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The Impacts of Virtual Learning on Teens

The Impacts of Virtual Learning on Teens 150 150 se_admin

Teens have much to feel worried about during this pandemic. Will their families stay safe? Will their friends get sick? They worry they are falling behind. They worry about what that means for their future, and how that might affect college or the workforce after their graduate. That compounded with the stress of trying to complete virtual learning without the proper support can cause students to feel overwhelmed and defeated. There is also the simple fact that, for some teens, school is not a priority. It was OK when they have friends and free periods to look forward to during the day, but now that everything is carried out on the screen where they can stay on mute or have their camera off, it may just feel easier to not engage. 

The Impact of Virtual Learning

A poll of 849 teenagers by Common Sense Media found that as schools across the country transition to some form of online learning, 41% of teenagers overall, including 47% of public school students, say they haven’t attended a single online or virtual class. This startling number can be attributed to a variety of things such as, a lack of technology resources at home, parents who have to work and are unable to monitor school attendance, schools without the proper resources to effectively run online learning, or students who are struggling with learning or mental health issues without the proper support. 

Teachers across the country are having to learn new ways to teach a classroom of squares on a screen. There is less motivation for students to focus on a lesson where they are surrounded by the distractions of home. It becomes more difficult for teachers to teach to the individual, because even though each teen’s learning style is unique, not having students in-person places a lot of boundaries on the lesson. Research done in past disasters suggests that it is teenagers who are the most at risk when school is interrupted. Many are forced to work to earn money or have to stay home and take care of younger siblings. They are more likely to drop out and less likely to go on to college.

In-Person Learning in Residential Treatment

Learning in a classroom with peers helps give teens a sense of belonging and community. If they are feeling confused about a topic, it’s easy to look around the room and see if their friends are struggling too. They are able to be engaged physically in the room around them with classroom materials and hands-on projects. For many teens, kinetic learning is an important part of information retention. This is difficult to duplicate in an online setting. But even knowing the benefits of in-person learning, we do not want to put our teens in a dangerous situation due to this pandemic. This is where a residential treatment center can be a helpful solution. 

Students who attend a residential treatment center are naturally in a bubble. All the other students who are attending class also live on campus. There is not the worry that your teen will be exposed to another student who has gone home and interacted with a parent or sibling who may have been exposed to the virus. It is a safer environment where the program can control the possibility of exposure, while also offering academics that will help your teen reach their goals. 

At Solstice East, we have curated our academic program to be fully integrated with our premier therapeutic clinical program. Our experience has shown us that teens who succeed academically will be more likely to apply motivation to other areas of their lives as well. Students who experience an increase in self-confidence and self-efficacy from academics also display positive progress in their clinical work and in mending family relationships. Our teachers and therapists work hand-in-hand to ensure each student reaches their therapeutic goals while achieving academic success.

Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East supports a therapeutic culture where acceptance, change, and growth is recognized and embraced. Our approach employs the guidance of The Hero’s Journey and its themes, providing a foundation for our students to advance victoriously and grow closer to internal harmony. Solstice East students embark on a therapeutic journey that teaches inner growth and understanding and fosters positive relationships. Our groundbreaking approach allows our students to heal while compiling skills and practices to best serve them throughout their life journey. For more information please call (828) 469-0905.

what to do if your child wont go to school

What To Do If Your Child Won’t Go To School: School Refusal in Teens

What To Do If Your Child Won’t Go To School: School Refusal in Teens 2560 1695 se_admin

Every parent is familiar with the school morning struggle. It’s not uncommon for teens to complain that they don’t want to go to school, and beg to be allowed to stay home. But truancy is very different from school refusal which can have long-term negative effects. 

What is School Refusal?

School refusal can take many forms. Maybe your teen is constantly late to school or leaves before the school day ends. Or maybe they’re not attending school at all. They may complain of physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachache, or fatigue and cite these as reasons not to be at school. 

Oftentimes, teens who are exhibiting signs of school refusal are dealing with deeper issues than just not wanting to be in the classroom. They may be struggling with anxiety, bullying, or depression. Refusing to attend school allows your teen an escape from the distressing aspects of the school day, but this relief is short term. When a student continues to miss school, returning can feel even more difficult. They may fall behind academically and feel socially disconnected from their peers and teachers. It is important for teens to learn how to handle school-related anxiety. If they are unable to cope with these daily challenges, teens may become stuck in the cycle of school refusal.

Stop the Cycle of School Refusal

Talk with Your Teen: When teens feel judged or shamed, they will immediately shut down. By talking openly and honestly with your teen, you can show them that it is safe to share their feelings with you. Having calm conversations around school refusal can help your teen identify the reasons they are trying to avoid attending. 

Reach Out To Their Teachers: Meet with your teen’s teacher to discuss the problem. They may have a better understanding of what exactly is happening during the school day. You may also need to meet with school staff to craft an individualized educational plan (IEP) that addresses your teen’s needs. Some teens need to gradually reintegrate back to school, going to school in small doses as they get used to it. Working at home or with a tutor can help bridge this gap.

Help Them Build a Support System: Have your teen identify people at school (friends, teachers, a coach, etc) that they can go to when they are struggling. If they’re dealing with anxiety, maybe a friend can help keep them calm. If they are dealing with bullying, having a teacher they can go to when issues arise can make them feel safer while at school

Focus on the Positives: Have your teen make a list of things they enjoy about school. Maybe they enjoy their lunch period when they can have free time with their friend or maybe it’s band practice. Have them focus on how much they enjoy those activities. When they are feeling the urge to skip school, they can refer to their list and be reminded of the positive side of school. 

