• Residential Treatment Program for Teens 14-18


love learning - Solstice RTC

How to Help Your Child Love Learning Again

How to Help Your Child Love Learning Again 2560 1707 Angela Johnson

In today’s fast-paced world, fostering a love for learning in your teenage child can be challenging, especially if they are going through a difficult time. However, instilling a passion for knowledge is crucial for their personal and academic development

This blog post will explore practical strategies to help your child rediscover their love for learning, empowering them to thrive academically and beyond.

Create a Supportive Learning Environment:

One of the first steps in reigniting your child’s love for learning is establishing a nurturing and supportive environment at home. An environment that supports intellectual exploration should include the following: 

Open Communication: Encourage open and honest discussions about their interests, goals, and challenges. Let them know that you support them throughout their educational journey.

Established Routines: Help them set a structured routine with designated study time, breaks, and leisure activities. Consistency and organization can boost focus and motivation.

A Dedicated Study Space: Create a quiet, comfortable study area without distractions. Personalize the space with inspiring quotes, artwork, or items that reflect their interests.

Discover Her Passion:

Help your child identify their passions and interests. Learning becomes more engaging and enjoyable when it aligns with our natural inclinations. Here are a few strategies:

Encourage Exploration: Help them study and experience various subjects, activities, and hobbies. This allows them to explore and discover their true interests.

Provide Experiential Learning Opportunities: Take them on educational outings by visiting museums, art galleries, or science centers. These experiences can ignite curiosity and encourage a deeper connection with different subjects.

Support Extracurricular Activities: Encourage involvement in clubs, sports teams, or community organizations that align with their interests. These activities can foster a sense of belonging, motivation, and personal growth.

Tailor Learning to Her Style:

Every individual has a unique learning style. Understanding and accommodating their preferred style can make learning more enjoyable. Consider the following examples:

Visual Learners: Incorporate visual aids such as colorful charts, diagrams, and mind maps to help them grasp and retain information.

Auditory Learners: Encourage them to listen to educational podcasts and audiobooks or participate in group discussions to reinforce learning.

Kinesthetic Learners: Provide hands-on activities or experiments that allow them to physically engage with the subject matter. Incorporate movement, role-playing, or interactive games to enhance learning.

Emphasize Real-World Applications:

Help your child connect their classroom learning to real-life situations to make it more meaningful. Incorporate the following ideas into your plan:

Show Relevance: Highlight how different subjects relate to their interests, future career aspirations, or solving real-world problems. This helps them understand the practical applications of what they’re learning.

Field Trips and Guest Speakers: Organize visits from professionals or experts in various fields to share their experiences and demonstrate the practical side of learning.

Project-Based Learning: Encourage them to tackle projects that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. This approach fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for the subject matter.

Foster a Growth Mindset:

Promote a growth mindset emphasizing effort, resilience, and the belief that abilities can be developed over time. Though you can remind them to do these things, it is often best to lead by example!

Encourage Positive Self-Talk: Teach your child to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. Remind them that mistakes are growth opportunities and that learning is a lifelong journey.

Set Realistic Goals: Help them set achievable goals that can be broken down into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate each milestone to boost their motivation and confidence.

Provide Encouragement and Support: Offer praise for their efforts, progress, and achievements. Tell them you believe in their abilities and that any setbacks they encounter are temporary.

Don’t Give Up

Rekindling your child’s love for learning requires patience, understanding, and an environment that supports their holistic growth. By creating a supportive atmosphere, helping them discover their passions, tailoring learning to their style, emphasizing real-world applications, and fostering a growth mindset, you can empower them to embrace education with renewed enthusiasm. 

