Gifted kid burnout and good child syndrome

Asher Franzman

As they grow up, the events and situations in a child’s life can influence their personality and mental health. Those events can sometimes cause children to have mental issues. Such as “gifted kid burnout” or “good child syndrome.”

Pressure in adolescence–-to be perfect or to always be well-behaved and mature–can cause people to develop issues that can affect them for the rest of their lives. These syndromes/issues aren’t rare. Many teens end up having these issues. 

The definition of gifted kid burnout: chronic exhaustion that stems from a mismatch between the individual and their current educational environment. This causes a student to become tired of dealing with pressures of perfectionism placed on them at a very young age. Due to this constant stress, they are left facing issues with their mental health and well-being later on in life.

Some symptoms might include: feeling cynical towards work/teachers/peers/parents/the whole school experience, disengagement from favorite things or interests, feeling a sense of dread each day going to school/clubs/other activities, more frequent panic or anxiety attacks, change in sleeping or eating habits, feeling overwhelmed by small setbacks, withdrawing from friends or family, or being unmotivated to complete chores, assignments, and other social obligations. 

“Good child syndrome” can have similar effects of gifted kid burnout, but it has some major differences. Good child syndrome is caused when a child is shown that their “bad sides,” such as being needy or stubborn, are met with anger or frustration. This will often cause a child to push their feelings down. They can become quiet, prioritize getting academic validation, or not show their real feelings. Children with this issue often do not share their opinions or say what they want to do. They do this in fear of being disliked by adults. 

Some symptoms of having “good child syndrome” are: trying extremely hard to be good enough in the eyes of their parents, suppressing emotions, anxiety and/or stress, afraid of taking risks, may be a “perfectionist,” having low self esteem, feeling unaccepted, feeling like they can’t be themselves, and more.  

Although gifted kid burnout and good child syndrome can affect people’s adult lives, with therapy or medication, the effects can be minimal.