As the month of June begins, most of us are getting our children ready for school. This is also the most stress full time for children. Children love vacations as it is a great time of rest and enjoyment for them. As school starts, there are many academic and sports activities that take precedence and there is hardly any time left to rest or enjoy.
Research has said that most children suffer from school burn out due to the excess stress involved. Many parents are not aware about school burn out and how it affects children.
School burn out means over stress of school related activities like studies, homework and also overscheduling of their after school time, leading to no time for rest and play.
If we look at a normal school day, it is loaded with school, after school tuition classes, homework, sports activities etc. There is absolutely no time for a child to relax, as they keep running from one activity to another.
Most of the time, it is almost unfeasible to accommodate all these activities in the child’s daily routine. This overscheduling of activities, leads to stress and school burn out.
- Some of the symptoms of school burn out are
- Let us look at some ways to address the school burn out problem.
- Take a look at a child’s daily schedule.
- Prioritise important things in their schedule.
- Have a healthy and balanced family diet.
- Try and limit the expectations from your children.
- Good free play time or exercise time.
- Good rest and sleep.
- Encourage them to pray and depend on God as their source.
- Involve them in volunteering for charitable purposes.
- Keep a family time together.
Some of the symptoms of school burn out are
- Feeling tired.
- Anxiety and stress.
- Headaches and migraine.
- Low self-esteem.
- Fearful and sweating.
- Lack of hunger
- Heart burn and acidity.
- Getting angry and bad temper.
- Feeling guilty and helpless.
- Lack of concentration in studies.
Let us look at some ways to address the school burn out problem.
Take a look at a child’s daily schedule.
A child’s daily schedule should be the first thing that you should look into, as this will give you a clear idea of the time they spend on each activity. After assessing their schedule, it is time to ask your child what is of more interest to them and accordingly knock off the unnecessary activities.
Academics are important and thus we cannot do much on this front. Take into consideration the interest of the child before deciding on their after school activities. It is also important to keep track as to why the child is not enjoying a particular activity. If you have enrolled your child for a sports activity and he/she does not like it, then you need to ask them the reason for their dislike, whether it is the trainer or the ambience or anything else, before taking the decision to pull out.
Prioritise important things in their schedule.
It is good to prioritise and give time for the most important things. Schedule the child’s things properly, with enough time for rest and play. When they are back from school give them enough time to eat and relax before they start doing their homework or going for tuitions.
We all want our children to excel, not only in studies but also in extracurricular activities. In doing so, remember not to overburden them with extracurricular activities that you want them to do, rather than what they want to do. Give them space and time to do their own things and at the same time relax also.
Have a healthy and balanced family diet.
It is important to have a healthy and balanced family diet. Keep the diet full of vegetables, fruits, oily fish and other foods high in proteins, minerals and vitamins.
A diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, good fats and carbohydrates, will help in keeping your child physically fit and healthy.
Try and limit the expectations from your children.
Many times parents overburden their children with high expectations. The child is under enormous stress to fulfill the desires of their parents. Many times the stress associated with this quest leads to the fear of failure, low self-esteem and depression.
It is important to understand your child’s potential and make effort to nurture their inherent talent and likes, rather than forcing them to follow your unfilled dreams.
Good free play time or exercise time.
It is important to give them unstructured time, for their play time or for any exercises like jogging, running etc. Daily exercises or physical activities will help boost their energy, concentration, fitness etc.
Children who are small enjoy their time playing and running around, which is very good exercise for them. Ensure that your child has a daily free play time, which will keep his/her mind and body fit.
Good rest and sleep.
Good rest and sleep is a very essential part for nuturing a healthy body. Sleeping for a good 8-9 hours is very important to relax and restore your energy, which is utilised thorough out the day.Ensure that your child enjoys his/her childhood and is not overburdened with too many things.
Encourage them to pray and depend on God as their source.
Encourage your children to pray daily and trust in God for all their needs. There will be many moments in their life when you will not be with them. They should be brought up in faith and hope, trusting God to give them wisdom to face any and every situation in their life.
Involve them in volunteering for charitable purposes.
It is important to involve your child in different charitable activities or encourage them to volunteer for some good cause. This will help them to learn different important life lessons, like generosity, kindness, reaching out and helping others. This will give them peace and happiness. They will also realise that there are many more important things in life beyond academics etc. This will also help them to live and think positively.
Keep a family time together.
No matter how difficult the situation is, keep a family time for sharing and understanding each other. Daily, make it a point to say family prayers together or have dinner together and keep some time for chatting and relaxing together. You can ask them about their school day and activities or play some mind games together. This will help increase the family bonding.
These are some easy ways to help your child avoid school burn out. Help them to enjoy their childhood and at the same time get them focussed on the important things in life. A happy childhood will make them responsible adults in the future.
Please read our earlier article Top 8 ways to help your children get ready to go back to school.
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