WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 160 of 211

haps we wanted to be able to pursue this inter- est as a child, but were unable. Whatever the case, if it is not our child's choice to partici- pate, any benefit will be limited. What if our child has no idea what interests him or her? As parents we can certainly expose our teens to the world of possibilities, however, we have to take care to stay out of the driver's seat. Second, are we managing our expectations appropriately? Undo pressure to succeed on the part of parents — or kids — can rob activities of their positive features and of any inherent fun. Pursuit of excellence is an appropriate goal, as is enjoying an activity just for fun. Where we get into trouble is when the pursuit of excellence becomes linked with scarce outcomes — entrance to Stanford or playing professional baseball; then it becomes impossible pressure. Three, does the activity preclude the essen- tials? School, homework, family chores, time with friends and family, a summer job, and even a bit of downtime are essential compo- nents of childhood. If adding another activ- ity, or ratcheting up involvement in a current pursuit, nudges out time for any of these, it deserves a careful second thought. Perhaps the more relevant question we should ask regarding our adolescents' activi- ties is not "How much?" but rather, "Why?" As Henderson reminds us, "We are developing people, not résumés." And in his experience, that is exactly what colleges and employers are looking for as well. 159 s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e 154-159_WWMa14_family matters_busy_v2_WellesleyWeston Magazine 2/2/14 12:59 PM Page 159

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