Remember, every step counts, and with your unwavering support, they can rediscover the joy of learning and flourish academically and beyond.

bullying in teens

Bullying is a Big Deal: The Lasting Effects of Bullying in Teens

Bullying is a Big Deal: The Lasting Effects of Bullying in Teens 640 426 The Solstice Team

During the teen years, friendships and peer relationships begin to feel more important to young adults than their family relationships. While this is a normal part of becoming more independent, it does mean that these teens are experiencing increased opportunities for bullying. Social dynamics are beginning to shift at school or within their friend groups and peers begin to establish themselves outside of their own family unit. Teens are spending more time away from home by themselves for gatherings or after-school activities. Teens are also spending more time on their devices which exposes them to even more opportunities for bullying. When we look at all of these things combined, it is easy to see how prevalent bullying can be during the teen years. According to a 2019 report, about 20% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying nationwide. 19% of students in grades 9–12 report being bullied on school property in the 12 months prior to the survey and An estimated 14.9% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Bullying goes beyond temporary or short-lived emotional pain. Bullying has serious effects on one’s health. Did you know bullying can cause physical changes in the brain and result in an increased chance of mental illness? Researchers predict that the prevention of high school bullying could result in lifetime benefits of more than 1 million dollars per individual. Putting an end to bullying in teens requires learning about its effects and engaging the whole community in the mission.

What Bullying Looks Like

Bullying comes in many different forms, especially for today’s teens. While we may assume that bullying means a shove in the hallway or hazing in sports teams, the reality is that there are many factors for bullying that include physical and emotional abuse. A few examples of types of bullying include:

  • Physical bullying: This kind of bullying includes a range of aggressive behaviors in which one person aims to cause bodily harm to another person.
  • Verbal bullying: Some people say that “words will never hurt you,” but anyone who has been on the receiving end of verbal bullying knows that cruel words and scary threats can, indeed, be very painful.
  • Relational bullying: In relational bullying, kids use friendship, and the threat of taking their friendship away, to hurt others. This is the type of bullying most often referred to as “drama.” Because it often happens within the context of a once trusting friendship, drama can be especially confusing and hurtful. This can begin to present itself even in children at a young age.
  • Cyberbullying is a specific form of bullying that involves technology: Cyberbullying can be especially destructive because of how quickly and how widely cruel messages can spread.

The Dangers of Bullying

Research suggests that children and youth who are bullied over time are more likely than those not bullied to experience depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. They also are more likely to be lonely and want to avoid school. Experiencing bullying can also have physical effects such as a loss of sleep or feelings of general illness such as headaches and stomach aches.

Chronic bullying is the term that refers to bullying that occurs repeatedly over time. Studies showed that adolescents who experienced chronic bullying were linked to changes in brain volume and changes in anxiety levels at age 19. This finding is what connected the effects of bullying with mental health issues.

Cyberbullying is especially prevalent and dangerous for today’s teens. Young adults have access to each other at all times of the day or night across multiple platforms thanks to smartphones and computers. Teens communicate through everything from text messages to TikTok to online gaming. With so many platforms, it can be difficult to track who is communicating to your teen and when. Cyberbullying can be especially devastating for teens because it so often includes more than one bully. Group texts that taunt. Instagram comments that criticism. It can feel completely overwhelming to teens and make them believe that everyone hates them. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:

  • Persistent: Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.
  • Permanent: Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.
  • Hard to Notice: Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.

How You Can Help

Seeing your child experience bullying can be heartbreaking and leave you feeling powerless. Every parent wants their child to feel safe and supported, but because bullying can be insidious, it may be difficult for parents to recognize. Since it is unrealistic for parents to be with their children 24 hours a day, how can you help your teen? Here are tools you can use to help address bullying within your own home:

  • Look for signs. You should watch for signs in your child that he or they may be being bullied. Don’t expect them to tell you. Ripped clothing, marks on skin, dread going to school, decreased appetite, crying, general anxiety and depression, or nightmares could be signs indicating issues with peers at school. From here, don’t tell them to toughen up. 
  • Create a conversation. Learn about the situation and grasp an understanding of what is going on. Don’t encourage your child to fight back, instead assure them that you will help them work through the situation.
  • Work on coping skills. Teach your teen how to overcome bullying without feeling weak or defeated. Practice at home. Give them scenarios where they practice walking away or using assertive behaviors for coping with bullies. Also talk to them about resources they can seek out when they are worried about bullies.
  • Set social boundaries. Cyberbullying is at an all-time high with the growing access and popularity of social media. Educate yourself and your child on how to properly use social media. Don’t forward emails or threatening messages. Don’t post inappropriate photos or comments. These are all things that should be addressed.

Residential Treatment for Healing

For some young women, the effects of bullying last far longer than the event itself. And while there are ways that parents can support them at home, they may need additional support and structure to work through the trauma of being bullied. In these cases, a residential treatment center like Solstice RTC may be the answer. 

