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Pushed to adulthood

['Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely']
['Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely']

Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely

It was going to be the perfect “first date” for the young couple. Their parents would drive them to a local restaurant for a meal and then take them to the school for the dance. At the end of the night his parents would drive the two kids home. Ah! The joy of young love!

It sounds like the ideal scenario for a young teenager headed to a senior or junior prom. But these kids were just that, youngsters still in elementary school.

On television, six-year-old Honey Boo Boo had her own program following her life as a beauty contest participant. Glitter and gowns were the order of the day.

It seems our society has an unhealthy interest in pushing young to be adults before they have even had an opportunity to be a child.

The unfortunate consequence of such behaviour was made evident recently in a release from RCMP in New Brunswick warning of pre-teens sharing intimate pictures with each other. They were aware of four youngsters between the ages of eight and twelve who had shared pictures

on line voluntarily.

Fortunately, the incidents were discovered before any harm befell the four children, but the pictures are still somewhere in the cyber world.

As might be expected, there has been a swell of concern over this police release with many quick to blame lax parenting or overindulgence of the children by giving them ready access to cell phones and tablets and other communications devices.

But perhaps we should be looking more to ourselves than trying to blame the devices. These young children are only imitating what they see the adults do. But they are too young to understand and to accept the consequences.

As important as it is for adults to closely monitor childrens usage of electronic devices, it is just as important to monitor what we allow them to see us doing on them.

Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister who lives in Springhill.

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