It’s summer and…I’M BORED!!!
This is an all too familiar complaint for many parents. Summer is supposed to be laid-back, less stressful, and full of positive feelings, right? However, the transition from a structured schedule to the unstructured days of summer often can be challenging. This is especially true for children with anxiety, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. Summer also tends to have a focus on being more social and this can lead to feelings of isolation for some children who struggle with depression or social challenges.
Here are some tips to be mindful of during the summer months:
- Provide a somewhat consistent structure for summer
- Participation in camp, club, volunteer work or summer job
- Meal times and bed time similar to the school year
- Use visual aids to help outline the day
- Limit online, tv and video games
- Maintain or create a behavioral system; choose several positive behaviors to nurture and be consistent with limits you set
- Get outside—being in touch with nature as well as physical activity have positive effects on mood
- Set play dates/activities with other children/teens
- Get creative with indoor activities that can include learning challenges or participation in household tasks
- Help children/teens explore interests and strengths that they otherwise may not have time to engage in during the school year
While these strategies can be helpful, it is always a good idea to seek a mental health professional to keep any issues from worsening.
Violet Theodos, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Athans and Associates
32 Main Street, Park Ridge, IL 60068