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Heartland Behavioral Health Services- Summer Mental Health Pt. 2- May 27, 2014

Alyson Harder offers some ideas and activities to help the children function during the summer.
IN THIS SEGMENT WE WILL ADDRESS AND SUGGEST SOME IDEAS AND ACTIVITIES TO IMPROVE HOW OUR CHILDREN FUNCTION DURING THESE LONG SUMMER DAYS!
AS WE DISCUSSED IN THE PREVIOUS SEGMENT, OUR CHILDREN MAY BE EXPERIENCING AN INCREASE IN IRRITABILITY, FUSSINESS AND/OR BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS RELATED TO THE ABSENCE OF STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE IN THE SUMMER. OUR GOAL TO COMBAT THIS IS TO CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL GROWTH. WE WANT TO ENJOY THE SUMMER WITH OUR KIDS!

IDEAS TO RID OURSELVES OF THE MID-SUMMER BLUES

· CREATE OR MAINTAIN A SCHEDULE-IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A DAILY AND WEEKLY SCHEDULE MAINTAIN IT. IF YOU DON'T, GET ONE GOING! STRUCTURE IS A KEY ELEMENT. WE TEND TO ALLOW OUR KIDS TO STAY UP LATER AND SLEEP LONGER-MOVE AWAY FROM THAT.

· CREATE A DAILY CHORE/RESPONSIBILITY LIST-UGH! I KNOW OUR KIDS DON'T LIKE IT, BUT THEY WILL LOVE US FOR IT LATER (MUCH LATER)

· MINIMIZE CONSTANT HOURS OF EXPOSURE TO TV AND VIDEO GAMES-IT CAN OVERSTIMULATE CHILDREN AND OF COURSE LEADS TO INACTIVITY. HAVE A SPECIFIC LIMIT TO "SCREEN TIME". CONNECT ACTIVITY AND EATING HEALTHY FOODS TO "EARNING" SCREEN TIME

· GET CREATIVE AND GET ACTIVE!

MOVEMENT IS KEY-SHOOT FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY EACH DAY. BIKE RIDING, SWIMMING, WORKOUTS AT THE GYM.

SCHEDULE PLAY DATES AND ACTIVITIES WITH OTHER CHILDREN

AIM FOR FRESH AIR EVERYDAY

TRY TO DO OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES IN THE EARLY MORNING TO BEAT THE HEAT

· KEEP THEM ACTIVE IN SPORTS, CAMPS, COMMUNITY ACTIVITY-SHOOT FOR AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK FOR EACH CHILD

· KEEP THEIR BRAINS ACTIVE-HAVE READING, WORKBOOK, COLORING TIME EACH DAY: DON'T LET ALL THAT BRAIN POWER THE EARNED LAST SCHOOL YEAR BE LOST!

· SCHEDULE OUTINGS EACH WEEK-SHOOT FOR TRIPS TO THE PARK, THE PLAYGROUND, MUSEUMS, LIBRARY

· TEACH THEM NEW SKILLS: HOW TO COOK, MAKE HOMEMADE ICE CREAM, POPSICLES, LEMONADE STAND

· TEACH THEM HOW TO HAVE DOWN TIME! CHILDREN NEED TO LEARN TO PLAY QUIETLY, REST WITHOUT BEING RESTLESS

· MAKE SURE THEY SPEND TIME INSIDE, IN THE COOL AIR AWAY FROM HEAT AND HUMIDITY. THIS WILL HELP WITH IRRITABILITY AND WILL ENSURE THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN ON CERTAIN MEDICATIONS.
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