It’s the start of a new school year and back-to-school time is often a rebirth of sorts, but that rejuvenation can be short-lived. Unless parents take some precautions, they might end up burnt out, by April. Like running a marathon, pacing is everything. For recent television coverage on this topic click here
In today’s demanding world, parents and their children feel pressured to appear more perfect than the next door neighbors. Throw in technology that seems to change daily and requires parents to take courses to keep up, now you have what I call a generation and growing of burnt out parents, or as I have coined it “Burnt out parent syndrome”. Parents, at their core, have lost their way, and their own needs fall behind as they attempt to manage those of their children. How can parents care for their children’s emotional, spiritual and individual needs when their own are neglected?
Remember that parents have to have their needs met before they can help their children (think about parents on planes who are advised to put their oxygen masks on before they assist their children with theirs). But often during the increasingly busy school year, parents gradually put their needs aside to meet their children’s needs. This creates a scenario for parent burnout by mid-spring. Some parents may expect to be coming into the homestretch when spring break is over, but the last months of school can be brutal for kids and even more so for their parents who are managing it all. Kids may have state exams, spring sports, class trips, final projects, and final exams. Homestretch coming in March? No way. Activities and pace of life for kids are all just gearing up. How can parents prepare now for the last stretch of this year long-marathon? Here are some tips: