Heading into Summer
As parents, we often look at summer as a time for our children (and hopefully ourselves) to have some well-deserved rest and relaxation. This is certainly important, especially because the school year provides so many extra challenges for families grappling with Learning Disabilities and ADHD.
It is also important not to lose sight of our overall goals for our children and adolescents. While we are often able to loosen up our schedules in July and August, we do need to recognize that sliding into bad habits over the summer can actually increase the obstacles we face in the fall.
Depending on your goals, here are some things to consider when making plans for the summer:
- Improving social skills - requires opportunities to practice interacting with peers, as well as explicit coaching support from adults.
- Fighting anxiety and depression – requires pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones and making our world larger.
- Building self-confidence and self-esteem – requires finding opportunities to learn and practice new skills, as well as the opportunity to get positive recognition for our efforts.
- Preparing for the transition into adulthood – involves increasing choice and responsibility. As well as capitalizing on opportunities to add new skills to their repertoire (such as making a meal, learning how to take public transit, or tackling a home improvement project with a parent).
- Maintaining academic skills – summer is a good time to support kids in building their academic confidence in a fun way. See these resources for some ideas:
Ultimately we want our kids to return to school in September feeling happy, relaxed, and confident. While the exact path may be different for every family, the overall goal this summer should be balanced.
Wishing your family a fun and rejuvenating summer!