teenage boy looking stressed with post it notes stuck on his face

I am sensing a definite feeling of overwhelm amongst teens. I am not sure if it is post-pandemic related because so many children are behind in their school work, or whether they just got used to doing less for a couple of years and are now struggling to go back to ‘normal’.

Their lives are back to how they were in 2019, i.e. they are much busier again! Some children are feeling like they just can’t fit in everything they want or need to do. It’s a big change going from being busy, then doing nothing again in lockdown, to then being busy again. Not everyone wants the busy lifestyle back and they are feeling a little overwhelmed.

Signs of Overwhelm in Children

If you notice the signs of overwhelm in your child – they are;

  • restless
  • angry
  • short-fused
  • anxious
  • stressed, etc…

Then we need to help them urgently.

Dealing with Overwhelm

Firstly, ask them what they feel overwhelmed by and what can they do to change that feeling. What can they do to reduce the overwhelm – is there anything within their control? You may be able to help them see that some of this is brought on by themselves and they can change it, or that they need to seek help from the teachers/school.

Another thing you can get children to do is put down on paper what they have to do every day. They can then see it visually and together work out a schedule for when they will study, when they can have time to relax and when they will do everything else they need to fit in.

There will be some days when they will be committed to rigid plans and other days when they will have more downtime. That’s how everyone’s day goes – ebb and flow. Having a schedule with timings of how long they will spend on certain things, and when they will do them, will help children to see that there are enough hours in the day.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but planning can really help to keep on top of things. Teach your child this valuable skill and help them to manage their time to beat overwhelm.