Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
If you’re wondering how to keep your kids happy and active during their summer vacation, Morin offers five suggestions for keeping them busy as well as helping build up their mental strength and maturity.
Assign your kids age-appropriate chores, help them set new extracurricular or academic goals, and use challenging moments to teach them healthy self-talk and emotional regulation.
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For the first time ever, the line between the official school year and summer vacation is blurred. Most kids have been home for months already — and their usual summer activities aren’t going as planned.
Ball games, festivals, and concerts are mostly canceled. And birthday parties, play dates, and family vacations might be a little different than before. But summer vacation in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t have to be all that bad.
In fact, you can turn this strange time into a chance for your child to become a wiser, mentally stronger individual who is equipped for the challenges of the real world.
Here are five ways to help your kids build mental strength this summer:
1. Assign chores
You might be tempted to give your kids time off this summer and just “let them be kids.” But assigning chores might be the kindest thing you could do for them.
Research from a well-known 75-year Harvard study found that kids who had chores fared better later on in life. In fact, chores were the best predictor of which kids were more likely to become happy, healthy, independent adults.
So tell the kids to do the dishes, sweep the floors, and clean the bathrooms this summer. Chores teach self-discipline and perseverance while helping kids recognize that they can be responsible citizens. While they probably won’t enjoy doing these things now, they might become happier, healthier people later.
2. Set goals
Everyone feels better when they’re working toward something, and summer vacation can be a great time to teach kids about goal setting.
Help them establish realistic (yet challenging) goals this summer. Make sure their goals are measurable too. Instead of saying, “I want to get better at basketball,” a better goal might be, “I will practice basketball for 30 minutes, three times a week.”
Whether your child wants to learn how to bake 10 different recipes or save enough money to buy a new bike, help them work hard to reach these goals.
3. Teach them healthy self-talk
If your child comes to you and says something like, “No one likes me,” or “I’ll never be good at soccer,” you’re probably quick to offer some reassuring words.
While it’s good to reassure kids that they’re doing well, it’s even more important to teach them how to respond to negative thoughts on their own. Then, when you’re not there to offer those words of wisdom, they can offer kind words to themselves.
So the next time your child says something negative about themselves, ask them, “What would you say to a friend who …read more
Source:: Business Insider