The emotional culture or “milieu” of our program is a critical factor in the healing process. A strong sense of emotional and physical safety is paramount so that the girls and assigned females at birth feel protected in the deeply sensitive work they do. Furthermore, the daily interactions and behaviors of the girls and assigned females at birth in and among their teammates are reflective of how they are progressing in their journey.

Daily interactions with peers and staff are best illustrated by the levels of responsibility they are developing, as well as the respect and care they invest in their relationships. Given this, the role of the residential program and the therapeutic impact it has in the lives of the students we serve is vitally important in creating a safe and healing culture.

When a new student arrives at Solstice RTC, they are assigned a “big sister”, another student that has advanced in their progress enough to be ready to support a new student. The big sister plays a vital role of an immediate friend, a source of information and guidance to the new student. They focus on helping their “little sister” feel welcomed and cared about during the first weeks following admission.

At Solstice RTC, our milieu culture combined with a built-in community can help our students begin to build relationships and trust with their peers. Young women and assigned female at birth can use tools such as group therapy, adventure therapy, and community service to work through their past trauma around peer relationships due to bullying. 

Solstice West RTC Can Help

Solstice West RTC is a program for young girls and assigned females at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, addictive behaviors, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides individual, group, and family therapy to help students heal and improve from every angle. Fitness, nutrition, and academics also play an important role in this program. 

Our approach to change emphasizes student’s strengths within a therapeutic culture where acceptance, change, and growth are supported and valued. Positive relationships characterized by emotional safety are at the crux of this process. Students embark on a therapeutic journey that fosters relationships and a thorough understanding of themselves and those around them. Solstice gives teens the skills and help they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, healthy, and capable of self-managing. We can help your family today! For more information please call us at 801-919-8858.

mindful new year

Starting the New Year Strong: Mindfulness Practices for A Fresh Start

Starting the New Year Strong: Mindfulness Practices for A Fresh Start 2560 1707 The Solstice Team

After all of the challenges, heartache, and nonstop stream of negativity that 2020 brought to our world, 2021 presents an opportunity to reset our mindsets and start the new year intentionally with a fresh perspective. One way we can achieve this is through practicing mindfulness. A growing body of research supports the benefits mindfulness can have on our minds and bodies such as improved memory, heightened awareness, lowered anxiety, and reduced stress.

Mindfulness practices you can employ to restart and refresh your mind for the new year

While it’s common to conflate mindfulness with meditation, mindfulness encompasses so much more than the practice of meditation. Essentially, mindfulness is the moment to moment awareness of one’s experiences without judgment. This state of mindfulness or being aware is something that we can continually practice as we try to pay attention on purpose to the present moment.

Because mindfulness is fostered through regular practice, the first important step is putting aside time each day to engage in a mindfulness activity. Select a time of day where you will be able to engage in your practice uninterrupted, and commit to practicing every day.

Once you’ve set aside dedicated time to commit to your practice, it’s time to try performing various mindfulness practices. Different practices work better for different people, so it’s a good idea to vary up your exercises to see what works best for you. Try these mindfulness exercises to restart and refresh your mind in 2021:

1.) Bodyscan – During a Body Scan exercise, you deliberately focus inward on your body and what each part of your body is feeling. Is it pain, tension, calm? The task here is to develop an awareness of sensations in different parts of your body without trying to change them, only noticing them.

2.) Three-minute breathing – There are 3 steps to this practice, and the first is to attend to what is. Take note of the environment around you without attempting to change what you are experiencing. Then focus on your breath, noticing what happens when you breathe in and out. Lastly, focus your attention on your body and any sensations you may be feeling. Practice this technique here.

3.) Mindful stretching/yoga – Physically experiencing mindfulness can help to bring awareness to the mind-body connection. While you are stretching, bring attention to your breath while thinking about how your body feels. While engaging in this activity, try to focus only on the present sensations and not external, distracting thoughts.

4.) Mindful breathing while focusing on thoughts – For this practice sit somewhere quiet in a seated position. Focus deeply on your breathing, inhaling for 3 seconds and exhaling for 3 seconds. Continuing to focus on your breath, notice as your mind wanders and bring your attention back to the breath, again inhaling for 3 seconds and exhaling for 3 seconds.

