Is Your Child Overstressed?
At a time when college admission standards are higher than ever, many parents want their children to succeed no matter what. This is why they sign them up for as many extra-curricular activities as possible and make sure they are taking all honors classes. This way, the point of volunteering for charity work is to make their college application look good, not to help others. The point to practicing three types of sports every week is not to be in good shape. Working part-time is not to save up for some gadget they want, but to learn financial responsibility and pay for their college applications.
Parents should indeed teach their children responsibility and make every effort to help them succeed academically and professionally. This, however, should not be an issue when they are still in junior high. High school should not be all about academics and after-school activities, whether they include playing the violin or going to soccer practice or both. Children who take part in several activities per week or one or two a day have heavy schedules. This may be too much for them. They shouldn’t be overburdened with these things at a time when they are trying to find out who they are, what they enjoy, and where they want to be. This is not to say they should be allowed to slack off, only that putting all that pressure on the kid is counterproductive. High school counselors report that they have spoken to sophomores and juniors who have suddenly lost interest in classes and after-school activities that they used to enjoy. This comes as a shock to the child, because they do not realize they are overstressed. Neither do their parents – instead, they sometimes push them harder and harder.Continued on the next page