The Hurried Child Syndrome

Are children growing up too fast?

What is the Hurried Child Syndrome?

Much of society believes that children are being hurried into adulthood. This is called the "hurried child syndrome." The majority believes the amount of extracurricular activity children are involved in is too much for children. This can have long term effects on children both mentally and physically. Children are losing their childhood. They have lost their chance at innocence, and carefree times. Children are maturing more quickly than ever before. The maturity level of children today does not match the situations they are put in. What happened to children only having to worry about getting picked first to play kickball at recess? Where has the innocence of childhood gone? Many believe the influence lies in television, marketing, the media, parents, and pressure.
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Over Involved or Sheltered : Balancing the Scale

The Hurried Child Syndrome is the belief that children are over involved. So what is the solution, taking children out of everything they are involved in? Then they lose the social aspect of involvement in their life. Children become sheltered, and socially unstable. There must be a middle point where children are involved, but not over involved so much that it overwhelms them. Participating in team activities, and socializing with others is vital to a child's success. When it becomes too much and the child is overwhelmed, feels pressured, or is experiencing some of the effects of the hurried child syndrome then their involvement has become too much. Therefore, as a society we must find an acceptable point of involvement for children. This of course would depend on each individual child and what they are capable of.

What influences the Hurried Child Syndrome?

Many throw the blame for the hurried child syndrome to marketing, the media, parents, and societal values. Television, and magazines have introduced children to very mature ideas. Dolls, toys, and TV shows show inappropriate images, and perceptions to children. As children though they want to behave like what they are shown. The media makes very mature ideas accessible to children. They want to grow to be like celebrities who are far from role models. Parents can often put increased stress on their children, and often over schedule their children to keep them occupied while they are fulfilling their own busy schedules. As society we value those who are at the top of their game. We find those who are more involved to be more impressive. We should believe that everyone is capable of something though, and not place such high expectations on individuals--especially such young ones.

What are the effects of "hurrying" children?

The hurried child syndrome can have very detrimental effects to the success of a child. The overwhelming feeling can lead to an increase in the number of headaches, unnecessary stress, depression, and even fatally suicide. These effects should be enough for any parent to not pressure their child into over involvement. One must also recognize the effects of not involving a child as well. That can have effects on a child's social capabilities, which are very necessary later in adult life.