We hear it all the time “The holiday season is a time for cheer”. For many families the holiday season is actually a time of stress, arguments, and high expectations. As professionals, we notice that Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, and Anxiety can all peak during winter months. This can make the Holiday season especially difficult for families of teens struggling with mental health related issues. This also makes it the most crucial intervention point for families.

Here are some tips on how to help your your acting out teenager this holiday season:

Change up your traditions

If your old traditions fail to appeal to your teens, change them up to make them more inclusive for the whole family. Create something new you all can all value and enjoy together.

Keep it simple

Holiday schedules can often get crazy and lead to families running around in a million different directions. This can easily result in parents missing crucial warning signs related to mental and emotional wellness. Take a look at your schedule and reduce some of the additional stress it may create for your teen, strip down to the basics.

Set reasonable expectations

Weather it’s your holiday budget, new year resolutions, or time management; make sure it is realistic. Holiday activities can be draining, especially for a teen who is struggling emotionally.

Drug use, suicidal ideation, isolation and self-harming are common issues associated with teen mental and emotional health. Your child may not be in the spirit to deck the halls or rock around the christmas tree; and if they refuse to communicate with you or anyone about what is going on for them it may be time to consider other alternatives for how to help your acting out teenager.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season should never be a reason to postpone getting your teen the help they need. The clinical therapists at Fire Mountain Programs are committed to individual, family and group counseling curriculum for teens. Psychoeducation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Marriage and Family Therapy are all included at this unique adolescent treatment facility center in Colorado. To learn more about adolescent treatment options, call Fire Mountain Programs at 303-443-3343.