How to Spot Burnout in Children and Get the Help They Need

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Is it possible that your kid is just burnt out and not depressed? A parent who is sensitive to their child's feelings will spot the signs of burnout in children. When this happens, the parent can support the child and help the child get out of burnout.

Why Kids Burnout?

When kids are overload with activities and are dealing with too much stress too often, this can lead to burnout. No matter how happy they are and how much they love soccer, ballet, or whatever they are good at and enjoy doing, they can still burn out. When this happens, it can be a struggle to motivate the child to work on the things that caused the burnout.

The pandemic, for one, has caused many kids to burnout. With all the adjustments, the learning curve, the truckload of home-assigned reading, research, and questionnaires, and the taking away of a significant portion of their social life, the new normal had its way of burning out children.

Though, children are better at masking burnout than adults. It can be hard to notice changes in the child's behavior due to burnout. But knowing the signs of burnout can prevent the child from completely shutting down due to burnout.

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Signs of Burnout in Children

Negativity or indifference can be a burnout child's way to show his feelings. When the child turns to apathy and stops caring about things, it could be a sign of burnout, Understood revealed. They may also try to make excuses to avoid certain situations, even if it is a virtual group.

Further, unexplained anxiety or fear can intensify when burnt-out. The child may show signs of anxiety-like crying each night due to burning out from schoolwork, for example. Either that or they may respond with negativity or irritability. Being easily upset at little things they used to not make a big deal of in the past could be a sign of burnout.

Procrastination and trouble concentrating are also signs of burnout. They will do everything they can to avoid taking on their responsibilities. They may try to stall or complain as a sign that they have had too much of what they believe they can handle.

These are signs they need support to help them cope. They may also need to have their responsibilities lightened.

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Mental Health Check, Valid Reason to Miss School

Oregon and Utah are two states who have passed laws that recognize behavior health concerns and mental health issues as valid reasons to miss school, HuffPost reported. The lawmakers are beginning to realize that, like adults, kids may need to take a break from school to focus on their mental health.

Kids these days need to put up with lot-distance learning while in isolation and a great deal of uncertainty and significant community changes.

It has been a whole year since the pandemic began, and pediatric psychologist Ann-Louise Lockhart said kids are exhausted because of it. "Many feel discouraged, unmotivated, and fatigued as a result of the pandemic," Lockhart explained.

The psychologist reminded parents to support their children to ensure the kids are getting enough balance and rest. Now that there are measures in place to resume in-person learning, kids are understandably anxious.

Kids face new worries about COVID-19 and old concerns about their peers, how they can catch up on schoolwork, and concerns about bullying, among others.

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As such, lawmakers recognize that kids deserve their mental health day as much as anyone. During this time, kids, as well as teens, can prioritize self-care to prevent burnout.

In a culture that celebrates work to the point of burnout, parents are the ones who need to remind their kids that it is ok to slow down. That period of rest can be very helpful in bringing back their vigor and enthusiasm in life.

Parents can support their children by telling them to place importance on their mental and emotional well-being and not just their grades.

How to Help Kids Overcome Burnout

First, it is vital to help the child identify what is causing them to burnout. Where is the majority of their stress coming from?

Then, teach them healthy coping strategies-walking, exercise, cold showers, deep breathing, reading, and listening to calming music-because not all sources of stress can be eliminated.

Helping them with time management, discipline, and setting routines can help prevent burnout and plan activities together and consider taking a day off to be with them.

It is vital to have a judgment-free, open-ended conversation so the child feels safe communicating their feelings. The child should know he is free to recharge and let go of feelings of guilt at not being able to achieve all and do everything as expected.

Finally, explain that a mental health check does not mean blowing off one's responsibilities. Instead, it is responsible for one's mental health to keep up with one's many responsibilities.

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