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Are our kids overscheduled?

I remember being a kid in my neighborhood.  I lived in suburban Pittsburgh in the 70s (1970s not 1870s) in a small town, which I lovingly remember as feeling like a hamlet.  The town had brick streets, sidewalks, beautiful big trees lining the streets, front porches and kids playing out front.  Most, if not all of us, walked to school.  I’ll admit that I was a bit of an enigma (or so I’d like to think) in many ways because not only did my mother work outside the home, we lived in an apartment building.  Most, if not all of my friends lived in single homes or possibly twins.

I have very fond memories of walking the streets going from one friend’s house to another, playing, trick or treating after the parade, or doing whatever else kids did back then.  I think some played sports but I think they might have been summer leagues but they were definitely community programs.  After school, our afternoons were filled with homework and playing.  I do not recall too many of us being shuttled around from one function to the next in an effort to do it all.  To be sure, I was busier in high school, but I’m mainly talking about elementary school.

What made me recall these memories is an article I happened upon at Psych Central (http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/10/06/let-your-children-be-children/) in which the author notes that our children are overscheduled and unable to cope with certain life skills.  Remember the school bus stop?  I don’t because we walked to school until junior high. And then we WALKED to the bus stop. In the rain. And snow. There was no dropping us off at the bus stop or letting us sit in the car until the bus came. No. We walked to the bus stop and had better not miss the bus.  AND we didn’t carry backpacks back then!  But anyway,  the point the author of this article  tries to make is that children need unscheduled down time to use their imaginations and to figure things out for themselves (life skills).  Children today are over protected and have difficulty functioning in real life situations.

That last statement is a lot for me to comprehend.  What parent doesn’t want their child to be protected? We don’t want them approached by pedophiles but yet we want them to feel loved.  I will agree that I have witnessed children (and teens) who don’t have proper real life skills and struggle because of it.  Today’s world is certainly different from the one I grew up in, however, I think kids still need to be kids.  I also wonder if our self esteem as parents is tied to how well we do for our children?

What do you think?

Regarding Queen of Everything

Her highness is still queen of planet blortnick and also a MODEL.

Love is closed.