5.) Mindful walks – When you are on a walk give your full attention to the experience of walking. Instead of walking on autopilot like we usually do, deliberately think about each step you are taking. Feel the ground beneath your feet, notice what this feels like as well as noticing the sights, smells, and sounds around you. Bringing attention to our everyday actions allows us to experience the mundane with a sense of newness.

If you are struggling to get started, there are some incredible mindfulness apps that you can download to help you with your practice. Try Headspace, Calm, Aura, or smiling mind to help you get started on your journey.

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice RTC is a leading residential treatment program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-17 that has been specifically designed to help teen students on their journey toward healing by utilizing a blend of therapeutic techniques based on both traditional and holistic treatment methods.

Our holistic approach accounts for the fact that our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational selves are all bound together. We uniquely approach change, emphasizing students’ strengths within a therapeutic culture where acceptance, change, and growth are supported and valued. For more information on how Solstice RTC could help, please call (866) 278-3345.

accept your past

Overcoming Shame: How to Accept Your Past

Overcoming Shame: How to Accept Your Past 1920 2560 The Solstice Team

Shame is a complicated emotion and one we all have dealt with at one time or another. Shame comes from feeling powerless and frustrated. For people who experience shame linked to trauma, it is a continued shock at the realization that this terrible thing actually happened to them. Sometimes, people living with shame are unable to break free from the spiral of negative emotions. It becomes something that is ingrained in their day to day life. If you feel like shame is taking over your life, it may be time to seek out strategies for dealing with those emotions

Overcoming Shame

Shame is uncomfortable and it is understandable that many people would rather ignore or hide their shame rather than confront it. But it is important to deal with your feelings of shame in order to overcome them and accept your past. Here are a few tips for working through those feelings of shame:

  1. Practice Self-Affirmation: Oftentimes, people dealing with shame also struggle with being compassionate with themselves. Shame may also manifest as doubt, where you believe, “I can’t do that” or “I don’t deserve that”. When this is your constant internal dialogue it is easy to get stuck in those feelings of doubt and shame. Instead, try shifting your narrative: I am worthy and deserving” or “My feelings are valid”. Practicing these affirmations can help the positive voice drown out the one rooted in shame. 
  2. Bring Your Feelings Into the Light: Shame thrives in secrecy and darkness, but the less you talk about your shame, the more power it has over you. Getting beyond shame means acknowledging it and sharing your experiences with the people you trust. Talking through those feelings of shame helps you gain perspective about the situation. 
  3. Meditation and Mindfulness: A mindfulness practice encourages you to slow down and be in the moment. When you feel drawn into those thoughts of shame, mindfulness allows you to take a step back and notice those feelings without judgment. Being in the moment allows you to respond to those emotions rather than reacting to them. 
  4. Seek Out Help: Talking through your feelings and experiences with friends and family can be helpful. But to truly process and work through those feelings of shame, especially when they are tied to trauma, working with a mental health professional is crucial. Unresolved shame can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Talking about the emotional pain you feel is a powerful step in the healing process. A therapist can help you create a treatment plan and strategies for dealing with those emotions as they come up in the future. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

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

With a road map influenced by the archetypal Hero’s Journey, each student walks a unique and very personal path towards discovering the hero within. Students and families progress through the stages of this journey at their own pace. Although the journey is their own, they do not travel it alone. This journey is about people, discovery, growth and mastery. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.

effects of social media

How Does Social Media Effect Body Image in Teen Girls?

How Does Social Media Effect Body Image in Teen Girls? 2560 1707 The Solstice Team

Body image struggles are not a new problem for teen girls. Eating disorders are a subject covered in most high school health classes and many people can remember a time in their teen lives where they stood in front of a mirror, critiquing one body part or another. We compared ourselves to the faces and bodies we saw in magazines or movies. And while our exposure to how people are portrayed in the media was prevalent, it is nothing compared to the overwhelming and constant barrage of images teen girls and assigned female at birth face today through social media.

How Does Social Media Affect Body Image?

