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Summer Is Almost Here: Ways To Help Your Child Transition Smoothly

The end of school comes with mixed emotions. On one hand, it’s nice to have a break from the routine that the school year provides and on the other hand, IT’S A BREAK FROM THE ROUTINE THE SCHOOL YEAR PROVIDES! Changes in routines bring positive and negative stress and emotions. How can you help your child smoothly transition into summer?
1. Now is a good time to start talking to your child about the transition into summer time. Perhaps you can start getting their input about what they might like to do over the summer. Giving your child a sense of control is important. Although they cannot make all the decisions for themselves, incorporating their ideas makes them feel supported and validated.
2. It’s helpful to show kids a calendar so they can begin to mark off days until the last day of school. This provides a visual for kids and makes the time left in school easier to understand. They may want to pick a few days on the calendar to do something special for their teacher before the end of the year or plan a small celebration on the last day.
3. Another idea is to allow your child to take some pictures with their teacher, friends, classroom, etc. and make a little photo album to remember this year. They can even make a card for their teacher and put one of the pictures in it.
4. Over the summer, it is best to try to stick to as much of a routine as possible that mimics the school year. If you can continue to help kids stay on their same sleep schedule, even better. Waking and going to sleep at the same time during the summer will make the transition back to school in August that much easier.
5. Try to incorporate some academics over the summer. You can pick up inexpensive workbooks at bookstores or even the library that your child can work on over the summer to keep skills sharp. Make a goal for 1 page per week.
6. If your child has an IEP, pick one or two goals to try to focus on so not too many skills are lost.
7. Don’t assume your child is feeling a certain way about school ending. Talk to them about it. Let them know that however they are feeling (sad, nervous, excited, all of the above) are normal feelings that most kids feel when something is coming to an end and something new is beginning.
Erica DuPont, LCSW
ProTherapyPlus, LLC
www.protherapyplus.com

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