A friend said to me the other day that we live in a society of contradictions. We tell kids that they can't vote until they're 18. They can't fight for their country until they are 18. They can't drive until they are 16. We constantly tell them to wait to grow up. No you are not old enough to use a table saw or circular saw by yourself for fear that you'll lop off a finger or worse.
But we'll hand you technology and tell you that you're old enough. We will hand you the means to destroy your life and others around you if not properly supervised and taught. Kids have implements of destruction in their hands and many parents are completely fine with it. I saw a 6 year old with their own cell phone. Are you kidding me? What does a 6 year old need with a cell phone? Who are they calling? Where are they going without an adult that would necessitate a phone? I understand parents desire to keep their children safe and give them a means of communication - good luck finding pay phones anymore - but how young is too young? Kids emulate their parents and want to appear older than they are, but that doesn't mean we need to let them.
Kids are growing up way too fast and are losing out on their childhood. You only get one. Once its gone, you aren't allowed to act like a kid anymore without people staring at you funny or giving you a hard time. Kids spend their childhood wishing they were older and their parents spend their adulthood wishing they were younger. It's a vicious cycle. So how do we stop it?
I don't know if we can. But what we can do is make sure that during very summer rainstorm, we jump in every puddle. During every spring and summer night, we sit outside and listen to the crickets and insects. Every fall, we rake up the biggest pile of leaves and jump into it. Every winter, have a snowball fight and make a snow angel. Run, jump, skip, prance, play ball, swim, climb, ski, and just be.
Your parents and grandparents look at you in wonder partially because of who you are and partially of what you are....a child. They are envious of you. There is plenty of time for adult issues later in life. Right now, enjoy the fact that you don't pay taxes, mortgage, car payments, tuition, grocery bills, heat, electricity, insurance, day care, gas, etc. Enjoy every moment because it won't last forever.