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Office Visit: Help Your Child With the Summertime Blues

By Todd Hoffman, M.D.
Note: This article appeared as a guest column in the Journal Record 

School’s out and it’s summertime for your child. Swimming, camps, playing outdoors and vacations can make for memories that last a lifetime.

Yet, for approximately nine months out of the year, school provides a regular routine for children, along with mental and social stimulation on a daily basis. In contrast, the summer months can be drastically different with shifting bedtimes and inconsistent activity levels.

How is the summertime shift for your child?

One way to combat the inevitable “I’m bored!” phrase from your child is to collaborate with them to create a summertime routine. This could entail signing up for regular activities or simply getting them outside for consistent exercise. It’s important they continue to interact with other people, instead of spending the summer on their devices.

Find opportunities to keep their minds engaged as well. Maybe plan regular trips to the library to check out a new book or seek out other educational opportunities by visiting your local museum, park or choosing from other various activities available in the summer.

You can also get creative and plan regular at-home activities that involve the entire family.

BCBSIL CMO Dr. Todd Hoffman

Todd Hoffman, M.D.

It’s also important to check with your child periodically throughout the summer to see how they are doing through open-ended questions. Without being around their friends or teachers every day, how do they adapt to being by themselves more often? 

If you notice a sudden change in their behavior from the school year to summertime, it’s important to check in with them as well. Something more serious maybe going on

If you continue to be concerned about your child’s mental well-being, reach out to their pediatrician or a therapist. They may be able to help.

We all want our children to have summertime experiences that last for years. Let’s do our part.

Make it a good month!

Todd Hoffman, M.D., C.P.E., is chief medical officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a division of Health Care Service Corp., a Mutual Legal Reserve Company.

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