3.) It has been said that kids these days are pushed into too many extra-curricular activities and are not given the freedom to play and be bored and to use their imaginations. Is this true?
I wouldn't say ALL children fall into that category but a lot do. In my opinion most of these children would probably be happier if their parents didn't sign them up for football, baseball, guitar lessons and soccer all in one season. Do those kids really need all that extra activity in one day after school and on weekends? Not really. Kids need to be kids and enjoy playing make believe games and exploring the outside world. An eight year old child moderately riding their bicycle for an hour will burn 136 calories. Think about when you were a kid and you used to ride your bike for hours on the weekdays after homework was done and you would ride your bike to your friends house three blocks away and you guys would jump on your bikes to ride to your other friend's house. That would be at least 300 calories burned on one Saturday alone.
I'm not saying that joining extra-curricular activities is bad, but all in moderation. If your daughter likes to dance, then join a few classes a week putting in 4-5 hours a week. But don't add cheerleading which leads to cheering at games on the weekends and night practices along with her dance class schedule. Where does that leave time for family interaction during dinner? It doesn't. You'll be eating dinner in your mini van, grabbing McDonald's or Wendy's or maybe even some Chick Fil A and eating on the run.Well you might as well discredit the activities as being for weight loss. Your child will only be burning those fast food consumed calories and fat. We won't get into how many calories are in those chicken nuggets.
I agree that kids need interaction with other kids in an activity that they love, whether or not they are good at it. But all in moderation. Let kids be kids, they're only little once.