Ten the new Fifteen

‘Ten, the New Fifteen’

By Tony DeLorger © 2010

As frightening as it may seem, our kids are growing up faster than every before. A recent study concluded than many girls aged nine and ten were physically entering puberty. Is it something we’re eating, perhaps pollution or food additives? All I know is that it was difficult enough when my daughter entered those vulnerable early teen years, let alone having to deal with it at age ten. It makes me shudder.

One could understand the adaption in early history when the average lifespan was forty and girls were often married at twelve. But considering we live into our eighties plus these days, why are our kids maturing so early. What the hell happened to childhood?

It has always freaked me out, those damned beauty pageants, with little kids dressed up in alluring outfits with caked on make up, parading around like miniature strippers. It’s just so wrong. But I guess that society is to blame as advertising and marketing is more and more targeted to a younger market. Image is shoved down our throats, projected models a paragon of perfection. The problem is that not many of us can attain these perfect images, let alone our young children. As adults, and as a result, we can often struggle with self-image and confidence, so imagine how these high standards are affecting ten year olds, trying to both grow up too quickly and be perfect.

It seems to me that social expectations for children today are unrealistic, encouraging them to forgo their childhood and grow up into a world of overwhelming demands. No wonder kids are having so much trouble with the world, for example not able to deal with school, both scholastic and socially. Many become depressed and act out and rebel against their parents and the establishment that is expecting far too much from them. The world is a scary place for kids, and one only has to turn on the news to understand that. From a kids perspective it is far worse, stark reality making them feel unsafe and offering little hope for a positive future.

All we can do as parents is to let our kids have a childhood, in fact insist on it. Don’t let them be teenagers at ten: make up, cell phones, skimpy fashion clothing and the like. The world will still be around when they are older and with a more mature outlook, help them deal with the demands of modern life.

What first is viewed as distasteful from a societal viewpoint, can often become accepted in the end, and numbed down from use. The use of profanity for example is common among youth, acceptable because they hear it all the time, in movies, games and of course their piers. If I uttered the “F’ word when I was a kid, I would have been flogged within an inch of my life; even uttering ‘bloody’ was a misdemeanour. Today, far worse words are becoming common and gathering some acceptance. But just because it’s happening doesn’t mean its right.

Being a parent today is no walk in the park, you’re up against a world of change and not all of it good. Peer pressure, the media and so it seems physiological change, are playing havoc with our young. All we can do is try to give our kids a safe, normal childhood and hold on to that innocence as long as we can, because it doesn’t get any easier.

Comments 20 comments

kate houghn 4 years ago

thanks i totally agree!


Tony DeLorger profile image

Tony DeLorger 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia Author

Thank you sweetguide, much appreciated and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.


sweetguide profile image

sweetguide 4 years ago from River side

Very informative piece and well written too. Excellent, dear Tony


Kelley Eidem profile image

Kelley Eidem 6 years ago from Panama City, FL

In case anyone hasn't mentioned it yet, a huge contributor to early puberty for girls are the xenoestrogens in foods and personal products.

The same chemicals are causing delayed puberty in boys. Those chemicals are setting the stage for prostate, ovarian and breast cancers along with sterility.

The chemicals also contribute to obesity which is becoming more and more common with each passing year. It's not surprising, because the reason those fake estrogens are given is to fatten the livestock.


Tony DeLorger profile image

Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia Author

It's common sense really, but parents have lost the plot, chasing the almighty dollar. It's hard to hold onto your beliefs, amid a strong current of complacency, but your kids will thank you one day. Thanks for your comments.


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 6 years ago from New England

Great Hub, Tony. I have a 6-year-old daughter and worry about the affects of hormones in milk, so I buy the more expensive organic milk for her, and a creamer for my coffee that is less expensive.

I am lucky to have made friends with a parent here who believes in active parenting. She is a single mother who parents more actively than some couples we know put together. So many parents feel seem to take on the philosophy of "unparenting." This harms more than just their own children.

It is so important to have some common denominator of parental supervision and accepted codes of conduct that no child is allowed to cross over...or are disciplined for if they do...especially when it comes to common decency.

Children often act out when they are begging for boundaries on their behavior. They feel safer in navigating our world with strict rules to work with or against...but they need and crave them. It is our duty as parents to give it to them. "Unparenting" doesn't work! I know you know this, and I am "preaching to the choir" but others do not. It's funny. My daughter showers me with "I love yous" after setting and enforcing a limit. It makes her feel safer.

My mother wanted me to involve my daughter in "cutest kid" contests, etc....but I refused to...for it leads to other stuff and it would do more harm than good. She also believes a little tv couldn't hurt. The more I hear about the less I like about media. Her schoolmates have accused her of being "boring," and another friend bragged about having more toys than she does. Ugh. I want to go back to home-schooling her, which is why I am working hard to establish a consistent income through my writing.

Looking forward to reading more of your work, Tony.


Tony DeLorger profile image

Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia Author

Well said Kassi.


Kassi_Nova profile image

Kassi_Nova 6 years ago from The Wet Coast, Canada

Thank you for your hub. I am a first time parent (to a step child through marriage, but I see little difference) to a 6 year old. I, myself, went through puberty at 10 years old, and matured very young. I was often viewed as an adult in public before I was even in senior high school. Even my relationship with my Dad was alienated by how old I looked because so many people thought it was inappropriate for a man his age to be seen out with a girl my age. They failed to make the connection that I was his daughter and assumed that there was a grossly inappropriate relationship occurring.

