Does Scheduling Kids Activities Help… or Hurt? Economics of Parenting

I am well on my way to becoming a Tiger-mom and the results are undeniable. At 3 YY (years-young) she’s reading at a 5th grade level, a concert-worthy pianist, and just yesterday was asked to tryout for the world cup teeeee…wait. That was all a dream I had last night. This was one of those dreams where you wake up and for the first couple of seconds you are really satisfied with yourself because you’ve reached great heights and it all seems so real — yet you had nothing to do with it. Like being born rich, or Lebron James, or Gorbachev (no one can tell me that birthmark on his bald baby head had nothing to do with his success).

Striking resemblance? Based on Gorby's success later in life, I'm hoping so!

Striking resemblance? Based on Gorby’s success later in life, I’m hoping so!

It’s the kind of satisfaction you get from parenting your kid when they show promise in something that you aren’t very good at (like the aforementioned school/music/athletics). Now, I’m in no way saying that I’m not exceptional myself at all of the aforementioned, but I’m becoming more and more convinced we as parents will have very little to do with how our kids end up. Has this stopped AT from attending music, dance, swim, et al. class? Absolutely not, she loves all of those things too much. But I recently listened to a Freakonomics podcast on the Economics of Parenting where they delve deep with some pretty smart/analytical parents on the cost-benefit of parenting activities. The upshot: None of it matters. Basically, successful parents, have a higher likelihood of successful kids not because of the activities thrust upon them, but because they are given opportunities later in life that those less fortunate are not. Nature baby. It’s a parents dream! There’s nothing you can do — so don’t even try! I’m gonna let her start watching A LOT more TV. If she is complaining about going to dance class, COOL, let’s not go! She’s only in preschool, so thankfully homework hell has not descended upon us, but when it does – FORGET IT! Well, that might be a bit of stretch. Discipline is still a valuable thing for her to learn, but guess what, I’M NOT HELPING WITH ANY OF IT! I encourage any parent that beat’s themselves up because they are not competing at the same level as their parent friends on activities, letting their child watch some TV, or has ever forgotten little Billy at the grocery store, check out the podcast, you’ll feel much better about how sh*tty you are.

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One thought on “Does Scheduling Kids Activities Help… or Hurt? Economics of Parenting

  1. Very funny! Validation is a great thing!!

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