They’re similar to the Sunday evening blues, just much more pronounced and intense. Most children experience melancholy as the summer holidays draw to a close, their routines are rebooted and the temperature outside isn’t warm enough for playing all day anymore.
While it’s important for the kids to be mentally prepared for the new school year, it’s also difficult to manage their end of summer blues. Here are a few tips to make it easier.
Ease them into it
While it’s vital to reinforce a routine before the school year starts, it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Easing the kids into it by setting their bedtime as little as 10 minutes earlier each night, will make the transition much easier. The same goes for their eating habits. Don’t switch their food back to healthy, balanced meals all at once. Perhaps you could start with breakfast and move on to the other meals as the term draws nearer.
Notice their behavior.
Especially younger kids (5 – 8 years old), won’t tell you they’re upset or melancholic about the fact that summer is over. But they’ll show it. They might be more aggressive toward their siblings or cry more easily. Perhaps they will try to be near you more. These are all signs that they’ve realized the summer is drawing to a close. Do small things to cheer them up or simply be more attentive and considerate about their behavior.
You don’t need to cheer them up
If your kids do want to talk about their feelings and anxieties, the most important thing isn’t to try and cheer them up, but simply to listen. Never send out a message that you don’t have time to listen or that their problems aren’t important. A lot of the time they just need time to process everything. As hard as it is to just let them be, you might have to tolerate their pain for a few weeks, lending a compassionate ear where you can.
Set positive goals for the new school year
Most kids enjoy the feeling of achievement. Find out what made them proud the year before or what they would like to improve on. Sit down and set a few simple goals for the year ahead. Make sure they’re not too ambitious. Having these goals in mind might inspire a sense of excitement rather than anxiety or sadness at the idea of summer ending and school starting.
Host an end of summer party
Although you’re making the end of summer more official in this way, you’ll also make the whole affair into something cheerful rather than something sad. Host a big barbeque in the backyard, have a pool party and get the family together or let the kids invite some of their friends. Make it fun, have good food and music and you’ll turn the end of summer into something to look forward to.
Make the most of it
The eminent end of summer is a very good reason to get those last few summer bucket list items ticked off. Go for one more camping weekend, spend a day at a dam or a river or have a picnic in the park. There is usually more time than you think to do the things you want to. And if you’re worried that you’ll be spending money you don’t have, do something closer to home that doesn’t cost as much, like a trip to the beach or a hike in the area. There is no reason to sit at home and wait for summer to end, rather go out and make the most of the last days of summer!