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The Informed Parent

Time to Recover

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Oct. 04, 2016

With school resuming, our children’s time is once again put under stress. Remember, they need time to recharge.

When I listen to the rigorous schedule children are subjected to I cringe. They get up early and go all day without a moment to relax and turn off their brains. School, sports teams, dance classes, music lessons, on and on. Somehow they are expected to get in their studies and homework too.

One wonders why your child is tired, sullen, depressed and unhappy. The human mind and spirit needs regular time to restore itself. Time when nothing is demanded of it. As the school year starts, be sure your child’s schedule allows for this. Don’t punish him if he or she first wants to think or relax. Actually put your child’s schedule on paper and be sure it makes sense.

Literally, is there time to eat as a family, to talk with each other or just to lay on the bed and think? Many times children crowd their schedule with activities because they think you want them to do just that. Indicate to them that down time is OK. Most importantly, don’t live vicariously through your children.

The common signs of “schedule stress” are:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Recurring headaches and stomach aches
  • Tantrums
  • Crabbiness
  • Withdrawal from the family
  • Belligerence

Be helpful to your children. Give them a break.

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