Tough to come back after spring break

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Post Spring Break — anyone having trouble getting back into the “swing of things?”

Dear Liz,

I could not get my pre-teens and one teen (16) out of bed and out the door to school after spring vacation. It was far worse than after summer vacation and Christmas combined. I don’t know if I am up for the battle. Suggestions?

The trumpet didn’t work

Dear “Trumpet,”

Great idea. It is a biological and psychological phenomenon that creates the sluggish, “don’t want to’s.” For seniors, especially those already accepted to college, there is a “why bother?” attitude (with the explanation that college acceptance is dependent upon graduating from high school with a decent average.) It is also the law.

Family meeting time: ask what they each need to get up and ready on time without a fight. It should be their job. Going to bed and asleep early enough is a huge factor. Thirty minutes without “blue-light” electronics is also important for brain chemistry to signal “sleep.” Sometimes you have to let them have the true consequences of their choices, including failing and having to go to summer school (even with them paying for it — because they had the chance to pass for free, or primary tuition).

Parents are often shocked with this concept. Raising responsible kids means they may have to suffer the pain of consequences, and the realization, we love them, but will not be “bailing them out” (this time). I’ve even suggested hitting the breaker boxes for the kids rooms at a certain time (with warning) after collecting all not-plugged in, electronics. Oh, they can have a flashlight to read. Let me know if they don’t settle in.

Dear Liz,

We had a family reunion over spring break, which is always a mixed experience because of the people who get along and those who don’t. And then there was the weather, which I somehow feel responsible for. I am left aching for those I don’t get to see often, especially my long-distance grandchildren, and find it hard to get back into my routine.


Dear “Melon-collie,”

Love the name. I feel with and for you. My Denver girls are back in the snow and I agree about the weather. (Two of the grandkids literally stayed in the ocean anyway.) We need to collect ourselves and focus on the job at hand.

If you work, try to get into a project that demands your full attention. On your ”free time” you may want to make memory books for the participants using the best pictures. I like to do this for my grandkids. (My kids tease me I take a zillion pictures but don’t do anything with them.) Well, even though my heart aches sometimes missing them as I do it, I find it helps.

I also believe in old-fashioned hand-written notes and letters.

It is therapeutic and a real treat on the other end when they check the mail. Planning your next visit with the long-distance grand children also can ease the transition. Serving others also helps greatly. If you need a project check with the local American Red Cross or “211” Trident United Way.

Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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