29 Jan Chill, Thrill or Upskill: Overload Warning Signs
Are your kids overloaded with extra-curricular activities? A Sydney clinical psychologist shares four warning signs to watch out for.
If a child is not contributing positively to the activity, as well as struggling to keep up with their everyday activities and commitments, it could be a sign that they have too much on.
If an activity becomes more about the parents’ or coach’s desire for success, a child becomes at risk of developing a ‘false self’, a self that is not who they are or want to be. They can become anxious, or might only participate for the validation rather than the actual enjoyment.
Kids can experience anxiety and resistance because they are afraid and overwhelmed. The activity may have progressed to the next level and children are finding the new skills too challenging. Encourage them to persist, or pause until the child reignites their interest.
Sometimes children display resistance when they are feeling socially left out or the culture focuses too much on competition and not enough on inclusion of all members. Kids may also not be placed in the correct level for their skills. It can be helpful to try a different team or club which values inclusion, where there is a balance between competition and involvement. Sometimes it’s helpful for children to try an activity with a friend.
Image by Vance Osterhout