All grown up at 12?
Childhood appears to be over at the age of 12, say parents.
Image: via Shutterstock

Childhood is all over by the age of 12, agreed most parents who responded to a survey conducted by Netmums. The surprising results touched on many issues in contemporary society which appear to accelerate the development and maturity of the child. Take a look at some of the points according to the survey, and see if you agree:
  • 71 per cent of parents say their child was no longer childlike by the age of 12.
  • The biggest worry for young boys is ‘being macho’, affecting 60%.
  • But for girls is believing appearance is the most important thing about someone (65%), and 45% of parents said that their daughters were “under immense strain” to be thin.
  • Over half of parents slam irresponsible retailers for selling sexy clothes to kids.
  • 89% of parents say kids are growing up faster than a generation ago.
  • One in six parents said that their child’s innocence was lost by the age of ten.
The majority of parents said that while they had played outside with friends at the age of 12, their own kids were more likely to be found alone playing with an iPad or tablet. Online activity was also cited as putting pressure on kids to “have the most friends” on social media sites.

TV shows, magazines, celebrity culture and clothing styles were listed as factors influencing premature maturing of tweens, as well as pressure on tweens to engage in romantic relationships or have sex.

Interestingly, a recent article also noted that clothing stores are having to adapt their kid’s clothing age ranges, as children are, on average, taller and wider than they were 20 years ago. Physical development is clearly shifting, and it would appear that emotional maturity is also on the move.

You can take a look at the rest of the UK results, but we’d also like to know what you think: is childhood is vanishing at an earlier age than previously, and, if so, what would you say is either putting pressure on kids or inspiring them to grow up faster? You can leave your  comments in the space below.

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