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self care blog

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety: 9 Ways To Practice Self Care

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety: 9 Ways To Practice Self Care 1920 1280 Jenny Selent, LMFT

When stress goes unmanaged in parents, the resulting emotional dysregulation can have a major impact on our ability to tune in to the needs of our children. Younger children and teens are particularly sensitive to this, as they often show us what they are feeling and needing through their actions and behaviors rather than their words. Being able to recognize what a child’s behavior is telling us requires a greater level of attunement. Because of this, it also requires a higher level of self-regulation and lower levels of stress.

It’s important to clarify that being emotionally regulated does not mean being unemotional. Actually, to be emotionally regulated means that we are aware of and in control of our emotions.

For example, depression is a dysregulated version of sadness or grief; rage is a dysregulated version of anger; and OCD is a dysregulated version of anxiety.

Nine Ways to Lower Stress Levels

When we are in the midst of stressful circumstances, it may take more conscious effort and self-care to be emotionally regulated. The good news is that there are many flexible and tangible ways that we can lower our stress levels. Here are just a few.

  • Exercising Indoors or Outside. Moving your body can help improve your mood and help improve your confidence. Just 20-40 minutes of aerobic exercise can help to release our body’s natural “happy” hormones, endorphins and dopamine. Stretching is another great way to relax your body.
  • Gratitude Journaling. At the end of the day list a few things for which you are grateful in a journal. Spending a few minutes writing in a gratitude journal can boost serotonin production in the brain. It can help improve your sleep, decrease aggression, and leave you feeling empowered. Even better, do it in the morning right when you wake up and before you go to bed. Some studies have shown this simple exercise to be more effective than psychotropic medications for depression.
  • Structure and predictability. Every day doesn’t have to be the same, but some structure and knowing what to expect can help parents and kids be more successful and flexible.
  • Breathe. Control Your Heart Rate. Research put out by HeartMath Institute shows that certain emotions like anger and anxiety can only exist within a certain heart rate. If you can control your heart rate, you can control your emotions. When you’re feeling anxious or angry, your heart rate is much higher, but slowing down your breathing can decrease it. One useful tip to help slow your breathing down is to think of someone or something you’re grateful for. Slowing down your breathing multiple times a day can greatly improve your mood.
  • Make Sleep A Priority. Sleep is imperative and foundational to mental health. Research shows that blue screens, alcohol, and caffeine/sugar can be really disruptive of sleep. Try to avoid these things in the hours prior to going to bed.
  • Acknowledge The Grief Process. What we resist, persists. There are a lot of losses happening during this pandemic so it’s important to slow down to feel and give attention to our sadness, fear, and uncertainty.
  • Destressing in the Outdoors. Being outside can help you feel connected to something larger than yourself, with so many sights, sounds, smells, textures to take in. It can even help to regulate the nervous system! The great outdoors, away from bad news and all distractions, provides space to broaden and shift your perspective beyond pandemic stress. It can help boost your mood and combat feelings of isolation.
  • Listen To Relaxing Music & Podcasts. On YouTube, you can listen to hundreds of videos featuring bilateral stimulation music. With headphones on, this can be incredibly relaxing. Bilateral stimulation is a technique used in EMDR that can help regulate the brain and promote restful sleep. Mindfulness related podcasts can also be helpful during this time. We recommend Brene Brown’s new podcast, “Unlocking Us”.
  • Check Out Mindfulness-Based Apps. There’s an app called Headspace that walks you through 10-25 minute lessons in mindfulness. Unwinding Anxiety is another app that is great for practicing mindfulness.

Parents can help younger children cope by first taking care of themselves so that they can be attuned to the struggles and needs that their children are experiencing. Practice the self-care exercises above with young children by integrating activities into your daily routine.

Always validate a child’s feelings; try to put yourself in their shoes first so you can hear and understand what the emotional experience is. Listen carefully and you might be able to help them label or provide words to what they are feeling.

