10 Ways to Support Your Child’s Mental Health This Summer

Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, and adventure! However, it can also be a period of transition and uncertainty for children. Supporting your child's mental health during this season is crucial for their overall well-being.

Here are ten ways you can help:

1. Encourage Open Communication
Create a safe space for your child to express their feelings and thoughts. Regularly check in with them and listen without judgment. This helps build trust and shows that you value their emotions. For younger children, these feelings are often expressed through their play.

This video includes helpful tips on how to engage in child-centered play with your child.


2. Maintain a Routine
While summer often means a break from the usual schedule, keeping a consistent routine provides a sense of stability. As much as possible, set regular times for meals, activities, and bedtime to help your child feel safe and secure. This is particularly important for very young children, especially before the age of 5. Children thrive on structure and consistency - and it also helps parents by creating a predictable environment that helps children grow emotionally, cognitively, and socially.

3. Promote Physical Activity and PLAY!
Encourage your child to stay active through sports, dance, or even simple outdoor play. Physical activity releases endorphins, which can improve mood, and reduce anxiety. Here are 11 ways to encourage your child to be physically active.

Play is essential because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development and well-being of your child. Play also offers a great opportunity for you, as a parent or caregiver, to positively engage and interact with your child. Check out our Ways to Play page for fun ideas. We love this resource from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, Brain-Building Through Play: Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Children. The handout series provides suggestions games and play-based activities based on your child’s age.

4. Limit Screen Time
While it's tempting to rely on screens for entertainment, excessive screen time can negatively impact mental health. Set boundaries and encourage other activities like reading, games, arts and crafts, or outdoor exploration. Have a Nature Scavenger Hunt by making a list of items found in nature, such as leaves, rocks, or flowers. Or conduct simple science experiments such as baking soda and vinegar volcanoes or making a rainbow in a jar. These are fun and educational activities!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends minimizing or eliminating media exposure, other than video chatting, for children under the age of 18 months. Learn more from the AAP about how media can affect your child.

5. Foster Social Connections
Arrange playdates, group activities, or a trip to the park to help your child stay connected with friends and peers. Social interactions are vital for emotional health and can help reduce feelings of loneliness. Here are 3 ways to help your child build social connection skills.

6. Provide Healthy Nutrition
A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can positively affect mood and energy levels. Involve your child in meal planning and preparation to make healthy eating fun. We love these ideas:

  • Plant a garden with your child and watch it grow! Not only is play in the dirt fun, but your child is more likely to try foods they have grown. Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers are a good place to start.
  • Make cooking a family activity! Talk about your family's food traditions and teach them a favorite recipe.
  • Take a field trip to a farmer's market or local farm to learn more about other types of vegetables and fruits that may not be available at your grocery store.

The AAP has a wealth of information about nutrition for parents and caregivers.

7. Encourage Mindfulness and Relaxation
Teach your child simple mindfulness exercises or relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or yoga. These practices can help them manage stress and stay calm. Our Loving-Kindness Mindfulness video for kids is a great start!

8. Support Their Interests
Whether it's a hobby, sport, or artistic pursuit, encouraging your child to engage in activities they love can boost their self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment.

9. Be a Role Model
Children often mirror the behavior of their parents. Demonstrate healthy coping strategies, positive thinking, and emotional regulation. Showing that you take care of your own mental health sets a powerful example and sets the foundation for lifelong health!

10. Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you notice persistent changes in your child's behavior or mood, don't hesitate to seek professional support.

Supporting your child's mental health this summer doesn't have to be complicated. By incorporating simple strategies into your daily routine, you can help ensure that your child enjoys a happy and healthy summer season. We have put together a rich array of reliable resources for you

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. If you need additional resources or support, don't hesitate to reach out to us or a mental health professional. If you have questions or need additional support, please contact us.

Balancing on the Head of a Pin: Play Therapy for Anxiety, Anger, and Other Forms of Dysregulation 

August 2 @ 9:00 am 4:30 pm

In this training with Paris Goodyear-Brown, participants will explore the physiological confusion that often results with dysregulated children and teens as their stress response systems work to keep up with the pressures of our world.

