It's not unusual for parents want their children to be well-rounded, but it's the way they and they define well-rounded as acquiring lots of different extracurricular skills, but that Rabbi Shmuley thinks differentlysays is wrong. "What most creates well-rounded kids is not their skills, but whether or not they have emotional stability at their core," he says.
An emotionally stable core comes from a stable family life, Rabbi Shmuley says. When extracurricular activities begin to encroach on family time, they disrupt the normal rhythm of a family. Some consequences include children who are overscheduled, parents that become more like chauffeurs, lack of family dinners and children that don't know how to just be themselves.
To balance your children's schedule, Rabbi Shmuley says:
"The belief that we have to overschedule our kids with extracurricular activities is all born of the American feeling of an inner emptiness. Activities can be enriching, but too many can foster insecurity and emotional instability. Kids should never have so many activities that they disrupt the family or turn Mom and Dad into glorified chauffeurs."
Published on August 21, 2008