As my kids get older and they keep moving up in age brackets I get to see the future. Sure he’s 10 now, but I get to see him with 11 and 12 year old’s in the 10-12 group. The age of innocence is long gone and he’s caught up with Middle School kids. Watching the Elementary School youngsters mix it up with kids who are only a year or two older has been very…enlightening.
My son watches cartoons, plays with Legos and occasionally fights with his little brother. The other day I overheard a group of 12 year old girls discussing shaving. The guy sitting with them tried to look hip by joining in saying that he doesn’t shave his legs. The girl was quick to respond, ‘I wasn’t talking about my legs…’
I don’t know if I’m ready for this kind of transformation. I mean it’s one thing to move from Thomas the Tank Engine to Power Rangers to Bakugan but this next step is huge.
The other troubling thing I noticed among these older kids is the ability to know when to turn on the charm and when to be the asshole that they really are. I’ve seen boys kiss their friends’ Moms on the cheek with a ‘hello Mrs. Johnson, don’t you look lovely today’ then not 5 seconds later walk around the corner and call the first 10 year old they see a ‘fucking loser’ for having what they deem to be an inferior bat/glove/hat/shirt etc. They don’t know who Eddie Haskell is, but this is exactly the behavior I’m seeing.
Do their parents know about this? If they know do they care? I’d like to think that my son is not the kind of kid that does this, but if he is I’d like to think that someone will tell me.