Over parenting

Like many Perth families, Emma Anthonisz's weekly planner is busy; with four kids under seven every moment is mapped out; from swimming to piano lessons.

According to the experts, life in the fast lane is coming at a cost to our kids.

"What they don't need is for us to smothering and completely micro managing every moment of their lives." Journalist and author, Carl Honore says Australian families aren't as relaxed as they seem.

"Australia has this reputation as being very laid back, beers, beaches bbq... and that extends to family life, but what I have seen it's not the case- a lot of aussie families have caught the virus of busy and hurry."

He's a world-renowned slow movement ambassador- travelling the globe preaching "less is more" "children are highly scheduled and everyone is running around and every moment is a race against the clock."

According to Carl, parents today have become obsessed with creating the perfect child, overcommitting their kids and overloading schedules.

It's even been branded "Hyper Parenting" and today's kids are feeling the pressure, "hyper parenting, helicopter parenting mum and dad constantly hovering overhead, in Canada they talk about snow plow parenting."

Wesley College Principal David G says he sees many parents over commit their kids to extracurricular activities, "we want our young girls and boys to be the best they can be not always thinking they have to be the best."

According to David it's a tough balance, between giving students opportunities and space to grow up.

Carl says over-scheduling every aspect of a child's time means they may struggle later in life, "some parents believe it or not are accompanying their 20 something year old children to job interviews and helping them negotiate salary packages."

The signs your child is doing too much include eating meals in the car, feeling exhausted regularly and not excited about their activity.

According to Carl we all need to embrace our inner tortoise, "I think we all have an inner hare and inner tortoise a natural inclination to go fast but we need to embrace slowness but today it's always the hare who has his hands on the leavers."

For fast paced families, Carl recommends-

Scheduling free time, eating meals at the table, and let your child take the lead by arranging the planner one day of the week.

As for the Anthonisz family, they've found a balance; ensuring two days on the week are commitment free.


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