Dd14 is exhausted - is this normal?(13 Posts)
Hello all, this is my first post on Mumsnet after lurking for a while
My eldest daughter (DD1) is 14 and in Year 10 at a grammar school. Since starting this school year, she has been extremely exhausted with the workload plus the other activities incorporated into her day. For example, on Monday she attended school band practise after school, and didn't return home until 5pm. When she had eaten her dinner and practised her instrument, she then did 2 hours of homework and almost 2 hours of revision, then showered and ended up in bed exhausted at 11:30/12pm - she has to get up at 6:30am.
I have seen her workload and DD1 is not a procrastinator, she really does spend this time working and is a high achieving student, aiming for A and A* in her 10 GCSE subjects. But this long workday is concerning me as I am worried that she is not getting enough time to relax and enough sleep.
Last night she told me she felt exhausted and just wanted to sleep all day she hardly ever complains unless she is genuinely having a problem. I have suggested dropping some of her extracurricular activities, but she was very upset at the suggestion, she is very musical and loves to perform in the school choir and musical groups, as well as dance lessons 2x a week and volunteer work on the weekends (for the DofE award)
Last year she was most definitely working a lot less, but this year she is putting in so much work and I can't see any way in which she could do less whilst maintaining her high grades. The teachers all say that she is a model student and a kind girl, but I don't like to see DD so exhausted, she sleeps for almost 16 hours on Friday nights, and her workload is noticeably much more than that of her siblings (also of high school age, but in KS3)
Is there any way in which I can make this situation better, or is this normal for year 10?
My DD was absolutely exhausted in year 10- could not cope w workload despite being v clever and not getting that much work. Turned out she was v v depressed and after therapy she regained a lot of energy. Your DD sounds like she does so much for a 14 year old. Perhaps suggest slowing down on how much DofE she does? My DD dropped all extra circulars between yrs 10&11 but mainly due to wanting to go out w freinds. Wait for the teenage social need to hit?
Four hours work after school is in my opinion far too much. Ds1 is yr11 and does 2hrs tops after school with revision and homework. He has never been anywhere near four hours.
When does your Dd get downtime to herself where she does nothing? I would very concerned about burnout with that kind of schedule.
Talk to her school about the workload.
Yes, I am very concerned about her there have been tears two nights this week over music practise, and then tears over how she is rubbish at science and is going to fail all her GCSE's (very doubtful) I have looked at her workload to check that she isn't just doing unecessary work for the sake of it, and she really is doing the sort of work set by the teacher!
There is an upcoming parents evening, and I think I will be talking to some of the teachers as my Dd is very stressed and is now breaking down over tiny things, believing she is a failure!
One of her close friends this year sadly made a suicide attempt, and this I think has affected her emotionally I don't like seeing my daughter like this so i will definitely be raising the issue
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Op this is unlikely but I always struggled a bit with tiredness growing up. It led to low moods. I was a perfectionist. But. I also went on to develop hypothyroidism around age 20, and looking back do wonder if it was lurking at times.
It might be worth checking with GP for anaemia etc and maybe even thyroid, though you are right it's most likely to be work load and stress.
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Dd1 is also 14 and in yr10.
Several evenings a week she comes home, goes to bed and sleeps for an hour or so before tea. She will then do homework - not much on the 3 evenings she is out but she has worked out (at last) how to juggle it. She is asleep most nights by 11 and usually squeezes in an hour or so of crap telly! She also has one day at the weekend for socialising and one day for homework/revision.
She is under a great deal of pressure from all subjects and stays at school voluntarily for up to a couple of hours most nights for extra subject support.
Her school has become incredibly target driven this year and anyone who falls below their targets (based solely on Maths and English) has to resit the 6 weekly assessments. DD1's targets are all 7 or 8 (so A and A* too). It's relentless and that's without any extra curricular (and just as important imo) activities.
So no advice but I think what you are describing is sadly pretty normal
I'm so sad to read this Queen, this is just the sort of pressure that young teens suffer from in a world where results, targets & grades are the be-all and end-all, & their happiness and downtime seems to get pushed aside. The amount of homework seems excessive, certainly.
Your DD needs space to just 'be', with nothing to do, no practices or deadlines to meet. She may say that she wants to do all these things, and she probably does, but by packing so much in she may end up not enjoying anything as she's so tired. I'd keep trying to talk to her about cutting something out.
The school need to know what's going on, can you speak to her form teacher / pastoral care person at parents' evening?
She is only doing the bronze DofE this year - but I think I will encourage her not to progress to silver after this year, she already does enough!
I will be raising the issue of workload at parents evening. And to think that last year, DD was determined to take another GCSE in Drama as well as the ten subjects she is taking - the school gives an hour of PSHE a week and an hour of study, the 11th GCSE would be taught in these blocks. I told her that she would be too overworked, and although she was originally desparate to do drama, she is now glad she didn't!
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