I like to think of myself as traditional, but in a balanced, fairly open-minded kind of way. But when I received a text from a friend recently with photos, I found myself more than a little shocked.
Perhaps it’s living in Paris for the past two years and seeing children actually being children–without makeup, without the pressures of being adults before their time, and, perhaps most importantly, without their smart phones in school–that I’ve become so sensitive to the way some Americans raise their children.
Here are the photos:
What troubles me with these two images is the adult nature of the dancing and costumes, which resemble moves and garments more appropriate for NBA or NFL cheerleaders, not 12 year old children. And second, I question the safety of sending that same 12 year old several feet into the air and trusting other 12 year olds to catch her safely.
There are certainly arguments to be made about the benefits of the performing arts for young minds and bodies. The same can be said for athletics, which I participated in throughout my childhood and adolescence.
Likewise, I’ll make an argument that butt-hugging hot pants, provocative dance moves, and flying five or six feet in the air are wardrobes and activities that are more appropriate later in life, if at all.
Call me old-fashioned (again) but I think parents, teachers, and school personnel need to dial it back a little, put a wall up between pop culture and school activities, and insist that children be children while they’re students.