Are we putting too much stress on our children?

Photo-0027I have been thinking about this a lot and I know this is a hot topic in the media at the moment. The commonly heard opinion about the “Common Core” standards is that they haven’t been helping the kids and only put more pressure and more tests upon them.
I do see quite a lot of stress in my own children. They are not even teenagers, but they already worry if they have everything done for their homework and I notice that my son really worries at times.

I am always described as a laid-back parent when it comes to my parenting style. So I hope it is not me, that puts too much pressure on them. I don’t overload them with after school activities and we do have enough free time to set up playdates and just hang out. I think kids need time and experiences to grow socially and emotionally. And part of that is exploring the boundaries. You might succeed, you might fail, you even might hurt yourself…..
Experience fear, disappointments and failures. It’s a good practice to deal with these feelings later in life. Of course I am a big fan of the movie “Inside-Out” that playfully teaches kids that there needs to be more in life than Joy.

Did you know that in The Netherlands the elementary school kids DON’T have homework at all? And the first 2 years they have 2 afternoon’s off and after that always the Wednesday afternoon off. Tests? Yeah…maybe one at the end of the year. They understand the importance of play and social interactions that are very important for young kids to develop.

When you meet teenagers, they are always stressed out about upcoming tests and worried about the feature. To get into college and all the things they have to accomplish…..My I can only think that I had FUN when I was a student.

This is an article that is a MUST read: Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?. Printed in the NY Times.

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