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Are our high school kids under too much pressure?

Are our high school kids under too much pressure?

Postby mom2momkc on Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:12 am

I attended a showing last night at Shawnee Mission East of an eye-opening documentary, "Race to Nowhere." So much food for thought about the culture of pressure & competition we've built for our teenagers. Here's more about the film:
The director of the film & the SM East principal will discuss the movie & the issue of stressed-out, over-scheduled kids on the radio today at 11 a.m. on KCUR 89.3.
Has anyone else seen this film? I know it was shown at St. Paul's last year.
Are your teens stressed to the hilt?
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Re: Are our high school kids under too much pressure?

Postby campbellkid on Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:33 am

I do not have a teenager yet, but even at 5 I find myself wanting to sign him up for everything. I had to take a step back and say to myself there is no rush to have him try everything. I often wonder how much of this is brought on by the kids or if they are just following through with the parents expectations. I do believe that kids today have more responsibilities than even when I was a child, they are expected to learn more and be more involved. Also younger kids are dealing with adult issues (sex, drugs and bullying) As a result kids are becoming more stressed and becoming more depressed. I think it is good to have kids involved but I believe it is the parents responsibility to make sure they are not over worked. Who wants a kid to have a midlife crisis at 18?
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Re: Are our high school kids under too much pressure?

Postby JoLynne on Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:39 pm

My middle schooler is stressed to the hilt, and it's only her second week. I've been struggling to try to help her prioritize and decide on a realistic schedule. Just this evening she regretfully decided that doing drama club on top of swim team and orchestra is just too much. She's already dropped out of karate for a while, even though we've enjoyed our family karate classes for several years together. And I haven't even mentioned the homework yet ...
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Re: Are our high school kids under too much pressure?

Postby mygr8crew on Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:06 am

I really wish I could see the documentary and was disappointed that there were not any viewings showing in the Missouri side.

I have two high schoolers and yes, definetely there is a lot of pressure. Some of it we have some control over, such as scheduling too many extra curriculars, etc. Our school (Blue Springs) has institututed this great idea called Wilcat Hour. It makes lunch 1.5 hours long and they eat for a half an hour then they have the other hour for some clubs, go to teachers for tutoring or peer counseling, etc. They don't have an open campus for lunch so they have to stay and utiize something at the school. I think this has been an awesome addition to their schedule. It allows them to maybe do an extra club without having to stay after every day.

Marching band has been a great activity for my daughter but Blue Springs takes their band very seriously and it was pretty stressful her freshman year. It took all year for her to manage school/practice/ccompetitiions without losing it. We also had some issues to deal with, which also helped.

My oldest daughter is a senior and there is a lot of pressure there. She takes the ACT this Saturday and of course there is the hopes of topping the last score. There is the worry over will there be enough scholarship money to avoid college loans. What colleges should she apply? To take or not to take the AP test ? That is the question. Should I have taken this class and not this one? A lot of what ifs.

Drugs, alcohol and sex. There may be pressure (I know that I dealt with this when I was a high schooler) but my kids have been fortunate. They have dealt less with this. But I know it is there. My sophomore daughter has a friend who had a baby this past summer.
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Re: Are our high school kids under too much pressure?

Postby battlefieldmomma on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:48 am

I have not seen the film, but have heard about it. I think that many kids are "overbooked" with both homework & extra curricular activities which consume much of the weekend so there is no down time.
I also think that "no child left behind" is a horrible law and that our education system needs to be completely reworked.
I am concerned when I hear from mothers with college age children who have told me that their kids were not prepared for college - ie, organizing/prioritizing their time & workload.
So, what to do? Stress is a part of life. I'm trying to teach my kids how to prioritize and how to build down time into their schedules.
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