The holiday season is the quintessential merry time of year that promotes peace and generosity. Families struggling with a troubled teen, however, might experience the exact opposite of the cheerful sentiments this time of year represents. With a fluctuating schedule, increase in family social activities and the stress of the season, teen’s behaviors and emotions can worsen at any moment. Here are some helpful tips in getting through the holidays with a troubled teen.
With school out for a few weeks, your teen has extra free time and more chances to get in trouble. The best way to prevent high-risk behaviors over the holidays is to keep a structured schedule. Know what you will be doing everyday, while allowing your child to feel like they have some control over what they do.
When making plans, ask for your teen’s opinions
Discuss with your teen what they would like to do over holiday break. What traditions are important to them? This is one time in their life when they get a 2-week break from most responsibilities. You want them to enjoy this time, without getting out of hand.
One way to help ensure positive behaviors is to use positive reinforcements. If they have a peaceful evening at your neighborhood holiday party, reward the good behavior with a family outing that they choose. Remember, though, that substance abuse greatly increases during the holidays. As most holiday parties and get-togethers serve alcohol, ensure your teen knows the expectations that no one under 21 will be allowed to drink.
Set realistic expectations
Most people associate the holidays with memorable family moments. Don’t assume that just because you have family coming to visit, your troubled teen will be on their best behavior. Ensure your teen knows what to expect, when people are coming, and how long they will be with you. Also give your teen a “time out” away from everyone that allows him or her to recoup and rejuvenate. Provide them with a set time to get away from the stress and overstimulation of family gatherings.
Seek more professional help: the benefits of teen therapy
If your son or daughter is currently involved in teen therapy, ensure they stay consistent in their routines. Try your best not to skip sessions. The holidays are also a good time to reevaluate where your child is at mentally and emotionally. If their behavior worsens, it might be time to seek more serious help. Teen therapy programs such as a wilderness therapy program, a residential treatment center or a therapeutic boarding school can help your teen improve behaviors and ensure more peaceful future holidays.
blueFire Wilderness Teen Therapy Program could be the best gift to give your troubled teen
If your teen is out of control this holiday, they might need the support of a structured wilderness program to get them back on track. Our goal for every individual is to get them the help they need to become positive, productive individuals at home and in school.
To talk to on of our staff about teen therapy, call 844-413-1999 today.