Are Over-Scheduled Kids Missing Out on Childhood?

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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


Warren Olney