As we end this school year and transition to “summer mode,” it can be helpful to take advantage of the slower-pace to reflect on the year. Students have grown in so many domains – intellectual, physical, self-awareness, decision-making, and so much more. It can be helpful to ask your children in what ways they recognize their own growth and development. Likewise, parents and guardians may want to share your own observations with your students.
We have a tendency to hyper-focus on the academic domain, but it is so important look at engagement and connectedness in other areas as well. Has she spent the year involved in activities that were satisfying? Does he want to branch out to new activities next year or continue what he has started, therefore developing more depth and skill? Have they found a healthy balance between academic and extracurricular pursuits? Reflecting on these, or similar, questions can help students identify which of their involvements have brought them joy and which may no longer be satisfying.
It is also important to acknowledge that the end of the school year can represent the loss of consistency, structure, and routine. For some students, it may be difficult to initiate contact with peers or to engage in preferred activities. If you develop concerns about your child’s emotional health or see concerning behavioral changes, please know that the City of Newton has compiled this list of community based counseling agencies, consultative services, support groups, and helplines.
I will be spending a portion of my summer enjoying a free online course on “The Science of Well-Being”, based upon a popular Yale University course recently developed. I hope to expand my professional knowledge base and also learn some practical tips for putting that knowledge into practice. Perhaps you and/or your child might find this resource to be a useful tool to incorporate the principles of positive psychology into your lives.
Best wishes to all for a restful and rejuvenating summer!
Director of Guidance