Liz Morrison, LCSW
Tips for Making it Through the Home Stretch of the School Year
Is your child starting to feel burnt-out at school? Overwhelmed? Done and ready for summer? It can be stressful to stay focused in school and continue to put your best foot forward when you know summer break is right around the corner. With only a few months left, we want to make sure your child makes it through the home stretch of the school year feeling strong, proud and successful.
Here are 3 tips to help your child finish the year strong.
Stick to the Plan
For children and teens to be successful, year-round planning is essential, and springtime is no exception. If anything, we have to reinforce schedules to make sure your child sticks to them and ends the year strong. It's easy to fall out of routine when the sun is shining and your children want to get outside. It’s essential that they stay with the plan by arriving at school on time, trying their best in their classes, finishing their homework, and studying for finals. Tools that can help children maintain their schedules include creating checklists, setting alarms, and utilizing their planners/calendars.
It is so easy to taste the freedom of summer and want to give up in school, but it’s important to see the finish line and set goals that will help your child get there. Specifically, make sure they are setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Specific). Using the SMART goal acronym allows them to think about goals that they want to work towards and accomplish by the end of the school year. This will provide your child with gratification, achievement and increased self-esteem. Furthermore, when your child sets goals and focuses on the finish line, it sets them up for academic, emotional and social success. By reinforcing the meaning of hard work and dedication, they are better able to accomplish future success. Most important, it allows them to have fun and do things that they enjoy once their goals have been achieved. Which leads me to my last and final tip.
Take a Time Out
Sometimes, children return from spring break and have a difficult time adjusting back to their daily routine. Be mindful and tune in to their potential feelings.
Here are some helpful tools to help them manage. Usually, children need to take a break or a time out from their academics. Otherwise, they may burn out. Time outs can vary depending on your child’s interests. They might include spending time with friends or family, taking a mindful walk, going to the park, doing some form of exercise or simply doing whatever makes your child feel stress free. To finish the school year strong, remember there’s no better recipe than easing anxiety, decreasing stress, and increasing happiness.