Most kids are excited about the break from school that comes with summer vacation. They don’t have to deal with the pressures of exams or doing homework. Finally they can focus on what matters most…having fun. However, there are some kids who like the predictability of being in school and get anxious when summer vacation rolls around.
If your child struggles with making transitions during summer vacation, here are a few suggestions to help them ease into vacation mode with more excitement and less anxiety.
1. Make a summer vacation wish list. Get your family together and have everyone come up with a list of activities they want to do during vacation. If you are able to schedule everything everyone wants to do, great. If not, you can have family members vote or do a random drawing to select what activities make the itinerary. Make your planning session fun. Maybe have family members act out what they want to do while others try and guess the activity. Adding an element of fun to the planning process will spur your child’s excitement.
2. Maintain a routine. Summer vacation doesn’t need to be as structured as the school year. After all, vacation is a time for fun. With that being said, maintaining a lite version of your child’s school routine can help make the transition from school to summer vacation easier. It’s a routine they are already familiar with and they won’t have to adapt to a whole new way of doing things. Keeping a version of your school routine will also make it easier for your child to snap back into school mode once vacation is over.
3. Create a daily schedule. Make a daily schedule and hang it in an area where it can be easily seen. Having a schedule in place will help your child know what to expect, which will ease their anxiety. Try and make your schedule as simple as possible. My family’s summer vacation schedule typically includes meal times, the activity for the day, and bed time.
4. Balance activities with down time. Even though going places and doing different activities are fun, some kids dread summer vacation because they are overwhelmed with all they have to do. Work to find a balance between having your child participate in activities and them having time to unwind. You don’t want your child to be bored, but you also don’t want them to feel fatigued from being over-scheduled.
5. Keep children connected with classmates. Kids don’t always live in the same neighborhoods as their classmates and the end of the school year can mean a loss of contact with their close friends. You can remedy this by getting your child’s friends’ contact information so you can plan a play date over the summer. You could even coordinate with some parents from your child’s class to go on an outing together. This will help your child maintain their relationships with friends into the upcoming school year.
Transitions definitely aren’t easy. However, if you take the time to plan ahead, it can go a whole lot smoother than when you don’t. What are some things you do to help your child transition from school to summer vacation?
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