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Let the children be children

By Jessica Martin
On April 12, 2012

I've been trying to get caught up on what's going on in the world here lately, and was scanning various news websites, reading up on current events, when I happened to come across an article about a 10-year-old girl in Columbia who had recently given birth to a 5 pound baby girl.

You read that right. 10 years old. The saddest part is that she isn't the youngest just in the past 5 months to give birth. A 9-year-old girl in China gave birth in January, and the youngest recorded mother was in 1939, at only 5 ½ years old.

As I read this article about this girl who had received no medical treatment up until the time of delivery, I didn't know what to feel. Shock, obviously. But also pity. Not only for her, but also for this generation of kids, because I don't think this generation is ever going to know what childhood is really like.

When I was a kid, children went outside and rode bikes, or played in treehouses, or made up games to keep busy. Nowadays kids have their heads stuck in video games, computers and even cell phones to keep themselves entertained.

From a young age these kids are bombarded from all sides with information. Computers are everywhere now and they're constantly streaming information that these kids can easily access, and while this can be a handy thing, it is also way too easy for them to gain access - whether on purpose or by accidentally stumbling upon it while surfing the web - to information about things that I didn't know - or wanted to know, for that matter - until late high school, and even into college.

Kids these days are growing up way too fast. These kids begin to have kids, even when they're still kids themselves. I just want to shake the world and tell everyone to slow down, go outside and get some fresh air. Pull your head out of the computer, video game, or whatever, and do something productive. Read a book. Learn to cook. Spend some quality time with your friends without using technology and electronics. Have an actual conversation with someone.

Parents of today, I urge you to keep better watch of your kids. Keep an eye on what they're doing on the Internet, because the Internet is truly a scary place, and when you 'cross the tracks,' so to say, you can find yourself in another world that you didn't even want to be in, seeing things that you didn't want to see. And your kids have access to that. And it's not hard to access it.

Do you really know what your kid is doing?

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