Act your age!
'Dating' - in second grade? Lip gloss - in kindergarten?
This month, we look at an all-too-common phenomenon: Kids acting — or at least talking — sexy at too young an age. What's behind this trend? And what can you do about it? We talk to the experts —- and what they say may surprise you!
Plus — we take you to four local 'alterna-zoos' — for critter encounters that'll blow your kids' minds!
Feature: Sexy too young?
Ages & Stages:
Out & About:
Getting School Ready:
About this issue
Where to draw the line?
“Sexy too young?” is a long-awaited story for ParentMap. Years back, when my then-first-grade little girl got the “you’re a hottie!” note from a boy, I leapt into action. I called his parents, exposing the little lech, then immediately shut down the Disney influence. I was convinced the evil media empire — disguised as family friendly — was the source of Maya’s prematurely snotty and/or sexual mimicry. It couldn’t be caused by her 22-year-old sister’s influence, or her (slightly!) sarcastic mom. I settled down a bit, reflecting on little prehistoric cave kids drawing hearts in the dirt with sticks.
Confused and, OK, call me weak: The TV blackout lasted just two weeks.
I don’t claim anything close to perfection, and parenting may just be the area I’d receive the gold medal for inconsistency. I’m not proud of the many ways I digress from moments of firm and conservative clarity on what my now soon-to-be niner Maya sees, hears and wears. While recently romping in Portland with Maya and my 15-year old niece, Sophie, I escorted our great girlie travelin’ team into Valentine’s Day (rated PG-13) — right after congratulating myself on Maya’s wonderfully age-appropriate new spring wardrobe!
Conflicted, yes, but perhaps I’m not the only one. You’ll welcome managing editor Kristen Russell Dobson’s masterful examination in “Sexy too young?” which offers us a better understanding of the discouraging and growing media mania that trivializes sex — and what parents can do.*
Springtime presents lots of opportunities for “pretty trippy” and wild local adventure. That Portland jaunt would not have been the same without the great tips and insights from ParentMap’s newest book, Northwest Kid Trips. Author Lora Shinn’s easy “off-the-beaten” ideas dazzle in our Ages & Stages section, from Portland for tweens (thank you!) to the calm and beauty of post-Olympics Whistler.
“Bored” is the forbidden word in March. Grab your little energy bundles and whisk them off to one of the “alterna-zoos” featured in Out & About. Who could say “no” to feeding bread to kangaroos, or gawking at baby sulcata tortoises, albino alligators, or the Tiger Tunnel?
— Alayne Sulkin, Publisher/Editor
*Don’t miss Getting to Calm author Dr. Laura Kastner and the opportunity to add to the discussion at our Sexy Too Soon? panel event in April.