After school programs make me angry. Our society is in a state where most of the time both parents and any family members that might be able to help take care of and parent children are unavailable for most of the day. Instead of making parents available to parent their kids by changing this fact, they offer to parent our children for us in after-school programs.
This is not a good thing. If we are going to continue to have families in our society they need to spend more than 2 hours a week awake and in each other’s company. Family time should be the GOAL of having children. The goal for parents should not be to raise productive, socially acceptable drones for someone to employ at low wages and few benefits. Our goals are focusing on the wrong things! I looked at several articles on “how children spend their out-of-school time.” Every article I could find listed the advantages of after school programs as “successful” children. “Success” being measured by standardized tests and earning power.
Are these really the goals we want to set for ourselves and our children? It’s no wonder to me that most Americans report they are unhappy. Of course we are. We are valuing prestige and earnings above our emotional health! How many “unhappy” Americans are in soul-stealing jobs that discourage creativity and encourage “fake it until you make it?”
In summary I believe that out-of-school programs are going to push us further in the wrong direction. How long until we are scheduling all our children’s time with government run and funded programs? How long until we just turn over our kids to them in the morning while we go to our drone jobs and only see them in the late evening? How many of you already live like that? The goal should be: allow more parenting time for parents, not set up more in-lieu-of-parents programs.