by Tara Jogee, LPC, RPT, NCC, RYT
Attention Parents! School is almost out… literally in days!
The end of the school year usually has everyone a little rattled. Kids are excited for summer, teachers avoiding the end of year burn out, and parents stressing over summer planning. As a result, kids’ behaviors and emptions are all over the place. Needless to say, the end of the school year is not only an exciting time, but also a stressful one.
So, the transition into summer can be a challenging one. But licensed professional counselor, Tara Jogee has a few of tips to make summer a successful one for the whole family!
Stick To A Routine
It’s summertime and kids will want to stay up until all hours of the night. But as much as kids may fight it, they work best with a structured routine. That routine helps reassure safety. So, I suggest setting a “late”, but reasonable time for bed with your child. Try including them in the conversation, and come up with a time that will work for every night during the summer months.
Along the same lines of a routine, maintain the same expectations for chores and school work over the summer. Kids are often assigned summer reading, so set up a time for them to read, each day. This will help the transition back into school year and homework come September.
Even when traveling, try to stick to the same schedule as best you can.
Limit Social Media & Screen Time!
Summer is all about sun and enjoying the weather! But, it’s easy for kids to stay inside on electronics every day, all day. Taking the phone or computer away may come with a fight, but can be a great opportunity to introduce something new and fun to your child! Encourage your kids to play outside. Creative play is such an important part of the developmental process. Plus, you can get involved as a family. Go for walks after dinner, build a fort inside or draw with sidewalk chalk.
As a parent, remember your kids are always watching you. So monitor your own screen time use, and model for them accordingly.
Not to mention, kids often get FOMO (fear of missing out) from seeing what others are doing over the summer. Social media can be a trigger for it… especially if it leads them to discover they weren’t invited somewhere with friends.
And for the ultimate summer challenge for your family—”Technology Free Tuesdays”. Several families I’ve worked with, have tried this (and while difficult in the beginning), they said it was a wonderful experience. Every Tuesday each member of your family refrains from any use of technology (yes TV counts!). You would be amazed at the things your family does together, and how quickly they adjust!
Allow Your Child To Socialize
Remember, the summer is a big adjustment for your kids socially. They go from seeing their peers five days a week at school to possibly not seeing them at all. It’s important that they continue these relationships over the summer to help ease any social anxiety going into the school year, come September. Before the school year ends, try connect with other parents to help coordinate play dates for your child. Being a registered play therapist, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for your child to socialize and play. Playing with others helps teach your child skills like problem solving, compromise and patience.
Keep your kids active by finding activities for them to do. Look at the calendar on Stamford Moms to see what your family can get involved in!
Managing your child’s down time will help you to have a more relaxing summer too!