Summer time is full of new opportunities for fun and adventure, but it can also be filled with anxiety for our kids who prefer the comfort of routines. There are steps we can take as parents to help our kids decrease their anxiety levels and enjoy the fun of summer!
Share the schedule for the day. My older son likes to have a general idea of what's coming, but my younger son benefits from a visual schedule. We're going to try a new app to create the routine for the day.
Warn them about upcoming transitions. Use a visual timer or get your son or daughter a watch and help them set an alarm for an upcoming transition.
Give choices when possible. If my son has something on his mind to do, he gets anxious if anything interrupts his plans. It's much easier if I say, "You have an hour to be on your iPad and can do it before lunch or before dinner. It's your choice."
Share as much information about a new place or activity as you know. Look at pictures online together. Talk to someone who's been there. Call ahead if anything is especially important to ask. We're going to a Joni and Friends family retreat this summer and we've never been before, so we're talking about what we do know and what to expect. The fewer surprises the better for my boys!
Part of decreasing my sons' anxiety is to just slow down and be aware of triggers. When I think ahead and remain calm myself, I can better help them regulate and be calm.
What helps your kids manage their anxiety?