Prevent Summer Break Loneliness for Your Tween

The summer months can feel isolating, here's how to help your tween

Plan period events this summer for your tween and his friends.

 Your tween has probably been looking forward to summer break all year long -- perhaps you have, too. But summer break, while fun, can also be a bit isolating for your social tween. If you work, it may be difficult to plan playdates for your child, and if you don't want friends over while you're at work, your child may spend a good portion of the summer alone or with a babysitter. Tweens who live in rural areas may also be challenged to make contact with friends during the summer months.

If your tween finds himself lonely this summer, here's what you can do. 

Help Your Tween Avoid Loneliness This Summer

Make the Evenings Fun: If your child doesn't have much interaction with you or friends during the day, he can make the evenings the time to connect. Have your tween invite friends over at night for ice cream or to catch fireflies. You might also encourage your child to join a regular nighttime activity, such as an evening program at your local YMCA or library. If the daytime hours are off limits be sure to make the evening hours your child's playtime. 

Consider Hiring a Teenage Helper: Your tween might be too old for a babysitter, but you may not be ready for him to stay alone all summer alone either. You can always hire a teenager to check in with your child during the day, and maybe hang out for a few hours. Having someone there while you're away may ease your mind, and keep your tween from getting too lonely.

Consider Summer Camp: Summer camp, day camp or residential camp, is really an ideal way to keep your child involved during the summer while having fun and making friends. Summer camp can be expensive, but there are camps for every budget. Consider attending a camp fair so that you can find camps in your area.

Your church, YMCA or even your child's school might also know about camps in your area. You might also consider vacation bible school camps. Your child might even be old enough to volunteer at a bible camp, which will keep him engaged while also lending a helping hand.

Send Your Tween Away: If summer camp isn't an option for you and your tween, consider sending your tween away to family or friends for a few days. A few days with relatives might give your tween the interaction that he needs, and give you time to catch up on a few projects at home while he's away.

Plan Periodic Events: Even if you work full-time, you can probably find a few days during the summer to plan a few fun events for your child and his friends. Consider taking a day off every month during the summer to take the tweens on a local field trip. You could visit a museum, a local park, an amusement park, or just spend time at the local look or in your own backyard. Be sure you don't let the summer slip away without a few fun-filled days with friends.


Check-in With Your Tween: If your child will spend most of his summer days alone at home while you work, be sure to check in with him frequently. Call so that your child knows that you're thinking about him, and that you miss him while you're at work. Be sure your child knows to check in with you also, if he goes anywhere or has an emergency. 

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