Recognizing ‘Burn out’ in your child is very important. It’s easy to see it in adults because being stressed is just apart of adulthood. A child who loves their sport dreams about it, worries about it, get’s upset about it, works at it and lives it. Not to different from what we adults do everyday. So lets think about what we do when we are stressed out: Our eating habits and sleep patterns change, our emotions become unpredictable, our pain response never fits the injury, and nothing makes us happy. This is your child suffering ‘Burn out’. Burn out is an injury of the mind and spirit.
Ok, so how to deal with ‘Burn out’....R.E.S.T! R= Rest of course, E= encouragement, S= stimulate and T= treat! Squeezing in some extra time for sleep will be tough to enforce but you will see a difference, and so will they. Forcing them to take a nap on off days will give their bodies extra time to recover. Encouragement should never stop. Even when they are dragging the bottom look them in the eye and tell them “ you had a tough day, but you made it”. Think of all of the days you had to motivate yourself just to get out of bed...Now look at your kid! Stimulating a child is about bring back the fire! Turn off everything negative, especially the News! Having inspirational movie night will lift everyone’s spirits. My go to movies are ‘Remember the Titans’, ‘Soul Surfer’, ‘Secretariat’, The new ‘Karate kid’ and ‘Stick it’. Watching shows like “The Biggest Loser” will remind them that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Now treating a child is the fun part. For my daughter getting her nails done between gymnastics meets is huge. Her hands stay so torn up, that a little nail polish goes a long way! What ever puts a smile on their face, do it! After an emotional day, waking up to a note on the bathroom mirror or their favorite breakfast will start the day off right.
None of these things work over night. It didn’t for me. But letting them quit is never the answer. Now if your making your child do a sport they NEVER wanted to do in the first place, thats different! If your child is a piano prodigy and he’s getting beat down on the football field every practice and serving water every game, thats different! You as a parent need to be REALISTIC! If your child who once had “The Fire” is now having crying spells “R.E.S.T! If your child is stuck, and is having trouble learning a new skill “R.E.S.T! If your wondering “Where is my child”, R.E.S.T!
Most adults still have no idea how to handle stress, so don’t expect your kid to! ‘Burn out’ or Sports related Depression is very real.
I tell my daughter “You only break down, when your heart is in it!”
In extreme cases please talk to your doctor!
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