Here is an Emotions and Needs Cheat Chart that you can use to better understand what your child needs based on the emotions they are expressing:

*This comes from and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy approach focused on care-giver interventions

Finding help for your teen at Solstice East

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-17. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, our program specializes in helping teens who struggle with behavioral and emotional challenges related to trauma, loss, and anxiety. For more information about how our program can help your daughter dealing with stress and anxiety, call our admissions team at (855) 672-7058.

teen tech addiction

The Truth Behind Teen Tech Addiction

The Truth Behind Teen Tech Addiction 0 0 se_admin

Social media has become increasingly popular in today’s society. Young people turn to social media to keep themselves entertained, show a highlight reel of their own life, and to snoop on the lives of others. It can quickly become addicting. Social media has both pros and cons. Teens who suffer from social anxiety may find social media to be a dark all-consuming place. Once technology use has exceeded beyond what is considered “normal” this may turn into teen tech addiction. Signs of this includes the following:

  • Depression
  • Dishonesty
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of Euphoria when using the Computer
  • Inability to Prioritize or Keep Schedules
  • Isolation
  • No Sense of Time
  • Defensiveness
  • Avoidance of school work
  • Agitation
  • Mood Swings
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom with Routine Tasks
  • Procrastination
  • Unable to unplug from device for any period of time
  • Withdrawal from social events to stay behind the screen

Teen Tech Addiction and Social Anxiety: The Connection

Social media can be directly linked to the onset of social anxiety or the increase of symptoms. Both positive and negative correlations have been found between the use of social networking sites and mental wellness. A lot of this depends on how social media sites are used. Here are a few considerations regarding the link between the two:

  1. People with social anxiety disorder are more likely to passively use Facebook (looking at other people’s profiles) and less likely to engage in content production (posting, commenting, etc.).
  2. Individuals who engage in anxious rumination may be more at risk for their social anxiety becoming worse when they use Facebook passively. For example, sitting at home all day reading other people’s Facebook posts, not posting anything of your own, not commenting on anyone else’s status, your social anxiety may worsen.
  3. People with social anxiety do not appear to be more likely to post negative content on social networking sites. However, whether one posts positive or negative materials relates to how others respond to you. Positive updates are related to increased “likes” while negative material results in lower positive feedback.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (855) 672-7058.


teen cyberbullying

Unplugging Teen Cyberbullying

Unplugging Teen Cyberbullying 4272 2848 se_admin

Online bullying has become increasingly common with the growth of social media platforms. The term that refers to online bullying is best known as “cyberbullying”. Teen cyberbullying can quickly start to have a negative impact on ones life. In fact, there is a line between online bullying and depression in teens. A recent study shows that teens who experience cyberbullying are more likely to suffer from poor sleep, which in turn raises levels of depression. Nearly 15 percent of U.S. high school students report being bullied electronically. At severe levels, depression may lead to disrupted school performance, harmed relationships or suicide which is why we must intervene and work to eliminate these issues.

Signs of Cyberbullying

Sometimes your teen may not be open about cyberbullying experiences. Here are some possible indicators that your teen may be a victim of cyberbullying:

  • becomes upset, sad or angry during or after being online or using their phone.
  • withdraws from family or friends.
  • expresses reluctance or refuses to participate in activities previously enjoyed.
  • has an unexplained decline in grades.
  • refuses to go to school or expresses anger or dissatisfaction with a specific class or school in general.
  • increasingly reports symptoms of illness for which he or she wants to stay at home.
  • shows signs of depression or sadness.

Sometimes, your teen may be on the other in. They may be the one cyberbullying others, if this is the case it is important to be just as aware of the issue. Some signs that your teen may be doing the cyberbullying includes the following:

  • Quickly switches screens or hides their device when you are close by
  • Uses their device(s) at all hours of the night
  • Gets unusually upset if they can’t use their device(s)
  • Laughs excessively while using their device(s) and won’t show you what is so funny
  • Avoids discussions about what they are doing online
  • Is increasingly withdrawn or isolated from family
  • Seems to be using multiple online accounts or an account that is not their own
  • Is dealing with increased behavioral issues or disciplinary actions at school (or elsewhere)
  • Appears overly concerned with popularity or continued presence in a particular social circle or status
  • Demonstrates increasing insensitivity or callousness toward other teens

