Are you worried about what your kids will do with their time once school ends? Do you fear that they will become permanently merged with their favorite device? At TSG, we have spent the spring talking with kids and families about how they are coping during this pandemic. We know that many of your children are bored, disappointed, and lonely. We also hear that many of your kids are quite happy with the slower, simpler pace of life where they get to watch what they want, do new activities, and interact with their friends virtually.
We’re spending the month of May preparing for you and your child’s summer. As the pandemic progresses, we will likely be in and out of isolation. That means we will all be in between our old version of life and our COVID version. How do we establish some routine and certainty in the midst of so much ambivalence? Therefore, every family will have to customize their own summer plan. Here are a few ideas for you to think about for your family.
- Brainstorm 1st–Have each member make a list of 20 things that they’ve always wanted to try or never had time for. Have at least 5 be something that is COVID approved.
- Go Back to the Basics–Include nature, crafting, and projects that involve your hands.
- Stay Focused on One Thing–Have each person in the family choose one thing that they will focus on this summer as a learning or creative project. It could be reading every book written by one author or growing a garden.
- Don’t Forget to Deal with the Disappointment-–New ideas can’t usually take root until we’ve acknowledged and honored the sadness or loss in what we’ve missed out on due to the pandemic. If your child is aimless or stuck in their thinking process, be sure to talk through what they miss about their old life and what they are sad about right now. Once processed and released, feelings offer us energy for new creations.
- Keep Routine & Structure–It is wise to keep some semblance of structure in your family’s daily routine even as you shift into summer mode without virtual classes. For instance, you might start the day later, and do less. However, you will still want them to have some time for being productive, active and connecting with others daily.
- Still Limit Screens-–Screens will gobble up family time, productive time, and creativity. So yes, allow screens in moderation and loosen up on your rules. However, still impose some limits on how much, when/where, and what they get to do on their devices.
- Explore what your camps have to offer virtually first to see if it matches your families needs.
- Then widen your search to include new ideas for your family, both organized program and DIY activities.
Here are a few options both at TSG and in the DC Metro area for you to consider.
Parenting In Place Support Group
Are you constantly trying to reinvent your daily schedule and plans for yourself and your family in the midst of these uncertain times? Are you struggling to focus, feel hopeful, and find the right support despite endless webinars and zoom meetings? TSG launched a 7 week parent class/support group in response to the pandemic, which addressed these issues specifically. We plan to continue meeting regularly for support and customized information to add to your family’s toolkit. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Young Adult Entrepreneurs Group
Have you always wanted to learn about running a business? Or do you just have a fun idea and more time on your hands than expected this summer? If you are 16-20 years old and interested in learning more, please reach out to email@example.com. Business owner and entrepreneur, Dr. Allison Sibley, is facilitating a 4 week group coaching program on entrepreneurial skills. It will include discussion and skills on marketing, branding, money management, strategy and execution of your unique business idea. It will focus on personal development activities as an entrepreneur and how to maintain positive coping as you grow your business.
Teen Groups for Stress & Anxiety
Are you concerned about your teen feeling anxious or down? Do you worry that they have no motivation since the outlook on summer seems bleak and uncertain? TSG has several therapists who work with teens on skills to support positive coping and improved moods during hard times. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
DIY Your Summer for Tweens & Teens
Is your teen or tween binge watching way too much netflix and slothing around the house with a device in hand? Are you seeing him/her doing less and watching more? Are you at a loss for how to engage your teen/tween in productive creative time over the summer? TSG is offering a 4 week creative group based on the popular curriculum, The Artist’s Way. It will include sample DIY projects and a group experience for your teen/tween to learn more about the interplay between their creative and emotional selves. We will focus on DIY projects such as mural making, sewing/cooking, gardening, movie-making and photo-collaging. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Creative Hands Project for School-Aged Children
Are you worried about how to engage your school-aged child now that virtual lessons are ending? Do you struggle to come up with organized, interesting activities to keep your young child entertained while working on their social and emotional regulation skills? TSG is offering a 4 week creative play group to include such activities as no-bake baking, constructing your own candy machine, slime-making and more. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
DC METRO AREA OFFERINGS
Educational Connections’s Summer Virtual Tutoring
Chesapeake Center for ADD’s Summer Social Connections Groups for Teens
Children’s Art Studio
Urban Adventure Squad
This is an outdoor camp that might be more suitable for participation during COVID. Stay tuned. Until then, here are some suggested activities.
Georgetown Psychology’s Online Teen and Mindfulness Groups
Good Beginnings Virtual Groups
Fun with playdoh, Flexible Thinking Group with Legos, Quarantine Kitchen
Bach to Rock
Child & Family Associates of Greater Washington, LLC