Albert Einstein was a universally recognized genius of the 20th Century, but he didn't learn to talk until he was five. That's a favorite anecdote for those who contend that American parents--wanting their kids to have every advantage—are doing more harm than good, over-scheduling them to the point of exhaustion. Kids need more time to hang out and face life on their own. That's one side of a debate that's been raging for 25 years, with the other side insisting that the so-called "hurried child" is doing just fine. We update an argument faced by the latest generation of parents. Is hyper-parenting a national problem or a phenomenon of the upper middle class? Is it kids who are desperate for a simpler life or the people who raise them?
Alvin Rosenfeld, Lecturer, Harvard Medical School's Center for Mental Health
Sandra Hofferth, Professor of Family Science, University of Maryland
Wendy Mogel, Clinical psychologist
Ilene Straus, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Beverly Hills Unified School District