Balancing act is the way out to avoid burden for students

Dubai - This scenario is predominantly prevalent at every household. Gone are the days when extracurricular activities were literally unheard of.

By Jayashree Kulkarni (Retired teacher )

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Published: Mon 7 Nov 2016, 10:37 PM

I am astounded and amazed by the activities kids get involved in today. From one class to another, kids' schedules are alarmingly hectic.
But why are extra-curricular activities given so much importance these days? Is it the need in today's digital world or the desire of over-ambitious parents to make their kids accomplish everything instantaneously?
I visited a close relative of mine in Pune, India, a few months ago and was surprised at the way her little kids, aged eight and five, followed the rigorous daily routine. Six hours of school and four hours spent in two activities every day.
When I suggested to the mother to slow down a bit, she replied: "No way."
She said it was for their future "we are striving". I was speechless.
This scenario is predominantly prevalent at every household. Gone are the days when extracurricular activities were literally unheard of. 
Inculcating the pursuit of academic excellence in children used to be the parents' foremost duty. But in today's fiercely competitive world, excelling only in academics will not guarantee success.
To fit into the competitive world, parents arm their kids with a myriad of activities.
Kids are overburdened, overwhelmed and pressured to attend such activities.
The author of Over-scheduled child: Avoiding the hyper-parenting trap, Alvin Rosenfled, says "enrolling children in too many activities and over- scheduling them has become a widespread phenomenon".
Agreed, extra-curricular activities have to be an integral part of today's kids. But the flip side is that too many activities create a lot of stress, fatigue and anxiety in children.
But can a balancing act be the perfect solution for this? Yes, it can be, if the over-ambitious parents know how much is too much and are ready to adopt the policy.
Let us not dampen and squash the kids' creativity by burdening them with too many activities. Let us teach them to use their think tank and imbibe them the values of sterling character, honesty and integrity.
Kulkarni joined the Abu Dhabi Indian School in 1982.
kelly@khaleejtimes.com
 



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