Babies growing up too fast

Kids Growing Up Too Fast? 10 Tips to Slow Down Childhood

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Is it just me, or does it feel like kids are growing up too fast? In the beginning, it seems like they will be little forever, and then time starts slipping through your fingers faster than you can imagine. If you’re hoping to encourage your children to be kids while they can, there are ways to slow down childhood so kids can enjoy being kids for as long as possible.

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Does it feel like your kids are growing up to fast?

You’re not alone.

For the past two years, it seems like my kids have been growing at warp speed.

The previously tiny people who I used to rock to sleep and always wanted me around have been replaced by big kids who are more independent than I am ready for.

In the blink of an eye, they’ve gone from toddlers to tweens.

I swear that I can physically feel their childhood slip away and it’s almost painful.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that wishes for a pause button that could freeze time and keep them at this age forever.

If you’re feeling the same way, please know that you’re not alone, and that there are steps you can take to slow down childhood and encourage your children to enjoy being little for as long as possible.

Are kids really grow up faster these days?

While it may seem like children are growing up faster than ever before, the truth is that there hasn’t been a definitive study to support this claim.

I know it feels like modern children have a tremendous amount of responsibilities, but if we take a quick look back in history, kids have typically had a lot more adult responsibilities on their plate.

Just fifty years ago many children were responsible for helping on the family farm, caring for younger siblings, and by age 12 most kids had started working to help pay for household expenses.

Compared to that, most kids today have it pretty darn easy.

I don’t think that asking our kids to do their homework, keep their room clean, and help out with the household chores is asking too much.

However, there are indications that kids may be maturing at a more rapid pace than in previous years.

So what’s causing kids to grow up faster?

There are a number of reasons why it seems like kids may be growing up at a more accelerated rate.

Some experts say that it has to do with the way our society is structured, and our reliance on technology.

Kids are constantly being bombarded with images of adult life and developmentally inappropriate content through social media, the news, and even ads.

As a teacher, I see this first hand. Students as young as 6 frequently share with me that they watch rated R movies, play violent video games, and consider quality programming like Sid the Science Kid to be a baby show.

Additionally, kids around the age of twelve now spend an average of seven hours a day on electronic devices.

As a kid, we didn’t have cell phones or iPads to keep us occupied. We had to find creative ways to entertain ourselves without adult supervision and without screens, which helped to develop our sense of imagination and social skills.

And all of this can have a negative impact on children’s development; physically, socially, and emotionally.

In fact, surveys have found that kids ages six to eight play less and want more independence than kids did twenty-five years ago….so sad!

At the same time, our children are being prematurely exposed to influencers and celebrities that have no business being role models.

Additionally, many parents have observed the phenomenon that kids seem to be physically developing faster.

While some believe that kids may be maturing faster because of improved nutrition and health care, other experts caution that hormones in our food and water may be a contributing factor.

Those two factors put together are a recipe for disaster: Kids who look older than they are, wanting to act older than they are.

All of this is very concerning, and rightly so.

The good news is that we as parents do have some control over the situation.

There are things we can do to help kids slow down and enjoy childhood for a little while longer.

How To Slow Down Childhood: Tips For Parents

So now that you understand why it feels like your children are growing up too fast, it’s time to take action.

So, how can you slow down childhood? Is it even possible?

Yes….Thank Goodness!

The key is to cultivate your child’s natural sense of adventure and wonder while making sure they have the freedom to safely explore boundaries and limits.

This way, your child will find joy in the activities of childhood like playing, building, and exploring without feeling like they are being treated like a baby.

This intentional balance of freedom and boundaries is exactly what children need to feel like they can still act like a kid while developing a sense of independence and autonomy at an appropriate rate.” – Lauren Tingley

If you’re wondering how to do this in your home, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some tips to help to slow down childhood and stop your kids from growing up to fast, so they can enjoy being little for a little longer.

1. Get Them Moving

It’s so important for kids to be active and move their bodies every day. Enroll kids in activities like sports or dance classes will help their bodies to grow and develop naturally, while burning off energy.

