Wednesday, 10 July 2013
It’s summertime and our kids are finished with school. For many parents, finding childcare or some sort of structured leisure activity for their children is a major task. For parents of a teenager with depression or bipolar disorder, the concern is heightened considerably.
Structured environments of predictable schedules, classes with expectations and accountability, and regular social contact are suddenly replaced by months of free time. Parents have the extra worry that isolation at home and a disrupted schedule may send some teens into a more depressed state. Here are some suggestions on how you can keep your teen on the track to wellness during the summer months.
The key is to keep teens busy and involved in something constructive. Above all, maintaining a connection with your teen is best way to monitor his or her mental health. During the summer months, teens may lose their bond with their therapist, school counselors, or friends, so it's important that parents continue to be a stabilizing force in their teens’ lives.
Dr. Joseph Gianesin is a Full Professor at Springfield College in Springfield, MA, and is a behavioral and educational consultant for school districts. Dr. Gianesin has worked in the field for over 30 years serving as a psychotherapist, school social worker, school administrator, and educational consultant. Dr. Gianesin received his M.S.W. from UCLA and Ph.D. from the University of Denver. His most recent research is on suicide prevention and intervention for children under the age of 14.
Photo credit: Virginia Guard Public Affairs