The Next Steps

Whether your teen is being cyberbullied or doing the cyberbullying, it is critical that you have a talk with them about safe and smart use of social media. Keep lines of communication between you and your child open and help them to understand that when social media becomes an unhealthy place for them—setting boundaries is okay and may be the necessary steps. Often times too, one may simply not know the consequences of their actions or the actions of those around them. Talk with them about the effects of cyberbullying and how they are more than short-term word punches.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (855) 672-7058.

help for OCD in teens

Parenting 101: Help for OCD in Teens

Parenting 101: Help for OCD in Teens 5184 3456 se_admin

Obsessive compulsive disorder can quickly become all-consuming in a teen’s life. Studies show that when teens are constantly hard on themselves it can lead to the development of OCD. The frequency and intensity of OCD-like behaviors is what separates them from a character trait and a disorder. Help for OCD in teens can start with adopting methods to counteract actions associated with the disorder. However, before you can get a teen the help they need, you must first identify the issue at hand.

Signs of OCD in teens

Below are some things to look for when your teen may be exhibiting OCD behavior. Remember these behaviors are classified as a disorder depending on their frequency and intensity.

The most common obsessions among teens with OCD include:

  • Fear of dirt or germs
  • Fear of contamination
  • A need for symmetry, order, and precision
  • Religious obsessions
  • Preoccupation with body wastes
  • Lucky and unlucky numbers
  • Sexual or aggressive thoughts
  • Fear of illness or harm coming to oneself or relatives
  • Preoccupation with household items
  • Intrusive sounds or words

Compulsions that are most common among teens include:

  • Grooming rituals, including hand washing, showering, and teeth brushing
  • Repeating rituals, including going in and out of doorways, needing to move through spaces in a special way, or rereading, erasing, and rewriting
  • Checking rituals to make sure that an appliance is off or a door is locked, and repeatedly checking homework
  • Rituals to undo contact with a “contaminated” person or object
  • Touching rituals
  • Rituals to prevent harming self or others
  • Ordering or arranging objects
  • Counting rituals
  • Hoarding and collecting things of no apparent value
  • Cleaning rituals related to the house or other items

How to Help

There are various treatment options that can help reduce symptoms of OCD and make it more manageable for your teen so that it does not interfere with their everyday life. The best thing you can do to help with OCD in teens is seek professional care. A psychiatrist can provide proper evaluations and prescribe medications to help your teen. Cognitive behavior therapy is also an option. This specialized type of therapy can help your teen work through their specific symptoms and learn ways to cope.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at  (855) 672-7058.

stress in teens

What Causes Stress in Teens: Management Strategies

What Causes Stress in Teens: Management Strategies 5472 3648 se_admin

The teenage years can be an extremely stressful period in one’s life. Young one’s are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in. Relationships, school work, and hormones can make this period in one’s life extremely overwhelming. As a parent, it is not abnormal to feel like you are in a constant power struggle with your teen. When they are stressed they may exhibit irritable behavior or be seemingly impossible to deal with. However, as a parent it is important that you don’t instigate the conflicts. Common stress triggers in teens includes:

  • Academic stress
  • Social stress
  • Family issues
  • Significant life changes
  • Traumatic events
  • World events

If one or multiple of these things is contributing to your teen’s stress, you should work to address the root of the problem. There are things you can to do help support your teen and give them ways to manage their stress.

The Impacts

When addressing stress in your teen, it is important to recognize that stress impacts one from many angles. With stress one may experience changes in different areas. These changes can include:

  • Emotional changes: Your teen might appear agitated, anxious, and/or depressed. Pay attention to changes in behavior.
  • Physical changes: Teens under stress are likely to get sick more often and complain of headaches, stomachaches, and other aches and pains.
  • Behavioral changes: Look for changes in eating or sleeping habits, and avoidance of normal daily activities.
  • Cognitive changes: You might notice decreased concentration, forgetfulness, and/or the appearance of carelessness.

