I would like to take credit and say that I came up with the idea of giving teens a mental health day but it was actually a friend of mine. A few years ago, when my children were younger, our church had a special service for the graduating seniors in our youth group.
Every year they do something unique and that particular year the seniors had put together a video where they expressed thanks to their parents and how their parents had helped them during high school. My friend’s daughter talked about a stressful time she was going through and how one day her mom let her take a mental health day and they went to the mall together. I really thought that was neat.
It wasn’t until recently that I thought about that and saw the importance of a mental health day for my own teenage son. Of course, I also believe that granting such a day would be based on some rules, such as good grades, good behavior and that sort of thing. I certainly wouldn’t advocate giving a teen who has been failing in school a mental health day.
I think mental health days are a good idea for adults, as well. But for now we are talking about teens. My son has been getting good grades, he has only missed one day of school and he has been working hard in his Civil Air Patrol program. His cousin was in a talent show yesterday during school hours so I granted my son a mental health day so he could go see him.
I could tell that my son greatly appreciated that. He had been recently expressing how hard it was to stay motivated in school this past month. School is almost over and teens get that itch for it to be done with. I recognized that he was really trying and I wanted to reward him. Being able to sleep in yesterday and then go see his cousin was a real treat. Of course, the reward was made sweeter by the fact that his cousin took first place in the musical solo act. I am so glad my son was able to see that.
So you might think about giving your teen a mental health day and doing something together that is special. Your teen will really appreciate it.