Jeff Farris
School days, homework, chores and family activities all take their toll on a young person's time.  Add in an active schedule and little time is left for down time when kids can refresh and recharge their emotional batteries.  When this happens, something has to give or kids begin to suffer from burnout.  Parents and kids may not even be aware that burnout is a problem.  Some symptoms of burnout to watch for include:
  1. Moodiness or irritability
  2. Fatigue or difficulty waking up in the morning
  3. Poor performance in sports or school activities
  4. Loss of interest
  5. Lack of emotion after a win or a loss
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Sadness
  8. Unusual focus on aches and pains
  9. Problems with friends
All of these symptoms are also a part of every childhood.  So, burnout may not always be the cause.  This is one of the many areas where parents are essential to youth sports.  If burnout is the problem, then the answer is to take a vacation or break from a hectic schedule.  Parents should consider limiting their child's activities, providing more unplanned time or simply skipping a practice or game to let a child gain the down time necessary for a balanced life.
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