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  • Writer's pictureKara Kohnen

Supporting Your Child's Mental Health During the End of the School Year


Introduction


As the school year ends, children and parents may feel mixed emotions. If your child loved their teacher this year, they may be very sad to make the transition. If your child did not like their teacher or struggles in school they may experience joy in the transition. For parents, it can be an opportunity to spend more time with their children but also require more planning or expenses with activities and camps or childcare coordination.


School Transitions at Grow Through Life Counseling
Ends of school year

In any transition, it’s important to acknowledge mental health. Transitions can bring an increase in demands, social changes, mood swings and higher anxiety about the unknowns ahead for the summer months or the next school year as well.


Common End-of-School-Year Stressors


-Academic pressure: Exams, final projects, and grades. With so much increase activities this time of year, your child might also be experiencing a need to focus on ending the school year on a positive note. It can be challenging to time manage and prioritize academics as this time of year.


-Social changes: Friendships, potential bullying, and changing peer dynamics. Because the year is coming to a close, this can bring more acting out in the school settings. Or, peers may be moving on developmentally from past relationships and they have different dynamics in the coming year due to the new grades level and teachers which are disruptive to friendships.


Gym Class Running
Kids in same class

-Future uncertainties: Anxiety about the next school year or summer plans. The more plans you can share in advance about the upcoming school year, the better. Consider a calendar or other visual with the family schedule to allow for more communication about what to expect day to day.





Signs Your Child May Be Struggling


- Behavioral changes: Withdrawal, irritability, or changes in eating/sleeping habits.

- Emotional signs: Increased anxiety, sadness, or mood swings.

- Academic indicators: Decline in performance, lack of motivation, or avoidance of schoolwork.


Strategies to Support Your Child


-Open communication: Encourage regular, open conversations about their feelings.


-Routine maintenance: Keep a consistent daily routine to provide a sense of stability.


- Stress management techniques: Teach and practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, or physical activity, attend psychotherapy through transitional times



Child and Parent Meditating
Stress Management Skills

Encouraging a Positive Perspective


- Highlight achievements: Celebrate your child's accomplishments over the school year.


- Set realistic goals: Help your child set achievable goals for the end of the year and the summer.


- Focus on growth: Emphasize the importance of effort and personal growth over grades and outcomes.


Preparing for the Summer


- Plan ahead: Create a balanced schedule that includes both structured activities and free time.


- Encourage new hobbies: Introduce new interests or hobbies to keep them engaged.


- Promote social connections: Facilitate playdates or group activities to maintain social skills.



Musical instruments can be a great hobby
Kid learning guitar

When to Seek Professional Help from Grow Through Life Counseling


- Persistent or severe signs: When stress or anxiety impacts functioning or relationships

-Refusal to socially connect or participate in activities: family meal, meet with friends

-Mood impacts desire to do normal daily activities




-Please call our intake team at 619-549-0329 ext 0 or fill out the form on www.growthroughlifecounseling.com to get started (or re start care). Summer is a wonderful time to start care and get the trusted relationships with the therapist established prior to back to school when stressors about academics will return again along with adjustments in the new school year


- School support: Encourage using school resources like counselors or support groups, clubs, trusted teachers and coaches. Having a community at school is preventative factor for mental health problems while at school.


Conclusion


  • It's normal for children to experience stress during transitions. Also, critical they build the skills and confidence to handle changes later in life as well.


  • It’s important to normalize seeking support for mental health, talking openly about feelings and communicating needs.


  • Parents, it is so important to role model taking care of your own mental health as well and role modeling this for children and teens.


In the summer months, we tend to see a dip in new intakes as youth and families are feeling less stress academically, spending more time with friends, taking vacations and have more time to relax.


Don’t wait! Summer is the perfect time to get started!



Summer is the best time to start care
Summer is here and the time is right!

Counseling is great to start prior to problems started and having an established relationship with a therapist while less stressed overall will make navigating back to school so much easier and prevent problems.


If you have a child or teen who struggled this school year, this is a great time to get started in care to prepare for the next. Some of the critical years to consider starting counseling in the summer are the big transitions years: last year in elementary school, first year in middle school, first year in high school and last year in high school.


We have room to get your child started this week and would love help them make a smooth transition out of this school year and set them up for success for back to school next as well!


Our intake team is ready to take your call at  619-549-0329 ext 0







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