How to Stop Children’s Adultification on Social Media and Return to Normal Play Development

“Adultification is the failure to see the world from a child’s perspective.”

Annemarie Berukoff
5 min readFeb 10, 2021

Increasingly we treat them as commodities and find ourselves “in danger of losing the child in childhood.” Instead of imposing adult expectations…parents and teachers should try to “take their blinders off” and see the world through the eyes of young children — a change in perspective that might allow us to better understand and cultivate their unique abilities. The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need From Grownups: Erika Christakis

This is a call to return to the impulse of freedom of play as a natural development and discovery of our real environment. Let’s put the screens down and cultivate hands-on three-dimensional learning in small groups and independent discovery of communication and consequences.

My goodness, I still remember at the age of 6 or 7, the big rock in our front yard where I designed a whole mystery skit between rocks, leaves and branches where the stick detective found the missing rocks under the leaves with mud pies as a special effect!

Look around our homes at all the internet-connected devices everywhere … laptops, smartphones, tablets, all presenting new challenges and opportunities for parents and their kids. See Jane play house on a screen. See Dick chase a robot around a maze. See Mom and Dad busy doing something else.

Do a simple exercise. Enter these words into Google search: how social media affects children. A whole crop of topics will come up about children: mental health, behavior, self-esteem, child development, children's behavior, education and parent-child attachment.

Who worries about exposure to technology and what social media can do to our young children’s education and socialization process? At what stage is there a fusion between preteens and teens whose research studies have shown they are growing up with more anxiety, less self-esteem, poor body image and depression?

The role of the parent is crucial…

Parents are the best navigators and monitors of this media environment to…



Annemarie Berukoff

Retired teacher — Affiliate Marketer, Big Picture Wisdom, author 4 e-books: social media teens, eco-fiction ecology