Is Your Child Exhausted?

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We all know the signs and repercussions of our own exhaustion– careless mistakes, not being able to express your thoughts clearly, crankiness. You may very well like biting someone’s head off if asked to do something, anything.

If you’re a parent, do you know when your child is exhausted? And I’m not talking about the obvious drowsy heads like when you’ve had an 8-hour day at Disney.

Did your child wake up at an ungodly hour to accommodate your work schedule and then head to school, after-care, dance class, piano lessons, homework time, and finally, Dad’s house for dinner?

Think about your child’s weekly schedule. How much time a day is spent on instrument practice, sports practice, homework, religious instruction, and chores. As they get older, there is the addition of test prep, college applications, tournaments, and perhaps a part-time job.

What happens when Mom and Dad are divorced and there is back and forth between homes, possible step-siblings, and parental tension?

According to Dr. Laurie Hollman, author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence and a psychoanalyst for 30 years, these are the ten signs to look out for:

  1. Increased crying and tantrums
  2. Acting out in school
  3. Not getting enjoyment out of certain activities they used to love
  4. Loss of appetite or overeating
  5. Telling you they are tired or bored when they’ve had enough sleep
  6. Increased fears
  7. Withdrawing into their rooms for too long
  8. Erratic sleeping or wanting you to sleep with them
  9. Losing interest in friendships
  10. Seeming to lose a sense of pleasure and vigor in general

According to Dr. Hollman, enriching your child’s life with violin lessons or art classes is not the problem at hand. The problem is not giving our children enough time to just be kids– to play, act silly, build bunkers under the dining room table, and as they get older, hang with their friends. Dare we say—do what they want to do.

“We’re so goal oriented,” says Dr. Hollman, “everyone in the house needs time with no agenda. Additionally, parents need to curb their own anxieties about their children’s performance in their various activities.”

How should a parent handle their child’s extracurricular life? Here are six tips for listening to your child about their life outside of school:

  1. Don’t scrutinize and judge your child’s performance on their activities.
  2. Watch what you say about school activities, so you don’t push for a competitive edge too hard.
  3. Make sure they have free time to do what they want to do.
  4. Take a step back and don’t react immediately when you see puzzling behavior (“How can you know what to do about a misbehavior before you understand it?”)
  5. Collaborate with your child about which extracurricular activities they prefer.
  6. Value your child’s thoughts, opinions, points of view, and desires by listening carefully to them without interrupting until they are really finished with what they have to say.

Provided by Laurie Hollman, PhD. • lauriehollmanphd.com

Posted in Featured Articles


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  1. Everybody Reads

    July 24 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    July 24, 2017  |  3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    St. George Library
    Join us in the Children’s Room as we read by ourselves for at least 20 minutes, mark the time in our SRP log, and receive a prize!
  2. Craft Around the World

    July 24 @ 3:30 pm
    July 24, 2017  |  3:30 pm - 3:30 pm
    West New Brighton Library
    Craft around the world with us this summer! We’ll be a fun craft of different countries every week!
  3. Game On!

    July 24 @ 5:30 pm
    July 24, 2017  |  5:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Mariners Harbor Library
    Kids build their strategic thinking and interpersonal skills as they play age appropriate tabletop/video games (PS4 & Wii U)
  4. Tot Time Tuesday

    July 25 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
    July 25, 2017  |  10:00 am - 11:30 am
    The Interpretive Center
    Learn about a new plant or animal every week by creating crafts, story time, and playing with other tots!
  5. Little Lion Cubs: Pre-K & Kindergarten Mini-Camp

    July 25 @ 10:15 am - 11:15 am
    July 25, 2017  |  10:15 am - 11:15 am
    St. George Library
    Did your child graduate from kindergarten or a pre-k program this school year? Or, is your child entering kindergarten or a pre-kindergarten program in September 2017? Our Little Lion Cubs Summer Mini-Camp is the perfect way to beat the summer
  6. Toddler Time

    July 25 @ 10:30 am
    July 25, 2017  |  10:30 am - 10:30 am
    South Beach Library
    Enjoy interactive stories, action songs, and finger plays, and spend time with other toddlers in the neighborhood.
  7. Tuesday Storytime

    July 25 @ 11:00 am
    July 25, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Barnes & Noble
    Come on up to the Kids’ Department on the second floor and join us for a fun-filled Storytime!
  8. Tot’s Time Plus

    July 25 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    July 25, 2017  |  11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Your pre-schooler will create artwork, sing along and listen to stories.
  9. Preschool Story Time

    July 25 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am
    July 25, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:30 am
    Port Richmond Library
    Stories, crafts, and play time. Join us for our weekly Preschool Story Time for fun, fun, fun!
  10. Storytime w/ Literacy Inc

    July 25 @ 11:45 am
    July 25, 2017  |  11:45 am - 11:45 am
    Mariners Harbor Library
    Join Literacy Inc. as they host story time! Families are welcome.