Pressures of Being A Child - Thoughts on Kid's Eating Disorders

Asking children what they want to be when they grow up appears to be an American past time. Children are conditioned to spend much of their time preparing for the future, for being a grown up. They go to school so they can be something; they play in order to learn social skills they will need as adults. All parenting goals seem to be about getting them ready to leave.

Children are little people who don't know a lot of things and yet know so much with their innocense. And while it is your job to teach them along with their schools and their friends, I believe entirely too much time is spent preparing them for the future and not nearly enough time celebrating them as they are now. Full and complete. Do you realize that now teachers in public schools are sending homework for kindergarten? Children should just be given a chance to be children.

We are so concerned in fact, with how our children will turn out that we allow the media to control our thinking around how they should be raised and what they should eat. While obesity is a growing concern and we should limit junk food and foods as a reward, children with eating disorders continue to make the news because anorexia in small children is on the increase. As usual, we panicked around the obesity topic and now they think they shouldn't eat at all. The pendulum keeps swinging in both directions, and we have lost the idea of balance.

By continually pushing children toward what they could be, we are discounting what they are; significant members of society. They will become fully functioning adults, but are fully functioning children right now. Continuously growing and changing, just like us. I am not advocating that we should stop working with our children to grow and learn, that would be detrimental to their future, I am only suggesting that we as parents work toward letting them be, just a little. Constant structured lessons and activities may keep them occupied, but let them play as well. It would seem that a better parenting goal is to help them grow up to be well balanced, relaxed adults.


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