How to Hold On To Those Carefree Days of Summer All Year Long

The back to school time is always fraught with an emotional frenzy of a rushed morning routine, scrambling to make lunches, getting a healthy breakfast on the table and making it to the bus stop without yelling at anyone. It has us longing for the carefree, relaxing days of summer where we are not bound by a schedule. That unstructured time is a symbol to us that we are free, relaxed, comfortable and happy. Here are 4 ways to preserve some of that carefree time in the midst of a busy school schedule:

• Carve out some time after school or after dinner for you to just play with your kids – try to be outside if you can, but just some unstructured, relaxed time where you can connect without the stress of carpools, playdates and time constraints gives kids the time and space to let out their emotions in a safe space

• Create a ritual with your family where you reflect on the day and treasure it– don’t let each day pass you by without recognizing the highs and lows.

• Talk to your child – really talk to them – by making eye contact, listening and not being distracted by other things. The time you spend giving them that undivided attention will pay out in dividends. This shows them that you really value what they have to say, and will always be there to listen to them when they need it

• Keep up the fun, whimsical, spontaneous trips to the ice cream, or making s’mores, or eating ice pops outside, and take lots of pictures. Those “treat” moments are so precious to our children, and the memories they make are the ones you’ll treasure when they get big.

If your child is struggling with the transition into the school year, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Therapy, even in the short term, can be a helpful tool to putting kids on a path to feeling strong, successful and secure!

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