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. Five Senses

    November 21 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 pm
    November 21, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:30 pm
    Port Richmond Library
    Get ready for some ooey gooey family fun in this new five-session workshop! A family program designed for preschool children and their caregivers, these sessions will be a hands-on exploration of the five senses hearing, touch, smell, taste and sight.
  2. Preschool Time & Phun with Phonetics

    November 21 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    November 21, 2017  |  4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    New Dorp Library
    Enjoy books, finger plays, action rhymes and a simple craft. For ages two and a half to five years and caregiver. After craft head over to community room to play games with your child to develop new words.
  3. NYRR Open Run

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm
    November 21, 2017  |  7:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Silver Lake Park
    Participants are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before the start of the run and to leave their valuables at home – bag check is not provided. No need to do anything before the run, just show up. Open to all
  4. It’s My Park at Northerleigh Park

    November 22 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
    November 22, 2017  |  8:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Northerleigh Park
    This It’s My Park season, please join Westerleigh Parks Coalition to clean and beautify Northerleigh Park. We look forward to cleaning up the park with you!
  5. Clay Day

    November 22 @ 1:30 pm
    November 22, 2017  |  1:30 pm - 1:30 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Satisfy a “knead” by working with some air-dry clay and create a tactile piece.
  6. Science Time

    November 22 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    November 22, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Join us for this daily program on problem solving, inquiry and creative thinking. Activities include meetings animals from our Bugs exhibit, playing with solar cars, solving puzzle and games or building structures. Time is subject to change each day
  7. Children Coloring Time

    November 22 @ 3:00 pm
    November 22, 2017  |  3:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    South Beach Library
  8. Picture Book Time

    November 22 @ 4:00 pm
    November 22, 2017  |  4:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    New Dorp Library
    Enjoy hearing books read aloud, finger plays, action rhymes, and coloring.
  9. Teen Time

    November 22 @ 4:00 pm
    November 22, 2017  |  4:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    South Beach Library
  10. Story Time

    November 22 @ 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
    November 22, 2017  |  4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Join our staff each day to share and listen to a story related to this months theme, the Letter T. Books about Time, Tortoises,Thanksgiving and other fun themes. TIME SUBJECT TO CHANGE, check by calling the Museum for daily details.