It’s that time of year again. Schools are coming to an end and the lazy hot days of summer are just around the corner. Yet for some young and middle school aged children, school ending can become a source of excitement and worry. When kids are in school they have structured days and expectations are predicable. But when children go from structure to none or very little, stress and worry can increase for them. Schoolteachers and parents may begin to notice more acting out behavior from little Johnny or Suzie even when there have been few behavior issues since the beginning of the school year.
Even us adults like to have some routine and predictability in our lives. Think about your morning routine you have before you head into the office or out with your children. If I were to tell you for the next two days you can’t have your coffee or tea in the morning and the following three days you can no longer shower in the morning but at night or vice versa of your normal routine, it would throw you off. It can be helpful to begin talking with your child or children about the plans for the summer. Will they attend a sports camp, go to grandparents, go to the Y, attend church camp or be in daycare. What ever the choice is for your family share that with your kiddos to help reduce worries and stress. If a different family member or family friend is picking them up or dropping them off at these events, make sure they know, so again they feel safe and secure. It can also be helpful to young children to have these items written down on the calendar and show them a few days before the change, the day before the change and the day of the change. The more the transitions are talked about, the more reassurance your kids are getting from you that you have them and all is well.
Helpful resources for summer activities:
Local YMCA- http://www.indymca.org/classes-programs/camps/
Writing camp- http://www.butler.edu/english/writing-camp/creative-writing-camp/
Sports camp (baseball, volleyball, basketball)
Band camp-your school
Theater camp- http://www.cytindy.org/camps/
Nicole Burgess is a licensed marriage and family therapist located in Indianapolis, IN. She works with children, adolescents, individuals and families who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma or life transitions. She is located close to Carmel, Fishers, Lawrence and McCordsville.