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'Race to Nowhere' Hits Home in Weston

Some Weston students have so many activities they don’t get home until after 9 p.m., and then they have homework to do. That was the story told by one mother who spoke  Monday night at a Weston program inspired by “Race to Nowhere,” a documentary about the stress felt by some overachieving students.

The topic was so sensitive that many of the parents at the discussion didn’t want to give their names to The Daily Weston. “One issue that never seems to be addressed is the parental narcissism that drives this. If there were no homework, the parents would fill that time,” said one mom of an elementary school student. “We see all the other parents doing it, so we have to up the ante.”

The discussion was lead by Barbara Levi-Berliner , a Weston mother of three and social worker, who said parents can get as caught up in competition for colleges as students do and often see their child’s choice as a reflection upon themselves. “In Weston, our box of what’s acceptable is very small,” said Levi-Berliner. “Can you open the box?”

Levi-Berliner said she gave her daughter the opportunity to “open the box” after her daughter broke her back and decided she wanted to quilt.

Every age group has a survival issue, said Levi- Berliner.

“This generation of parents has to control their child’s upbringing instead of having faith that they’ll turn into fine adults,” said Levi-Berliner

Sports and activities are just as intense as school work, said Jill Miller of Weston. “Everything is just such a time commitment,” she said.

Parents suggested adding chores such as doing laundry  to make students feel like they're contributing to the family. The first question when a child comes home shouldn't be, "How did you do at school today?" Levi-Berliner said, adding that parents should focus on the learning process instead of the product.

How do you help your child succeed without being stressed out? Email me at shenry@mainstreetconnect.us .

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