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Kids Are Not 'Cute' Adults



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Kids Are Not ‘Cute’ Adults

To the Editor:

My daughter came home with a notice from the Reed School about two events listed at the Newtown Teen Center in March. One said “On March 12, fifth and sixth graders are invited to a Middle School Night at the Teen Center to hear the band, ‘The Stand,’” a local band consisting of students from Reed, Middle School and NHS. On March 19, we will be hosting a regular drop-in 5/6 grade event.” What does regular drop-in event mean? What kind of band?

Am I the only parent that thinks 10- and 11-year-olds are too young to be socializing at the teen center with middle school and high school teens? Why are adults encouraging these kinds of activities? We don’t want the fifth graders on the buses with the older kids but put them all together at the Teen Center? As it is, I hear about fifth grade girls who are boy crazy and fifth graders who have movie “dates” without parents and talk about girlfriend/boyfriend interaction that is not appropriate for 10-year-olds. My daughter is amazed at the clothes that the girls wear to school. Some look like pajamas. And flip flops in 30 degree weather? Even in the winter, their shirts are skimpy and revealing. Where are the parents? What are they thinking? That this is all “cute”? It isn’t cute. It is sending the wrong message to these kids who are not yet going through puberty, for pete’s sake, that all this teen behavior is OK for them. Why don’t we just give them beer and car keys too? They are too young for these activities and not mature enough to know the difference but the adults should!

Why am I not surprised to hear about 14/15-year-olds attending these formal dances that they need to have (hair) up-do’s that cost a fortune, special makeup, manicures, pedicures and the best yet — bikini waxes (why?). This is rather ridiculous. What are we saying to the young girls — look beautiful and you will get all the superficial attention you crave? It seems like mini beauty pageants or contests are really the point — not to have fun socializing. By the time senior prom comes around, it’s all old news. Been there, done that.

Can’t we think of something else they can do?

Joanne Barnhart

Brushy Hill Road, Newtown                                         March 16, 2004

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