Children thrive on routine and consistency. During the school year, the days are very predictable; during the summer, the lack of structure can cause students to struggle and can become something that is hard on their mental health.
Establishing a routine for your child varies depending on their age. Younger children need time for play, stimulating activities, nutritious meals, and rest. Pre-teens and teens crave alone time and that is okay. Allowing your child some quiet time, on their own, is important so they can rest and recharge. However, too much alone time can lead to isolation and feelings of loneliness.
Most schools, libraries, park and recreation departments and gyms offer summer activities for children that help keep them active and busy during the summer.
Lauren Lund from Diversus Health states that it’s also important to encourage your kids to try things they couldn’t do during the school year, this will help stretch their brains and expand their opportunities.
Knowing that a change in routine and structure can cause mental health struggles for our youth, it is important to encourage open conversations and to check in on your child throughout the summer. It is crucial to ask questions that help you understand your child’s emotions during these talks, it’s important to talk openly and without judgement.
Dignity Revolution recommends encouraging the practice of being mindful with your child and teen. Mindfulness, the practice of being aware, focusing on the present and acknowledging feelings that come with our surroundings, can decrease anxiety and increase positive emotions. Lund, from Diversus Health states that “expressing gratitude, listening to relaxing music, and exploring nature may help to establish mindfulness habits.”
Dignity Revolution will also be present at Lifest TN in Bon Aqua, TN on July 28-30th. For more information on Lifest, visit www.lifest.com
Courtney Donati, Director of Dignity Revolution – www.dignitypledge.com