I also began to notice how it was becoming a growing trend with new parents to allow their children to dress too old (little girls wearing short skirts, bikinis and platform shoes) and I always feared the Jean-Benet effect that would translate on children who had no understanding that the world is not a safe place for the innocent unless there are wise parents there to protect their childhoods.

As I enter parenthood, I strive very hard to preserve my daughters innocence for as long as I can. In junior high a classmate of mine became pregnant at 12 years old and now has a 13 year old son, while she is only 25. Also, last year a friend of mine discovered that her 13 year old daughter was sneaking out at night to hook up with her boyfriend.

As long as the clothes never leave the house on a child, playing dress-up in Mommy's clothes is okay. Putting a bikini on a toddler is not (because I see it as unintentional sexualization, and it fails to set a boundary for what is appropriate for your child to wear in public). Dressing a child in child-sized clothes that are adult fashions is naive vanity and ego. If you want a little you to dress like and copy you, get a Barbie. High school crushes and holding hands at puberty-age is understandable, and around puberty I would definitely be educating my child on sex and peer pressure- but at 10?! That's alarming.

People need to start paying more attention to what they're exposing their children to, and making sure that there is an open dialogue between themselves and their kids about everything. And unfortunately, but most importantly, there needs to be a follow-through with punishment when it comes to keeping kids in line.

It sounds, maybe a little extreme, but I want my daughter to have a childhood, and one that extends beyond elementary school. I don't want her to have to contend with the complication of sex at such a young age when it is just the beginning of her life, and there are huge decisions about education and college to deal with.


Tony DeLorger 6 years ago

Thanks for your comments.


NCBIer profile image

NCBIer 6 years ago

Your hub is right on the mark. It's more than beauty pageants though, which I just can't stomach. The same perspective seems to be common now for dancing/ballet "competitions". While most of the 6 year olds I've seen are doing their pretty pink ballerina number, there are quite a few with inappropriate clothing and dancing to songs they couldn't possibly comprehend the meaning of (I hope). They all have make-up on however and are clearly very proud of it. As a parent of only boys and friend to several with girls, I can see the process of getting drawn into it and why it is difficult to avoid completely. It is only the very strong that resist. The more that do the better off everyone will be!

Congratulations on your nomination!


sandun81 profile image

sandun81 6 years ago

Childhood is the best time we had ! Our kids should enjoy that too.

Congrats for Hubnugget Wannabe nomination !


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

I agree 100 percent about the beauty pageants, they have always made me feel uneasy as over the years they've become more and more provocative with the skimpy outfits and even mildly sexual gestures.

It's as though the competition puts blinders on to the parents and they can't see what they are doing to their children. But, I guess those same blinders have been placed on us all for accepting hormonal produced foods and other additives that are making the kids mature way too early. Congrats on being selected as a nominee for this week's HubNuggets Wannabe Contest. Good luck to you! :)


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Congrats on the nomination. Seems kids learn about sex so much younger now too and are given condoms so they have safe sex - it is really scary out there these days. I worry about my grandchildren and hope they can somehow be sheltered from the insanity. Good hub.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

I remember the news about the child beauty titlist who's been missing and never found again. It must have been tragic for her parents who have been accused of pressuring their lost child in joining such contest.

Parenting should be more strict these days.

Kids, nowadays, can already appreciate mascara or concealer, much to my amazement (my niece bought her first makeup kit at a young age of 10). You're right, Sir Tony...10 is the new 15. OMG!


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination.

Kids growing up too quickly is a problem, not only in this culture, but in many industrialized countries around the world. Our highly sexualized society, which puts great stock in looking young and slender, can only prey upon the youngest members of society. And without proper adult leadership and guidance, many kids are cast adrift.

Thanks for the write.

Namaste.


Tony DeLorger 6 years ago

Thanks for your comments Denise.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks for bringing up this situation. As a grandmother, I am well aware of the decline in the age of maturity through puberty. Not maturity by any other measure. It is frightening for me b/c of the increase in internet activity and solicitation of these 'mature' children.

I tend to agree with you about the children's beauty pageants. It is sickening to me and frightening at the same time. Parents of these children have no clue as to what they are doing to their children.

Good hub. Congratulations on your nomination and welcome to hubpages.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination!

Check out your nomination and vote: http://bit.ly/dqwPzJ

To the Hubnuggets Learning Center: http://bit.ly/aPo7TL

Participate in the Hubnuggets Forum Thread: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/58569


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

I came across your hub, as I was reviewing the HubNuggets nominations, which your hub is one. And, I would have say on the topic- it would be a little disturbing to even remotely consider Ten being the new fifteen. It would be utter ridiculous. I speak of no experience in parenting, however, I would base my parenting on how my parents raised me, considering I've manage to live past 40 years old. Until children reach legitimate "teenage" years, which is 13(thirteen), childhood is important. Especially, social interaction with others. When I turned 13 I was given more responsibility compared to just one year previous. And, each year more responsibility was thrust upon me. I would handle my children in the same manner. Good article. Thank you for sharing. :)


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

Thanks for the reminder.... I have my own and I can see it coming....

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