Summer Break and Covid-19
Building peer relationships and feeling connected is a key developmental task of childhood and adolescence. Although kids are using social media to “connect” with friends, social distancing is giving us a reminder of just how important spending time with friends is to our mental health. I’ve found that the experience of being physically separated from peers and friends is causing mixed feelings in kids. From loneliness to irritability and anxiety. And most of all boredom. This can be frustrating and disappointing for your child. Now that summer is here and so much has changed, they’ll need the support of the adults in their lives even more.
Here are some ways to support the kid in your life during summer break:
- Validate their feelings. Allow them to express how they are feeling about all the changes. Saying “Going to camp was very important to you, I can see how disappointed you are. It is normal to feel disappointed when things don’t go as planned” can be just what they need to hear.
- When they are feeling like everything is out of their control, help them to create a list of things that they can control. For example, connecting with family and friends virtually.
- Identify fun things that they can still do and things that you can do as a family this summer.
- Talk about why your family is practicing social distancing.
- Ask them how you can be supportive.