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Is it Just Too Much?

emily

Guest Blogger: Emily of Emmy Mom 2

Have you ever heard anyone say “back when I was a kid” and it immediately makes them sound really old?  I might end up sounding old in this post.  My oldest is in first grade; he comes home from school I let him watch a quick show and then it is time for homework.  Two pages of work, spelling words, writing in a journal and reading for 15 minutes.  Then the next day we repeat it all over again.  By the time homework is done the rest of the night goes by in a whirlwind of dinner, cleaning, showers and bedtime.  There is usually about 30 minutes of time to play with Dad which goes too quickly.  Soon we will also be adding soccer practices and Cub Scouts to this mix.
When I was a kid, see I sound old, I remember coming home the first week of school with “homework”- it was an assignment to make an <span style=”font-style: italic;”>About Me</span> poster, and that was it.  That was all of the homework I had the entire year.   And that is how it remained for a lot of grade school.  I remember feeling excited for homework as it made me feel big like my older siblings.  My son’s occasional screaming and whining about homework leads me to believe he doesn’t quite feel the same way I used to.

We started my son in soccer when he was 6.  The division had all sorts of rules, not for the kids, but for the parents as they wanted it to be a good experience for the kids; no screaming crazy parents allowed.   My son caught on pretty quickly but already felt behind as many of the kids had been playing soccer for three years.  It feels like you have to get your kid into the sport as early as possible otherwise they are going to be behind and never be as good as the others.

As a parent you feel this pressure of wanting your kid to be successful, to be able to have all the opportunities they can so they are not left behind.  When I was in high school I knew a boy who’s parents would only let him choose one extra activity.   I thought- there is no way he is going to get into the elite college he wants if he only has one extracurricular.

So, when I hear people ask if kids are under too much pressure- I definitely say yes.  The question is what is the solution?

 

4 Responses to “Is it Just Too Much?”

  1. Sela Toki says:

    The days of “homework only” after school are done. Now, children needs extracurricular activities to have some type of balance. My boys have always been involve in some type of after school sports and such. One at a time though and that’s about all that we can handle. I also believe music gives them balance too, so we have our own way of making sure they are musically talented at home. This is through practicing an instrument that they play in school. That we don’t have to spend extra time with outside the school. So this really works out for our children. I know of others who are involved in more then one sports after school. They seem able to hang with that schedule. It all depends though.

  2. Lourie says:

    Yes, they are definitely under a lot of pressure. The answer? That’s tough. Let them be kids as much as possible. Let them choose what activity they like best. Whether it is sports, arts or entertainment. They don’t need to do everything. As they grow, you will see what they have a passion for and talents and as parents we can help grow those talents. Some days are crazier than others. I guess that is what summer break is for.

  3. MiMi says:

    I’m with Emmy, they are under WAY too much pressure!
    And I was astounded when we started my oldest in soccer at 6…the other kids were all friends because they had been playing soccer together since they were 3! I think that’s just crazy.

  4. Emily says:

    If kids are under too much pressure it is their parents’ fault. Plain and simple. How can I six year old be stressed unless he/she’s being put into too many activities by his/her parents? The solution is for parents to stop looking at their children as trophies and instead viewing them as human beings. In some ways it’s a “Keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome. I’ve decided to start my daughter with piano and dance lessons when she is old enough. I want her to have music and physical activity in her daily life. But beyond that, school and “just being” will be enough for her. It’s important to develop talents and be involved, but it’s also important to be a kid.

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