Encourage outdoor play by providing equipment and toys that they can use outside. No toys? No problem! Give them access to the outdoors and free reign to run and play.

2. Provide Opportunities for Creativity

Set up a creative space in your home with art supplies, dress-up clothes, and props for kids to use in pretend play. This will give them an outlet to express themselves creatively.

3. Give More Unstructured Playtime

One of the best things we can do as parents is give our kids plenty of opportunities for unstructured and open-ended playtime.

This type of play is essential for kids to learn how to entertain themselves, problem solve, and socialize.

4. Set Limits on Technology Usage

We mentioned earlier that kids are now spending an average of seven hours a day on electronic devices.

Parents can absolutely be in control of this by using parental control apps and wi-fi password access.

Better yet, don’t give your children devices at all, or at least until they are older.

If you don’t want to go that route, definitely put usage limits in place and require that outside time and social time take place before devices are allowed.

The American Heart Association currently recommends that children’s access to screen time is limited to less than two hours per day.

5. Provide Age Appropriate Clothes

Many kids are influenced by what they see influencers wearing and feel the need to dress older than their age.

Sit down with your child and discuss your values as a family and purchase clothing that aligns with those expectations.

6. Set Parental Controls on Everything

If you have children in your house, you should have parental controls set up on every single device and program.

This includes

  • phones
  • tablets
  • computers
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime
  • YouTube etc.

Doing so will help to prevent your child from seeing things they have no business watching.

7. Ensure They Get Quality Sleep

This is so important! Kids need at least ten hours of sleep each night for their brains to develop properly, but many kids aren’t getting that much rest because they are using technology before bedtime or staying up too late.

If your child complains that they aren’t tired at bedtime, simply push back their wake-up time by 15 minutes each day until they feel sleepy at the right time.

8. Keep Screens Out of Bedrooms

This one should be a no-brainer, but screens need to be completely banned from kids’ bedrooms.

Not only does this help with getting quality sleep, but it also prevents kids from using technology when they’re not supposed to.

With so much distance learning taking place, this is more important than ever. Kids have logical reasons for being online, but it’s quite tempting to scroll social media or start gaming. Keeping all devices in public areas reduces the chance that this will happen.

9. Talk About Values as a Family

One of the best ways to help kids slow down is to talk about values as a family.

Discuss what’s important to you and your child and come up with ways to live by those values every day.

This could be anything from being kind to others, helping out in the community, or recycling.

10. Prioritize Quality Time with Friends and Family

Being connected to friends and family is so important for kids, but these days kids are staying in their rooms most of the time.

Make an effort to frequently plan fun activities with your kids that will strengthen family bonds and relationships with friends.

And don’t forget about quality one on one time together! Kids need you just as much as they need their friends.

Final Thoughts on Kids Growing Up Too Fast

As adults, we know that being a grown-up is not as fun as it seems.

I am sure that many of us would give anything to go back and be a kid again for as long as possible.

While we may have a hard time grappling with the fact that our kids won’t be little forever, the reality is their growth is inevitable.

The best thing you can do as your kids grow is to provide opportunities for them to enjoy childhood as much as possible so they can look back on these years with fond memories and appreciation.

If you’re feeling sad that your daughter or son is growing up too fast, try to take a deep breath and focus on the present moment.

Do your best to enjoy today with your child and avoid thinking about the future.

Parenting is an ever-changing and challenging role.

Each developmental stage your child goes through will have its ups and downs.

And while it may seem like they are growing up too fast, the truth is that they will be your child forever.

Sure, kids will outgrow their clothes, toys, and your lap but they won’t ever stop needing the support of parents who love them unconditionally.

Why to STOP Saying "They Grow Up So Fast" About Kids

A Problematic Phrase with Upsetting Implications

Chances are, you’ve heard an adult exclaim: “Kids grow up so fast!” or, “They’re growing up too fast!” while gazing at a child who suddenly seems much taller than they remembered. You might have even heard the version (directed at the kiddo), “Stop growing! You’re getting too big!” especially when elementary school aged kids go through growth spurts. How does this make you feel?