Simmering Down the Stress

Successfully managing stress looks different on an individual basis. There are specific ways that you can encourage your teen to practice stress management to hopefully decrease their struggles. Some stress management techniques include:

  • Exercise and eat regularly
  • Get enough sleep and have a good sleep routine
  • Avoid excess caffeine which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation
  • Avoid illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco
  • Learn relaxation exercises (abdominal breathing and muscle relaxation techniques)
  • Develop assertiveness training skills. For example, state feelings in polite, firm, and not overly aggressive or passive ways: (“I feel angry when you yell at me.” “Please stop yelling.”)
  • Rehearse and practice situations which cause stress. One example is taking a speech class if talking in front of a class makes you anxious
  • Learn practical coping skills. For example, break a large task into smaller, more attainable tasks
  • Decrease negative self-talk: challenge negative thoughts – with alternative, neutral, or positive thoughts. “My life will never get better” can be transformed into “I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help.”
  • Learn to feel good about doing a competent or “good enough” job rather than demanding perfection from yourself and others
  • Take a break from stressful situations. Activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet can reduce stress
  • Build a network of friends who help you cope in a positive way

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (855) 672-7058.

treatment for teen depression

You Aren’t Out of Options: Treatment for Teen Depression

You Aren’t Out of Options: Treatment for Teen Depression 4654 3103 se_admin

Treatment for teen depression is needed more now than ever before, especially for young women. Studies show that today’s youth experience depression much more often than generations before them. Research has linked this to increased academic pressure, unattainable media standards, and technology use.

So, if your daughter is one of the many teens experiencing depression, where do you go? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that many options exist. Depending on what your daughter is going through and what her needs are, many options for treatment for teen depression are available.

Figuring out if your daughter needs treatment for teen depression

Differing between regular melodramatic teen behavior and depression can prove very difficult for most parents. Is it hormones or are they depressed? Is this recent angst just a phase or is it a warning sign? Don’t worry, many parents are asking the same exact questions.

If something seems really off, you probably need to look into it and not immediately explain it away as “teen angst.” To help you identify whether your child may need treatment for teen depression or not, here’s a list of common depression symptoms to watch for:

  • Changes in sleep patterns, such as not getting enough sleep or getting too much
  • Frequently tired or out of energy
  • Sudden change in appetite, such as large increase or decrease in food intake
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Restlessness or anxiety, such as an inability to sit still
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Self-harm
  • Intense feelings of hopelessness or emptiness
  • Frequently annoyed or irritable mood
  • Often frustrated or angry over small issues
  • Feelings of sadness, sometimes paired with crying spells for “no reason”
  • Loss of interest in activities usually found pleasurable
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obsession with past failures or extreme self-blaming

Any of the above symptoms could be a cause for concern. If you believe your daughter may be going through some mental health issues, it’s critical to reach out to a professional as soon as possible.

What are your options?

Treatment depends on your daughter’s specific needs. If your daughter has just begun to show symptoms of depression, it’s important to reach out to a professional. Getting an assessment from a professional can help with deciding what treatment path to take for your daughter. Studies have actually discovered that improving your teen’s depression can actually improve your own (the parents’) mental health as well–even more cause to reach out for treatment help.

However, if your daughter is going through depression along with other behavioral or emotional issues, she may need more extensive help. Residential treatment centers (RTCs) cater to students that need more of an intervention than traditional therapy can provide. They create a contained, safe environment for teens to work through their challenges constructively. Many RTCs use a multidisciplinary approach in order to cover a child’s treatment needs fully. Some RTCs have a gender-specific focus, as well.

Overall, if you believe your child is struggling, many options exist, you just have to reach out to find them.

Solstice East offers treatment for teen depression

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, teen mood disorders, 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 our treatment for teen depression at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

solsticeeast photo

Girl Time: Parenting a child with peer-relationship struggles

Girl Time: Parenting a child with peer-relationship struggles 889 500 se_admin

Girlhood can be extremely difficult. Drama and social demands are constantly on the radar. Girls can find it challenging to socially navigate. This can cause peer-related struggles. As a parent, this can be heart-breaking. We wish everyone could see the amazing things our child offers the world. If your child is struggling socially, the best thing you can do for them is to help support and guide them. It is important to know you cannot force anything and miracles don’t happen overnight. All good things take time.

