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Child and adolescent socialization

Summer vacation can be a lonely time for children, particularly after an early end to classroom learning this past spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many kids would typically spend their summers at camp, at the neighborhood pool, or playing at friends’ houses, this might not be the safest option as the dangers of COVID-19 linger through the summer.

Children who are already experiencing mental health struggles are particularly likely to feel lonely during a time of prolonged social isolation, so it’s important to support these children throughout the summer. One way you can support kids and help maintain their wellbeing is by providing them with activities to keep them connected with the world and their peers throughout the summer.

Here are a few ideas to keep children connected during the summer time:

  • Give kids ideas for hobbies and activities, especially outdoor activities
  • Encourage children to participate in a virtual book club to discuss their summer reading or another virtual club with peers to discuss common interests
  • Organize a virtual hang out or slumber party with friends
  • Set up a virtual movie watch party or online game night with peers
  • Participate in a virtual or family exercise class

It’s important to acknowledge the unique circumstances happening in the world right now and encourage kids to connect through hobbies, virtual socializing, and other activities. However, you shouldn’t force your child to participate in anything they aren’t interested in doing, as many kids genuinely enjoy time spent alone.

Some children experience mental health struggles regardless of their involvement in activities and with peers, and it’s crucial to identify and support these kids throughout the summer time. For children with emerging mental health needs or who are in need of extra support this summer, LearnWell offers academic and mental wellness services for students and their families throughout the continuum of care.