The past year of uncertainty related to trying to help your child keep up with their education during a pandemic has proved challenging. As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely distributed, society begins to return more to the norms of the recent past. One certainty facing parents this year lurks on the horizon.
Summer means downtime for students who are on a break from school. Parents of children of all ages want to make sure their kids spend their summers wisely. They look for activities to occupy their time and entertain them. Parents also want their children to spend their time well and utilize their potential.
More importance is placed on this need when the child is dealing with recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The first summer after a year of living in a pandemic can be a vital one for adolescents. Using their time wisely can assist in maintaining their recovery. Summer break can also affect their state of mind when they move into the new school year in the fall.
Celebrating the Great Outdoors Again
Society has spent more than a year sticking mainly to an inside lifestyle. Many people feel as if they lost their annual summer break last year. Social distancing and closed businesses meant many people didn’t get to enjoy their usual outdoor summer routines.
Look around your community for outdoor locations that have reopened. Parks can provide an ideal setting for picnics, a family baseball game, and time catching up with loved ones. The large acreage of a park lends itself to allow people to make sure they aren’t crowding each other.
If your child enjoys being near the water, look into nearby lakes and rivers. Activities like rafting and kayaking can provide exercise while having fun. Drifting in the water in an inner tube can also help a person relax while they soak up some sun. Beaches can also offer multiples ways to enjoy the water or just sunbathe along the coastline.
Plan a Vacation for the Whole Family
Most families had to cancel their annual summer vacation last year. Ask your child for ideas on where they’d like to visit. Do your homework to find out what hotels, transportation, and tourist attractions offer. Many are eager to provide a safe spot for visitors. Take advantage of great deals and discounted offers for travel.
If flying and hotels still don’t feel comfortable for you, consider renting an RV. Recreational vehicles offer the family a convenient combination of vacation necessities. With sleeping accommodations for several people, a kitchen, and a bathroom, they are essentially a rolling hotel room. RV parks and national or state parks often offer inexpensive nightly fees. Many public lands let you stay overnight for free. An RV can provide a low-budget trip that helps a family minimize exposure to big crowds.
Help Your Child Begin to Socialize Again
Children who are in recovery from substance use disorders and mental health challenges often benefit from becoming more social. While lost in their addictions, they may have tended to isolate themselves from family and friends. Summer offers more opportunities for social events and activities.
Talk to your child about their circle of friends. Discuss the importance of spending time with friends who provide a positive influence. Talk about the importance of avoiding toxic friendships with peers who may still deal with their addictions.
Your child may not have friendships on which they can rely. If so, help them brainstorm ways to meet others in their age group. Suggest they join a sports team or a group centered on a hobby they enjoy. Look for classes for their age group that teach fun subjects like playing musical instruments, crafting, or rebuilding old cars.
If social anxiety makes it difficult for your child to comingle with others, let them know they can still overcome this. Speak with treatment team members your child has, such as a therapist. Everyone can work together to help ease your child into enjoying the benefits of being among their peers.
Make an Effort to Keep Up with Academics
No child likes to think about school when they are on their summer break. For some adolescents, doing so is a necessity. If your child has struggled with their coursework, speak with teachers about ways to address that during the summer. Taking a summer school class may prove necessary but isn’t the only option.
Many software programs and websites offer tutorials on high school subjects. Help your child plan a dedicated amount of time each week to spend focusing on a class subject they need help with. Learning over the summer can help them start their fall semester without having to play catchup.
If your child is headed for college soon, take advantage of the summer to help them plan. University websites offer tons of information. You can plan visits to a few campuses to help your child learn about particular schools. These visits can also foster excitement about going to college. Talk to your child’s school counselor about what you need to know as your child prepares to graduate high school.
Summer is almost upon us, and families everywhere are looking for ideas on planning for their summer breaks. Many parents need ideas for making this season count after a summer lost to the pandemic last year. When their child is dealing with a substance use disorder, how they spend their time becomes more critical. Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and warm temperature can help boost a child’s enthusiasm. Planning a vacation and helping your child be more comfortable socializing again can also help. Sustain Recovery offers professional treatment programs for adolescents who need help managing their addiction to drugs and alcohol. We can help make your child’s summer be the one in which they commit to recovery and begin anew. Call our sunny Southern California location at (949) 407-9052 today to find out how we can make this summer the most productive and healing one of your child’s life.