Am I overwhelmed with planning my kindergarten child?

sofatutor magazine parents

How do you know if a child is too busy and what needs to be done to get the hang of it before an escalation? Mama Christine has developed very different strategies with her three children over the years.

When my children were young, they would whine or throw themselves on the floor screaming when they were stressed. Now, in puberty, it is more of a punk. The trigger that suddenly nothing works anymore are often seeming trivialities. It is enough if you have to ask again what the teenage child last said because you were thinking of something else. As a parent, you sometimes wish for the baby time back when the needs and conflicts were still manageable.

Everything is possible between cranking up and retreating

How children behave when everything is too much for them differs. But there are definitely reliable signs that the offspring are overloaded: At the extreme end of the reactions to overload, my youngest daughter is certainly to be found. Even as a small child, she spontaneously vomited under intense stress - something that has become rare today, but still occurs occasionally.

With fun to learning success - that's how it's done

The overload symptom does not have to be that spectacular, of course, but can also announce itself quietly, e.g. by withdrawing, unfamiliar silence, stomach ache or headache. Some children really crank it up when they are overloaded. That can be a bit tricky because as a parent you could conclude that the child needs more action and needs to be exhausted - but that is actually the opposite of what would actually be advisable.

Keeping an eye on the child and its peculiarities

What works for one child may be completely wrong for the other child. As the mother of three very different children, I see this almost every day. There is no way my oldest daughter wants to be hugged or comforted physically when she is stressed by something. She prefers to swear and kick a wall - that was the case when she was a toddler.

The other two children, on the other hand, find it very comforting when they are hugged, but at very different times: My youngest only likes it when she has "come down", while the son is comforted and grounded by a hug.

Learn to de-escalate or experience your own limits?

So the first important question is: “How does my child tick?”. Then, but no less important: "What exactly is my goal if I intervene as a parent?" Do I want the youngsters to recognize their limits or do I want to de-escalate early on? Of course, the 10-year-old son can go to school in the morning, to a friend's at noon, on a birthday in the afternoon, afterwards to soccer training and do homework in the late evening. Then he is just righteously broken and only does his homework with a loud mouth, which spoils the mood of the entire family. You can do that sometimes. I also think it makes sense because this is the only way children learn that parents have good reasons when they intervene early and simply do not allow certain things.

Handing over a hot water bottle without psychologizing

Otherwise, for me as a parent, the following applies: think along and empathize. Even if it's not easy because the children are very different from me. When my stomach ache child says it would like a hot water bottle, it is given it with the question of whether there is anything that concerns it at the moment. And when the child's face darkens, who usually runs straight into the courtyard when other children can be heard, I ask whether there has been a recent argument with the children in the neighborhood. These may be small things, but they make a decisive contribution to avoiding overload in the first place, because paying attention to early signals often defuses the situation.

However, it is crucial not to overdo it: The desire for a hot-water bottle can simply mean that my hot-blooded daughter is exceptionally cold. I also don't bother if I have the feeling that my child has a problem but doesn't want to talk about it now. I wouldn't do it any differently with other people around me.

Surprises are part of it

But other people are not entrusted to me and I am not responsible for learning self-regulation - that is a crucial difference. That is why the question of when what is too much for my child is of great relevance to me. The signs of this keep changing and sometimes the children surprise me: Recently, my youngest autistic daughter wanted to walk to the cinema with her friends, which I thought was a pretty daring undertaking. But she mastered it with flying colors and completely without any signs of overload.

For me as a mother, that means that I try to stay open. I may know my children better than hardly anyone else, but why should it be any different with them than with me - sometimes I am surprised by myself and of course I am sometimes overloaded too. My job as a mother is to help the children get to know themselves. So my goal is to make myself superfluous - at least in that respect. Then my own occasional overload should also vanish into thin air. At least that's the plan.

More articles from Christine

  • School: Is it harder for children of single parents?
  • “There are 208 types of fish at the South Pole” - a primary school lecture with a happy ending
  • The lunch break - a drama in five acts
  • "My pet is sabotaging homework!"
  • School flea market - a neverending story
  • Through thick and thin: siblings, eternal accomplices
  • Not scolded enough is praised - upbringing in the Swabian way
  • Family preferences: Long live diversity!
  • Extensive Negotiations: When Many Are Going on a Trip
  • 6 "vital" rules for parents in the outdoor swimming pool
  • Pokémon Go - or when mom doesn't understand anything anymore
  • Little ice cream parlor psychology
  • From the holiday hole: "When is school finally back to school, mom?"
  • Sibling quarrel: "You never let me finish!"
  • Children's shoes on sale: I almost fell for it
  • Have a serious conversation despite having children? Remember where we were!
  • "Mom, the hairstyle doesn't work!"
  • The visiting child dilemma: "Can I have something sweet?"
  • Unknown play objects: “What is that? And do we still need that? "
  • January cleaning up: clearing out that makes you happy
  • Visiting children: why doesn't anyone open the door?
  • 11 things parents can do again when the kids are out of the house
  • Teacher lie: “The worst class in school? Yours!"
  • Anger - when children drive you to white heat
  • “What is a wanker?” - Talking about sex with children
  • “Children, let's fail!” - an ode to imperfection
  • Separate correctly - what parents should pay attention to so that children do not suffer too much
  • Smartphones at home and at school: can mom check?
  • Peculiarities among siblings: No two eggs are the same
  • The hot iron: Why parents are not allowed to help with homework
  • Family resolutions: Are you still planning or are you already doing it?
  • Career aspirations: what should my child become?
  • Detention and cheating? Mama never did that!
  • About parenting talks: "We have to talk!"
  • Help, my child is going through puberty!
  • Parents between trust and control
  • Recreation? Nothing! - Vacation for single parents
  • When children meet their internet friends
  • Fortnite and other daddling trends
  • Eternal Summer - What the end of time change does with children
  • Learning during the school holidays - useful or annoying?
  • What I've learned since my kids were in school
  • About growing up and letting go
  • What Makes a Mother a Strong Mother?
  • Etiquette and manners - do children still need them?
  • Different styles of parenting - where does tolerance end?
  • Ice cream for breakfast? - A plea for snacking
  • Children in the media - how I deal with it as a mother and blogger
  • Who is actually learning from whom here? - the influence of children on their parents
  • When the children grow up: off to new shores!
  • Abolish parents' evening: give me back my free evening!
  • Bilingualism in children - is that useful?
  • The first Christmas after the big daughter moved out

Cover picture: © Antonio Guillem /

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