Is My 5-Year-Old Burnt Out? Lessons Learned

Lessons Nr 1

A few days later, a new belt later…  It seems that my young TKD master has revived.  Perhaps  the decision of quitting was just a result of a bad day, perhaps the new belt had extra-motivational powers? Whatever it was the break is called off.

But I’m glad I agreed on quitting the sport to support his decision. And I’m happy that I gave him a chance to rethink things and get back to the routine when he was ready.


Lesson Nr 2

After my son had been ready to give up all of his after-school activities, as well as school itself, I  gave the whole thing more thought. Was my son really burnt out? Was he given too much to handle? Am I not motivating him right? Would he rather do something else?  Then I realized that the problem was not the schedule or activities as such. He likes Spanish and loves martial arts. The problem was my approach. I was constantly trying to optimize his schedule,  change days, add hours, move hours, take away hours… And what’s worse, I was consulting my son on the issue. I thought I was including him in the process, but in fact I made him co-responsible for planning his days. Was that not too much to handle!  In other words, when I showed him that he could make changes to his daily agenda, he took the opportunity.

Now, when he tries to convince me he is too tired for his classes,  I don’t engage in a discussion. I just remind him that he has made a commitment and suggest an earlier bedtime. Works wonders.

But of course, I am not going to fill his days to the brim. Making time for biking with friends and doing nothing is just as important.  There is only as much as a little guy can handle.


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