You don’t need me to tell you that this past year has been rough for many students. Many have shown an increase in anxiety or depression symptoms and need professional help to address that. Others are just sad at the experiences, relationships, and learning they missed out on. And many are feeling anxious about their future, as they are not in as strong a place academically as they would have been without remote learning.
Those who usually receive support to help with their academics may not have gotten the same level of support during virtual instruction. But they may have still been expected to make progress in the same way and they feel frustrated with the disappointing results. Students who struggle in school often feel shame or embarrassment if they don’t end up with the same results as their peers or siblings. This often affects self-esteem. At times, students don’t even want to attempt a challenging situation, as they have become fearful of failure.
The good news is that we can all help our students recover and reset this summer. The most important thing you can do for your child is to let them know that you are in their corner, no matter what results they bring home from school. Tell them that you love them – often! – and help them find things that they are good at. Every one of us has strengths and positive things to share with the world. Focus on those this summer.
Help your child discover things that matter to them. Volunteering may put things in perspective and help your child feel good about putting time in to help someone else. This does not need to be an expensive trip, either. Something as simple as regularly helping an elderly neighbor with their groceries or yard work counts too. Colleges care much more about students possessing positive character traits these days. As parents, we should as well.
Enjoy your summer!