Find Help: School refusal is a serious problem that can quickly worsen. It can be beneficial to work with a licensed mental health professional who specializes in anxiety and can help support you and your teen and they work towards re-engaging in school. 

Solstice East Can Help

The Solstice mission is to support adolescents, and their families, in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff. 

We are a privately owned residential treatment center incorporating cutting-edge therapeutic techniques to help our clients address a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues. At Solstice East, your teen will be supported by a passionate team of therapeutic experts who have extensive training and experience working with trauma, loss, anxiety, addiction, and unhealthy behaviors. We are a proven leader in successfully treating adolescent students struggling with a variety of challenges. For more information please call (828) 471-0221.

Girls with Autism in school at Solstice East

What to Look for in a School for Depressed Teen Daughter

What to Look for in a School for Depressed Teen Daughter 2560 1707 se_admin

Your daughter doesn’t seem like herself anymore. She doesn’t enjoy activities she used to, she doesn’t like hanging out with her friends, she’s not doing well in school, she’s isolating herself–she’s depressed. When your family has tried out traditional therapy and had no response, it may be time to look into a school for your depressed teen daughter.

Maybe to your surprise, there are quite a few options in the realm of searching for a school for your depressed teen daughter. It’s important to know what factors can separate the wheat from the chaff in this new specialized world into which your family is stepping.

Characteristics of an excellent school for depressed teen daughter

When looking for a school for your depressed teen daughter, it’s essential to consider the therapies, setting, staff, and principles of the program. Some of the qualities of a superior residential school for struggling girls include:

  • Nurturing Environment. For your daughter to heal, she needs to be in an environment that actively works to nurture her and help her grow. This is what a fully therapeutic setting accomplishes. The immersion into therapy provides a level of care girls grappling with mental health issues need to develop the personal growth and confidence essential to healing.
  • Trained, Passionate Staff. You could have the best designed programming in all the land, but without caring, passionate people to execute it, it’s nothing. Staff play a critical role in supporting and supervising your daughter all throughout her healing process. They must be appropriately trained and passionate about helping adolescents work through their issues.
  • Supportive Setting. For success, support is crucial. Not just from the staff, but from the entire program, including the girl’s family. A system of support has to be woven into the fabric of the program to create the right amount of safety and warmth.
  • Comprehensive Therapy. No child is alike–they all have separate challenges and thus require different types of treatment. To do this, there must be a comprehensive therapeutic model put into place. This way, each individual can find which therapies work best for them and help them reach their specific needs.
  • Family Integration. In order for your daughter to truly heal, the whole family has to be brought into the process. Excluding the family won’t fix the issues that developed in the home. Without the support system of the family, reaching a full success is out of the question, this is why it’s so important for it to be included.

If you believe your daughter is having issues with mental health, it is critical to seek out a professional. Hoping the problem will remedy itself with time often does not turn out well–not just for your daughter, but for the whole family.

Solstice East is here to help your daughter

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. We offer our students help for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about a school for depressed teen daughter at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

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Understanding Back to School Anxiety & Helping Your Daughter Manage It

Understanding Back to School Anxiety & Helping Your Daughter Manage It 2560 1709 se_admin

Every teenager knows that going back to school after summer is inevitable–but that doesn’t make it any easier or less stressful. For some students, back to school anxiety is a serious issue.

Maybe it’s because they’re going to a new school, maybe they’re afraid they won’t be placed in classes with people they know, maybe they’re scared to look for someone to sit with at lunch–whatever the reason, back to school anxiety is real and it can cause genuine transition problems.

Why teens get back to school anxiety

For most students, going back to school isn’t desirable, but it’s certainly not something that creates serious anxiety–for others, the thought of summer ending brings on constant worries of whether their teachers will be good, if they’ll be able to make good grades, or if they’ll make friends.

This is more than a little stress, this is serious anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in adolescents–around 1 in 4 teens will struggle with an anxiety disorder at some point in their adolescence.

While 25 percent of teens certainly aren’t plagued specifically by back to school anxiety, school plays a huge role in teens’ lives, making it more common than one would think. For many, incidents that happen at school or related to school form underlying mental health struggles. It’s a place where adolescents grow emotionally, intellectually, and socially.

This back to school anxiety can even progress into anxiety-based school refusal. School is a place of learning and education–but it’s also a place that harbors a large amount of responsibility. And the education system isn’t always the best at identifying when a student is struggling mentally.

Helping your daughter transition from summer

First off, getting enough sleep and the right nutrients is essential for mental health in general, but especially for those struggling with mental health issues because a lack of either can agitate those problems.

Most importantly, parents need to be supportive and nonjudgmental about these fears. Saying things like, “Why are you worrying so much? It’s just school,” doesn’t help your daughter calm down. If anything, it makes her feel as if her worries are unjustified and crazy, that what she’s feeling is wrong.

You need to make sure that your daughter knows that you’re available if she’s struggling or needs to talk. If it becomes clear that your daughter may be battling an anxiety disorder, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.  

Solstice East is here to help your daughter

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, back to school anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about how we can help with back to school anxiety at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.