The End of the School Year Crunch

There are papers and projects to be completed, concerts to attend, games to watch, plays to perform, performances to take in, and of course, tests to take. As the school year heads toward an end, you and your teens and tweens may begin to feel the stress of trying to cram it all in before the bittersweet end of another year.

Even though much of the end of year fanfare maybe about fun, the sheer number of things to do and see can be quite overwhelming.

The last chance to make the grade can mean grueling hours of studying on days when the sun is shining and the outside beckons to your tween or teen shut inside studying, well, at least trying. The end of the year often finds us overbooked and overwhelmed. Why so much activity is crammed into a few short weeks is quite beguiling. Each year we vow to keep it cool, keep it calm, take it all in stride. The lazy days of summer will arrive in a flash, there is however much to be done before we get there.

So how can we at least protect our kids from feeling all stressed out? Perhaps the first step is by acknowledging that they take their cues from us. When we run around like a bunch of whirling dervishes we create an environment that feel frenzied and chaotic. We need to take a deep breath and take it all in stride.

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This, of course, may sound so much easier than it is to accomplish. Here are few helpful hints to help you and your tween or teen get there:

1. Focus on one thing at a time. Just thinking about everything that needs to get accomplished in such a short time span can be too overwhelming.

2. Sometimes you have to make choices. With so much going on you may have to help your tween decide what is and is not doable. Sit down with her and prioritize what needs to get accomplished.

3. Organization creates the structure your tween may need. Make a plan. The more structure you can create, the more in control of things your teen will feel. Map out what needs to get done.

4. Writing it down makes it real. Encourage your tween or teen to make a schedule to post in place where it is visible (such as the kitchen or the family room). A calendar of events clarifies what’s going on for everyone. It also cuts down on the confusion regarding where your tween or teen needs to be and when.

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5. Enjoy each moment. What good are end of year events if you and your kids don’t take the time to appreciate them? Encourage mindfulness. Takes lots of photos and most of all have fun!

When there is so much to do, it often feels as if nothing can get done. The school year is coming to a close. Offer your sons and daughters encouragement and help them feel empowered. Let them know you are sure they will accomplish everything by taking each task in stride. Remain calm and confident, and they will follow your lead.  Another school year will soon be in the books. The madness will quickly give way to the calm of summer. Rest and relaxation is around the corner so in the words of Winston Churchill, “keep calm and carry on.”

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