It’s 11 pm and the homework battle soldiers on. You’re standing in the door frame, trying to convince your 13 year old daughter that it’s time for bed. She has spent the last 6 hours preparing for her science test and the best thing she can do now is rest, but she won’t close the books. Your sweet, stressed, bleary eyed girl is positive that if she sleeps all will be lost and her quarter grades will be unrecoverable. Sound familiar?
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
This has been an incredibly mild winter here in the DC metro area. I felt the effect myself over this past unusually warm weekend. Exercising outside at the park, abundant sunshine, and more time socializing with friends and neighbors seemed to have everyone in a better mood. That being said, we still have more frigid days in our future. For many people dark and short days, limited sunshine and more time stuck indoors can create a case of the “winter blues”. For others, the changing seasons can prompt a more serious condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that is directly linked to the changing seasons. It includes symptoms of sadness and depression combined with lack of motivation and increased sleeping and eating. Researchers aren’t sure as to the exact cause of SAD although lack of light is thought to affect melatonin and serotonin brain activity which in turn affects mood. Here are some tips for managing this frustrating annual condition:
Learning to help children deal with life’s challenging emotions can be difficult, especially when those feelings lead to behavioral meltdowns. Below are five tips for helping parents understand the emotional reactions of their children, and for working together through difficult times to make even the toughest of feelings more manageable. Keeping these tools in mind will assist you as you build the foundation for both coping and emotion regulation to strengthen your child’s skills throughout their lifetime. We have even included a few “bonus pointers” for parents as you navigate the storms!
Before the election my colleague Stacey Schwenker posted an excellent blog on striving to thrive during the holidays. Since then we have seen stress levels skyrocket as folks are contemplating a Thanksgiving with family members polarized across the political divide. Whether you are facing one holiday meal or a few days of enforced family time, does thought of the upcoming Thanksgiving feel overwhelming or horrifying? If so, here are some ideas that might help you navigate this minefield.
Saturday Night Live’s sketch of Adele’s Hello song was the talk of the 2015 Thanksgiving season. The scene opens with a family sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal, with five adults and a child (a young girl who looks about 10 years old). Within a few moments different opinions are flying and the family is in heated argument. The little girl takes a deep breath, gets up, and turns on a cd player. Adele’s newest song, Hello, which had just been released a month prior, begins its melodious chords. The 5 adults straighten. Their faces turn gentle and soft. They begin to reach across the table and hold one another’s hand. “Hello from the other side…,” they sing along. After a few lines, the music fades. The adults compose themselves. Then, in an instant, they begin to squabble again. The girl goes back to the CD player. The ballad resumes. Faces soften and hands reach. It seems that the only way to connect the family is through this song. The sketch is aptly named, A Thanksgiving Miracle.