Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Stress

The first couple weeks of summer vacation are exhausting! They are hard for all mom's but those families have a child with learning differences: it can be really difficult. If you are ready to wave the white flag----hold on for a little while longer. You don't have to give in to all of your child's demands just to survive the summer. But why is it so hard?

Let's take a step back and look at things from your child's perspective.

1. This is change. It's actually a pretty radical change. There has not been more than 6-7 schools days off at a time for nine months. This is going to last for a while. It might be a little upsetting to the child's system.

2. Life at home is never as structured as the day at school. Most children with learning differences thrive on structure. It is a dependable schedule giving a child a sense of what to expect. In the summer, many days and weeks don't resemble each other. This is true for children who go to the same daycare as they do before and after school care. It is true if there is a babysitter at your house.

3. School age children are use to being gone without demands from home for several hours a day. It's an independence that has been lost. All the demands come from mom, dad, a grandparent or a sitter/nanny. There is not as much break from these people.

4. There will be day camps, vacation Bible school, overnight camps for many children. It's fun for the kids but it is also stressful. New places, new adults, new peers each week. Some weeks there are lots of activities and other weeks it's more just hanging out at home or with a sitter. It's hard for many children to make this many transitions constantly throughout the summer.

5. Vacations can be fun but also stressful. Some pre-planning can really help with heightened anxiety.

After thinking about how hard the summer transition is for kids, it encourages a parent to be long-suffering with the children as they transition to this "new normal."

Next week, let's consider how a mom manages the summer transition especially when she has been stretched as far as she can handle. This is real. I've been there. You have been too! Let's look for some ways to handle this early summer stress!

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