In October (10/13/2013), an article on “over scheduled” kids was featured in The New York Times.
While much has been written on this topic, I particularly appreciated Bruce Feiler’s (The Secrets of Happy Families) refreshing view on the issue. Rather than criticize today’s parents for overburdening their children, he advocates true reflection on what kids are involved in: how the activities relate to family values, priorities and the basic logistics of everyday life.
Recent brain research highlights adolescent brain adaptability and how exposure to a myriad of experiences and opportunities stimulates brain growth and strengthens neurological connections. The more experiences we can expose kids to, the better. Yet, the question lies in whether or not they are truly enjoying and benefiting from the activity?
In order to have buy-in and cooperation, adolescents need to know that their views and opinions are considered. Are they truly invested in the activity? Do they understand the significance of the activity as it reflects their family values? Do they have a choice as to whether or not to participate? Are the activities interesting and life enhancing? Are adolescents still able to complete their homework and obtain 9 hours of sleep?
The article provides great reminders and thought provoking questions to consider. Well worth a read.
Nancy Alessandra Remondi