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The Informed Parent

Here Comes School Again With Its Demands!

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Sep. 26, 2011

September is here and so is school. The summer was carefree and fun. The school year does not have to be a time of no recreation, meals on the run and late bed times.

Your child needs time to relax, well planned home cooked meals and adequate sleep more than he needs karate, soccer, dance lessons, baseball, etc. There is no question that these ancillary pursuits are valuable but not at the expense of psychological and physical well-being.

I am particularly looking at the sub high school child. The high school student does need rest and restoration, but he is old enough to express these needs. The real victim is the elementary and middle schooler who is pushed to his limit by well-meaning but sometimes misguided parents. At times parents use these pursuits to fulfill their social life needs or simply to “stay up with the Joneses”.

Your child has to have time to get homework done, eat a nourishing meal and just relax. Sports programs, acquiring musical skills and developing a martial art are not the essentials of a healthy existence. They are important and should be pursued in moderation.

The parents must be sure they are not living vicariously through their children.

At times I feel parents find it easier to be their child’s agent and chauffeur than their mother or father. 

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