Are you working your kids too hard. The latest movement in parenting is to leave your kids alone and I think I agree. They only get to be innocent and happy for so long. I am not even such a fan of homework for that very reason. Schools and governments are tyrannical and laying the homework on too thick. Furthermore too many kids that I see, especially ethnic ones, are coming up from school and then stuck working in the family business. Some of these poor kids are working twelve-hour work days between their part time jobs, homework and going to school in the first place.
Then there is the other type of parent that can't leave their kid alone because they are trying to raise a genius. They cram the kids day full of activities like judo, tennis, piano and art class. At home they are put on a program of watching educational televise or working on the computer. Now wonder our kids are so tired. Is a wireless Nintendo that far of a cry away from just handing the kid their own organizer like a Blackberry.
All these activities that we force on our kids impose costs on the parents and they also don't levee your kid any breathing room so he or she can just fool around. Yet another problem with overworking your kids is that it can cause their creativity to be stifled. Yet another problem is that children will develop the attitude that they always think they need others to do stuff for them on a full time basis. They forget to use their own problem solving abilities and fail to see innovative solutions or even obvious solutions to problems. They are overstrained.
Leaving your child alone does not mean being negligent. However it does mean being a little more carefree when it comes to raising them. You don't have to watch them every minute. And you do not have to run every single hour of their lives. Let them breathe and take a stroll every now and then. We are raising kids that are anxious way before their time. Many of them deal with the anxiety that we lay on them with bad habits. Younger children pick their nose or bite their nails. Older children start smoking, drinking and doing drugs. They are self-medicating to eliminate their anxiety.
You need not worry that your kid will be too lazy if you are not on his or her back all of the time. Most kids, when left to their own devices do find something to do. They like to be busy but on their own terms. Doing things on their own terms allows them to discover what they like doing in life as well as their own limitations. Without you around always making decisions for the kid they can learn to make decisions on their own. The result is a healthier, wiser and more confident adult in the end.