By: Stef McAlpin, PLMHP
My dad always taught me that athletes are made in the summer. I, as well as many others, believed in this. It isn’t lost on me years later that he was right. Those words have continued to linger, not ever far from my thoughts.
Summer was a time to practice and gain mastery of skills,
perfect my baseline jumper, and spend every summer night shooting hoops until dark. Let’s consider that his age-old philosophy could apply to more than just athletics and activities.
As a parent, do you ever feel the emotional needs of your
children significantly increase during the school year? The stress of school, the long days of learning, mixed with activities and family events, it can just feel overwhelming. To children, adolescents, and young adults, it can feel heavier. Sometimes adults may even need extra support navigating the challenges of our world. Identifying feelings and emotions, where those feelings live in our body, and having the coping skills to manage it all can be taxing. Anxiety can make mornings difficult and contribute to school absenteeism. ADHD can cause lags in academic skills and even affect the social aspect of school. Your child might live on “anger mountain” too much of the time. Low self esteem might be keeping them from being confident and reaching their full potential. As a parent, you may need support raising your teenager. The struggle to communicate and connect with your teen can disrupt family harmony.
I invite you to consider a thought.
How many of you already have multiple activities that have filled your calendar for the upcoming summer? How many of your kids are headed to church camp? Who is going to take advantage of camps that local colleges, high schools, or youth organizations are running?
Working as a mental health professional and past school counselor, I have witnessed all of this unfold to children and families as they start a new school year. It can certainly sneak in and create turmoil for your child and family.
If both athletes and non-athletes are made in the summer, why not ‘sign them up’ for developing skills to manage who they are as a human. This will serve them way past their youth. I can still shoot a solid baseline jump shot. Proof that summer work can last for years to come.
A successful school year can evolve into something even better by gaining the skills needed and building the resiliency to embrace and thrive in the upcoming new school year.
The long summer days can pass by quickly, call Focus Therapy and Performance Coaching today.
Stef’s journey into the counseling profession has been rich with experiences. She has over 25 years working in a variety of mental health and educational settings. Stef knows children, adolescents, teenagers, and adults. She is passionate about helping her clients find the strength within themselves and gain the skills needed to navigate life’s challenges.