Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!

kristen-paulsen

Days of Innocence

Remember when kids didn’t think about what others would think? Remember when kids would innocently grab your hand as you walked, or their friend’s hand?  Last week I had the opportunity to help chaperon my daughter’s field trip to Raleigh with her school. I smiled as my friend had caught several pictures of our daughters holding hands through the museums. I smiled as the girls “sang” songs together…twinkle, twinkle little star and other nursery rhymes were what they all knew. As my “baby” girl is getting closer to 11 years of age I relish the innocence and simplicity. I reminiscence of an innocence of times past and presently fleeting with so many kids. Are our kids growing up too fast?

“The 12- to 14-year-olds of yesterday are the 10- to 12-’s of today,” says Bruce Friend, a vice president of the kids’ cable channel Nickelodeon. The Nickelodeon-Yankelovicht Youth Monitor found that by the time they are 12, children describe themselves as “flirtatious, sexy, trendy, athletic, cool.” Frightening. With so many outlets “catering” to children growing up too fast, it has become a struggle as a parent to make sure that my children don’t. I may be viewed as “weird,” but so be it. I do monitor our media influence. I still buy my daughter age appropriate clothing and insist on modesty. I don’t allow “tween” magazines or music I haven’t approved. Attitudes that are tried out are quickly stopped with good old fashion discipline…meaning, she loses privileges and I am sticking to my guns.

One study reported in the Wall Street Journal in 1998 stated that the major contributors to this shift of growing up too fast was absentee parents, powerful peer groups, media influence of sexualized fads.  It makes me think as a mother that I need to be better.  I need to make sure I do what I can so that my kids don’t feel like they are left to their own devices.  I need to be involved.   I also felt reassured that it’s OK that I’m monitoring my children’s outside influences

What are ways that you see your child growing up too fast and how are you dealing with that?  Do you think  boys or girls grow up faster?

 

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