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Transforming teenage rebellion into respect

Transforming teenage rebellion into respect 150 150 Solstice RTC

Teenage rebellion can take its toll on everyone in a teen’s life. Rebellious teens want things their way and won’t listen to anyone else around them. Helping your teen build a sense of respect and responsibility for their actions is an extremely challenging task.

What causes teenage rebellion?

Teenage rebellion is caused by a variety of elements. These include:

  • Hormones: Teens are going through drastic hormonal changes. With a surge of hormones coursing through their body, teens have all sorts of mood swings and changes in their overall personality.
  • Soul searching: Sometimes teens act out because they are trying to figure out who are as individuals. That may lead them down a path towards rebellion towards what they believe are overly strict rules. Teens are constantly learning more about who they are and reshaping their identity to fit that persona they believe best suits them.
  • Giving into peer pressure: Sometimes teenage rebellion stems from your teen wanting to fit in with people they believe to be “cool”. If their friends are engaging in rebellious and dangerous activities like substance use and promiscuous sexual activities, they will follow their example. 
    teenage rebellion

    Image source: Flickr user- deeeepjoy

How can I turn teenage rebellion into respect?

  1. Show respect for your teen: Your teen will never respect you unless you respect your teen. Complimenting your teen on their accomplishments will make them feel better about themselves and improve your relationship with them.
  2. Openly communicate: Understanding what’s going on in your teen’s life to lead them to rebel can improve your relationship with them. Your teen needs to know that you’re there for them even though they are rebelling against you.
  3. Have a clear set of rules and consequences: Your teen needs to understand that their rebellious behavior comes at a price. They need to be made clearly aware of your expectations of them. Through clear expectations, your teen will know when to rein in their behavior.
  4. Remember that you’re in charge: No matter how much your teen thinks they can break your rules, you need to remember that you have a position of authority over them. Don’t ever be your teen’s best friend. You’re their role model and someone they should look up to.

Solstice can help

If teenage rebellion is taking over your life, consider getting professional help for your teen. Solstice, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, helps teen girls struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties find success.

For more information about Solstice, call today at (866) 278-3345.

Being a great role model: Mentoring youth in a positive way

Being a great role model: Mentoring youth in a positive way 150 150 Solstice RTC

January is National Mentor Month. For many young people, having a mentor in their life can greatly improve their overall motivation and self esteem. If someone is there who pushes you to be productive and work hard, you’re more likely to do well. For teen girls especially, having a role model to look up to can reshape the way they see the world and their overall behavior in an extremely positive way. But how can you forge such a strong bond with your own daughter? For girls struggling with trauma or other emotional and behavioral difficulties, being able to trust someone to such an intense degree can be hard. However, mentoring youth who have such difficulties is definitely do-able.

Building trust and strong bonds by mentoring youth

For many young people, having an inspiring mentor can help them grow as individuals both personally and professionally. Mentoring youth doesn’t have to entail a huge time commitment or a great amount of resources. Here’s a few tips on how to work on creating an effective mentoring relationship with your teen daughter: 

mentoring youth

Image source: Flickr user- gareth1953

  • Don’t force the connection: If your daughter doesn’t want to build a relationship with you, she won’t. In order for the mentorship to actually work, the bond between the two of you has to be 100 percent genuine. That means, both parties have to agree to spending time together.
  • Practice what you preach: If you’re teaching your daughter about the right way to do something, make sure it’s actually something you are doing yourself. For example, if you’re teaching her how to live a healthier lifestyle, try being healthy yourself. She won’t believe anything you say if you don’t carry out those actions in your own life.
  • Be a positive coach: Positive coaching is when a mentor helps a young person achieve specific goals for the purpose of growth. Studies have shown that positive coaching can help young people better deal with stress and achieve their goals.
  • Be open with your daughter: In order for your daughter to truly trust you, you need to open up to her about your own life experiences. You have to be willing to be vulnerable in order for your daughter to open up to you about her own thoughts and feelings.

