Summer slide is the potential academic loss that occurs over the summer months. In addition to the academic slide, there is a potential emotional slide that also occurs when students are separated from their peers. How do we help children from suffering from both academic loss and emotional loss during the lazy, hazy days of summer? We often hear from our clients, “my child is just sitting around all day not doing anything”, or “how can I get my child off their phone/electronics?” Students need to have a mental health break that will strengthen their confidence and self-esteem.
Here are some fun tips on how to keep your child’s mind emotionally actively engaged over the next few months:
- Ask your child what they would like to learn about over the summer (Creativity planning*)
- Ask your child what they would like to do over the summer (More Creativity planning*) – Help with suggestions: Reading a book, Riding a bike, playing cards, photography
- Explore museums, parks and the outdoors with your child… see the experience through their eyes
- Close your eyes and allow your mind to wander – see where it takes you
Creativity planning helps your child to be curious and to learn how to do things independently. As with the suggestions above, lists can be helpful when your child is suffering from boredom and needs to find something to do on their own.
Boredom can be very healthy!
Boredom helps children to learn how to calm themselves down. In other words, when we allow our minds to daydream we stop thinking about the outside world and begin to think about the things that matter most to us. “Daydreaming is shifting attention from the external situation or problem to the internal representation of situations, memories, pictures, unresolved things, scenarios or future goals” (Mann, & Cadman, 2014, Ducharme, 2019). Spend some time daydreaming with your child this summer!
By Jill Caruso, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist
Ducharme, J (2019), “Being bored can be good for you – if you do it right. Here’s how” retrieved on 5/20/19 from http://time.com/5480002/benefits-of-boredom/
Mann, S. & Cadman, R. Does being bored make us more creative? Creativity Research Journal, 26 (2), 165-173.
If you or anyone you know is having signs or symptoms of summer slide or depression or anxiety over the summer, please contact Specialized Therapy Associates, (201)488-6678.