10 Ways To Keep Your Kids From Growing Up Too Fast


child pageant princess queen makeup girl toddler tiara
Why children need childhood and what you can do to make sure they get it.

Many parents will tell me that their three, four, five, and six year olds want to be in pictures, movies and magazines. I don't buy it. I think children at that age must be protected, guided and mostly loved. I am convinced that it is the parent who wants the social allocates for having a beautiful, talented, and/or charismatic child. No three to six year old has the mind development to say, "I am sure what I want to do with the next ten years of my life; help me be a model, mommy." Most likely, a wise parent would say to that hypothetical and highly unlikely statement, "You are beautiful inside and out, but too young. Let's see how else you can use your talents to further your interests while giving back to others." Kids want their parents' approval most of all and it is more likely that if they want to be beautiful it is because mom/dad wants them to be beautiful.

There are things you can practice in your home now to protect your child's childhood. It will take strong boundaries on your part as the parent, because the media has seeped into every nook and cranny of our homes. It is coming via iPhones, the Internet, Facebook, and Television. The only way to avoid its influence is to limit its access. Looking For Love? DON'T Rule Out Single Parents

  1. Don't let your child have an account on a social network until they are 13 years old. Earlier than that is too early. I am an expert for Truecare.com and they monitor social networks for parents. The number of suicides each year with children being cyber-bullied or sexualized on these networks is staggering.
  2. Have a boundary of of- times with all phones, computers, and TV. Dinner is one of those off times, as is a specific time each night. The phones are stored in mom's/dad's bedroom.
  3. Know who your child is talking to on the internet. This is more easily accomplished when your computer has a large screen and is placed in a central location within the home.
  4. Make healthy living part of your family activities. Have a set family day each week, and make that a time for the whole family to engage in an activity together.
  5. Go clothes shopping with your children and guide them. When they want to wear something inappropriate, say "NO." That is your right and duty as a parent.
  6. Eating healthy is important and it is modeled by the parents. If you say no fast food, then no one including you eats fast food. If you are concerned with your child's weight, it should be dealt with the same way as other health matters are addressed. Gentle correction when you are alone with your child is all that is necessary. Children grow at different rates; respect that.
  7. Makeup is not necessary, especially before the teen years. If you have a young child who insists on wearing cosmetics prior to that, talk to them so you can understand the feelings that are causing her to feel like she needs to look better or different.
  8. Cell phones are a privilege and may be a necessity with single parents' schedules.
Article contributed by

Mary Jo Rapini


For more information go to: www.maryjorapini.com
Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini
Tweet me: @MaryJoRapini
Read my Love and Relationships Blog on Chron.com
Ask me questions on Fox26 in Houston, TX and watch every Thursday Morning at 9am for “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” and Friday Morning's at 8am for “Healthy Happy Hour with Mary Jo”

Location: Houston, TX
Credentials: LPC
Other Articles/News by Mary Jo Rapini:

8 ways to be less miserable


Misery loves company and according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a researcher at the University of California, 40% of your capacity for happiness or contentment is dependent upon your ability to change. You don’t have to look far to meet truly miserable people, and question why they continue to live a life of misery. Since most of us bounce back and forth ... Read more

The 10 Best Christmas Gifts For Him (And They're Free!)


In relationships, we emphasize the importance of building one another up, rather than pointing fingers and blaming; but, guys live in a much different world than women do. This is why the best gifts for him are free. Women are networkers and they bond and connect with other women. Guys are competitive, focused and constantly looking over their shoulder to ... Read more

5 Ways To Stuff Your Turkey With Gratitude


Many of us grew up sharing Thanksgiving with family around the dining room table. Our parents or grandparents usually hosted the meal, and we ate with family and became re-acquainted with family we may not have seen since the Thanksgiving before. Times have changed and family members may have moved due to work obligations, school choices and raising families of ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular