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Hoagies' Blog Hop: Balancing Boredom and Burnout

Balancing Boredom and Burnout. Gifted kids need variety and challenge, but they need "down time," too. How does your family balance that fine line between too many activities and not enough? Is there a magic formula that works for you? How about in the classroom? How do you, as a teacher, advise gifted kids to slow down and "smell the roses," rather than fill thier days with Academic Team, school play, choir, band, orchestra, sports...?

Don't miss our previous Blog Hops on related topics, including Multipotentiality and Summer Reading.

To read all our past Blog Hops or join our next Blog Hop, visit Blog Hops for all our past and future topics.  Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our striking Blog Hop graphics!

Help your gifted child find work-play balance by Gail Post in Gifted Challenges
Gifted children sometimes need to find their "work-life" balance as well. They crave intellectual challenge and stimulation, but too much activity can result in burn-out. How can parents recognize that fine line between engagement and too much pressure.  Finding Work-Play Balance. 

1. Remain attuned to your child...

Downtime or Burnout?  The Organizer's Dilemma by Jessie in CounterNarration
This month's prompt specifically asks about balancing burnout and boredom. This brought to mind a distinction that first occurred to me when I was a kid: There's the kind of bored where you have nothing to do, and the kind of bored where you have to do something you don't want to do.

Truth be told, I don't really understand what it means to have "nothing to do..."
Rationing Learning - there CAN be too much of a good thing! by Heather in WonderSchooling
Sometime around when he turned five, we got to the point that he could handle higher level non-fiction texts. The problem was that he could actually "overload" on new information. His brain couldn't process and synthesize that much at the same time, and so, like an overworked CPU on a computer, we started having issues. More frequent meltdowns, the inability to make eye contact, regression in social awareness and interactions.

What's one to do?
Managing Structure, Pattern, Challenge and Rest in Intense Visual-Spatial Kids in Oviyam
My daughter thinks in patterns. It was evident from her earliest days that she observed, formed patterns and made deductions. As a one-year old, she saw a building from the parking lot, recognized it as the pediatrician’s office and started crying – she knew that, and she knew it was time for vaccinations. In her later toddler years, during a play class, while all kids played with Maracas, she would go around to pick up several Maracas and arrange them in a semi-circle pattern and sit beside observing them.

A need for structure is inherent in TG. Randomness or disorderliness or a lack of variety and challenge in her activities very quickly percolates into frustration...
Boredom, Burnout, and Balance by Qiao Li, Institute for Educational Advancement
Gifted children often struggle with over-developing one aspect of self, while overlooking the rest of who they are. As Dr. Michael Piechowski, author of Mellow Out, They Say. If I Only Could. Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young and Bright. eloquently stated, “… cognition without an emotional sense to give it value, positive or negative, is sterile. The passion for learning and mastery, so characteristic of the gifted, is driven by a very powerful emotion: intense interest.”...
Annual Culling by Heather, The Fringy Bit
I am about to lay out some ideas that might help to find the balance. I need to make it perfectly clear that I have not yet mastered this skill. Just last week my husband and I had our own annual culling. We physically wrote down all the projects and duties and tasks that we’ve (well, mostly I’ve) committed to and cross things out. It was painful. Because all the things are good, and I get different pleasure and stimulation from all the things. But, when I have all the things all the time I’m left with nothing of me.

So, my first tip is to have an annual culling...
Somewhere Between Boredom and Burnout by Gift-Ed Connections
So perhaps being bored, is not such a bad thing, especially when there are options to consider. Sometimes the distractions can help us find our way but I am always surprised where my and my children's thoughts will take us when we get the chance to be bored and aren't burning out trying to keep ourselves distracted. Summer is a great time to explore the balance between the two and by the time it ends, we tend to get a better idea of what thing will not only connect us to everything, but feed our soul and perhaps not swallow us whole...
The seesaw of boredom and burnout by Jen Merrill, Laughing at Chaos
Now burnout doesn't follow a school schedule as reliably as it once did. Damn. At least then I could pencil in the recovery time. Now it hits whenever my mental/physical/emotional energy hits an unexpected low, often with little to no warning. I rarely know when burnout will send me flipping into the pit. It's taken a toll on my health, and is why I'm becoming more vocal about preventative self-care.

I wonder if those in the gifted community are more prone to this than others...
Boredom by Adventures of Hahn Academy
Everyone experiences boredom at some point in their lives. But have you wondered what boredom really means? Boredom has many synonyms: bore, boring, ennui, tedium, apathy, unconcern, restlessness, dissatisfaction, dull, monotony, lethargy, languor, blahs, doldrums, etc. There are many definitions of boredom depending on what psychologist or doctor you talk with. The dictionary definition is just “the state of being bored.” However, one psychological definition of boredom is “the aversive experience of wanting, but being unable to engage in satisfying activity.” And, based on psychological research there are 5 types of boredom...
Balance isn't Everything by Linda Wallin, Living with Geniuses
Most people think of balance as being “all things in moderation” but the balance for a gifted child may be going completely whole hog (as we say in Illinois) into their latest passion. I was so relieved the first time I heard it was okay to have a passion...
From Boredom to Burnout by Aurora Remember
The thing is though, if we are not careful, the things we do to prevent boredom can lead us to burn out - both mentally and physically.

As summer is upon us, I'm exploring ways to keep the balance between boredom and not further burning ourselves out. Here are a few things I'm working on as we move through the summer...

To read all our past Blog Hops or join our next Blog Hop, visit Blog Hops for our past and future topics.  Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our striking Blog Hop graphics!

Updated December 01, 2020

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