Children are growing up too quickly, say 88% of parents

The majority of mums and dads feel that their children are under pressure from adverts and TV to grow up too fast, a study has found

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Almost nine in ten parents believe that the pressures from overtly sexual adverts, TV shows and celebrity role models are forcing their children to grow up too fast.

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A study of 1,025 parents by the Department of Education found that celebrity culture, revealing children’s clothing and music videos are all encouraging their children to act older than they are.

Inappropriate children’s clothing, sexualised content in pre-watershed TV shows and music videos and adult products scaled down for children, all featured high on the list of gripes from parents who felt they were all ‘too old’ for their children.

Over 40% of parents said that they had seen things in public, such as in shop windows or advertisement displays, that they felt was inappropriate for their children to be exposed to. The TV watershed was also felt to be ineffective, with 41% of parents saying they had seen programmes before 9pm that they felt were unsuitable for younger children.

More than half of parents in the survey felt that a huge influence was celebrity culture, which encourages children to behave in a sexual manner before they are old enough to understand what the behaviour means.

The parents who took part in the study all agree that they want to deal with the pressures themselves, but feel that they want more responsible help and support from the Government to reduce the sexual content their children are exposed to.

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Do you agree with the study’s findings?

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