The target market for my book was intended to be people over the age of 25 or so. It looks like my marketing plan will need to be adjusted a bit, in order to accommodate the growing need for 7-year-olds to Escape Adulthood.
That’s right, second graders.
A recent article by Dave Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle highlights the growing problem of parents pushing their children to excel. Apparently, adults have so direly messed up their own lives with hectic schedules, unrealistic expectations and catering to peer pressure, that they are passing Adultitis on to their children.
According to the article, an increasing number of parents (especially those who are working longer hours) are putting their kids in more scheduled activities, while placing great pressure on excelling in those activities and achieving high grades in school. Apparently, there are more and more kids as young as seven who are saying, “This is going to look good on my resume.”
Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, co-author with Nicole Wise of “The Over-Scheduled Child” and the former head of the child psychiatry training program at Stanford’s medical school, said, “Harried schedules also take away the free time that is essential for children to be able to fantasize and create. If Einstein’s parents were alive today, poor little Albert would get a comprehensive evaluation and end up on Ritalin. Deprived of his daydreams, he might not discover the theory of relativity, but he certainly would focus more fully on the complex demands of fourth-grade math.”
A University of Michigan Institute for Social Research study of 3- to 11-year-olds compared the children of 1997 with those of 1981. The ones from 1997 had 12 fewer hours of free time a week, less frequent family dinners and vacations, and virtually no conversations that involved the entire household.
The problem of Adultitis is worse than I thought. The solution? How about we start with lighter schedules, more family dinners, and an old-fashioned conversation or two?