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How to improve kids' mental health during the summer

Posted at 10:41 AM, May 29, 2020

Summer break is here, but it might look exactly the same as the past few months. Kids have been at home distance learning.

We spoke with a mental health counselor and a local mom about how to keep the sanity during these uncertain times.

You might not find a busier mom than Jupiter's Megan Wiglesworth. Her family of six has been in close quarters for months.

"Instead of everyone being annoyed, we're trying to just be thankful," Wiglesworth said.

Wiglesworth’s children have been distance learning from home. They range from kindergarten through a sophomore in college.

Now, summer break has brought on a new outlook.

"Praying for good weather and maybe the pools will start opening up. I do make them run around the block a little bit if it gets too crazy. There's so much energy," said Wiglesworth.

With this transition into a new time frame, mental health counselor Erinn Beck says it's time for families to check in with each other again.

“Maybe we were checking in with our kids in the beginning, to see how they are and we've just gotten used to this pattern and forgotten to say, 'Hey, how are you doing?' They're not going to tell us unless we first calm their fears,” said Beck.

Beck says you have to take action as a family.

When planning your day-to-day this summer break, make time to write a list of planned activities and a list of what makes you happy.

Get the kids involved and put those lists on the refrigerator where everyone can see it.

Moms like Wiglesworth have made things work with distance learning and this summer will be another challenge.

"As a mom we're always kind of counselors, we're chefs, we're maids, we do it all and i never thought I'd be the teacher and it's intimidating," said Wigglesworth.

Now, it's time to be a "summer camp counselor."

Beck encourages parents to be mindful of how much the pandemic has caused kids to miss out on at end of this school year.

"We talk together as families, we have regular meal times and we say, who do we want to be this summer? What are things we want to focus on?" said Beck.