Every generation seems to think the one below it is growing up too fast. And for the most part, I do agree that kids tend to grow up faster with each generation. Advances in technology make it seem that way. Some of our parents are just now learning to use computers. We started using them years ago in the work place. Our children were on them by the age of 2. So yes, it appears they are growing up faster. Paige can play a computer game, the Wii, and my iPhone really well. She knows how to send a text message and what games there are on my phone to play. (Thank you, Steve Jobs, for building in a lock feature which prevents her from calling Chine on my phone.)
I don't think Paige is growing up faster than I did. Or at least not dramatically growing up faster. I also don't think she's behind in her peers. At least, I didn't. She's 4. She doesn't know who Hannah Montana or iCarly are. She knows Phineas & Ferb, Spongebob, Dora and Wonder Pets. She picks out her own clothes in the morning and usually puts her black pirate rain boots with whatever she's wearing. Her clothes cover her body. No bare stomach shirts, shorts cover her little bum. You would think this would be the norm for kids her age. But I'm learning it's not.
Over the past few weekends we've been to birthday parties at local parks. Kids there, also around the 3 or 4 age group, are dressing in little midriff showing shirts. Usually with Hannah Montana on them, or at least something else from her on their clothes. They are talking to their parents in rather nasty voices and expecting to get away with it. Probably because they do. I don't have anything against Miley Cyrus. I'm not a fan of her music, but at least she wears clothes and isn't a horrible role model for young girls. Paige just doesn't find her show interesting to watch. I saw girls at Toys R Us dressed like small versions of their Mom, complete with the little dress and tiny heels. Do our 4 year olds really need that?
I don't think Paige is sheltered. She is just having fun and being a little girl. She picks out her clothes, and for the most part wants jeans or shorts. She likes dresses, but says she can't play as well on the playground in a dress. She may go 2 weeks wearing nothing but shorts, then go a month wearing all dresses. It all depends on her mood. I see nothing wrong with some kids having their own cell, depending on the situation. Not all guidelines apply to each situation. I try not to look at kids at the playground and make snap judgments. I will say that sometimes, that can be rather hard.