Now that we’re halfway through summer, your child’s excitement for the school break has probably dwindled. Maybe they’re showing signs of boredom and loneliness, or your child just doesn’t seem as happy. This is the reality for many students. If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, read on for 5 ways you can support them this summer.
Open and honest communication simply begins by checking in with your child. You want to know if the summer break is causing issues for your child, so just ask! Open-ended questions will give them a door to enter and give you more insight into how they’re really feeling. Try some of these:
These questions can help guide you through a casual conversation with your child that shows them you acknowledge the difficult emotions summer break can bring. Don’t settle for one word answers. Instead, use follow-up phrases like, “say more about that” or “can you tell me more?” You’ll hear from them about what’s going on in their mind, and discover the areas they need your support most.
If your child is hesitant to let you in on how they’re feeling, there’s another way around it. By keeping an eye on their mood, you can determine whether or not their mental health is struggling. Are they irritable, quiet, or sad? Is there a distinct difference between how they act in school vs. out of school? These are all warning signs that your child is feeling the weight of this long break. You can then use these mood changes as a reason to dig deeper with the questions above.
Although your child might complain about the classes and homework that school brings, this structure can be really beneficial to their mood. That’s why it’s important to try and hold them to a schedule even during the break. Believe it or not, your child craves routine and you can create a structure that offers direction without being overbearing. Here are 5 pieces to a fulfilling schedule:
Keep your child’s schedule visible to help keep them on track and give them clear expectations for each day. This will ease anxiety, hold them accountable, and make the transition back to school that much simpler!
If it’s not boredom or loneliness getting your child down this summer, it might be fear surrounding the upcoming school year. It’s natural for students to become anxious about transitions or unknowns, and you can play a positive role in their peace of mind. Have you ever heard knowledge is power? Well, that reigns true here too.
Work with your child to find out all the information you can about the next school year. Get school supplies, sports equipment, and anything else that will help your child feel prepared for their first day back.
While your child’s mental health may be at the forefront of your mind, it’s important to remember that you can (and should!) still have fun together. Summer is the perfect time to create memories and bond with your family. Although structure is essential for your child’s mental health, so is being flexible with plans. Take advantage of this summer vacation and enjoy the added quality time with your child.
Your child’s mental health is important during every season of the year. Check out our website for more family and youth resources today!
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