They say that the TV is a reflection of the mores of the current society. This is damn terrifying. Especially if you go by the various advertisements of kids’ energy boosting drinks. One shows a mother at her wits’ end as she sees the kids next door excelling effortlessly at academics as well as athletics. Another shows the harried mother waking up the kid at 4 am “Kyonki Competition ka jamana hai.” What is the message being sent? Is it that the kids better buckle up and compete and excel in not just studies but also in athletics and other extra curricular activities?
Honey actually wakes up at 4 am, goes for a jog and workout, gets ready and leaves for school at 6.45. In the evening he has to fit in tennis lessons and chess coaching. Weekends are “utilized” for art classes and Mental Maths coaching. His mother, a teacher in a reputed school says “it’s better than playing around with other kids as they just fight and do nothing.” As a result he is never seen playing around with other kids of the locality.
As the pressure to excel not only in studies but also in other extra curricular activities mount, the kids are beginning to feel the brunt. Agreed, it is essential in the rapidly moving world to keep up with the rest. It is for the parents to introduce and facilitate new avenues to broaden their horizon. But how much is too much? Here are a few symptoms typically displayed by kids who have been seriously overburdened by various activities.
Listlessness: Some of the activity that she was enthusiastic about earlier has ceased to excite her anymore. The kid starts feeling listless about the hitherto fun projects too. They may not be interested in new activities and achievements, if any, fail to enthrall them.
Physical symptoms: Are the infrequent bouts of lethargy getting oftener and oftener? The child may complain of lack of energy too often. There may be frequent headaches and stomachaches due to missed meals and strain.
Incomplete work: Complaints from the school, if one too often, are especially indicative that the child has bitten off more than she can chew. The first thing to suffer is the studies. The grades may show a decline too. If the instructors of the extra curricular activities also convey unfinished work or lack of interest, your antennae should go up. Sometimes unable to cope with the pressure, the children feel that the parents will let go if they underperform.