Speaker encourages parents not to overschedule children

Kandace Sebastian

It’s become a national madness.

Parents are bombarding their children with activities in order for them to be the best, do the best and be perfect.

If they don’t, they believe they fail as parents, according to Alvin Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld, a child and adult psychiatrist, spoke to a crowd of about 100 last night in Van Meter Auditorium about his book “The Over-Scheduled Child.” The book discusses how parents need to make a balance between family time and extracurricular activities.

Rosenfeld emphasized the importance of parents focusing on their children’s learning and thinking, rather than a grade or the list of extracurricular activities a child has.

“Sports isn’t for fun anymore,” Rosenfeld said. “Enjoyment doesn’t matter anymore.”

Bowling Green senior Jacquetta Butts, a psychology major, said she was an overworked child.

“It’s all about the grades, not extracurriculars. They don’t care what you’ve done,” Butts said. “I learn from my mistakes. They should work more on what you don’t know than what you do know.”

Rosenfeld said that children learn to do community service to look like they have a good heart and to get on the teachers’ good side. If parents don’t balance their child’s time, he will feel like he has to have a resum? on steroids.

“I don’t have the answer for the whole society, but it’s a destructive trend for kids,” he said. “All (that) matters is grades and resumes.”

Parents should instead try to make the effort to build relationships with their children, he said.

“That’s what makes life good … one good relationship,” he said.

Psychology professor Katrina Phelps introduced Rosenfeld and said she enjoyed how he displayed his message.

“It was not filled with jargon,” she said. “It was easy to understand. That’s one of the goals of the series, for anyone to receive something from it.”

Rosenfeld’s lecture is a part of the Mary E. Hensley Lecture Series which is dedicated to Hensley, a Western alumna.

Reach Kandace Sebastian at [email protected]