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Ways to Beat the End-of-Summer Blues

Tips to help kids cope and ease their transition into the season of fall and school.

As the carefree days and warm nights of summer come to a close, so does the freedom of time spent outdoors playing with friends. Changes in the season (cooling temperatures, waning sunlight, falling leaves) and structured routines can create a more somber mood among kids, sparking some mild (or not-so-mild) melancholy and depression.

Teach Relaxation Skills

"If you can teach children relaxation skills, they can use them whenever they start to get anxious," says Edward Christophersen, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO. Dr. Christophersen describes sitting with his son just before his first day of school and calling his attention to a leaf that had blown through the window, which they observed and discussed. This act of being mindful can counter stress. "What you're doing is teaching kids to be present and really relish and enjoy pleasant activities."

He also suggests recalling visual images from pleasant experiences from the past, such as a beach outing. You can also use a photograph to help kids recapture feelings of happiness so they can access relaxation when they feel upset. "The main thing is getting kids to think about positive events instead of negative or unknown events."

Read more tips via Parents.