Spring time stress and kids

Right about now, it has been a few months since your child has been on a significant break from school. In my practice, I have been witnessing children and adolescents experience high levels of stress before spring break.  In the time between Christmas/winter break and spring break parents can enact several strategies to decrease the stress in their child (and therefore increase their academic performance and emotional stabilization):

  1. Give them a break as needed (e.g., 1x per 2 months). If they need to take a half day off or a full day of school, it is ok to allow them to have a “mental health day” (although make sure that it is not an unhealthy trend that is beginning).
  2. Encourage them to participate in behavioral activation activities (i.e.,  combining pleasurable activities with ones that get them up and physically moving).
  3. Monitor sleep and electronic use. Too much electronic use can disrupt sleep and can negatively affect how your child is regulating their emotions. Also monitor how they are currently sleeping, are they getting enough sleep? (should be 7-9 hours per night).

Try these and see if it makes a difference in your child’s and your family’s quality of life!

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Author:

I am a clinical psychologist with approximately 15 years of experience assessing and treating anxiety and depressive disorders in young children, adolescents, young adults, adults and geriatric populations. I completed a 6-year predoctoral training award at the National Institute of Mental Health, and postdoctoral training at the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital. From my clinical and research experiences, I have come to see the struggles of many families deciding when to pursue professional help and feeling very lost in the process. I will address several mental health issues that will help educate and empower my readers to make better mental health decisions for themselves. Welcome to my blog! Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D. Disclaimer-This blog is not and cannot be used in replace of formal therapy. This blog is used to inform and educate and is not a form of informal or formal advice.

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