Overscheduled kids

...is one of the most popular topics we do on AirTalk, with seemingly everyone having a strong opinion about whether “enriching” children’s lives can harm childhood.

For disadvantaged kids, we hear so often about how they benefit from their parents’ financial sacrifices to give them experiences beyond what is available in school.  Even that modeling of parents going the extra mile is probably a powerful motivation for kids to embrace learning and personal growth.

We also hear about the over-scheduled child with no time for puttering, thinking, creating, or disorganized play -- despite most of us agreeing that kids need time for these non-goal oriented activities.

So where is the balance?  Tuesday morning on AirTalk, we’ll try to answer that question.  I welcome your input here.


Shutting kids out

Thursday morning on AirTalk, we asked listeners what they thought of the growing trend of restaurants and airlines excluding young kids altogether, or limiting where they can be.  Malaysian Airlines bars infants from first-class, while a Pennsylvania restaurant has decided to ban kids under the age of six.  My wife and I enjoy a local restaurant that regularly features jazz, but doesn’t allow kids.

I was surprised by the overwhelming percentage of listeners who supported the bans.  Very few called in to challenge restaurant patrons to be more tolerant of children’s behavior.

Though it’s an unscientific sample, it represents many people who’ve had enough of kids acting out publicly, without parents taking action.  I’m sure you’ve seen examples of both excellent and deficient parenting in public places.  It’s unfortunate that some airlines and restaurants feel they have to consider this action to protect their environments for other customers.  However, many of our listeners clearly want to see the practice expanded.  What do you think?