Parents know that teen girls and assigned female at birth can spend hours of their day on social media. Social media can be great at connecting people, but sometimes that connection can have negative effects. Continuous scrolling through pictures of perfectly photoshopped people in beautiful locations, or ads for the newest way to get fit and lose weight can have an incredible negative effect on a teen girl’s mental health and body image. There are filters that hide all their “flaws”, or mirror angles that “best” show their shape. It becomes difficult to see all of those images and not start to compare themselves to what they see on the screen. 

A 2019 study showed that even 30 minutes a day increased teens’ feelings of anxiety, depression, poor self-image, and loneliness. Adolescents who spend more than 3 hours per day using social media may be at heightened risk for mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems. Another study reported that “a clear pattern of association was found between [social media] usage and [disordered eating] cognitions and behaviors with this exploratory study confirming that these relationships occur at younger‐age than previously investigated.”, which is a concerning finding for parents of tweens and teens. 

Steps Towards Positive Body Image

So how can you help your teen child who may be struggling with body image issues? The first step may be talking to your child and understanding their concerns and how they feels about their own body image. What kind of content does they find triggering or upsetting? Then, you can talk about putting limits on the kind of social media your child is being exposed to. If they knows celebrity accounts cause their anxiety, or make their start comparing, encourage their to block or unfollow those accounts. Does they notice that interacting with some online friends brings on negative feelings? Explore what it would be like to avoid those interactions. Discuss with your child what makes their feel good and what makes their feel bad when they uses social media. 

Next, you can set some limits around how much time they are spending on social media. We know that studies show an increase of negative mental health effects with longer amounts of time on social media, so limiting that time can help your child get out of their negative headspace. 

Once you have established some ground rules about the amount of time she’s spending on social media, you can fill that time with activities that your child enjoys. Even better, with activities that help their appreciate what their body can do. The feeling of their strong legs during soccer, or their powerful lungs when they sings. Create opportunities for their to celebrate everything their body does for their daily. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for adolescent girls and assigned female at birth that emphasizes the mind-body connection in our unique approach to holistic healthcare. Decades of experience in successfully helping teenagers has allowed us to develop consistently effective treatment philosophies and approaches to healing emotional and behavioral struggles in teens and their families. With the constantly evolving combination of needs in adolescents, these philosophies and program components allow us to effectively address individual adolescent struggles and inspire change that heals students, their families, and produces lasting results. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.

bullying and self esteem

How Does Bullying Affect Self-Esteem in Teens?

How Does Bullying Affect Self-Esteem in Teens? 2560 1707 The Solstice Team

Sometimes it can feel like bullying has become more and more prevalent in teens. Consistent torment by peers can take a toll on teens particularly in the way they view themselves or on their self-esteem. Studies show that teens who are repeatedly bullied have lower reports of self esteem and higher rates of depression and anxiety. However, parents can have an important role in decreasing the effect of bullying. One study from the University of Missouri says that if teens feel a sense of belonging, either with their family or peers, the less likely they will be a victim or even engage in bullying behaviors. 

Self Esteem and Bullying

Engaging with your daughter, asking open ended questions about their day can help parents create and maintain a connection that can make your teen feel more secure.  This relationship can be an important source of support for your daughter. If they experiences bullying they are more likely to come to you if there is a secure and open relationship in place.  

Another factor in how self-esteem is affected by bullying is a decrease in social and communication skills. As parents, it’s important to encourage these behaviors with specific praises focusing on behavior such as “Wow you did a really good job talking to your teacher today” or “I really like how good of a friend you are”. If your child is feeling down and being hard on herself, expressing out loud some positive traits that you see in their can be really helpful for combating negative self-talk. Keeping up a positive commentary of how much your child means to you can also be beneficial even if they don’t reciprocate. Remember, they always hear you even if they don’t show it. 

