Are Our Kids Growing Up Too Quickly?

13/06/2017 12:20 BST | Updated 13/06/2017 12:20 BST

As the parent of two kids, I'm no stranger to feeling like they're growing up too soon.

Similar to many parents, I often find myself in a sort of shell-shocked state when I realise that they're not my tiny babies anymore and that they're carving a life out for themselves.

In fact, recent research by found that 9 in 10 parents think that their children are growing up too quick, with the most common reasons being the things they say and the way they dress.

I've been in this situation myself. My daughter who is just seven years old loves to play with her mum's makeup and has tried to sneak out of the house wearing a dash of pink eyeshadow. Whilst it may just be her inquisitive nature and testing her boundaries, there's no doubt that she's growing up too quickly... Or attempting to.

The research also touched on social media and music, and how our kids are potentially being exposed to things online when they're underage. Just 37% of parents said that they monitor their kid's taste in music; much of which is sexually explicit and definitely not appropriate for the ears of somebody under teen-age.

Thankfully, I'm one of the 80% of parents that use controls to monitor what my kids see when they're browsing the internet. Whilst I don't limit their access completely, I keep tabs on the games they're playing and the people they're mixing with online.

We've all heard of the horror stories that comes from kids not having internet-related rules being enforced.

According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, 1 in 5 children aged between 10 and 17 years old receive a sexual solicitation or approach via the internet in a one-year period. Considering that research was done back in 2002, it'll send shivers down anyone's spine knowing that your child could be in danger if they're using the internet at such a young age; especially if their activity isn't being watched.

Tom Madders, Director of Campaigns and Communications at children's charity YoungMinds, said: "Social media is part of everyday life for most young people - from organizing plans with friends to reading the news or scrolling through Twitter or Instagram.

"Increasing safety within social media platforms is an important step and one we urge social media sites to act upon.

"Parents can adjust the safety settings on their Internet browsers and devices, but it is impossible to monitor or control everything your child sees online.

"This is why it is so important for parents to talk to their children about what they may be seeing online and encourage them to open up if something is troubling them."

Mr Madders added: "Any parent who is worried about the wellbeing of their child can get free advice from the YoungMinds Parents' Helpline on 0808 902 5544."