Summer is that glorious time when the kids get a break from school, and parents get a new job: CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer). It doesn’t come with a pay raise, and it’s a 12-hour day without paid time off. The Greensboro Day School counseling team has a few ideas to make that new job a little easier. 

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Young Children: by Shannon Kincaid, Preschool/Lower School Counselor

  • Help students maintain a routine. Set expectations around bedtime, waking time, and self-care tasks (getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating meals, etc.) This will allow students to practice the skills of following routines and navigating transitions. This strategy will also make it easier for you to adjust the routine to fit the school schedule as the end of summer approaches.
  • Encourage screen-free activities! Make sure your students are reading books, have access to arts and crafts materials (coloring, painting, creative activities), play outdoors, and spend time with peers.
  • Let them be BORED! There is no need to fill every moment of the day with activities. Allow time for students to have an opportunity to entertain themselves. You can set out activities, but let them self-direct play instead of leading them to each activity. If this is a challenge for your student, create an “I’m bored” jar with ideas of what they can do. This way, if they come to you and express boredom, you can direct them to their jar.
  • Help them practice their social skills by encouraging them to interact with peers their own age and around their age. Activities like going to the park, visiting the public library, going to Summer Camps, visiting neighbors, etc.

Greensboro Day School

Preteens: by Katelyn Williams, Middle School Counselor 

Middle school is a great time for students to try something new, explore new interests, and “fail forward.”

  • Take a trial run at increasing your child’s responsibilities around the house. This is a great time to learn basic skills like doing laundry, bathing the dog, or doing yard work. We often forget that these skills have to be explicitly taught, and the school year can be a stressful time for practice. Create habits during the summer that can continue all year long.
  • Ask your child, “What is one new thing you want to learn this summer?” This provides them with the autonomy to choose something they like, gives them something to work towards, and helps them to see that there are fun ways that learning can continue outside of the classroom. It can be juggling, rollerblading, crocheting – you name it. For extra credit, you can try to learn along with them to build connections!
  • Carve out time for family. It may seem like preteens only want time with their friends, but students often come back to school talking about the memories they created with their families. These can be vacations, but they can also be weekly ice cream trips or family movie nights. Whatever you do, be intentional and be present.


Greensboro Day School

Teens: by Bridget Gwinnett, Upper School Counselor

High school-aged kids may benefit from engaging in activities that allow them to pursue their interests and build their resumes for life after high school. 

  • Encourage kids to get a job or internship: Working during the summer can be a valuable experience that goes beyond earning a paycheck. It helps teens develop important life skills and prepares them for challenges and opportunities that are ahead of them. Summer jobs help students develop essential skills like time management, teamwork, problem-solving, and can boost their confidence. These skills are transferable to other areas of their lives, including academics and relationships. Internships offer students a peek into their career interests and gain experience before making a decision for the future.
  • Consider an extension to the school year: While most teens enjoy the break from school and homework, they may take an opportunity to get ahead by taking classes for credit or engaging in a learning experience to explore their interests during the summer. Classes can be taken in a variety of ways: through a high school, at a community college or university, online, and through travel opportunities that expose them to new cultures and experiences. 
  • Balance activity and rest: high school is hard, and summers provide teens with a needed and well-deserved break from the stresses of coursework and deadlines. Summer jobs and activities are beneficial, and relaxation is essential for maintaining good mental health. The icing on the cake is the balance of sleeping in and hanging out with activities that engage their brains and keep them productive and motivated. 

Greensboro Day School

Whether you’re looking for a summer camp for your preschooler or an academic class for your teen, visit to learn more about summer opportunities. Students can experience eight weeks of summer fun with camps focused on the arts, STEM, enrichment, athletics, and more!


Sponsored by Greensboro Day School