Finding Help at Solstice West

If your child is struggling with low self esteem and bullying, Solstice West can help. We are a residential treatment center with a focus on helping teens struggling with mental health challenges related to trauma. Learn more about our program by calling out admissions team at 866-278-3345.

risky teen behavior

Risky Teen Behaviors: Differences Between Positive and Negative Risks

Risky Teen Behaviors: Differences Between Positive and Negative Risks 640 426 The Solstice Team

The teenage years are the years in which one develops the desire to fit in. This desire may come with a high cost. During the adolescent years, opportunity and risk seem all the more appealing. A maturational imbalance may prevent teens from good decision-making during this period in their lives as well. While learning from our silly mistakes is an important part of growing up, teens still need guidance on how to better navigate themselves away from risky teen behaviors and towards a rewarding future. First, one must learn the difference between positive and negative risks. Here are some defining characteristics:

Positive risks: benefits an individual’s well-being, legal, socially acceptable, does not present severe negative consequences

Negative risks: harmful towards an individual’s well-being, illegal, socially unacceptable, may have severe consequences

The Risks Our Teens Should Take

As puberty hits so does a new wave of potential risks. As a parent, it is important to acknowledge these risks and learn to address them head on with your child. It is your job to put an emphasis on the good as a way to prevent the bad. First, you should know your child and their risky behaviors. Here are some signs that indicate that your child is a positive risk taker:

  • Internalizes family values
  • Has strong bonds to society
  • Possesses important socially-desirable long-term goals (academic or other)
  • Feels they have more to lose by taking negative risks
  • Is influenced by peers who take positive risks

The Four Friendly Risk Types

As a parent you should constantly suggest new ways to take positive risks for your teen. This starts with a conversation and then you can help them put it into action. Physical, social, academic, and extracurricular risks are a couple of categories you should consider talking with your teen able. What they are drawn to will vary based off of their personal interests. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

Physical Risks:

  • Try a new sport
  • Pursue a new fitness goal

Social Risks:

  • Spend time with a new group of people
  • Arrive at a party without knowing anyone
  • Attend a summer camp without friends
  • Attend a rally and hold up a sign 
  • Stand up for something you believe in at school even if it is unpopular
  • Pursue a new friendship with the risk of rejection

Academic Risks:

  • Sign up for a challenging AP course
  • Take a class you know nothing about
  • Join a club that interests you
  • Run for a school office position

Extracurricular Risks:

  • Adopt a new hobby
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Start your own babysitting business or dog walking
  • Set goals to read more in your free time

Solstice West Residential Treatment Center Can Help

Solstice West Residential Treatment Center is a program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, addictive behaviors, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides individual, group, and family therapy to help students heal and improve from every angle. Fitness, nutrition, and academics also play an important role in this program. Solstice gives teens the skills and help they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, healthy, and capable. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (866) 278-3345


Why Instagram Could Be Worse for Your Child with Low Self Esteem

Why Instagram Could Be Worse for Your Child with Low Self Esteem 1200 675 The Solstice Team

Social media is embedded in most of our daily lives today, few will dispute that. Adults are known to have at least a Facebook profile, while teens are known to have all the social media accounts under the sun–but what are the effects of this? New studies are showing that unfettered social media use may be harmful to teens, especially a child with low self esteem.

Study shows Instagram is most harmful to mental health

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world with over 700 million users. The app is centered on photos users post; other users can comment and “like” the post if they choose.

There’s still a vast amount of information we don’t know about the effects of social media on young brains, which is why RSPH and the Young Health Movement decided to conduct a study.

The study, #StatusOfMind, discovered Instagram to be the top contributor to negative mental health effects in youth–while YouTube was the most (and only) positive platform. The study involved almost 1,500 young people, ranging in age from 14 to 24.

child with low self esteemThe results showed that Instagram was particularly hard on young girls’ mental health–which could be especially alarming if you have a child with low self esteem.

Why Instagram is causing issues

The issue with Instagram has to do with the photos being posted. The majority of photos posted on Instagram of people have been altered with either a filter or other technical modifications–which means they’re often not showing what people really look like, they’re showing the “perfected” version.

The version with clear skin. The version with slimmer legs. The version that doesn’t exist.

For a child with low self esteem, they may scroll through Instagram seeing all of these “perfect” girls and assigned female at birth with “perfect” skin and “perfect” bodies–this may cause their to feel worse about herself because they doesn’t look like those girls, even though they don’t even look like that in real life.

While the researchers agree that it’s not realistic to “ban” filters or photoshop, they are pushing for these platforms to step up and work out a way to let people know an image isn’t showing reality. This would allow teens to see that they’re comparing themselves to something that’s no more real than a fairytale.

We need to teach our children how to use social media in healthy, positive ways that help them connect with others–not degrade their sense of self-worth to how many “likes” they can get on a photo.

If you believe your child is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.

