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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Busy children do well


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I can sure relate to that--as my DD juggles ballet, flute, school etc, quite calmly, I am biting my nails and making lists in my head at 3 AM!


I am determined to chill out this year-thanks for sharing the article.

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Hard to dispute that parents are frazzled trying to keep up with their children.


I’m confused by the article though.


“We found that the very active children were thriving emotionally,” said Hofferth, a family science professor. “In contrast, children who had the fewest activities were the most withdrawn, socially immature and had the lowest self-esteem.”


Without seeing the original research the questions that come immediately to mind are:

1. causality – perhaps it is the children who are most withdrawn, socially immature and with the lowest self esteem who are the least interested in, or the least able to handle multiple activities. Pursuing additional activities wouldn’t necessarily address the difficulties these children were experiencing.

2. environment – perhaps the children pursuing the fewest activities are also the children with the least family resources to pursue said activities (money, transportation, parental support, etc.) So the social and emotional difficulties experienced by these children reflect something other than the number of activities they pursue.


Also the article goes on to say:

Her research, published last month as a book chapter in “Life Balance: Multidisciplinary Theories and Research,” followed children ages 9 to 12. Only one in four kids met the criteria of hurried — three or more activities or more than four hours devoted in a two-day period, Hofferth found. The vast majority of kids — 58 percent — were balanced, meaning they were pursuing only one or two activities, and 17 percent were involved in no activities.


It’s not clear them if the balanced children (58%) are the ones thriving emotionally - which is what conventional wisdom tells us - or if it is the minority of hurried children who are supposedly thriving emotionally - which is what the title and opening paragraph seem to imply.


Interesting research I wish the findings were more precisely reported.

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Caliope, you are right. There is probably a great deal of causality in this.


I will continue to pull the article out of my hat, though when my non-dancing friend *tsk, tsk* at me and tell me I am doing my daughter's harm by letting them dance so much. And that by being busy they will have no down time and be completely stressed out.


And I do think that I will relax a little in my worrying about if this is all too much for them. They have never complained once.


They are completely happy and get good grades.

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