Summer Fun and Stress

Summer is a great season to enjoy things like vacationing, swimming, and visiting with family. For adults who are teachers and student this is what they dreamed of for 180 days. For young children through teens it may mean pure play time, later bedtimes, summer jobs, or relaxation. However, some of these “FUN” moments may not be so “fun”.

For parents it may mean changes in day care to day camps, the need for extra supervision or finding time to relax with your children. Parents with young adults going off to college may experience many different emotions and feelings leading up to your separation.

The lack of structure for children, adolescents and teens can be difficult to navigate. Some young people crave the structure and stability of school. The change in structure may create anxiety or irritability.  Other changes can also create stress, such as, changes in care providers, meeting new peers at camps and visiting with other relatives who have different expectations, or simply being away from home. Too often as adults we expect our children to have the kind of “FUN” we experienced. This is not a realistic expectation, times and experiences have changed.

Tips for creating less anxiety, more comfort, and “FUN”:

  • Talk with your young ones ahead of time to prepare them for what their days and weeks may look like
  • Set clear expectations for each child
  • Check in to see what types of questions or worries they may be feeling
  • Some are in need of written or visual schedules
  • Some schedules may need to be mapped out hour by hour
  • Have planned time separate for children and adults
  • Maybe you want to make each moment count with your child

Plan for “FUN” and prepare for a Happy Summer!

Julie O’Neal, Clinical Director, TriCity Family Services 

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