Is Your Child Doing Too Much? How to Spot the Signs

boy struggling with homework

The benefits of having our children participate in multiple hobbies is clear. It will teach them crucial lessons while also improving their skills in various other parts of their lives. However, there is such a thing as doing too much. While we want our children to participate in as much as possible, we also don’t want to overexert them. Children often don’t understand their own limits, so we, as their caretakers, need to keep an eye out for any signs of stress or exhaustion.

Here’s what you should look for:

Their grades are slipping

Is your typically straight-A student starting to get Cs? If so, they’re likely overwhelmed. While struggling in one class happens to many kids, if your child’s grades are slipping across the board, then it’s likely they don’t have enough time to study. School should always come first. So, if your child’s hobbies are taking too much of their time, you may need to have a talk with them.

Your child is withdrawn, grumpy, or depressed

Over-exhaustion and burnout are most often exhibited in our behavior. If your child is not their usual, happy self, they are likely suffering from burnout. They may become withdrawn, grumpy, or even show signs of depression. If you notice this in your child, it’s better to take action sooner rather than later before the problem gets out of control.

They don’t have fun

Hobbies and sports are meant to be fun. But sometimes, they become obligations that your child feels they have no choice over. Additionally, if your child is doing too much, they won’t have time to relax and have fun with their friends. They may neglect the books they want to read or the video games they want to play in order to meet all their daily obligations.

What should you do?

So, it’s clear to you that your child is trying to do too much at once. But what are you supposed to do? You want your child to do everything they want to, but you also don’t want them to become too stressed out. Thankfully, there are a few avenues you can take.

  • Prioritize: Sometimes, your child can’t do everything. It may be necessary to have that difficult conversation and ask your child which activities they prefer and which ones they could live without.
  • Reschedule: Look at your child’s schedule and see if there’s a way to better organize their daily lives. If your child doesn’t want to give up any of their hobbies, you could see if some hobbies can be rescheduled for the summer when your child is not in school.
  • Get help: Sometimes, burnout and exhaustion become overwhelming. If you’ve tried lightening your child’s load but they’re still struggling, getting outside help may be necessary. Many therapists can help your child better cope with their day-to-day stressors to ensure that they can recover and don’t get overwhelmed again.

At Steadfast Academy, we believe that children should enjoy their childhoods while also protecting their mental health. To learn more about us and our mission, contact us today to schedule a tour!