Distinctly SJND

8 Parenting Tips for a Healthy Summer

8 Parenting Tips for a Healthy Summer
Jun 14 2021

Summer break is underway and we hope that this time provides opportunities for you, your children, and your family to take care of yourselves, make meaningful connections, and foster personal growth. Check out our tips and recommendations to support the health and wellness of your children over the summer.

8 Parenting Tips for a Healthy Summer

  1. Make sure your children get outside and spend time with their friends, if safely able to do so. Your children will feel more fulfilled and connected if they spend time with others outside the house: have lunch somewhere, go for a walk/hike, go to a local coastline park, etc. 

  2. Establish structures and limits to screen time, too much screen time, can have negative effects. Consider monitoring phone screen time with an app, such as Moment. You could also use apps to set limits, like those suggested in the Psychology Today article, Parent’s Guide to Social Media Use for Kids. Also, see the relevant and recent New York Times article, Parenting the Fortnite Addict
  3. Exercise is important to physical health and wellness. If your child plays a sport, encourage them to continue their training over the summer. Encourage your children to be active and exercise regularly. At least 60 minutes of physical activity per day is recommended for adolescents.

  4. Engaging in thoughtful conversations is important for mental health and wellness. Without judgment, reflect with your child about the school year. How do they feel about it? What went really well? What did not go well? What can get better? Be sure not to simply talk about academics - ask about their social life, their co-curricular activities, and their self-care. Conversations come more naturally and are more engaging via a shared activity like washing the car, walking the dog, or over a meal, etc.

  5. Make sure your child continues to stimulate the mind; they should continue to engage in something that they enjoy academically. Read, write, complete an internship, visit museums, prepare for college entrance exams, etc. Maybe you and your child can read the same book and have discussions about it. 

  6. Be aware of your child’s online presence, such as social media accounts. Monitor them regularly and have conversations with your children about how social media has a positive impact on their life but also about the challenges they face using social media. Listen without judgment, fully concentrate, understand, and respond to their feelings. Discuss how to evaluate the integrity of online information

  7. Have thoughtful conversations about controversial media. This gives your children the chance to process their thoughts and feelings, articulate their perspectives, and consider possible actions.

  8. Discuss the health risks of substances including e-cigarettes, vaping, and juuling with your children, and learn how to recognize associated devices. See our resource sheet for more information. See this Grown & Flown article with a letter from a parent to their child about healthy decision-making regarding alcohol. 

Most importantly, enjoy your summer! 

SJND’s Counseling Department is dedicated to supporting the growth and development of our students as whole persons so that they may become “confident, open-minded, and effective leaders who are ready to live joyful lives of faith, scholarship, and service.” 

You can find additional resources and tips in our Guide for Mental Health During Distance Learning. 





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