End-of-the-school-year emotions run high this time of the year. When someone says, “school’s out!” what comes to mind? You may visualize kids with smiles from ear to ear running down the hall. Or, teachers doing a fist-bump and victory dance. You also may think of sad goodbyes by graduates heading off to different parts of the country for college.
The closing of the school year can bring a host of feelings with it. And since it’s right around the corner, now’s a great time to find some ways to help your child (or children) work through their end-of-the-school-year emotions.
Sure, there’s an understandably happy side to the school year’s end. But there’s also transitional stress in the form of schedule changes, no longer seeing friends regularly and potential feelings of a lack of purpose.
End-of-School-Year Emotions—Some Possible Red Flags
Children don’t always communicate their stressors like adults do (e.g. talking things out). Instead, struggles with their upcoming transition could lead to complaints of headaches, behavioral changes or even disruptions to their sleep patterns.
Help your child communicate what they’re feeling by opening up and talking with them. Find out what’s causing the difficulty and teach them how to cope.
Take Time to Tune into Your Child’s Feelings
Teaching your child a few quick calming strategies can go a long way in their overall emotional health. Show them that, when they’re feeling anxious, some deep cleansing breaths can make them feel better and think clearer.
Consider simplifying your schedule as well. Life can be crazy busy and these pressures can cloud your goals as a parent. Set aside time to talk with and listen to your child.
Ask questions. Calm their worries by letting them know you care, are excited for summer activities with them and then plan some! Having things to look forward to in life can make current difficulties seem less intimidating.
Make Sleep a Priority
As summer approaches, so do the longer days and shorter nights. If the extra light is making it difficult for your child to fall asleep easily, consider room-darkening curtains as well as sticking to a bedtime routine.
In an article at clevelandclinic.org, Harneet Walia, MD shares that a lack of proper sleep, “can make you feel moody, and you can become more likely to have conflicts with others.”
Helping your child get adequate sleep will improve their outlook on life and end-of-the-schoolyear emotions. They’ll have the energy needed to finish their school year well. It’ll also help them to cut back on negative feelings they may have about their school year coming to an end. Instead, your child will be able to focus on the summer fun ahead.
Could You Use Some Help?
If your child shows signs of anxiety or stress that concern you, scheduling an appointment for them with a professional therapist might be the best next step.
Valencia Relationship Institute is skilled at helping parents and children alike struggling with life transitions, excess stress and much more. You don’t have to struggle alone. We offer counseling in Valencia, CA and the surrounding regions.