The inability to make friends or maintain relationships can be discouraging, especially during the school years. Kids spend a majority of their time at school. This is a place to learn, grow, and foster friendships that will last a lifetime. Without friends, it can be the loneliest time in one’s life. Often, kids don’t want to ask for help or they don’t know how to ask for help. They tend to think something is wrong with them or the world is against them. As a parent, there are several things you can and should do to help your child find their fit in the social world.

Girls just wanna have fun & friends

Connecting with peers is a source of confusion, frustration, and stress for some girls. It is important that you reassure your child that their social struggles are not a character flaw. Let them know that making friends is just something that takes practice. You can give them advice on how to build bonds. Have mock conversations with them. Let them introduce themselves, find things you have in common, and compliment them. This is a great foundation to build friendships upon.

Confidence plays a huge role in building friendships. Have your child acknowledge the great things they have to offer. Maybe their strengths are their sense of humor, their kindness, their ability to be helpful. Discuss how these can be used to nurture friendships.

Have your child list what they look for in a friend. Encourage them to get involved in activities where these kinds of friends may be. They can easily feel alone in their struggles, but you should offer them assurance that they are not. You cannot make friends for them, so let them take the lead. Talking about it and showing them support can be super beneficial.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 800-975-7303.


The Debate on Devices: Video Game Addiction Symptoms

The Debate on Devices: Video Game Addiction Symptoms 750 500 se_admin

“Video game addiction” was recently made an official thing by the World Health Organization. This opened up a new pool of debates among society. Is smartphone addiction also a thing? Does it deserve its own special diagnosis and treatment plan? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some people argue that the definition of “addiction” is becoming too broad. They argue that just because someone indulges in an activity more than they should, does not qualify them as being “addicted”. Others argue that these are not stand-alone diagnoses, instead, they are issues that stem from larger mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

Regardless of the outcome of this debate, we can all agree that there is a point in which smartphone use becomes excessive to the point at which it may have negative consequences on one’s everyday life. The word “smartphone” is highly associated with the teenage population. Teens love having social interaction on stand-by at all times. Even if they are away from people, they aren’t actually away from people.

Unfortunately,  social media has become the safe haven for many teens. Social media is the outlet in which they use to seek approval, satisfaction, and feel some sort of purpose. Smartphones are the tools that allow us to present ourselves in a filtered and fantastical manner. You should acknowledge when your teen appears to be unable to separate themselves from the virtual world. The scientists don’t have to qualify smartphone addiction as a mental-health problem for us to know that it excessive smartphone use can be a problem.

Identifying the symptoms is a smart start

You should look for behaviors in your teen that could indicate smartphone addiction that is present or developing. Here are various signs and symptoms that could stem from a smartphone addiction problem:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Significant weight change
  • Change in diet
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Depressed or irritable mood
  • Flat affect or facial expression
  • Little interest in activities they once found enjoyable
  • Difficulties paying attention
  • Withdrawal from social interaction or activities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Neglecting other activities and is constantly on his or her phone
  • Sore neck or headaches
  • Symptoms of anxiety when without his or her cell phone or service
  • Experiencing “phantom vibration syndrome,” which means checking his or her phone when it hasn’t vibrated or rung
  • Using his or her cell phone while driving

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls ages 14-18 who struggle with addictive behaviors or other mental health issues. Solstice East emphasizes physical fitness and nutrition as a part of integrating healthy habits into the lives of young women. Students will learn how to cope with their emotions, create healthy boundaries, nurturing relationships, and develop skills useful in the real world. This program gives students the opportunity to develop confidence, a greater sense of self-awareness, and the skills they need to lead happy and healthy lives.