Me? These utterances punch me in the gut every time. Why? As a parent and teacher, I’d like to explain the reasons that you might want to think twice about saying something like “kids grow up too fast” the next time you encounter a young child gaining on you in height and advancing in years.

Kids being kids: Growing and exploring!

1. It implies that you haven’t been around.

The most frequent times I hear the phrase, “That kid is growing up too fast!” it is being said by an adult who hasn’t been face to face with this child in months, or even years… and sometimes that can be downright sad.

I got the idea to write this article on the day a dear friend uttered the words, “Your son is growing up too fast!” upon seeing his photo. In that moment, I realized that I deeply missed my friend’s weekly visits since she’d moved away. Back in the days when she lived close by and watched my guy evolve from week to week, there was joy and connection. With the new distance, however, there suddenly arose the shock of my son’s physical changes across the months.

Yes, humans grow, develop, and change, and the longer you’re away from another person, the more obvious the changes are. However, that doesn’t mean they’re aging “too fast” — it just means that doing everything we can to spend more time with them, even video calls, makes it less of a shock how they’re changing. In the case of my friend, I began sending more frequent photos, arranging Facetime calls.

(Note: Thank you to the reader who wrote to emphasize that global circumstances can sometimes make it IMPOSSIBLE for people to see loved ones in the way that they yearn to. This is a heartbreaking and real facet of this “grow up so fast” discussion that underscores the pain so often behind these words. I’ll add to this point in #5.)

2. It suggests you haven’t been paying attention.

When the phrase “they’re growing up too fast” is said by people who ARE around the child on a more frequent basis, that begs a whole other set of questions. Let’s back up to look at this phenomenon in a different context.

The best advice I got before my wedding day was to take my time walking down the aisle, and look everyone directly in the face — really paying attention. The advice continued: keep that same intentionality as much as possible during the event itself. If you don’t do this willful mindfulness, they explained, the wedding will zip by in a blur. However, if you take the time to really absorb and appreciate what is happening every step of the way (so many loved ones gathered together!) the evening will stretch, long and vivid, in your consciousness.

It’s the same thing with children. When we take the time to frequently pause and appreciate what they think, look, and act like on a daily basis, this “too fast” business isn’t such an issue. Change happens incrementally, so paying attention makes it a flow of stacking pieces rather than a shock.

3. It devalues the massive DAILY work of raising children.

As a corollary to #2, the majority people who have been doing the day in and day out work of feeding, washing, and loving children would not call it “fast.” When my daughter was 6 months old and still not sleeping, a man I hardly knew said to me, “Enjoy every second — they grow up so fast!”

I couldn’t help but wonder: Was HE the one in his family who was getting up every three hours for months on end? Was HE the one who was at the doctor over and over for the pain of nursing gone awry? Seemed unlikely. There is so much to be thankful for, being a parent, but being chided that you’re not enjoying sleep deprivation enough is not one of them.

4. It breeds tragic feelings of helplessness.

In the heartbreaking situation where someone literally CANNOT be in person with the child that is growing without them there, the pain is unimaginable. In that case, the statement being said is, “I wish so much I could be there for every minute, but I can’t! I love you deeply, and will be there the first moment it becomes possible.

I want to emphasize, however, that so many times people say kids are “growing up too fast,” they are actually right there with them… sometimes even living with them. There may be many reasons for uttering this, despite being there, one of which might be a preference for a certain stage.

Here’s the thing, though: People grow. They just do. While it’s worthwhile to honor our true feelings — including maybe missing holding a baby sometimes — I don’t want to live a life in which I’m wishing for a reality that doesn’t and can’t exist. I want to appreciate my children exactly as they are, because if I don’t…

5. It subverts the important reality that EVERY phase is important.

As someone who’s now been a parent to ages 0-7, a teacher for ages 8-22, and a human for ages 0-40, I’m confident that every single year of human life is wonderful and beautiful in its own way — AND has its own challenges. (Yes, I’m even talking about those awkward liminal ages like middle school. )

For sure, there are some phases which are better for some people than others (ex: certain friends loved having little babies, while others found it extremely challenging), phrases like “growing up too fast” put a clear and frankly insulting value judgement on younger kids being better than older ones. Let’s unpack that.

