Learning from Others

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  • Published : September 19, 2005
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Learning from Others

Most people want their children to have more than they did or at least the same type of upbringing that they believe made them the type of person they are but some parents have begun to question which things should be important. Over scheduling children's lives has become an issue that individuals, families and others have been exploring as many parents find they are so involved in shuttling their children to activities that they have little time to really interact as a family. Over the last year or so, I have watched a friend of my mom's struggling with this issue. She was raised in a very middle class environment, the child of two middle class hardworking parents in Guatemala. She and her siblings were involved in Soccer and Swimming, music lessons, and after school Catholicism classes, while summers were spent in day camp at the grade school, art lessons, little league and pony tail, music camp, church camp, the list seems endless. Despite the schedule, the family still ate dinner together daily. By the time she reached high school, she did not always make the best decisions but she believes that she never really got into trouble because she was involved in so many activities and she also believes that the activities really enriched her life—music camp and sports netted her friendships that she maintains more than twenty five years later. As an adult, she had grown to appreciate her mother's commitment in getting two children to private lessons, soccer and swimming practices, and numerous other activities throughout the years. In addition, several years before she began her family, she watched an HBO program featuring recovering teenage drug addicts and every single young person stressed the importance of keeping children involved in activities. Her daughter started dance lessons at two, as did her son three years later. Both have been involved in numerous activities since. Her husband is out of town much of the time and...
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