Just when we’re tempted to speed it up with our kids, we need to slow it down. Sometimes we wonder how quickly we can make these sometimes awkward and difficult years of adolescence pass. Guess what, your teens have that same hope, and it’s not necessarily a healthy thing. Marketers understand this much better than we do as parents. They’re well aware of the fact that our teens want to feel, look, be perceived, and be treated as older than they are. The gap between real-age and aspired-to-age narrows as kids get older. It’s at its worst when our kids enter adolescence. Researchers have discovered that 12 and 13-year-olds aspire to be 17. Our 14 and 15-year-olds aspire to be 19. Sixteen year-olds aspire to be 19. And 17 to 19-year-olds aspire to be 20. Slow it down when you see your kids caving in to age-aspiration in ways that are dangerous, inappropriate, and wrong. Don’t let them grow up too fast or too soon. The teenage years can move way too fast, forcing our kids into things they’re not ready to handle.