Training kids to be workaholics

Upper-middle-class parents are training our kids to be workaholics, writes Laura in Apt. 11d.

In the past six weeks, Jonah has been swamped with homework. He had five huge cumulative midterm exams and one huge project for an elective class that was supposed to be fun, but wasn’t. After he puts in a full day at school, he goes up to his room and works until 11 or so.

He’s not alone. A father told her husband “that his son, who goes to a magnet high school for smart kids, does homework until 1 am every evening.”

This is crazy, writes Laura. Children need time to “discover their interests and daydream.”

The key job market skill that kids will need in the future is adaptability. And the key life skill that all kids should acquire is how to have fun.

Sometimes I think that all this homework is a plot to train kids to work some soul-crushing, 80-hour per week UMC (upper middle class) job. It’s not teaching them knowledge. It’s training them to sit at a desk for hours and hours.

Parents should push back, writes Laura. “It’s better to be a B student and have a life, than to be an A student who has never had the time to develop.”

For students aspiring to elite colleges, high school is far more demanding than it used to be. But few upper-middle-class parents tell their children the key life skill is how to have fun.

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