As summer break begins, caregivers face the challenge of supporting their teenagers through a time of disrupted routines, increased isolation, and social media pressures. Guiding your teen through practical strategies during the summer months can significantly support their ability to thrive in the summer months through a more positive mental well-being.
1. Self-Care and Routine:
Predictability helps teens feel secure. Encourage and establish a routine that is consistent. This might be waking up at a consistent time, getting dressed, having regular meals, and participating in self-care practices like exercise or journaling to help manage stress of being home.
2. Connect with Others:
While in-person interactions may be limited, connecting with friends can combat loneliness. Encourage your teen to connect with friends through video calls, social media, or online gaming. If they are unable to drive, consider arranging things to do, or have them plan out things they want to do that can include others.
3. Screen Time Management:
Set limits on screen time. Encourage breaks from devices to prevent burnout or succumbing to social pressures. Suggesting activities that support creativity or being active are great alternatives
4. Volunteer or learn new skills:  
Taking the time to learn something new can be exciting and looked forward to. Encourage your teen to explore their interests and where they might be able to expand on them with their free time!
5. Keep Communication Open:  
Time away from school sounds ideal, however they might not always be happy about the break. Ask them about their summer experience and listen without judgement. Adjusting to being at home more can change the dynamic. Don’t be afraid to discuss expectations of being at home as well as how they are adjusting to their new routine. Validation and support can go a long way!