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"Children need to be occupied, they need structure, they need predictability," the experts tell us. Heaven help you if you don't make sure to keep those sticky little hands busy between late June and Labour Day every year. After all, children need structure right? No they don't.
Parenthood is rife with exasperating platitudes, but I've found none quite so off base as this whole "time flies" business. My son, Emile, will not be out of the house before I know it. Those first three months of his life might as well have been millennia. I could not be more grateful to find out that rather than flying away, Emile has kept my perception of time stuck in slow motion.
The trend towards kids having rigorous schedules is a relatively new phenomenon. Perhaps a result of the pervasive guilt that so many of us share because of our need to work longer hours, we've put our kids in as many lessons as possible, some for practical reasons (after-school lessons and sports practice keeps our kids busy until we can leave work and pick them up) and some...well...not so much.
Unless we self-reflect and make a change we risk becoming the voice we grew up defying. We might live long enough to see ourselves become the villain. The circle of defiance continues except now our children are the rebels and we are the evil empire.
Marc and Craig Kielburger are the co-founders of Free The Children and Me to We, a social enterprise. They are authors of "The World Needs Your Kid: Raising Children Who Care And Contribute," with jou...