This Ain’t Your Mama’s Childhood
Are your kids stressed out? Could it be that you’re contributing, despite your best intentions? If you answered yes to either question, read on.
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He spends three to four hours a day using electronics for fun. That fits with a study by the Centers for Disease Control that shows kids ages 8 to 18 spend more than three hours a day watching TV, videos, DVDs and movies.
Adeola is in good shape. He stayed fit by running on the spring track and fall cross-country teams at school. Yet that had a downside—a packed schedule of two-hour practices every day and meets on Saturdays, sometimes two hours away. “It disrupted my weekends,” Adeola says. “I was used to doing karate every Saturday, but to be tired from karate class, then travel to a meet to run a 5K was too much.”
Then there’s school—and Adeola does feel some pressure from his parents to get good grades. “Being in the [International Baccalaureate] program isn’t easy,” he says. “I get a lot of homework that takes about two hours a day.” That’s in addition to group projects, but because his classmates all have their own activities and schedules, it’s difficult to get together.
West realized that having too many commitments was raising Adeola’s stress and that he was losing focus on homework. “My feeling is that the schoolwork has to come first,” she says, “so we talked about it and decided he needed to cut back.”
And if some electronic play helps him manage his stress, Katie understands, even if she thinks it’s too much. (She jokes about her minor Facebook addiction.)
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