Tending to Children’s Mental Health During Summer Break

It’s that time of year again! Students are out for summer vacation. This means that children are out of their normal structure and school routine, which can sometimes be a challenging transition and impact on their mental health. We’ve listed some ways parents and caregivers can help their children during summer break to keep their mental health on track and get them ready to transition back to school in the fall.

Encourage Social Interaction

While a child is at school, they often engage in social interactions with other students, educators, and school staff. Social interaction helps to develop a child’s sense of self while also teaching them what others expect from them. This can help them achieve developmental milestones as well. To make sure your child isn’t isolated or lonely during the summer, encourage them to interact with friends and peers to keep them mentally and physically active. This can be done through playdates, day camps, summer classes, sports, and more.

Maintain a Schedule and Make Plans

School provides a routine and strict schedule for children, so it might require some adjustment when transitioning into summer break. Children do better with structure, especially if they suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety. A tip for scheduling would be to keep your child’s usual bedtime and mealtimes, as well as planning activities ahead of time and discussing these activities with children to get their input. Making plans gives children structure and keeps them busy both mentally and physically.

Continue to Keep an Open Dialogue of Communication

Kognito is an advocate for open communication when it comes to mental health and well-being. During the summer, children can spend more time with parents, caregivers, or other family members, which can serve as a beneficial opportunity to have an open dialogue and find ways to focus on their mental health. The communication technique of Motivational Interviewing allows children and teens to feel safe about opening up and validates their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Check out this blog post for more information on the 4 Steps of Motivational Interviewing.

Don’t Forget to Give Them Some Downtime

Making plans and encouraging social interaction is important for a child’s mental health, but don’t forget to allow for some downtime this summer for children. They need it, but so do parents and caregivers. Remember, it’s nearly impossible to maintain good mental health if we don’t take care of our bodies. Downtime prevents exhaustion and overstimulation.

Explore Kognito’s Parent and Community Bundle

Our products take a community approach, including trainings to strengthen school-parent-community collaboration by reinforcing trust, a shared vision, and a common language based on understanding, caring, and equity to support the whole child. Kognito offers 4 products for parents and caregivers that provide strategies and tips to help improve children’s mental health during the summer break. Explore our PK-12 Parent & Community Bundle or contact us to learn more.

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