Participants will learn techniques to help children articulate their anxiety provoking situations; establish emotional granularity, and soothe the physiology. Playful tools for designing and tracking gradual exposures will be covered.

Specific Play Therapy techniques will be augmented by detailed case examples, video clips, and experiential learning.

Presenter: Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S  – click here for bio.

Learning Objectives: 

1. List the three structures of the triune brain.

2. Explain the role of early attachment relationships in the evolution of a child’s self-regulation.

3. Articulate five play therapy interventions aimed at soothing the physiology.

4. List five play therapy interventions aimed at helping clients rehearse impulse control and/or anger management skills.

5. List three metaphors that can be used to describe how anxiety grows and how it can be reduced.

6. List six co-regulation strategies codified in the acronym SOOTHE.

7. List three play therapy tools for tracking exposure/response prevention trials.

Cost: $180 LIVE: This will be a LIVE, in-person workshop. Participants must attend the entire presentation and will be awarded LIVE CONTACT APT CE’s upon successful completion of a post test. Approved by APT for 6 LIVE CONTACT APT CE Hours & Florida Psychologist, LMHC, LMFT & LCSW CEU’s.

Discounts are also available for groups of 10+ people!

Student discounts available! Please email to welearnplay@centerforchildcounseling.org with your name, school, and request for a 30% student discount code.

Workshop Agenda

  • 9:00am-10:30am Introduction to the balancing on the head of a pin: play therapy for anxiety, anger and other forms of dysregulation
  • 10:30am-10:45am break
  • 10:45am-12:00pm Introduction to the triune brain and role of early attachment relationships
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch
  • 12:30pm-2:00pm Play therapy activities to soothe the physiology and impulse control and/or anger management skills
  • 2:00pm-2:15pm break
  • 2:15pm-4:00pm 6 co-regulation strategies (SOOTHE) and play therapy interventions to track exposure/response prevention trials
  • 4:30pm Goodbyes
6000 N Flagler Dr
West Palm Beach, Florida 33407 United States
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Workshop Cancellation and Refund Policy 

  • All cancellations must be made at least 10 days prior to the scheduled workshop. Registered participants who provide proper notice (10 days or more) will be credited, minus a 25% workshop fee. For registered participants who cancel less than 10 days prior to the workshops, credit towards a future workshop will be provided. This credit must be used within 1 year of the original workshop date (no cash refunds). The registered participant may invite another person to substitute their place in the workshop (in which they are registered) at any time at no charge.
  • You may cancel by emailing welearnplay@centerforchildcounseling.org 
  • No shows or missed workshops will not receive a refund or credit.

Center for Child Counseling is approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors: Provider #50-11511. 

Center for Child Counseling is an approved provider of Play Therapy Continuing Education through the Association for Play Therapy, which has developed policies, standards, and the credentialing for the practice of Play Therapy. APT Approved Provider #09-263.

*Play therapy credit may not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.

Center for Child Counseling is approved through the Florida Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and Licensed Mental Health Providers #50-11511.

Resiliency Building: A Guide for Educators

Online, On-Demand Workshop

Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Resilience is about thriving – and not just surviving. 

“How parents and teachers talk tells a child how they feel about him. Their statements affect his self-esteem and self-worth. To a large extent, their language determines his destiny.”

This training is recommended to all educators and it’s 15 minutes long.

In this FREE Online Workshop, you will learn about:

  • Gaining an understanding of resilience
  • How to aid and support youth in identifying, building and maintaining resilience
  • Tools to increase relationships 

Fostering Social-Emotional Learning in Elementary-Aged Children

Online, On-Demand Workshop

Social and emotional development affects every aspect of a child’s life. 

Children are born with the need and desire to connect with those around them. When parents, caregivers and teachers establish and model positive relationships with children during their early years of life, children feel safe and secure, laying the foundation for healthy social and emotional development. This process affects how children experience the world, express themselves, manage their emotions, and establish positive relationships with others.

In this FREE Online Workshop, you will learn about:

  • Understanding Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Social and Emotional Skills
  • The Importance of SEL  
  • Social and Emotional Developmental Milestones for grades K-5
  • Strategies to help your child develop social and emotional skills

How to Change your Stress to Strength 

Online, On-Demand Workshop

Everyone experiences stress. Our bodies are meant to feel stress and to react to it. 