6. It implies that children SHOULD be smaller, weaker, and not independent.

The power dynamic implicit in an adult saying someone is “growing up TOO fast” is that it’s preferable when the young person is physically, mentally, and societally in a more diminutive state. It reads as power hoarding: “I would rather you be a cute little thing I can hold in one arm, rather than you growing into your own fully actualized person.”

This may seem like an overly dramatic or sensitive interpretation of a common phrase, but explain, then, why the “TOO” is in that phrase. The young person’s growth is “too fast” for WHAT, exactly? If it’s not about the adult retaining power, here’s another possibility: equally upsetting, but in a different extreme.

7. It forces thoughts of decline and mortality.

Another way to finish the sentence, “growing up too fast” is to say, “hurtling towards our inevitable demise.” Sorry, but that’s just the door you open when you talk about time passing fast. That’s not a very pleasant thing to bring up. So what are alternatives?

Pin to save this “growing up so fast” discussion!

Preferable Phrases to Use, with Why:

The key in FIXING the problematic phrases “growing up so fast” or “getting too big” or “stop growing” is to say something instead which emphasizes the following elements:

  • All humans grow and develop, and every phase is important.
  • We WANT other humans to evolve into more powerful and self-actualized beings.
  • Being away from someone makes changes in them more obvious when you reunite.

Given this framework, here are possible phrases you could try.

A. “I love how they’re growing!”

This phrase can make parents and guardians feel really good, because it affirms that they are doing a hearty job supporting their children’s development, both physically and mentally. It embraces the positive facets of phases changing and time passing.

B. “It’s great how tall and strong you’re getting.”

Saying something like this is nice because it is a power-sharing gesture. The adult is opening the door to the future that the child will someday be as tall and strong as them, and is welcoming that future. “Strong” is also an adjective which is too rarely used with girls.

C. “I haven’t seen them in so long, and it’s fantastic to see how they’re coming into their own!”

An utterance like this takes open-eyed responsibility for not having been face-to-face with the child for an amount of time which made their physical changes noticeable. Rather than expressing the shock that can come from this visual change, however, this phrase emphasizes the joy of seeing how humans develop and blossom over time.

D. [Insert specific positive observation or question here.]

Best of all is a statement which notices a wonderful detail, or asks a question to get to know the child exactly as they are, right now. In an example of the former and latter together would be: “It’s awesome to see you after all these months! I’m guessing from your shirt that you’re now into dinosaurs? Can you tell me more about that?”

For me personally, on the rare occasion that I share a photo of myself with my children on social media, I loooove receiving specific positive observations. For example, “Your daughter’s smile is just like yours!” or, “Your son looks so happy, cuddled up in your arms.” Just like with teacher gifts, if you’re not sure what kind of words of affirmation a person wants, it’s worth an ask.

Closing Thoughts on Growing Up

Writing this article has been on my mind for a LONG time, and my kids are finally old enough to play quietly together long enough for me to tap out the words and hit “Publish.” Hooray for new phases and growth!

Our language and thinking are always evolving (remember our learning about microaggressions, the term “good schools,” and dark metaphors), and sometimes it’s worthwhile to step back and assess: What is the impact of this casual phrase I’m uttering on the people who are listening? Some people may not mind, but if you’re unsure, consider either asking to check in about how the words are landing, or trying a new phrase instead.

Now I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Are these “Growing up so fast” phrases ones you’ve heard or used? How do they land for YOU? Do share.

Lillie Marshall

The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld Travel and Life Blog, and for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!

Children grow up too fast | PSYCHOLOGIES



The youngest will soon be 14, they will give her a passport. Growth - 170. Bradbury sits out and reads. How does it happen so fast, huh? Just yesterday, after washing, your hands were hanging pink undershirts in butterflies and flowers, and now again - and they are also hanging pink ones in flowers - but already bras. Generally without a pause, it seems.

