I read Tim McGrath's article with horror and delight. He was dead on in describing what good intentioned parents are doing with their children. Society has changed a little since we were kids. I could identify with section when he spoke of the neighborhood kids getting together to play ball. We kids organized the teams, gathered "equipment" and set agreed upon rules.
The only time a parent's voice was heard was when you were called to dinner or to complete chores.
Most of us were involved in some sort of organized activity, church or school choir, community or school team. But our parents did not schedule every waking moment of our time. Its funny, when I run into friends from the neighborhood, the self-organized activiites are the items of pleasant discussions.
I started to see the trend of over scheduled kids when my daughter was growing up. Mind you she was pretty busy but she had down time. She chose her all of her activities. The only rule was that she had to complete the season.
Her senior year I attended a ton of banquets from her soccer to the band. It was like working a second shift. These events were unbelievably long. Why? Each kid received a certificate on stage.
In the dark ages when I was growing up, only the gifted or star kids were given special recognition. Everyone else on the team stood up when their name was announced. The certificated were dispersed the next day.
Too me, that was sane. By dragging all those kids on stage it makes everyone feel special. (Disclaimer, my daughter was good in the band, choir, track, TV station etc. She was exceptional in soccer but she chose to cheer. So she fell in the certificate group.)
EVERYBODY IS NOT SPECIAL ALL THE TIME. You respected those around you. You sad quitely in church, assemblies, in restaurants, stores and theaters.
A second installment of McGrath's story should involve the grown kids. Employers are stuck with the end product. It took me two years to break my staff of their tattling habit or making my office the local dump.
Given the opportunity, the average person can work through any situation. I will be retired by the time this latest generation of brats hits the work place.