A new study has confirmed what most of us already suspected: kids are maturing much faster these days, and parents feel the Internet and social media are to blame.
It seems like in every generation, adults are critical of "kids these days" and how they are growing up too fast. They recall a simpler time when they were kids, and lament the fact that their children are maturing and becoming adults faster than when they were young.
Years ago, television got the blame for a lot of this, but now it's the Internet and social media that seem to be the culprits, according to a new survey.
Security firm Bullguard surveyed over 2000 parents of kids aged 8 to 12, and the majority of those parents indicated that they were concerned that their kids were growing up too quickly.
Seventy-seven percent of them blamed the Internet for this, and also blamed peer pressure and the increased influence of celebrities in modern culture.
Seventy percent of the parents, however, acknowledged that they allow their children to surf the Internet without supervision, and a full half of them felt comfortable with the idea of their kids having their own Facebook account by age 12.
The CEO of Bullguard, Nedko Ivanov, said: "Children display different levels of maturity and as a rule you can't always say every child is ready to do this or that by a certain age. All parents will question whether their children are ready to attend a sleepover or catch a bus, but in today's digital age the use of different types of technology is also something to consider."
By age 10, the majority of the children of parents surveyed owned a cellphone and had a TV in their room, and many said they received pressure from their kids to purchase the latest technology items for them.
"Most children will pester their parents and demand the latest gadgets, but it's important to also take into account whether or not they're ready for what they might encounter and, if they do start using this sort of technology, to make sure they are safe online," Mr. Ivanov stated.
While parents were comfortable with kids having their own phone and TV set by age 10, the buck stopped with the idea of them having their own email account. According to the survey, most parents felt that this was not acceptable until the ripe old age of 11.