And he graduated from the senior university, he has a beard, a car and a bride, but I still catch myself thinking when I see a beautiful toy steam locomotive in the window: if only I could buy him, he will be delighted. He was very fond of small locomotives and trains. And he has such a special expression on his face when I once again mess up something on the computer.

Patient. Like “well, nothing, I still love you and will help, of course.” Interestingly, I had the patience not to get annoyed when he didn’t understand something when he was little, confused and spoiled? I do not remember.

I really want parents to understand their child's childhood as a short and valuable gift

The further you go, the more you realize that this is perhaps the main truth about children: they grow up very quickly. It often seems to young parents that the way it is now will always be. Eternal screams at night, eternal "on the handles", eternal games with cars, sobs during separation and the same tale for the hundredth time. I so want it to change as soon as possible. So that he would rather grow up, learn, be able to do it himself ...

So it will be: he will grow up and be able to do it himself, and very quickly. After all, we are busy, we have work, relationships, a creative life, but just business, and we live the childhood of our children in fragments. A year and a half at the beginning, then half an hour in the evening, half a day on the day off and two weeks on vacation. If we count the “hockey time” of our parenting, is that much going on? And how much of it did we spend on reproaches, lectures, on “leave me alone”, “wait” and “better go do your homework”...

third grade. Something else is remembered. When my son was four, we sent him to the sea in the summer a month before we could escape ourselves. With two adoring grandmothers. They called and said that the child eats well, bathes and walks, and everything is fine with him. But when we came to him and in the evening the three of us were lying on the big bed, the child suddenly exhaled and said with relief: “How tired I am of living without protection.”

When my daughter was five and she went to kindergarten, we made a “kissing stock” with her. She had a denim jumpsuit with many pockets, and in the morning I stuffed “kisses” into all these pockets. So that, if you suddenly become sad, you can “get it” and feel that your mother loves.

I really want parents to understand their child's childhood as a short and valuable gift - a time when you can be with him, take care, please, hug, listen, be a guard for him, create a supply of "kisses" for a lifetime ahead.

Take your time. Wash your undershirts and buy locomotives. Enjoy.

On October 16, at the traditional Psychologies Day conference, family psychologist Lyudmila Petranovskaya will talk about what parents need to do so that their child learns to cope with difficulties and problems in life.

The conference will be held online.

Conference sponsors are Nika, AllTime, Dyson and Storytel.

Photo source: Getty Images

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It's sad that children grow up so fast.....

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One should live and rejoice that children grow up, it becomes easier (physically), but sometimes my heart aches so much that my son will never be the same as he is now! Children grow up so fast! Do you have such thoughts sometimes? Stop time and learn to enjoy every moment. ....

Learn to enjoy every moment and not regret the past. You still have so many joyful and pleasant moments ahead of you, and it is the growing up of children that sometimes brings very pleasant things. Don't stop time, just move on! )))

They do not grow fast, but the way it turns out
I catch my buzz at every age, but still the further - the better.
Now a teenager hatches out of a child: so interesting, exciting...

But initially I was not frightened by the thought "When he grows up, he leaves to live his own life - but what about me."

Doesn't happen. Mine have already grown and it's wonderful. I like to communicate with them as adults much more, on an equal footing. I'm terribly tired of babies.

On the contrary, I'm waiting for it to grow.

Agree with the author. Sad. However, my first, 27 years ago, grew very slowly, but the second is frighteningly fast.

I agree. My son is 14 - with longing I remember him when he was 8-10 years old.

My 20 will be soon, and this is the most beautiful age. Never regretted that she grew up

So enjoy! Why be nostalgic for the past when there are so many interesting and important things ahead!!! The kids are growing and it's amazing!

No, I have three, and the weather is fine. Therefore, I enjoyed every age to the fullest. When they grow up, new horizons will open up for me and a completely different life will begin.
It's just that your maternal instinct is not fully realized.

16 years old, enjoyed growing up, now I enjoy my life.

Yoy, hit a nerve - when children fall asleep, I stroke their backs and legs, kiss them when they fall asleep - they still have something from those babies 10 and 7 years ago - snub noses, soft skin, small fingers, fluffy eyelashes , tasty smelling hairs. You can't cuddle a 15-year-old older one, even when you wish "good night".

