AspenPointe Blog

How to Maintain Your Child's Mental Health During Summer Break

Jun 26, 2020, 18:43 PM by Clara Cirks

How to maintain your childs mental health during summer break

How to Maintain Your Child’s Mental Health During Summer Break

As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, it’s critical to guide and support your child’s mental health through summer break. Parents recognize that this summer break is different than previous summers and adapting to these changes can be challenging. Our mental health experts weigh in on some tips to help you and your family.

How can I establish a routine now that the school year has finished?

Due to canceled or restricted summer activities, kids and teens are spending even more time at home. “Allowing your child to have their own time is important,” states Lauren Lund, Clinical Programs Supervisor.  Alone time allows kids to recharge and be more present when participating in more structured family activities and daily tasks. “Encourage them to engage in their hobbies or try something they previously didn’t have spare time for. This can help to increase independence and creativity.”

For older teens, Lauren says a part-time job or volunteer opportunity can assist in maintaining a routine and mental well-being. She comments, “Structure allows us to focus on the things we can control and creates a feeling of safety and predictability.”

How do I encourage mindfulness in my child/teen?

Mindfulness is the practice of awareness and focusing on the present moment to acknowledge and accept feelings and surroundings. Practicing mindfulness has been proven to decrease anxiety and increase more positive emotions. These techniques look different for everyone and can be simplified for kids and teens. Lauren says it doesn’t have to be limited to a zen moment; mindfulness can be found in moments throughout our day. “Expressing gratitude, listening to relaxing music, and exploring nature may help to establish mindfulness habits,” advises Lauren.

For older children, Lauren recommends incorporating scheduled mindfulness reminders in their day. “Adding a reminder or alarm on your cell phone can prompt a moment to check-in with yourself and be present.” Other methods could include reciting a mantra, self-affirmation, or quote that resonates with you. Mindfulness practices are unique to each individual and finding something that works for you is key. 

How do I know when my child or teen needs extra help?

Asking questions is crucial to understanding your child or teen’s emotions and feelings. Talk to your kids openly and without judgement or expectations to gauge where they are. Kids can easily feel disconnected during summer break and a one-on-one conversation can help to recognize struggles or challenges.

“When a parent seeks help for a child or teen who is struggling, it’s common for the parent(s) to feel emotions of guilt. Know that it’s not your fault and that it says a lot that you stand with them through difficult times.”

It is normal for children to have many questions and feelings during this time, but if they are experiencing trouble expressing those feelings or show signs of overwhelming stress or anxiety, learn how we can help. Fill out our contact form or call us at (719) 572-6100 to get started today.

For more information

For more tips on how to care for children during COVID-19, visit the Center for Disease Control website.

Need help communicating COVID-19 to your children? Visit our COVID-19 resource page to learn more.