The end of the school year is approaching and summer is on the horizon. There is a flurry of activities to finish before the end of the school year, both academic, and personal. Parents often need to help their gifted children maneuver through this stressful time. Exams often present a high level of stress for gifted children who want to do well, with some who think they must get a perfect, or near perfect score. Headaches, lack of appetite, poor sleep, and other physical symptoms may present themselves and as parents, we may forget that symptoms may be caused by the stress the child feels. This stress may be actual, or self-imposed,
nonetheless, it appears and the child suffers. A good diet, plenty of sleep, plenty of water to drink, time to play or walk outside (even for older kids), and a time to relax and laugh, are important things a child needs to help cope with stress.
This is also a time to consider activities for the summer. A formal, planned program for gifted children is not necessary to provide a great summer for our children. Local activities in your area are plentiful. Check with the recreation department or library for activities, many of which are free. Most libraries have summer reading programs for children that include children from preschool through high school. Many of these programs have rewards at certain levels of reading time, with great prizes at the end. Even high school aged children enjoy the rewards of reading programs. The local park, swimming area, or shaded tree hold many opportunities to relax and enjoy the outdoors. A trip to your local Chamber of Commerce will provide many ideas and brochures about places to explore right in your area. Often, we adults do not even know all the great things to explore right in our own locale. Enlist the help of your child in exploring local options for summer. It may be the break from stress the child needs.
Another summer event July 13-14 is the international conference of the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted (SENG). This year the conference is in Brookfield, WI. There is a children’s program for students ages 8-18 coordinated by our own Sarah Kasprowicz. This conference provides an opportunity for parents to get together with other parents of gifted children from around the country and the globe to attend workshops. The children’s program gives gifted children the opportunity to be with others like themselves while exploring interesting topics in the local area. My family had positive experiences when attending several SENG conferences in the past, including the children’s program. Check out the SENG website for further information and registration.
As we come to the end of the school year, take a moment for you and your children to stop, take a deep breath out in the sunshine and fresh air, and say thank you to those who have helped over the past nine months, while looking forward to the summer and time to just Be.