I feel this. In China too, so many of the students in my class have countless after school lessons/clubs/activities.
I read it in Alfie Kohn’s Unconditional Parenting too, which I really need to get around to finishing.
“Few parents have the courage and independence to care more for their children’s happiness than for their success.”2 In extreme cases, the “press for success” can reach a fever pitch, such that the child’s present is essentially mortgaged to the future. Activities that might bring meaning or enjoyment are sacrificed in a ceaseless effort to prepare for Harvard (I’ve come to refer to this process as “Preparation H”). The bottom line is never far from the minds of such parents, who weigh every decision about what their children do in school, or even after school, against the yardstick of how it might contribute to future glories. They are not raising children so much as living résumés, and by the time high school arrives, the kids have learned to sign up for activities strictly to impress college admissions committees, ignoring (or, eventually, losing sight of) what they personally find interesting in the here-and-now.