One benefit of no TV that had never occurred to me when I began this experiment after the birth of my daughter nine and a half years ago, is the lack of exposure to “sexy teens!” I am shocked sometimes when I see how some teens and tweens, dress and act. I really am not a conservative person, in fact I consider myself to be quite liberal, but I do believe that 9 year-old girls are emotionally girls and NOT women. What ever happened to childhood?
Some might think it backward (please don’t flame me), but I am SO relieved that my 9 1/2 year-old daughter still believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. She still plays dress-up and fairies with her little sister and like-minded friends. She is not on Facebook, nor has she ever expressed a desire to be. Don’t berate me for “stunting” my daughter’s social and technological development. Believe me, I am sure she will “develop socially” as soon as those hormones hit her system! She also knows how to use a computer just fine thank you.
There are certainly many factors involved. Her stage of physical development, her personality, and the fact that she attends a very small Montessori School all surely play a role. But I do truly also believe that part of the fact that she has not yet become interested in “popular teen culture” is that she is not exposed to TV shows and commercials that cause her to emulate those behaviors.
My good friend friend just sent me a link to a review of an interesting-sounding book by Leonard Sax, the author of Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men. His new book is about girls: Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls-Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Environmental Toxins. I urge you to read the review and see what you think.
Meanwhile, I hope that my little girls stay little girls for as long as they need to.