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March 30, 2015

I am arguably one of those parents that constantly obsess over their kids’ grades, activities, eating, sleeping, even potty times! Helicopter parenting, hyper-parenting and over-scheduling are all attributes of almost all middle class parents these days. What makes us constantly worry about our efficiency as parents? What drives us to push the kids to the extend they break? May be we lack the confidence that our previous generations had. May be the world we grew up in was a much less competitive place with much lower expectations. Or may be, we are more aware. I see a 2 year old playing violin somewhere else in the world and wonder if my kid can. Can my 8 year old spell Czechoslovakia because some other kid just did? We tend to prepare them to face a safer tomorrow by sacrificing a better today.

There are scores of parenting books that advice how a child should be from the moment of conception. Every development from then are measured and checked for delays. Even the slightest change becomes a reason of worry and is usually dealt with therapies, interventions, medications. Not everyone is born genius. Albert Einstein did not do well at school! Not “gifted”, not “learning-disabled”.


The Cost: Over-Scheduled Families

Mine is a typical example of an over-scheduled family. My kids have scheduled activities throughout the week and the weekends. What do we gain out of it other than fatigue and loss of family time? I don’t get to play with my kids the way my parents did. They don’t even know how to deal with “free time”.


You can either start accepting busy life as the perfect way of living or you can start taking it apart and really start prioritizing. Keep things you know will go a long way and cut short the ones that won’t. Second, give the kids some space to breathe. Let them be kids. Encourage playtime. Grant the freedom they deserve. Stop obsessing over standards and measurements. Easier said than done! But that sure is a good place to start. Let it go!

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