Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Parent to Parent: 10 is the New 15
Every parent says their children grow up way too fast. Well, these days, the saying is all too real, with technology, magazines and fashion catering to young people. Believe it or not, experts say 10 is the new 15. Dr. Valerie shows us how to handle the time warp in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Nine-year-old Briana Lynch loves to be in the middle of the action, especially if there's music involved.
Briana Lynch: "I like dancing because it's fun, and I like to listen to music too."
In fact, Briana and her sisters practically put on a daily show for their mom Pamela.
With an older sister to lead the way, mom says Briana and her younger sister are years ahead of their age.
Pamela Torres: "She's a little prima donna. Yes, she loves the fashion, the boys and the crushes. She's into everything."
It's a terrifying thought, but Seven Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie Goode says kids, especially little girls, know way too much information at such a young age.
That's thanks to music videos, movies, magazines and computers.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Now the new 10 is like we were when we were 15. We're concerned with clothes, makeup."
But Dr. Valerie warns parents that can be dangerous.
Dr. Valerie: "You've got to understand they've been on the Earth for 10 years, and that's it. There's no way that they can learn everything they need to know to go be on the street with the rest of the kids."
That's why Dr. Valerie says it's OK to shelter your kids.
Let your kids play dress up, but don't let them go out dressed provocatively in public.
Boys could easily think they're older.
Dr. Valerie: "What you want to drive home with your child is that they have standards of behavior and does their costume compromise the standards that they want to represent to the world."
Instead of going to the mall with your daughter, spend time doing kid activities.
Dr. Valerie: "Something like going for a walk outside, going to play outside. Going to your next-door neighbor with your child or just sitting around talking as opposed to always going shopping."
When it comes to music and TV, if your child has a favorite show, watch it with them. Make sure you watch the commercials too.
Explain what they're seeing on TV.
Talk about why they like a program and why they admire a celebrity in a show.
Dr. Valerie: "You can be very open with your child just by talking, not judging necessarily. You can let your child come up with the judgements."
She may like to act older, but, surprisingly, Briana is not looking forward to her teenage years -- she would rather go back in time.
Briana Lynch: "Because I like being a baby because I'm with my mom, and she is holding me, and I look so cute."
Mom knows that's not happening, but she can dream too.
Pamela Torres: "I hope they don't grow up too fast. They already are, but I hope it slows down a little bit."
Dr. Valerie says even if your kids are old enough to be home by themselves after school, try to pair up with another family, so that someone's always keeping an eye on the kids.
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 S.W. 62 Ave. Suite 203
Miami, FL 33143