Childhood ends these days at the age of 12.
This is according to a survey by website Netmums, so we will take it as official.
Nine out of 10 parents say society forces children to mature too fast. The loss of innocence is down to internet porn, social media, celebrity culture, images of thin or overtly sexy celebrities and magazines aimed at young children that are filled with inappropriate content.
Children are obsessed with fashion, money, and sex. Which, as you know, should be the domains of adults.
Is it the internet, the media, or the parents to blame? Dinna ask me for ah dinna ken. But I can remember what childhood was like last century and compare it with now.
In 1958: for remote communication the child had two empty cans connected with string. (The cans and string could also be configured as stilts to clip-clop around on.) In 2013: the child has an iPhone.
1958: had a pen friend. 2013: is hooking up on a chatline with a 14-year-old girl who is actually a 54-year-old man.
1958: might be passed a love note in class. 2013: is being stalked by a classmate with texts including inappropriate photos.
1958: boys in class wore short trousers. 2013: boys' trousers hanging down below the waist showing underpants.
1958: pleased with a new pair of Clark's sandals. 2013: unhappy that the shade of the Junior Armani shoes doesn't really match the tanned legs.
1958: might be on TV winning a Crackerjack pen hoping not to get too many cabbages in Double or Drop. 2013: on TV being put through entrepreneurial tasks as Very Young Apprentice.
1958: famous for being captain of the school quiz team in Top of the Form. 2013: famous for being on Jeremy Kyle having a DNA test in violent dispute over paternity.
1958: puffing on a Woodbine at the smokers' wall. 2013: scoring some dope up at the shopping centre while excluded from classes.
1958: out in the street till all hours playing football, tig, and hide and seek. 2013: sitting up to all hours playing Fifa 13 and Grand Theft Auto.
1958: enjoying a second helping of caramel cake and custard at school dinners. 2013: only eating half a packet of crisps in an attempt to stay thin.
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