(WYTV) – Virtual burnout is increasing among students and parents.
The start of the second half of the school year normally marks a long stretch between breaks. So, students going to class virtually will be spending more time in front of their screens.
Overwhelmed, irritable, stressed, exhausted — they’re all signs of burnout, and it’s happening more often in kids, especially this school year.
“They’re just generally sick and tired of online learning and they may, in fact, even turn their cameras off, so they’re not even showing up in class,” said Jamie Miller, director of ALTA Behavioral Health.
Miller says signs of burnout in kids these days isn’t surprising.
“There’s just nowhere near the depth of stimulation that they would get if they were in person,” he said.
It all boils down to social interaction.
“Then when you compound that with pre-existing conditions like anxiety or depression, learning disabilities, ADHD, it creates a perfect storm,” Miller said.
He encourages parents to keep a close eye on their child’s mood and behavior. Loss of interest is a big red flag.
Experts recommend keeping a schedule that mirrors what a regular day at school would look like, building in time to move around or even go outside.
“Right now, I know it’s not the most pleasant time of the year to do that but getting outside, getting the fresh air, I think, is a very nice thing for kids to be doing,” Miller said.
Also, let kids create their own learning space.
“Decorating the workspace — let kids choose favorite pictures or drawings, even Post-it notes in their workspace. Sometimes a Post-it note that has a motivational, inspirational saying on it can be helpful,” Miller said.
Make sure all distractions like toys and even cell phones are out of sight.
Miller feels for parents too, who are also dealing with a lot. He says it’s best not to place the blame on yourself if there’s a day or more where virtual learning isn’t going smoothly.
“But that’s something that we tend to always do — look at ourselves and want to place blame on ourselves as parents. I think, above all, we need to remember as parents that we should stay positive in front of our kids,” Miller said.