Many children at some point experience burnout in an activity they are participating in. How the adults in the situation handle issues has a great amount to do with whether the burnout is a permanent issue, or only temporary. Appropriate guidance can result in a return to the activity, while meddling and pushing can have the child running for cover.
You should always first consider the personality of your child. Many children who are shy do not enjoy gymnastics much because of the amount of attention they receive as well as the clothing that is worn. A self-conscious child will likely be miserable the entire time but possibly agree to take the classes just to make a parent happy. This can result in a child burning out much sooner, rather than later. If you suspect this is the problem with your child’s burnout it may be best to avoid gymnastics until they decide they are ready to return.
For parents of children who normally rush and run to the car to ensure they are on time for practice and lessons there needs to be a special time when other activities are arranged. Whether it is a day at an amusement park, visiting a museum, or even hanging out with friends away from the gym everyone needs a break on occasion to help them rejuvenate and keep their spark. While your child needs time to practice in order to improve, you should never push them to only practice, rather than allowing them some time to have fun.
Parents are also guilty at times of turning gymnastics into a chore for their child rather than a fun activity or hobby. If you are guilty of this, you may be doing serious damage to your child’s love of gymnastics. In order for a child not to burn out quickly, they need to enjoy the activity. If they feel as if they are being forced to go, and are unable to really enjoy it they are going to quickly lose interest. Instead, while gently providing the support your child needs the idea of gymnastics should be fun and entertaining first, and a powerful lesson in sportsmanship, strength training, and fitness second.
If you suspect that your child is on the road to a burnout quickly take action. Whether it involves taking a fast trip to a miniature golf course or even a round of shopping at the mall, find another activity that your child enjoys for them to spend some time on. This can help quickly combat a burnout before it fully sets in. In addition, just fitting a few other activities in can help ensure that burnout stays at bay.
For the sake of scheduling purposes and also to help provide everyone with plenty of time to rest, you should determine one day a week that is devoted to rest and relaxation. This means a movie day, spa day, or even just lounging by the pool working on a suntan. Make a rule that there is no gymnastics, no workouts, nothing that requires great amounts of brain thought so that your child can rest their entire body, mind and all for the rest of the coming week.
By taking some proactive steps to avoid burnout you can help your child continue to improve, while still enjoying gymnastics. Proper steps taking in advance means a much healthier and well balanced lifestyle for your child as well which leads to a much happier adult. Remember, large amounts of stress can quickly contribute to burnout and should be avoided. Your child is counting on you to help them recognize and combat the signs before they become a serious problem.