Contact us at 855) 672-7058


Equine Therapy: The Good Kind of Horsing Around

Equine Therapy: The Good Kind of Horsing Around 667 500 se_admin

Equine Therapy is a type of experiential therapy between patients and horses. This type of therapy can involve grooming, feeding, haltering, and leading a horse. The goal of equine therapy is to provide students with a unique type of learning experience and give them a chance to develop a meaningful bond with the animal. Therapists use the interactions with the horse as teachable moments for the students. By working and interacting with the horses, students have the opportunity to learn and develop meaningful skills. These skills include accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, self-control, and problem-solving skills.

Equine therapy is an innovative approach towards treatment that doesn’t even feel like treatment.

The Benefits of Equine Therapy

Horses specifically offer many benefits towards students seeking treatment. Horses have the unique ability to recognize the emotions of their caretakers.  Horses tend to be non-judgmental, have no preconceived expectations or motives, and consistently mirror attitudes and behaviors of the humans with whom they are working.

While working with horses under the guidance and supervision of an equine therapist, equine therapy patients have a unique opportunity to recognize their tendency to engage in self-defeating and otherwise negative thoughts and actions. When the students become self-aware of their own thoughts and actions, this allows for a great reflective moment with the therapist during and after the interaction with the horse.

When students see that the horses are responding positively to their guidance, they will gain a greater sense of confidence and independence. They also learn how controlling their actions is important when interacting with others. Here are some other improvements seen in students who participate in equine therapy:

  • Assertiveness
  • Emotional awareness
  • Empathy
  • Stress tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Impulse control
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-actualization
  • Independence
  • Self-regard
  • Social responsibility
  • Interpersonal relationships

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls ages 14-18 who struggle with mental health disorders. This program implements equine therapy as one of their many forms of treatment. The focus is on regulation and relationship, the horse is the relationship. Students get feedback at the moment on how they are being experienced by the horse. Solstice East offers many other opportunities for young girls to sharpen and develop important skills and attributes such as self-confidence, self-control, communication, and responsibility. This program gives students a fresh start towards a happy and healthy future. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (855) 672-7058

Social Media Gone South: Parenting in the Internet Age

Social Media Gone South: Parenting in the Internet Age 150 150 se_admin

Social media can be a monster. A parent’s worst nightmare. The internet age sets the stage for many scary possibilities. Embarrassing messages can be kept alive forever. Predators and identity thieves are always on the prowl. And criminal prosecution can be the consequence of a youthful mistake.

It’s important to know that kids are still developing. They are still trying to decipher right from wrong and sometimes outside pressure makes these lines really unclear. The internet is not going away anytime soon, so it’s important that your child knows how to use it appropriately. And it’s your job to help them how to do so.

Every parent’s definition of inappropriate is different. To you, it may mean the use of vulgar and aggressive language. To someone else, it may mean exchanging suggestive photos or messages. All of these things can be included in your definition too. Whether it be suggestive photos, vulgar language, or a questionable internet history, if red flags pop up, you should address them with your child.

Don’t hang-up.  Listen to your child. Always address the situation calmly. It is never a good idea to react before you have context. You should be frank and open with your child about your concerns and how you see the situation. Consider that they may not know the consequences of their actions.

Adjust the settings. It’s okay to place limits on your child’s social media use. Limiting screen-time, making accounts private, and not friending strangers are all great ways to help your child create a safe social media environment. If your child is experiencing problems from a bully or constant unwelcome messages, utilize the block feature on social media sites. You can’t control someone else’s social media, but you can help your child control theirs.

Place yourself on Speed-dial. Literally and figuratively. Avoiding uncomfortable topics like sex and pornography isn’t going to make them disappear. It may just make you seem inaccessible. Talk about these things with your kid. Set your expectations. Make yourself available to your child so that they feel comfortable asking you questions or seeking guidance.

Solstice East

Solstice East is a program for teen girls ages 14-18 who struggle navigating their daily lives due to underlying disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or internet addiction. The program uses a relationship-based approach to help young women recreate their sense of self-awareness and purpose in the world. Solstice East emphasizes physical fitness and nutrition to show girls healthy habits that can be transferred to their daily lives. Young women leave this program feeling empowered and confident in their ability to create healthy habits and a successful future for themselves. Let us help your family today!

Contact us @ 828-484-9946