It seems summers, these days, are less about relaxation and more about getting ahead.
It’s weird. We’ve got a lot of kids in our neighborhood but I rarely see them around. They’re all at camps, classes, and practices to increase their skills -- make them stronger, smarter, better. I’m curious, am I the only one who thinks this is strange? When did the bar get set so high? When did pick up baseball games at the local park turn into daily practice and weekend tournaments three hours away? Kids are taking ACTs when they’re sophomores, or younger. Private tutoring is a booming business. Plus it seems like a parent’s social status revolves more around their kids’ accomplishments than their own. That’s a lot of pressure -- for both parents and kids - -causing headaches all around. Plus we all know the higher we raise our expectations, the greater our chances for disappointment.
I know, I know. Global competition is fierce. The economic gap is widening. A lot of parents are worried that their kids won’t grow up to have lives as good as what they’ve got right now. Parents want to give their kids a fighting chance, but are they giving them ulcers, too? And this ‘program for success’ we’re feeding them, does it allow their independence and creativity to blossom?
I wish I knew the answer to all of this, but I don’t. I just know I don’t like it. But if I boycott this movement toward over-parenting, will that put my kids at a disadvantage? Kids today seem smarter and more talented than they’ve ever been before. Still, statistically, half of them are below average. Scary thought?
Anyway, I’m curious to hear what you think about this. Got a moment? Give me your thoughts!