Solstice rebuilds relationships

Solstice, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, can help your struggling daughter reach her fullest potential. We believe in fostering positive, trusting relationships between teen girls, their families, and other loved ones. 

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

More than a bad mood: Helping your teen through teen depression

More than a bad mood: Helping your teen through teen depression 150 150 Solstice RTC

Teenagers experience a whirlwind of emotion on a daily basis. That’s why, for a lot of parents of teens, slamming doors and shouting matches can become a frequent occurrence. Occasional acting out and bad moods are pretty much expected from teens. Teen depression is completely different from any of these “usual” teen behaviors. Depression can make your teen’s life absolutely miserable, causing an overwhelming sense of anger, sadness, and despair.

What are some symptoms of teen depression?

Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that can completely change the way your teen feels, behaves, and thinks. It’s not something that can be overcome by the strength of one’s will power and it should be taken extremely seriously. That’s why parents should be on the lookout for symptoms of teen depression. Although depression can occur at any point in a person’s life, symptoms of depression in adults and teen depression can be very different. The following are signs of teen depression:

  1. Behavioral Changes– Your teen may experience changes in behavior, such as:
    • A lack of energy
    • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
    • Not caring about their appearance
    • Doing poorly in school
    • Slowed speech and body movements
    • Isolating themselves from friends and other loved ones
    • Acting impulsively
    • Alcohol and drug use
    • Self harm
  2. Emotional Changes– Watch out for the following changes in your teen’s emotions:
    • Feelings of sadness
    • Low self esteem
    • Feeling that life is bleak
    • Trouble focusing, making decisions, and with memory
    • Irritable mood
    • Feelings of hopelessness

How can I help my depressed teen?

Talking with your depressed teen about what they’re going through can be tough. Here are some pointers to help you through this conversation:

  1. Validate her feelings. Acknowledge that your teen is going through some tough feelings, even if they may seem irrational to you. Your teen needs to know that you support them one hundred percent through whatever they’re going through.
  2. Listen to your teen without lecturing them. If your teen does open up to you about what they’re going through, listen to them very carefully. It’s a huge step for your teen to be communicating with you about their feelings in the first place. Don’t pass any judgment or offer them unsolicited advice.
  3. Be respectful of your teen. Your teen may not want to talk to you at first about their depression. Be persistent in telling them how much you would like to hear from them, in a respectful and understanding fashion.
  4. Accentuate the positive. Notice the positive things your teen does. Instead of focusing on an idealized image of what you think your daughter should be like, focus on the good things your daughter does on a daily basis. This will give her a bit of a mood lift every day.

Solstice can help

If your daughter is struggling with teen depression, Solstice can help. Solstice is a residential treatment center for teens ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties like teen depression, anxiety, and trauma.

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

 

Working through stress: Benefits of Mindfulness in Teens

Working through stress: Benefits of Mindfulness in Teens 150 150 Solstice RTC

A common complaint amongst teenagers is that they feel overwhelmed and stressed by life’s challenges. Add in social factors that many adolescents are pressured with on a day to day basis and it is no wonder many teens don’t know how to deal with their emotions. One way to manage stress that has been successful over many years is practicing mindfulness.

Teenagers may see mindfulness in teens as completely unrelated to their busy and connected lives. But there are many ways that adolescents {and adults!} can benefit from a mindfulness and meditation practice. Mindful practices offer uncountable benefits. In a society of quick demands, teaching mindfulness and meditation is a no brainer to naturally, and effectively help adolescents. Below you can find the physical and mental benefits of living mindfully. 

