By Jessica Burrows
Well it is almost here again, that special time of year when the kids are out of school and life as you know it is thrown into crazy mode due to the shift in routine and schedule. As the temperature begins to rise, remember that summer can be a benefit and not a burden. It is as easy as the word STOP.
Schedule time to just enjoy not being busy. One of the biggest complaints that I receive as a therapist from children and teens is that they are wearing themselves out with too many activities. Remember that summer is meant to allow your children to step away from the pressure of school and enjoy life outside the classroom. Think back to summers that you spent as a child and think about the freedom that summer meant for you back then. If a camp or activity will benefit your schedule and your child’s sense of freedom, then go ahead and set up that great summer experience. Just don’t pack the summer with so many activities that there is no time to slowdown and enjoy the fun.
Take a trip. This does not mean that you have to take a European vacation or a Mediterranean Cruise, rather just get away for a little bit and reconnect with your child. Summer is considered to be a great time for the family to come together and talk about all the things they have experienced throughout the year so far. Think of summer as half time and a chance for a good recharge of the family battery. The trip allows everyone to step outside of his or her normal schedule and dedicate time to one another. Another way to make the trip special is by getting the whole family involved in the planning process. This facilitates creative thinking, which will help bring out the joy that the trip is designed to create through positive collaboration of the family unit.
Open up to new ideas. Sometimes during the school year we can get into a schedule funk. Another major complaint of families in the school year is that they are becoming too schedule-driven and boredom begins to set in. Summer gives you as a parent a chance to break up the monotony and gain schedule sanity. Set up activities that are different and fun. Plan a picnic, bike ride, scavenger hunt… just something different that gets the kids out of the house and focused on something different than their traditional schedules.
Plan time for yourself. Just as school was busy for the kids, summer will be busy for you. Remember to schedule time that you as a parent can step to the side and slowdown for a minute as well. If you wear yourself out juggling the activities, camps, sleepovers, and more you will begin to crack under the pressure.
Summer is my favorite time of the year because parents have the opportunity to bond with their children. Just remember these easy tips to help summer come seamlessly and enjoy the time you have with your family.
Remember, these are just a few tips to help you navigate the many changes that can occur within the family dynamic.
Here at NextGen Counseling we provide a unique approach to counseling and can help you and your child with a variety of personal challenges including depression, anxiety, and self-harm. Please contact us today at 940-228-2171 for a free consult and to discuss setting up a summer plan that will help your child start off their next school year positively.