Solstice is here for your child with low self esteem

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we can help your child with low self esteem at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

Self Identity in Teens: Social Media Is Getting in the Way

Self Identity in Teens: Social Media Is Getting in the Way 1280 854 The Solstice Team

The shaping of self identity in teens is one of the most important and most vulnerable processes of our lives. The self identity that we build during the adolescent years follows us into adulthood, which makes it an extremely critical period of time. Social media could be negatively affecting it, though.

We live in a world where nearly every teenager has access to social media, whether it’s through their own device, a friend’s, or a shared one at home. This level of connectivity has opened many doors in the way of communication, but it has also brought about questions of the negative impact it can have on forming minds.

Social media can negatively impact young girls

self identity in teensSocial media is largely based on looks. We already know that the images and expectations depicted by the media can be incredibly harmful on a young girl’s forming mind, social media just makes it easier to pass along those messages.

While social media is an inspirational and revolutionary means of connecting with others, focusing on appearances is never good for a girl’s mental health–and that’s exactly what social media tends to focus on and “reward” with likes.

Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook (just to name a few) are among the most used social media platforms by adolescents, and they all heavily rely on the approval of others through “likes” and comments.

If self identity in teens is based on how many “likes” you receive on a post, then there’s always going to be someone who has more, and for that person, there’s always going to be someone who has more, and so on. It’s a vicious cycle that makes absolutely no sense.

Many teen girls and assigned female at birth strive to get the coolest and most perfect photos just for their online presence to appear “active” and “fun”–even if they’re not actually having fun in real life. This type of behavior and thinking can lead to mental health issues like depression or anxiety.

Self identity in teens needs to be nourished and built by more than just “likes” and shares on social media. As parents, it’s our job to step in and offer support if we notice our child isn’t basing their self-worth on things that truly matter.

If you believe your child truly is struggling, it’s imperative to reach out to a professional for guidance.

Solstice is here for your daughter

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, issues with self identity in teens, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we help self identity in teens at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.


disordered eating

Are your daughter’s eating habits scary? Spotting disordered eating in teens

Are your daughter’s eating habits scary? Spotting disordered eating in teens 2560 1922 The Solstice Team

Is your teen constantly on a new diet? Is they always looking for a new way to cut carbs and lose a few pounds? Sometimes, trying to eat healthier is a good thing. However, if your teen is taking dieting very seriously it might be time to start worrying. Why? Because your child may be experiencing disordered eating.

Spotting disordered eating in your daughter

Disordered eating is defined as a wide array of irregular eating behaviors that don’t warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder like bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa. Studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of the population demonstrates disordered eating. How can you tell if your child is dealing with this struggle? The answer to that question is complicated. Symptoms include:

  • Symptoms that resemble those found in eating disorders such as: binge eating, purging, and food restriction.
  • An exercise routine that may seem excessive or extremely rigid in its nature: For example, your teen might work out for several hours at a specific time of day every day.
  • Feelings of worry about certain foods: They will not eat specific foods because of one reason or another-  because they have too many calories or are high in fats.
  • Obsessive Calorie Counting: Your teen might have downloaded an app or bought a book that helps track their daily calories. They will restrict calories to such a degree that it is unhealthy for them.
  • An approach to food that is unusually rigid and inflexible: If your teen will only eat certain foods at specific times during the day, this might be a sign that they are experiencing disordered eating difficulties.

Disordered eating vs. an eating disorder

So what’s the difference between disordered eating and a full blown eating disorder? The answer lies in the degree of severity that symptoms present themselves. The symptoms associated with disordered eating are less severe than those in an eating disorder.

However, you should be just as concerned for your child with disordered eating. This issue can lessen your daughter’s ability to concentrate and focus (which is terrible for high school students trying to make good grades). It may impede on your teen’s social life because they refuse to break out of their diet or exercise regime to make time for friends. For some teens, disordered eating is a way to cope with anxiety or stress coming from some other aspect of their lives.

Getting Help

If your teen is suffering from eating issues, they may need professional help to overcome whatever is influencing their harmful eating behaviors. Solstice can help your child work through whatever struggles are causing your teen’s eating issues. Solstice is a residential treatment center for teen girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

For more information about Solstice, please call (866) 278-3345 today!