Friday, July 11, 2003

Free the Children

Mom and I got into a cool discussion of parenting after reading this article in Time magazine (which I used to love, but haven't really been able to tolerate in the last couple of years). The premise is that kids' lives are so regimented, that even summer gets filled up with sports teams, camps, schedules and trips, with no time for just living and figuring out how you want to spend your day. It probably sounds like a nostalgic argument to some, like an attempt to recreate 1950s childhoods for today's kids, but it made me wonder whether we're constraining their ability to make decisions and take responsibility for their time.

The average kid graduating from high school has had mostly regimented days from the moment they hit daycare in their first or second year. Schedules, bells and pressure are key features of their entire K-12 experience. Although college introduces more personal freedom, the expectations are still pretty clear. Is it any wonder that many college grads are totally lost after college (or before), when they're expected to make their own path for the first time?

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