Kids tend to count down the minutes and seconds to spring break for a number of reasons: chief among them, the chance to veg out on the sofa or romp around with friends outside of school. While unwinding is an idea we can get behind, a full week of “freedom” presents a unique opportunity for children to explore the world around them, and with that, discover more about themselves. Especially toward the end of the school year, kids can get worn down and stressed (about 49% of high schoolers report feeling a great deal of stress on a daily basis). Going the extra mile to empower and support them as a parent and family can have a profound impact on how they wrap up the school year—and the years beyond.
If you’re looking for creative ways to empower your kids in school, in their relationships, and in their approach to life, try one (or more!) of these activities during this year’s spring break:
- Home improvement creative project: Not that you’re expecting your child to be the next HGTV star, but entrusting them with a decision related to the home will give them ownership and pride that they feel every time they enter the room. It could be as simple as choosing what flowers and vegetables to plant in your garden, or selecting color palette for a full-out bedroom makeover (with your gentle guidance, of course). Giving them the chance to make informed decisions and solve problems without acting on impulse will help them effectively take on challenges in other areas of their life.
- Do something they excel in, and up the ante: Doing something that comes naturally to them outside of the school setting is essential for boosting self-confidence. By introducing an additional challenge to the mix you’re adding excitement and a goal to strive for. If your kid loves riding his or her bike through the neighborhood, try taking them on a heart-pumping ride through a scenic park or trail. Those who are more into paper planes may get a kick out of creating their very own DIY flight school game to work on their aim and craftsmanship.
- Let the student become the teacher: By handing the instructional reins over to your kid, you are shifting their perspective and helping develop their self-awareness. Whether if it’s a mobile app game or a tennis swing, showing off their skills in this way allows children to be cognizant of how they communicate, be empathic for how you and your family learn, and talk about why they love their hobbies. Be sure to ask them for feedback and for similar activities that you (or the family at-large) might enjoy.
In empowering your kids, you can do more than give compliments and sign them up for extracurricular activities. Do things that will build up their courage, give them assurance that it’s okay to be “different,” and let them be a leader. This spring break is the perfect time to start!