The ambitious Indian American parents are daily raising the bar for their children – more academic and extra-curricular activities than ever before. Extra math and science classes, advance standing courses…. every parents is trying to make their kids into a prodigy (and into ivy league colleges!). Then soccer, basketball, swimming and Lacrosse (their Indian friends are still figuring out what kinds of a game is that!)
Then there is cultural elements – learning Indian music, Instruments, dances, languages etc. Not to mention faith of their forefathers. Parents often say, “We came to America to provide best of opportunity for our kids. We never had it so good and we want our children to be more successful than us.”
ABC News recently carried a story on Busy Kids. Another story on Fox how parents are using text messaging to keep track of overscheduled kids.
Result is evident all around us: frustration, stress, burn out, depression… even suicidal tendencies. Most children are pushed beyond what they naturally capable of. Also their strength are never taken into account. Often children are forced to achieve the unfulfilled dreams of their parents. Hyperscheduled, superbusy kids, taking university classes at jr. high etc are all too common among Indian Americans. And many are paying a high price.
Psychologists tell that children should be allowed downtime, free play and simply hang out with friends. The second generation in most cultures are less motivated and success oriented as compared to their immigrant parents. Due to their extra academic pressures, often they have no time for church or faith related activities.