School children across America welcome summer vacation! They wait months for it, dreaming of the beach getaways and ghost-stories around the campfire. As parents, we cherish the extra time with our children, but, at times, it’s not without its challenges. In anticipation of about ten weeks of schedule-juggling and family memory-making, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your child’s summer vacation.
- Remember to incorporate structure into your child’s daily routine this summer. Many children rely on predictability, but routines may disappear during the summer. Try to avoid the appeal of too much freedom. For example, keep meal times and bedtimes consistent.
- Create a “Kid’s Calendar”. Some children struggle when they don’t know what’s happening during the day. Create a calandar with your child, incorporating art activities to give him or her a sense of certainty about what’s to come.
- Getting together with family and friends, attending parties, and having houseguests can all be very difficult for children. People expect that children should be able to handle these situations, but it’s important to remember that these situations can be difficult for adults too. Decide what’s right for your child. For example, if he or she has trouble with large groups, create small groups within the bigger ones. The key here is that you try to come up with strategies for managing potential problem situations ahead of time.
- Make plans! But be sure to book down-time for your child. Excitement is good in small doses, but too much excitement can be over-stimulating for some children. Be aware of the clues that say, “It’s enough” and be prepared to gracefully initiate quiet time.
- Many of us pack as if we were traveling to Mars. Include children in planning what they’d like to bring, whether it’s a favorite toy, game or a snack. It allows your child to practice making choices and assume appropriate independence.
- Some children struggle with change, as summer may mark the end of something for loved ones. For example, older siblings may be preparing for college, and younger siblings may need extra support. Lean on your support systems during times like these and consider getting help from a counselor or therapist.
Too many of us “survive” the summer vacation and are running on empty by the end of it. This summer, do it differently. And don’t forget about the challenges that children with developmental, emotional or behavioral issues often face during summer break, such as loneliness. The effect is varied, including possible regression, and it’s widespread, affecting the entire family. Often, family therapy services are invaluable to parents that need just a little bit of help making this summer one-to-remember.
At TherapyWorks, our inclusive, supportive environment contributes to successful family interactions and assists families in finding solutions that work for them. And because convenience is important, our professional and responsive support team prioritize your care, offering flexible scheduling options, including evening and weekend appointments, and contemporary privacy practices.