You cannot wait until your kids come home from their summer programs and your family is all together again.
The lack of laundry and ultra-neat house are starting to seem eerie. You long for the noise and mess that accompany your children. You are ready for everyone to come home. Or so you think.
You may want to adjust your expectations. Someone jokingly suggested that there should be a halfway house in between summer programs and home, so great is the difference in the two environments. It can be very difficult for a child or teen to readjust to home after a summer of fun and independence away.
There are a few things you can do to ease this transition:
- Teens need some downtime when they return from a summer program. Don’t over schedule them. Don’t overwhelm them with questions. They will tell you all about their summer when they are ready.
- Determine if your child had a positive experience. Did they make friends or develop new interests?
Encourage Positive Choices
- Teens return home with more independence. They’ve learned to do many things on their own, (i.e. laundry). Have them continue these activities at home.
Give Candid Feedback to the Director
- Review what your teen liked and did not like about their experience. Provide constructive input to the Director on your child’s experience– positive and negative. Remember what they liked so that you can incorporate it into future activities and experiences.
Prepare for School
- Partner with your child to complete summer reading on time, establish guidelines for homework, etc. Make sure the rules are set before school begins. Try to gradually adjust your child’s bedtime several days before schools starts. Get them used to going to bed and waking up earlier.
- Based on this summer, review all of your teen’s school activities. What can he/she adjust and focus on, based on his summer experiences. Depth over breadth matters most.
Schedule Family Bonding Time
- Arrange vacation or weekend time to learn at leisure about the summer’s experiences and accomplishments. Start talking about the changeover from summer to school. New individual and family goals for the coming year and preferred or changed behaviors should be included in the discussion.
And remember, it is never too soon to start planning next summer’s experience….
Jill Tipograph is a nationally recognized youth and summer expert and the founder of Everything Summer, LLC, the “go to” expert leader in personally guiding families worldwide through the summer planning process. Everything Summer aligns their clients’ interests, extracurricular activities and summer plans, helping to give students a pre-college edge.