WHAT IS RE-ENTRY LIKE FOR YOUR KIDS AT THE END OF THE SUMMER?
And how close to the start of school should you allow them to stay away?
Summer camp, summer trips, summer experiences take your kids on a new adventure. And they leave the cares, woes, stressors and most importantly, electronics behind. The longer they get to be away from home and embedded in their different world, the greater is the long term impact on their new behaviors and ability to maintain calm and order.
Yes, re-entry can be challenging. And the older the child, the longer it does take to adjust to returning home. Why?
The younger child comes home, has lots to share, needs a really good bath from head to toe and back, and clean sheets for sleeping. And that’s it! They may need to brush up on a little reading to get the cobwebs out of their academic portion of their brains. Refresher on table manners in small groups. Reminded that the end of a meal is not signaled by standing on chairs and cheering. A little more sleep and.... Done.
A teen also has plenty to share, definitely needs a good shower, some space to chill, sensitivity to their newfound independence, and lots of sleep. Cobweb maintenance and they are good to go.
As to the parents, be uber-sensitive to their independence. Allow them to do things on their own. Reinforce, with tremendous doses of compliments, how impressed you are with their (pick any and all) - language skills, cleanliness, strength, independence, stories galore, etc. Give them space, without pummeling them with questions, to let the stories come out slowly but surely. Share pictures you saved from the internet and possibly choose to put together a book of memories with them. And just give them a few days to acclimate to a new time schedule that allows some rest.
And as the kids relax and take advantage of personal service, moms and dads get to do:
.....loads of laundry, duffel back storage, back to school clothes and supplies shopping, grocery shopping for the houseful yet again, and a reminder that as wonderful as it is to have them home again, it certainly comes with a price.
Embrace the new normal. Back to school lunch making is around the corner!! And as your children live 10 months for the 2 of summer, so can you!!