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June 27, 2014

New and (Definitely Not) Improved Summer

by Mary Jo DiLonardo

I miss the way summer used to be. I remember being bored when I was a kid. We’d wander around the neighborhood, looking for someone to hang out with. Hopefully we’d scare up enough kids for Kick the Can, or maybe Ghost in the Graveyard. Some days, we’d walk to the library or to get an ice cream.

Man, I sound old.

Now, kids are overbooked — even in summer. My teenager has a part-time job at an area park, plus he gives piano lessons, and pet-sits. On top of that, he has to do summer work for four honors and AP classes for school next year. He griped, and rightfully so, that he felt like he didn’t have a summer at all.

I take some of the blame. When he said he wanted a new computer, I let him decide how to pay for it. I should have helped him figure out that, with all those jobs, his summer would be shot.

I worked during summers in high school, too, but only a couple of hours a day. I sure wasn’t doing tons of reading and essay-writing to get ready for a school year that would require all-nighters and worrying about whether I was doing what it takes to get into college.

As parents, I think we always need to look at our children to make sure they’re not taking on too much. They seem so tough sometimes that we forget they’re just kids.

Is your kid too busy? Here’s a quiz to help you find out.

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