Most people experience stress on a daily basis. Stress keeps us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress results from things that impact upon us in the normal course of life. But what happens when our stress does not go away? Your body is only meant to handle stress in small bursts. Chronic stress can lead to serious problems, lowering your immune system and interfering with the proper functioning of your body’s systems. 

This webinar consists of two modules: 1. Definition, Impact and Symptoms of Stress and 2. Dealing with Stress: Self-Regulation and Coping Skills. Each module is 20 mins. 

In this FREE Online Workshop, you will learn about:

  • What is Stress and Stress Response Levels
  • Impact of Stress
  • Symptoms of Stress
  • Self-Care and Self-Regulation Skills 
  • How to Cope with Stress

How to Manage Sibling Rivalry

Online, On-Demand Workshop

If you have more than one child, chances are good to excellent that you’ve had to referee sibling fighting and rivalry.

Even the best sibling relationships can have their moments of conflict and friction. Sibling bickering can be very challenging and stressful for parents and caregivers to manage.  

In this FREE Online Workshop, you will learn about:

  • Parenting Overview and Parenting Styles
  • Factors that Influence Sibling Rivalry
  • Main Causes of Sibling Rivalry
  • Strategies to Manage Sibling Rivalry
  • What to Do When Fighting Starts
  • Helping Siblings Get Along
  • Strategies for Conflict Resolution
  • About Sibling Rivalry

Achieving Success with Teenagers: A Guide to Effectively Parenting Teens

Online, On-Demand Workshop

If you have a teenager, you’ve probably already discovered that adolescence provides new challenges as you face family conflicts.

Surviving (your child’s) adolescence can be difficult. Join us today to learn new ways to understand your teen, and to communicate with them effectively. 

This training is recommended to all parents of teens and it’s 15 minutes long.

In this FREE Online Workshop, you will learn about:

  • Understand teen development
  • Learn effective communication styles with your teen
  • Provide a positive environment that allows for your teen to grow and develop

How to Use Positive Parenting and Discipline Strategies with Your Child 

Online, On-Demand Workshop

Parenting elementary-aged children can be challenging – and we are here to help. 

If you would like to learn some new, empirically tested parenting strategies to help you develop positive parenting and communication skills – register today! 

This training is recommended to all parents of children ages 6-11 and it’s 40 minutes long.

In this FREE Online Workshop, you will learn about:

  • Positive Parenting and Communication
  • Different Discipline Strategies (such as encouragement, active ignoring, and time out)
  • Behavior Management Strategies (such as sticker chart, weekly point chart, and color chart)

Feelings & Coping Curriculum 

Online, On-Demand Workshop

A FREE ‘Caregiver + Kid’ Workshop

This online training is designed to help teachers, parents, and caregivers of children aged 0 – 8. You should plan to attend along with your child.

Children deal with many of the same feelings as adults. However, young children usually don’t have the vocabulary to describe or talk about their feelings.

The ability to cope is not something we’re born with. Coping involves a set of emotional and practical skills our children learn through both observation and direct teaching. Without healthy coping skills, children are likely to “act out”. Children who don’t know how to deal with their feelings are also more likely to turn to unhealthy coping strategies as they grow older. A child who learns how to cope when young will gain strength and confidence as he/she matures. 

This Online Workshop consists of 6 Lessons. Each lesson is +/-15 minutes. 

Your child will be able to:

  • Identify and talk about feeling
  • Communicate effectively about feelings without using negative behaviors
  • Develop and practice coping skills 

How to Help my Child Listen

Online, On-Demand Workshop

Parenting can be challenging at times. At one point or another, all parents experience defiance regardless of their child’s age.

If you are trying to teach your child to follow directions, this online workshop is for you!

In this Online Workshop you will learn about:

  • The Importance of the Relationship
  • Encouragement vs Praise
  • Reflective Listening
  • ACT Model (an effective way of addressing challenging behaviors)
  • Choices

Language Preference: This workshop is offered in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole


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