Lets be honest going onto eleven weeks of quarantine has been no walk in the park. Everyone has been affected with stress. We have lived in a world that has forced not only adults but also kids to deal with massive uncertainty, tons of loss, and an overall feeling of “What the hell is happening?” And of course the million dollar question of “When will this end!?”
With summer quickly approaching the next biggest issue will be a combination of severe boredom and a very unstructured day. This will not be the summer any of us were expecting or planning for. In my practice I am already seeing college kids who have finished class and some high school students who have already ended school starting to deal with new reality of “What do I do all day?” Not only are they asking what should I do, the bigger question has come up as “Why should I do anything?” And that my friends is my biggest concern for these kids.
They have lost purpose.
There are no sports, dance recitals, end of year celebrations. There are no summer camps, summer jobs or internships. There is no hanging out at the pool with your friends. At least for now that is how our world looks as we start the transition into summer.
Summer is definitely a time to have down time however, we as parents need to make sure that our kids are feeling purpose in life. Without purpose whats the point? Thats when the depression starts to set in, thats when the not getting out of bed happens, and thats when their mental health suffers.
Heading into summer the best advice I can give parents to help their children is to help them find a purpose. They need a reason to get out of bed. Get creative. Now is the time to brainstorm about what they want to do or learn. Set goals. Maybe those goals are learning a new soccer move, perfecting their pitch, learning to bake. It doesn’t matter what it is that they do as long as they feel like they are working on a goal.
If your child is struggling please reach out and get help. These are challenging times.