Why Do We Overload Our Kids
Today’s parents are markedly different than the parents of the last generation. Increasingly, our kids are involved in more activities, did more homework, and had more hobbies than we did when we were kids. We are feeding them breakfast in the car, driving them to various lessons and practices, and helping them with homework late into the night. We manage their overstimulation. We manage their stress. Most of all, each dollar we pour into activities, we hope that our kids will be more well-rounded, think outside of the box, and excel in life.
Are we doing it right? As parents, we ask ourselves this question all the time. Even when we seem to know the answer, our life experiences tell us that because we don’t know how the world will be 20 years from now, we don’t know if we did the right thing by our kids at this moment.
This is the moment that we need some understanding. As parents, why did we make the decisions to load our kids up with activities?
The World Is Changing
Our world is different than it was in the last generation. Huge changes happened due to technology in the last two decades. These changes will accelerate during our kid’s generation. They will need to weather storms in their careers and in their lives to be successful. We, as parents want to expose them to a variety of experiences as we can so that they will be able to adapt to this changing world.
The Uncertainty is Stressing Us Out
As the world changes, we, as parents feel uncertainty in every direction. We feel uncertainty about jobs, our savings, our investments, and we also feel uncertainty for the proximity we are to our global peers. It seems that globalization brought everyone closer together. The world’s problems are on our front doors. This is all stressing us out. We counter this uncertainty by making sure that our kids have everything that they need in childhood. This means, activities, lessons, toys, housing, etc..
Our Parenting Methods Are In Reaction to Last Generation’s Parenting Methods
In our parent’s generation, we remember how long they worked outside of the home. They rarely had time to spend with us. They parented us in authoritarian ways. We vow never to do that to our kids. We overcompensate by taking them to endless outings, activities, family days, and enriching holidays. We want to document it all on Instagram and on Google cloud to prove it to ourselves that we have made a real difference in our kid’s lives.
The Myth of the Gifted Child
As globalization brings the world closer, we realize that our Asian peers are on another level of tiger parenting that seems to produce some of the world’s most genius children. We decided that we are just as smart. Per some scholarly circles, we can also create the conditions to bring up our version of the Gifted Child. We will try all kinds of educational methods and parenting methods to achieve that. If our kids want to compete in the global market place, then they must be gifted, otherwise, they won’t stand a chance.
The Myth of that Super STEAM Child
No, I didn’t misspell STEM. It’s STEM with an A for Art. Yes, it’s not enough that our children are skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math. They must also be their versions of Picasso. Otherwise, they won’t be the star coder who will revolutionize the computing industry years from now. If we can’t start our children coding at 3 years old like the Chinese kids do, then we can only settle for teaching them another language. At the very least, they must be bilingual.
If all of this sounds progressively crazy to you, then you are probably a pretty good parent. Keep it up. Whatever you are doing, you have the right perspective. Let’s take a moment and revel in the sound of our children laughing while squeezing out another fart in the backyard.
I’ve got to go and rescue my son from another mud bath.
He’s three. No, he doesn’t code yet. He’s still learning to aim his pee.
Oops. I’m not sure he’ll make it in our future world. Yikes.
About the Author
Jun Wu is a Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her website.