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It’s not the harried kids. It’s the frazzled parents

Submitted by on Monday, 21 September 2009 No Comment

I have to admit that, other than what now appears to be a daily pool commitment, I’ve been living the easy life in the past few months since Big Guy’s busted wrist booted him out of karate – and everything else.

No frantic rush to finish homework before class. No whirlwind of room-to-room searches for gear before practice. No reason to get up early on Saturdays, because there’s no 9 a.m. game.

Yet, I have to admit feeling a slight twinge of guilt every weekend when we drive past the soccer fields and the guys aren’t on them – this was supposed to have been Boots’ first season, but we decided to keep him out because Big Guy couldn’t play. I’m not sure how much of that was a well-reasoned decision and how much of it was me being tired of running around.

Turns out that we might be typical, according to a University of Maryland study that says it’s not kids who stress over hectic schedules. It’s their parents.

Parts of the study were actually released a year ago, though it gained new attention recently when the findings were included in a book.

According to the abstract, among a national sample of children, those who were very active had the highest self-esteem. Those who were involved in no activities were the most withdrawn and socially immature.

Oh, great. And just when I was looking for excuses to not enroll the guys in swimming, guitar, Spanish and everything else offered on post. If there’s a sign-up sheet going around, Big Guy wants his name on it. Their wish list would be longerĀ  except Big Guy’s still banned for karate and for some reason it slipped my mind to mention that there are drum classes as well.

Chauffeur fatigue aside, I know deep in my heart that Big Guy is better off when he’s involved in an activity. He finishes homework with nary a gripe because he knows that’s what he has to do to get to practice on time. He comes home tired and falls to sleep with only token complaining.

Granted, it did get a little hairy last spring when baseball and karate overlapped, but Big Guy handled it just fine. I was the one whining about having to be somewhere three days a week.

But now that they tell me his self-esteem is at stake, well, bring it on. Except for the drum classes.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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