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Are kids growing up too quickly?

Are kids growing up too quickly?
Kids are starting to worry about adult issues

Parents are concerned that kids are growing up too quickly with influences like constant engagement with technology, social media, and pressure to be "macho" or "sexy" cutting childhood short.

A UK survey found that 90 per cent of parents think modern children are growing up faster than ever, and body image is their biggest concern.

The survey conducted by British parenting website Netmums found that 45 per cent of parents of girls were concerned their daughters were under pressure to be thin, and parents of boys were concerned their sons were pressured to be more macho.

Kids were found to be very self-conscious about they way they were perceived on social media with half of the survey's correspondents saying their children ranked Facebook popularity as a top concern.

Retailers were blamed for the early sexualisation of children with fifty-four per cent of parents angry over sexual, provocative clothing being marketed to young girls.

Parents said celebrity culture was also to blame for pushing young people to worry about their looks, as was the technology that exposes them to it.

The survey results are consistent with Australia's biggest annual poll of young people which highlighted body image as a leading concern.

The 2012 Mission Australia national youth survey found 43 per cent of young Australian females considered body image their greatest personal concern.

Adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Car-Gregg was not surprised by the findings of the Netmums survey.

He told The Daily Telegraph kids are growing up quicker these days and feeling teen pressures at a younger age, saying his 10-year-old patients often present with the same concerns that used to only worry 14-year-olds when he started practising 28 years ago.

"I really think this early adultification of young people is associated with a lot of the psychological problems that we see in young people," he said.

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