Find Tuition/Enrichment Centres

Space out to prevent Burnout

Every parents desire their children to do well in their respective areas, be it academics, music, art, sports, etc. In the midst of striving for excellence, we sometimes forgot that as children grows up; they cultivate their own set of thinking and mindset towards life. What they deem as important, might not necessary be the same as what their parents think. Though many times at that young age, their decisions might not necessary be good for themselves and they do not fully understand why. We might not be able to identify or understanding that mindset but to them it is important and vital that we respect that thoughts and space within them.

The tug of war to do what they want at the very moment in comparison to what parents think is important at the same moment sometimes create conflict. Such persistence conflicts will slowly result in burnout within the child, as their main motivation towards the goal is not internalized. They became unmotivated, upset and tantrums began to surface. They are tired of doing the same thing day in day out; they lose their interest in their school works and their hobbies that they previously enjoyed. These are signs of burnout.

Few months back, while returning home after fetching my girl from school, she casually mentioned that she really enjoy her 20mins recess time because that’s the time she can do whatever she want. My girl grew up with a disciplined and orderly nature. She sets her own priorities and has her own timetable during the day for her schoolwork, hobbies and free time. However, as she get involved in more hobbies/interests and school work gets harder as the years progress, she discovered that she do not have as much “personal time” as she would like to have. Yet her school work and hobbies demand more and more time as they progress to higher level.

As much as parents like to be creative and innovative in motivating our children in learning, at some point, that learning experience will slip into a “drilling mode”. The kids will have to keep practicing the same song for their piano exam, instead of doing Math in a fun way, they will be ask to do assessment books after assessment books, school papers after school papers. After all, practice does make perfect and drilling yields certain level of result for some kids. Even Olympic swimmers with talents in swimming still need to put in hours and hours of practice.

Result – An unmotivated burnout child. She wanted to do well but lose that motivation.

As kids grow up, they will begin to want their own personal space. When things do not turn out well, we tend to jump right into the issues, trying to solve the problems and often forgot that they are just a child. Many a times, they might not fully understand our intention, thus it is important that we learn to take a step back and give room and time for both parents and child time to think through. Creating that personal space for them and respecting that space is a good starting point for building up that positive environment again.

In my girl’s case, after much thoughts and discussion, we concluded that she needed some personal space. We started to give her a complete 1 hour "do as you like" time daily – half an hour in the day and half an hour at night. We still keep to a schedule but allow more flexibility and personal space for her.

It helps not because she gets this free time but psychologically she was given the space she needed. She improves in your mood and things get back to normal again. So we concluded that she is probably burn-out and needed that personal space.

So now we have a new slogan at home: “Space out to prevent Burnout”


Interesting :)

Interesting 🙂

What a revelant post! While

What a revelant post!

While we do try to have some "do nothing time" , what I realise is when some of the "important routine work" not done then it eats into this "do nothing time"

It is like it is not important  in the whole scheme of things. Must cut thru this flaw.

Thanks for reminding me about the importance of spacing out



Agreed. Now is school

Agreed. Now is school holiday, a good balance between revision and play will help them to go a longer way.

Having breaks here and there

Having breaks here and there does help them to better focus in studies. Just like an adult who work non-stop 12-18hrs, the next day his/her productivity will definitely drop. Good rest and break are important for sustainablility.

Good reminder for parents

Thank you for this wonderful article to remind all parents not to burn out their kids by packing them with homeworks and enrichments. This is at least a 17 years of education journey so it is really a marathon race not a sprint. Sprinters push themselves to the extreme to be 1st end of the race but marathon runners cannot do that cos it will burn them out eventually and even before completing the race. They need to pace their run so that eventually they will emerge first.

Yes, daily targets set for my

Yes, daily targets set for my son taking his PSLE this year, is how I do it, too.

Having short breaks in between doing the past year exam papers, like playing with his little brother, watching his favorite you-tube videos or even playing ps3 (when he’s having a 1- hour break only), do help him to be more willing and focus in his studies..

Afterall, to me he’s just a kid..let him enjoy being a kid..:)


How true.

How true.

learning is a marathon event

As parents, we worried constantly if the kids are up to standard with the rest of the class, so we tend to drive them too much. 

Really, we have to stop sometime to recharge and smell the flowers…  and then charge again… 


hmsg, I do set daily targets


I do set daily targets as well, but sometimes due to CCA and enrichment classes, time can be quite tight.


"Space-out" is not referring to dreaming …. lol. It is to give them the space, so that we will space out .. we allow them to have more space .. to play games, watch TV or have a good meals 😉


How true .. we are all learning and need to remind ourselves time and time again.

Good reminder to all parents

Definitely a good reminder to every parents. Sometimes, we are caught in  between in finishing as much work and revision to make full use of the limited time available and failed to see the that our children will be "burn out". At times, we may even see the tantrum and demotivation as excuses.

Thanks for the article. 😉

Uncle Trap,In my house,ds's

Uncle Trap,

In my house,

ds’s motto is ‘play computer games to prevent burnout.’

DW’s motto is ‘watch telly to prevent burnout.’

My motto is ‘eat good food to prevent burnout.’

But we sure don’t space out to prevent burnout, keke.

 My approach is to set daily

 My approach is to set daily targets, i.e. to revise the daily lessons in sch and also to do one exercise per subject. 

If my child can complete the goals and corrections by dinner time, he will be free to do whatever he wants. Therefore he will be motivated to do it and check to minimise mistakes. 

The approach will also help them to be independent and be able to prioritise their activities accordingly. They seemed very happy with the arrangements so far!

Find Tuition/Enrichment Centres