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April 12, 2010
by Debra Bacon

Pushy parents and exhausted children

April 12, 2010 19:12 by Debra Bacon

By Debra Bacon
Debra Bacon Contributor

Missing out

Many children are missing out on the joys of childhood, because pushy parents are trying to ensure their babes are in vogue with the most popular social cachet.

Shocking statistics, revealed in a recent study, suggests that pushy parents “over timetable” their children. They have school, followed by extra-curricular activities and clubs.

After spending 32.5 hours a week in school, add too that six hours of homework, seven more hours of parent to child teaching through play. Top it off with five hours a week reading together. Then, include as many as three activities a week, such as music, sports or other clubs. Totaling a whopping 53 hours a week pushy parents are “working” their kids; leaving them exhausted.

It is hard to imagine that a large number of parents are inadvertently working their children into exhaustion.

The push

The insatiable appetite to have their child succeed drives pushy parents to make good choices turn bad. For the most part, parents want the best for their children, and believe that enrolling them in sports or other team activities will help them grow socially.

The fear that grips parents concerning their children’s development, as related to them being on the same level as their peers, can be overwhelming. Instinct kicks in, to divide and conquer any possible threat standing in the path of success.

Within the realm of competitiveness, of which we work and play in, it can appear that the best jobs, schools and opportunities go to the swiftest, brightest and most socially engaged. While in part true, if this mindset becomes a part of parents drive for their children, it can become dangerous.

It no longer is about the child’s development, it is about success at any cost. Because of a near emotional breakdown--of a five-year-old--the study further revealed the parents removed their child from his extra-curricular activities. He was completely exhausted and worn down.

Pushing our children to excel in activities we choose for them at an early age, is often more pressure than necessary to put upon them. Parents begin to teach their toddlers how to recite the alphabet, or count to ten, years before they enter pre-school.

Others, go to the extremes of sabotaging their children’s nemesis--whether real or imagined to be so. Countless stories resonate through the airwaves of very harmful events, even death, caused by a pushy parent wanting their child to be on top.

But the more realistic day-to-day reality is that parents are simply desirous to be as hands-on as they can with their children. However, taking inventory and admitting this can be difficult for a parent.

Restore the joy

Children will perform poorly when exhausted, and will ultimately excel at very little, or worse yet, nothing. The purpose by which started the push to excel then thwarted, by over scheduling your children.

Exploration by natural curiosity brings about a great deal of knowledge and development, when children are allowed to play and be. Assess the time you are taking out of your child’s life with extra-curricular activities, and regroup if necessary.


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