Goodbye School, Hello Summer


It seems as though we have finally settled into our school year routines and then summer break jolts us into another transition. Camps, swim teams, vacation bible school and a litany of other activities replace the established routine. It is a time of transition for parents as well as children. But for many families it seems as though the smoother the child’s transition, the smoother the parent’s transition. Here are some things to remember as the beginning of summer nears:

· Allow your child to reflect on the school year and the adjustment of new routines. They are probably looking back at a year of highs and lows. Perhaps they are nervous for what is to come over the summer and the coming school year. Listen for signs that your child wants to talk about the positives of summer, but also listen for any negatives. A story sharing your own experience growing up may help them understand they are not alone in how they are feeling.
· Encourage your child to maintain contact with their school friends during the break. If they are not old enough to do it themselves, invite kids over. Otherwise, discuss with your older children how they would like to connect with their friends. Think of what their common interests are and help them reach out in order to stay in touch.
· If your child is particularly attached to their teacher and is anxious about the end of the year, help them write a letter expressing how their experience in their class was beneficial. A creative art project is a positive way to thank a teacher for their time and dedication. Remind your child that they are welcome to check-in with their teachers once they move on to the next grade.
· Regardless of the grades on their final report card, remember to encourage and praise your child for the accomplishment of completing their grade level. It takes dedication and focus for young people to get through the school year. They have much more to contend with than just challenging classwork. Celebrate them at dinner with special recognition or make a point of congratulating them when they are not expecting it.

Summer flies by, so be sure to have some fun and enjoy!