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24 Mar

Make the Most of your Spring Break

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It’s that time of year again.  NCAA March Madness, the potential for pleasant weather and at the forefront of most school kids’ minds, spring break.  Spring break is not just an opportunity to try and hit the beach before summer arrives.  It is a time to re-energize, get necessary down time, and release stress.  When done right spring break can give the academic, physical, and emotional lift your child needs to get through the remainder of the school year.

Since the beginning of the year several circumstances have led to increased stress for students.  The uncommon winter weather had many students either delayed or away from their usual routine.  The state of uncertainty and chaos has been difficult for everyone, but especially so for younger children who need a routine environment to thrive.  Also, many students are coming out of classrooms where more academic information has been squeezed into a shorter period of time and standardized tests or midterm exams have recently been completed.

So how can you help your child maximize the potential benefits for this well needed break?  Here are a few ideas to try whether you are spending the break at home or on the road.

1.      1.  Decompression Day- Allow your child to have a day, preferably near the beginning of break, to relax and do not plan any activities for them.  Encourage them to choose activities that they would enjoy without setting expectations for them.  Conversely, if you have an activity packed day, fun or otherwise; give your child a day or two before returning to school so they aren't exhausted that first day back.

2.      2.  Meet your Introvert/Extrovert’s Needs- Depending on your child’s personality either arrange for them to have 15-30 minutes a day of quiet alone time if your child tends to be more of an introvert or one entertainment focused activity with friends or family each day if they are more of an extrovert.  This will help your child to recharge their batteries.

3.       3.  Do Something New or Be Funny- Each day try a new activity with your child or engage in an activity just to be silly/funny.  Both of these release natural chemicals in the body that boost mood and keep your immune system working well.  This could be as complex as trying a new indoor/outdoor recreational activity or as simple as having a dance contest among family members and trying to eat spaghetti with only a spoon.


If your child can get the break they really need then they will be in the best position possible for the demands being placed on them.  This makes for a more pleasant experience at home and in the classroom.