Yes, I have such thoughts)) I especially like small ones, from one to three years old. Now my daughter is 1.5 years old - I already miss her)))

Yes, I am so pleased that, finally, my older children have become adequate interlocutors, I don’t want their tender age back. Although I admire my youngest daughter, of course: it's very nice to watch how the Man grows up

It's very sad I love little ones from one and a half to four Yes, even now, when my 9, he is still so small, I love to squeeze him in the evening, he is still so naive , open, my sun and my long-awaited happiness And I agree that the maternal instinct is not fully realized the second we have not been able to do for many years. And I would love to! And even the third would have given birth to I'm a knuckle, yes))

In general, I like older people. my baby is cool, but I will talk with the elder and just joyfully, Man, my opinion, my character (sometimes really nasty).

Yesterday I was just thinking what a baby he was in the maternity hospital. And now it's so big! A little sad, I look at his first clothes and my heart beats.

I also felt sad... I decided to have another baby

And for the past 5 years I have had constant thoughts - if only she would be longer like she is now And each age has its own charm. My daughter is already (or else?) 5 years old, she was a baby and how quickly she became a person, with her thoughts, desires, and unwillingnesses I perfectly understand that the farther the more interesting it is with her. But it seems like the baby again, too, want. It's time to think about the second

sad terrible! I gave birth recently and I'm already sad)))))

And I love children either up to a year or older than 7 years already, so I'm glad that I'm big and the older, the more joy. Now he is 16 years old.

I like mine at every age, something new appears in them, it's so interesting. It will be really sad when they leave home, begin to live their own lives, and they will call us when they remember...

It happens ... that's why I try to enjoy every moment

Let them grow better! When your child remains small forever, believe me, this is the worst thing. That's not what you're grieving about.

Give birth again)))

Well, what do you... Of course, everyone understands this, are we talking about this here?!..

This year I constantly have such thoughts. Starting from the age of six, the child grows up and changes very quickly. The difference between 3 and 4, between 4 and 5 was not as noticeable as between 6 and 7. I try to enjoy what I have

I have always thought about it, I think and will think about it. Very, very sad. But you need to catch the buzz every day! Each age has its pearls!
But my favorite age was 2.5-4 years.

Such thoughts certainly do not exist. The child grows and becomes more independent and interesting. You can cuddle nephews, and then grandchildren. Let the kids grow!

It's never sad, but I look through the pictures of my children in early infancy with pleasure. It's such a blessing to have an adult smart daughter! And I hope to babysit Masikov in 5 years. must do! (c)

I love them, they are 3-5 years old))) such thoughts happen)))

Normal natural process! All 3 children are adults, there are granddaughters, super relations with all children.

Author, I understand you! My favorite age is from 3 to 5 years old, when children already understand a lot and can express their thoughts, but at the same time they are as sincere and pure in soul as possible. Yes, then there will also be interesting periods, but ... not at all. The eldest daughter is already a teenager, she has her own interests, friends, business, her mother fades into the background. And with the younger one, I want to spend every free minute, because time is really fleeting, and it will never be like it is now.

Such thoughts just torment me! And this despite the fact that I have 3 weather-boys (the eldest will soon be 10). Now I'm waiting for the 4th baby. Especially at night, in the dark .... How will I start thinking about how time flies, how fast they grow, how soon my whole young active life will grow up, the life of a young family will be PAST. Terrible.

Such thoughts simply torment me! And this despite the fact that I have 3 weather boys. Now I'm waiting for the 4th baby. Especially at night, in the dark .... How will I start thinking about how time flies, how fast they grow, how soon my whole young active life will grow up, the life of a young family will be PAST. Terrible.

Fuck)) I'll get another when this one grows up. You're taking a steam bath)) if only they would think about the starving people in Africa

When the eldest turned 8, I gave birth to a second one. Now I enjoy both the grown-up child and the small one.
Maybe I will give birth in 3 years in 8

I am tormented by such thoughts.

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