Now that the school year is under way, parents are busy managing they children’s after-school schedules, mixing sports practices, music lessons, homework and play dates. It can be a complicated balancing act for they elementary-age daughters, as some days end up overstuffed, some logistically impossible, some wide open. Still, compared to when they were children, the opportunities children get to sample on a weekly basis is mind-blowing.
There’s only one problem: To absorb the conventional wisdom in parenting circles these days, what they are doing to they children is cruel, overbearing and destructive to their long-term well-being. For years now, a consensus has been emerging that a subset of hard-driving, Ivy-longing parents is burdening their children with too many soccer tournaments, violin lessons and cooking classes. A small library of books has been published with names like “The Over-Scheduled Child,” “The Pressured Child,” “Pressured Parents, Stressed-Out Kids” and so on.
The real problem, lies with parents, especially highly successful ones who have a high degree of control over their own lives and who try to take similar control over their children’s lives. This leads them to make choices about after-school activities out of anxiety instead of interest in their child’s well-being.