I’ve been talking to lots of families this month, and we’re all getting out of denial about how soon the school year will end. Maybe you have a preschooler, and they get to just keep going all summer, but most of the kids need other plans. If you don’t already have a plan in place, you might need some help. Or, just maybe, you have too many plans in place and will have to adapt when the sensitivity buckets get too full. It’s a moving target, isn’t it?
A huge part of the conversation is about the spring fever or “senioritis” which is much more prevalent in highly sensitive children and youth than in the other 80%. Look, it’s been a whole school year of intensity (both good and not so good) and we’re all worn out and tired from it. Aren’t you?
I’ve talked about “mental health days” with all of my families this month, and now I’m sharing this tool with you. We all need them, and we should be modeling and teaching sensitive youth about taking breaks, stepping back, vegging…
Full disclosure–there were at least three years (between 3rd grade and the last time in 11th grade) that I pulled my kid out of school for the last month–in high school it had to be a medical leave. Of course, it all started with my son getting suspended in second grade which helped show me that it just was too much for him. It’s not just the fullness and exhaustion that gets them…
The school starts to kind of decompensate in the last month. Schedules get loose, discipline gets loose, and the frayed nerves of teachers and staff get loose, too. All that loose-ness just doesn’t serve our kids.
Luckily, I was raised by highly sensitive parents who kind of got it, and my mom was an introvert like me. I didn’t need to pretend I was sick to skip school. I was allowed–one of the many gifts in my childhood. My wish is that we can all create a culture of support around taking care of yourself and recognizing when time off is needed.
So, my next parenting workshop is coming up, and I think we should add on to the name: AYHS Parenting Sensitivity: Summer-Proof the Kids AND SOMEHOW SURVIVING UNTIL SUMMER STARTS WITHOUT TOO MANY MELTDOWNS OR THE KIDS GETTING SUSPENDED. I hope you can laugh with me. If not, maybe you should call me–we can cry together and find a way to move through.