Summer is here, and the cries of “I’m bored” and “there’s nothing to do” have already started, barely days into your kid’s supposed favorite time of the year. It’s an annual ritual; the wave of excitement for the coming long days and warm night soon turns to the dread of the inevitable return to the classroom. During this time, days and nights are often filled with activities; from vacations to sports, campouts to pool parties. And quite often, days are also filled with television, video games, and sometimes innocent mischief.
Parents often struggle during this time. While kids may be quick to forget all about school, parents understand that classes return faster than everyone realizes, and the first month of school can often be filled with re-learning everything that has already been taught. Kids suffer when they come back to school and must go through this period of “re-education”. Wouldn’t it be better to have a child that is ready and prepared to start the new school year off on the right foot, ready to absorb new knowledge?
Advanced Brain Technologies (ABT) has been developing products for decades to help kids (as well as adults) improve memory, concentration and overall brain function, while also helping to reduce stress, and deal with the symptoms of autism, ADD, ADHD, and auditory processing and speech disorders. The Listening Program® (TLP) is a music listening method, personalized for each listener to improve brain health, at any age or level of ability. Used and trusted by hundreds of thousands of people in over 35 countries, TLP is offered through an international network of trained ABT providers.
These providers have countless hours of experience among them, and dealing with the “summer doldrums” is one of their specialties. To help you through these months, our providers suggest the following ideas to keep your kids engaged, so when that school bell rings again, they’ll be ahead of the game.
WHEN YOU HEAR “I’M BORED!”
Those two words are sometimes the most frustrating for a parent. Sometimes, however, they do not mean what you think they mean.
“In my personal and professional experience, the phrase ‘I’m bored’ expressed by a child rarely means what we adults think it means,” says Kellie Huff, CCC-SLP and President of Aurora Strategies in Norcross, GA.
“Often, it means, ‘this is too hard’ if heard during the school day, or ‘I want to be entertained’ if heard at home. And it’s placing the responsibility for fixing the situation on the external (parents, teachers, iPads). For my kids, their friends and my students, whenever I heard them exclaim, ‘I’m bored’, I always became very excited and replied, ‘Wow, that’s the perfect place to be! Now, you are standing on the edge of creativity! Every famous writer, inventor, explorer, adventurer, etc, just before they set out to discover something wonderful, felt exactly the same way you are feeling right now – bored with their current situation. Congratulations!’.
“Then, I would pull out the art supplies, paper and pencil, scavenger hunts, anything except turning on the TV or handing them an iPad. At first, they weren’t as excited as I was, because they wanted me to fix their problem, but after a few minutes of self-directed creativity or adventure, even though it took some prodding from me, and they were on their way to finding new ways of using their imaginations. Eventually the use of the phrase ‘I’m bored’ disappeared. Really.”
SCHEDULE AND STRUCTURE
School is a very structured setting, and every day it is the same. Often, summertime means no structure whatsoever. Bedtime is flexible, there’s no alarm in the morning, and daily activities can vary wildly. Many of our providers suggest creating a schedule for summer days and sticking to it as much as possible.
Pamela Torres says creating visual schedules can help your kids to know in advance what to expect each day. She recommends the web site www.boardmakeronline.com which has free options for creating visual schedules.
Jeanne Kennedy has used incentives to keep kids interested in completing routine tasks. Buy a roll of event tickets from a party store, and give them out after the child completes certain tasks. As the child accumulates tickets, he or she can redeem them for various rewards. Bigger rewards require more tickets, and rewards can include special treats like frozen yogurt, a night at the movies, etc.