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Is Your Tween Having a Bummer Summer?


Sometimes summer vacation isn't all your child hoped it would be. In fact, for some children, summer can be a real bummer. There are plenty of summer pitfalls that can ruin your child's summer vacation, but there are also ways to help your child overcome them, and turn a lousy summer vacation into a great one. Below are a few typical tween summer bummer obstacles, along with ways you can turn them around.

What Makes a Bummer Summer?

  • A Friend Moves Away: When a good friend moves away, it can be devastating to a tween. If it's a best friend whose suddenly gone, even more so. Having a good friend move away is a sad time for a preteen, but there are ways to help your child move on and make new friends. For starters, help your tween stay connected to the friend whose moving away. They can keep in touch by mail, email, phone, texting or through social networking. Next, help your child make connections with other children. Summer camp programs, or local programs run through your local city or county may offer your child the chance to connect with others. In addition, open your home to neighborhood children or other children from school, church or clubs. Before you know it, your tween will be back to her old self, making friends and having fun.
  • You Can't Take a Summer Vacation: It can be disappointing when all of your friends are going to the beach or the mountains, but you're stuck at home. If your family can't find the time or the funds for a vacation, be sure you plan other activities for you and your tween to do together. You could visit parks, museums or go on day trips in your own home town. You don't have to spend a lot to have a family adventure.
  • He's Transitioning from Little Kid to Big Kid: The tween years can be difficult years, and when kids grow up, they often find themselves confused. Your child may no longer be interested in the activities that kept him busy last summer, but he may not know what to do with his time this summer. Help your child make this transition as smooth as possible. Be willing to let go of the past in order to help your child develop new interests. Offer up ideas, or ask how his friends are spending their time over the summer. Encourage him to try something new, in order to find a new interest or passion. Be supportive if he asks to attend guitar camp, instead of soccer camp.
  • He's Bored: Children never think they'll miss school, but some actually do. If your child is bored over the summer vacation, it might be because he's not academically challenged. Consider ways to keep your child learning and engaged. Book clubs, summer camps and even trips to area museums great ways to encourage learning, without your child even knowing it. A visit to your local library will no doubt offer up a variety of ideas for you and your tween.
  • He's Being Bullied: School may not be in session, but that doesn't mean that bullies go away altogether. If your child is withdrawn, doesn't want to participate in events or activities, or has bruises or scrapes that you can't explain, it's possible that a bully is involved. Be on the lookout for bullying behavior at camp, the pool, and even in your neighborhood. If you suspect a bully is at the center of the problem, act quickly. You want to help your child enjoy the rest of his summer, and move forward as fast as possible.
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