When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

26 September 2006

The myth of overscheduled children

John deVille, who really does need to start blogging again one day, contributes a terrific guest-post to enrevanche today:
I guess most journalists are just retarded. We've been swamped with articles about overscheduled kids and now a study comes out which says that's a myth and the journalists who have as much capacity for nuance and abstract thought as a two-year-old just don't get it.

It's pretty simple. Most kids are not overscheduled. They do indeed watch too much TV, spend too much time playing video games and texting, and not enough time reading and engaging in physical activity and creative play. AND there is a significant, substantial cadre, a minority of about 15%, who are indeed coming close to being overscheduled. They go from high-powered class to high-powered class to volunteer hours to gymnastics to church youth group to soccer to hours of homework. A few juggle it admirably well, mind-blowingly well. And a few more appear to be overwhelmed at keeping up appearances.

To recap: 70% of kids are slugs, 15% are extraordinarily high achievers with some of that 15% being stressed out while some are eating it up (the future Sumner Redstones, Ted Turners, Steve Jobs, etc). And then there are about 15% who engage in a couple of structured activities while still finding time to watch football and play Madden 2007 -- future middle-management or equivalent. Our kids are a mirror of the rest of society.
The Benefits of Busy (Newsweek Online)

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