“Four more weeks!” “Four more days!” “Four more hours!”
Everyone counts down the days until the end of school, but many parents will tell you – the excitement lasts about four days. Then the whining begins: “I’m so bored! I miss my friends!” And yes, even – “I wish we still had school!”
The end of the year brings mixed emotions for everyone, because it means the end of the familiar. The daily routines change, the time spent with friends decreases, the conflicts with siblings and/or parents increase.
There is also a sense of loss, because when the new year begins in the fall, students will have to face new teachers, new classrooms, and new lessons. Some will be moving to new schools, while others will miss friends who have left for other schools.
It’s not unusual for a teen’s mood to go from elation and relief to moping and depression within a few days of school’s end. Shrugging, sighing, and a loss of interest in regular activities are all symptoms of a teen who’s suddenly realized the whole summer is stretching ahead, and at its end lies new territory.
Allow a day or two for moping, and then intervene before it gets too entrenched. Arrange a day out of the house, either with friends or with family. Enroll your teen in a summer course or sport, usually found for a small fee through your local parks and recreation department. (But be sure to invite a friend – to a teen, it isn’t any fun with a group of strangers!)
Soon enough, most teens will find their summer rhythm, and the blues will fade, but only for awhile.
You can expect their return right around the time school starts.