Can’t We Give Summers Back to Our Kids?

I’ll admit it. I’m growing weary of hearing fellow parents brag about all of the academic acceleration they have planned for their kids this summer. Of the additional math they can get in summer boot camps. Of the foreign language immersion or the year ahead they can get in another academic subject by spending their summer months in a dark concrete box with no windows and no distractions.

The edu-wife hates me for saying it, but I want my kids to get “free-range” summers, a short part of their year where they can just enjoy being kids. I yearn to go back to a time when the summers were for bike riding and swimming and whiffle ball and all of those activities that are now seen as “distractions” by the very helicopter parents who once enjoyed them.

Over at Medium, my latest piece for the Ashoka Foundation’s Changemakers series focuses on the need to just let our kids be kids, particularly during the summers. As I write:

I look at my own kids, and their classmates, and feel great empathy for their generation. Too many are denied a real childhood. Too many are told, at the youngest of ages, that if an activity doesn’t help them get into a top-tier college, then it isn’t worth doing. Too many are given a warped sense of priorities at far too young an age.

Happy reading!




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