The Hurried Child Syndrome

~Laura Zahn


The syndrome defines as a condition where parents over-schedule their children's lives. This includes pressuring them to succeed academically beyond what they are capable of and upholding the expectation for them to behave and react as miniature adults. Within this over-scheduling kids do not have the time for things such as reading, playing, and doing homework.
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Idyllic American Childhood-thing of the past

The hurried child syndrome is becoming the norm. More children are overbooked and stressed out than having fun being bored. This is a problem that has always been with us. More recently the problem has been named the, "Hurried Child Syndrome". Busy children isn't something new, but the factor of parents over booking them with extracurricular activities at a young age is most popular lately.


Some affects of the hurried child syndrome are:

  • Rates of child abuse and homicide have tripled since this disorder
  • Teen pregnancy rates are the highest of Western society
  • Stress related diseases by age 8
  • Head and stomach aches
  • Sleep disorders and bed wetting
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory Lapses
  • Exaggerated fear of failure


Keep a schedule for your children, but allow them to do the activities they like to be involved in. Allow them to have a free day every week where they can unwind. Offer help if your child seems stress. Don't expect them to react as a mini adult. Realize everything in a child's childhood is a learning experience. Don't pressure achieve beyond their abilities. Remove the unrealistic dependency on your children to secure your own self worth in unfulfilled needs.