Physical Benefits:

  • Meditation practice has been demonstrated to increase immune function. One study found that people who meditated produced more antibodies to the flu vaccine than people who didn’t meditate
  • Mindfulness in teens, including eating mindfully, has been linked to weight loss
  • In another study, participants who practiced meditation lowered their blood pressure and cut their heart attack risk
  • Meditation reduces levels of the hormone cortisol (which raises blood pressure and levels of stress)
  • Taking a few deep breaths engages our parasympathetic nervous system (our “rest and digest” mode) and deactivates our sympathetic nervous system (our “fight, flight, or freeze” mode)

Mental Benefits:

  • Meditation is linked to having a longer attention span and improves concentration
  • Meditation increases activity in the prefrontal cortex (associated with planning and judgement) and in the anterior cingulate (associated with emotional regulation, learning, and memory)
  • One study shows that participants who meditated for 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks had an increase in gray matter in the regions of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, and empathy.  
  • Students who meditated prior to an exam performed better than students who did not. The researchers linked meditation to improved cognitive functioning.
  • Meditation can help improve stress, anxiety and depression

 

Solstice, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, works with young people struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties. For more information about Solstice, please call (866) 278-3345.

Teen eating disorders: Talking to your teen about a potential eating issue

Teen eating disorders: Talking to your teen about a potential eating issue 150 150 Solstice RTC

If you notice your teen is skipping meals, only taking a bite or two of their food every meal, or running to the bathroom every time dinner’s over, it may be a sign she has a teen eating disorder of some kind. Even if it turns out to be something else, it’s important to have a conversation with her about teen eating disorders and their dangerous ramifications.

What do I say?

Talking to your teen about teen eating disorders may seem like an intimidating conversation to have. You may be having thoughts like, “what if she does have an eating disorder and I’m only going to make things worse with this talk” or “if she doesn’t have an eating disorder she may become self conscious about the way she eats”. Whatever you’re thinking, push those thoughts out. If you’re noticing any symptoms of teen eating disorders, you need to talk to your daughter about it. No matter what. Here are some pointers for this conversation:

  • Start the conversation right after you notice her carrying out one of the worrisome habits (like after she returns from the bathroom after dinner). That way, you can point out the behavior while it’s happening and she can’t deny it. 
  • Make sure your daughter is comfortable talking about it. Before going off on a rant about your worries, ask her if it’s okay for you to share what’s on your mind. If she’s not open to listening, nothing is going to come from this conversation.
  • Be straightforward about your worries. Instead of beating around the bush, tell her with compassion and love that you think she has an eating disorder because you’ve noticed X and Y symptoms.
  • Be prepared with a plan. Don’t go into this conversation without an endgame in mind. If she admits to having a problem, you need to have a professional already set up to speak to. This is a problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
  • Don’t blame yourself. This is not your fault or your daughter’s fault. You can work through this together as a family.

For additional help

If your daughter has been experiencing mild eating issues, please consider Solstice residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18.

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

Treating PTSD in Teens

Treating PTSD in Teens 150 150 Solstice RTC

In light of recent horrific traumatic events of the Charleston church shooting, learning how to work through trauma and recognize the symptoms and treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder is crucial. Untreated PTSD can last throughout a person’s lifetime, damaging relationships and overall well being of people suffering from a traumatic experience.

What causes post-traumatic stress disorder?

PTSD is caused by experiencing or knowing someone who has experienced a traumatic event. This could be something like a tragic, sudden death or a terrible accident. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that damages a person’s “fight or flight” response when experiencing fear. People with PTSD oftentimes feel fearful or anxious even when they are not in danger.

Symptoms of PTSD

  • Flashbacks to the traumatic event
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Being easily startled
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyable to the person
  • Spontaneous or cued recurrent, involuntary and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic events
  • Inability to trust others
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nightmares

Treatment Options

The most common form of treatment for post traumatic stress disorder is psychotherapy. There are various forms of psychotherapy that can help your teen get through their trauma:

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): This form of therapy is created specifically for adolescents. In TF-CBT, individuals talk through their traumatic event with a TF-CBT trained therapist. It is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This form of therapy is used to help reprocess the traumatic event.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): CPT primarily focuses on challenging and modifying distorted beliefs and thoughts about the trauma.

A combination of these psychotherapy techniques are used to help those struggling with PTSD symptoms. Like any other anxiety or mood disorder, finding the therapist that works best for your teen is crucially important to your teen’s success.

If you need additional help with trauma and PTSD, these resources can help: