To say that young children hardly ever experience stress and are not prone to having burnout, would be an entirely flawed statement.
Your child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. Understanding this, it is important to keep a check on their behaviour, for they might be experiencing a burnout that you might not even be aware of.
It can be several days, or weeks before the first definite signs of a burnout appear in your child’s behaviour. Identifying these signs at an early age can help you take the right steps to help your child get out of their state of mental exhaustion and return to their naturally happy state of being.
Here are some of the signs that indicate that your child might be suffering from a burnout:
Lack of Motivation - The sports or extracurricular activities that your child once used to enjoy now don’t seem to excite them at all. You notice them lacking the zeal to participate in most activities.
Procrastination - Delaying school tasks is becoming more and more prevalent now. It takes more than just a few reminders to get them to do their tasks.
Undersppreciating their own efforts: They start undermining themselves and the work they are good at or know they can do well in. Sentences like “Yes, this is fine but I could have done better” can be an indicator of negative self-talk.
A Fall in Grades - Your child is getting lower than their usual grades all of a sudden. On confronting them, they don’t seem to have an answer or are uninterested in the conversation altogether.
Frequent Mood Swings - Your child starts to showcase extreme sadness, or aggressiveness one minute and is completely fine and unbothered immediately after.
Losing Confidence - The things that your child once used to be good at, are now becoming the source of anxiety and underconfidence in them. They start making excuses to avoid engaging in these activities.
So, how can you help your child when you notice these symptoms surfacing in their behaviour?
These tips will help you in taking the right path to deal with your child’s burnout.
Acknowledge and Talk About It
After noticing the changes in your child’s behaviour, you should sit with them and talk about what they are feeling. Show empathy and understanding rather than disappointment and anger.
Do Fun Activities Online
Take some time out often for kids' indoor activities. If they are losing interest in what they used to like and are not gaining it back despite trying, maybe it's better for them to explore new hobby classes ideas. Let them take up online hobby classes like pottery, calligraphy, and zumba, to get excited again.
Set A New Daily Routine
Sometimes, simply switching up the daily routine can save your child from a burnout. Let your child explore and make a new day planner for themself. Try keeping the sessions shorter and incorporate several short breaks for relaxing.
Set Realistic Expectations
Setting realistic and achievable expectations can give your child a much-needed sense of achievement that can help them get over their blues. Along with achievable targets, let them off the hook sometimes if they are unable to succeed. Constant criticism can do more harm than good.
Learning how to deal with your child’s burnout is an essential parenting skill. Young children might not be able to figure out why they are experiencing a burnout, and if left alone, they may not be able to deal with it and can shut down instead.
Parents should keep a check on the early warning signals and take the advised steps to help their little ones come out of their mental slump.