“Children grow up too fast today!” This complaint, often tinged with a sense of bewilderment and helplessness, is heard with increasing frequency among parents today. Indeed, even the preteen “tweens” are sophisticated beyond their years, experiencing sexual and emotional aspects of life heretofore considered “adult” and facing emotional and material overload that in the relatively recent past would have daunted people twice their age.
In Ready or Not, Kay Hymowitz offers a startling look at the forces in the popular culture that bombard our children today. In particular she shows how “experts” urging us to treat children as “small adults” have affected our ideas about childhood. The most pernicious effect of this new development, she believes, is that the independence and other trappings of maturity that children are given (rather than earned) at an early age makes them paradoxically less able to negotiate the passage to adulthood than their predecessors in an earlier, more protective time.
This challenging book shows what happens when a culture gives up its traditional mission of handing down its wisdom and moral heritage to the next generation. it will make the reader think harder about the needs of children and the responsibilities of adults in a democratic society.