samaritan heroes/heroines like the Lone Ranger, Jackie Robison, Roy Rogers, Merryl David, Shrek and Superman.

As a former kid myself, I now wave my magic wand to insure childhood flourishes.

Robert Morton has retired from his positions of school psychologist for Fremont City Schools and adjunct professor in the School of Leadership and Policy Studies at Bowling Green State University. He authored two spy thriller novels: “PENUMBRA DATABASE” and “MISSION OF VENGEANCE”- both available in Kindle or paperback at Amazon.com books.


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