Is your Teenager's Schedule Causing Overwhelm?
7 Signs Your Teenager’s Schedule is Overwhelming
Many times, it can be difficult to tell if your teenager’s schedule is stressing them out. We want our kiddos to be well rounded, but how much is too much?
As a parent, I have signed up my daughters for surfing, acting, karate, pottery, dance, ice hockey and on and on. When overwhelm pops into my life, the question is “how do I help my overwhelmed teenager?”
Sometimes we have to look at the things we helped create, and that starts with the schedule. You know your child best, and some children thrive on an active life. My oldest becomes bored without constant activity (and let’s face it – so do I).
Whether your child is thriving with a busy schedule or needs a breather, let's look at 7 signs that your teenager’s schedule is overwhelming.
It’s ok to pause and look at the schedule and change nothing. It’s ok to look at your teenager’s schedule and decide that it needs tweaking. However, parents need to know the signs to look for to spot overwhelm.
Signs to Identify an Overwhelmed Teenager
1. Isolation & No Social Life
If overwhelm is present, social interactions might fade. Is your child settling for binge-watching Netflix instead of going out with friends?
They’ve got schoolwork, assignments, college plans, and a host of other things. If your child would rather stay alone, then there’s a chance that their schedule is overwhelming.
Monitor this behavior, because drastic changes in social activity might be signs of other mental health struggles outside of schedule overwhelm.
2. Insufficient Sleep
Another sign that your teenager’s schedule is overloaded is lack of sleep. In an attempt to meet deadlines and get ready for tests, teens tend to stay up late.
Procrastination could be the reason for late nights, but it might also be outside activities that are pushing homework to the midnight hour.
If your teenager is lacking sleep, notice if they have increased irritability. If they are increasing their caffeine intake this could also be an indicator of lack of sleep.
3. Perfectionist Traits
An overwhelming schedule doesn’t cause perfectionism. However, a heavy schedule might cause the traits of perfectionism to become magnified.
Is your child worried about failing even when they have a 98? Are they focused on class rank more than normal?
Do they become irritable when you question the amount they work?
If so, you might wish to reach out to a mental health provider to help your child manage these concerns and their heavy schedule.
4. An Overly Busy Schedule
Does your child seem busier than you? Then something is wrong.
Adults have many demands placed on them. but children now deal with school, job, church, and more activities. Are 24 hours in the day sometimes too little?
Make sure your teen has some downtime to balance their activities.
5. Unusually Calm Attitude
As stated earlier, some teens thrive on pressure, and you won’t see any signs of overwhelm. However, don’t assume that the pressure isn’t there.
This is why it is crucial to keep the lines of communication open. Ask what pressures their friends are facing and see if they are feeling the same things. If not, why not?
6. Excuses and Excuses
One point parents often overlook is the excuse routine.
Have you noticed that your child won’t go to the park with you because she’s “got school work to attend to?”
Don’t let that slide. When your teen says “I need to finish up my assignment,” it may be MANY assignments.
When this becomes a pattern, your teenager’s schedule might be overwhelming.
7. Little or No Communication
Teenagers like privacy, no doubt. But when that privacy makes them more reserved, question it.
Your once bubbly teenager might be dealing with school stress.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Are you seeing any behaviors in your child listed above? Don’t panic! Start a conversation and see what your teenager is feeling. Perhaps they have been asking to reduce their outside activities, and you did not notice their need to do so.
As an academic coach, I’ve seen overwhelmed teenagers become struggling students.
They may need better time management skills or study skills. Re-equipping their toolbox might be what the overwhelm doctor ordered!
Marni Pasch | Team Pasch Academic Coaching
I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors.