12 Tips for Winter Break: Set Some Structure

12 Tips for Winter Break: Set Some Structure

This month I’m sharing 12 Tips to help parents manage behaviors (and still have fun!) over winter break!

Winter break gives you a lot of unstructured time.

For kids and teens who run a little more anxious or overwhelmed, that unstructured time can lead to stress related behaviors. Yes, there’s a lot of fun to be had with family and presents and dinners and toys… and there’s a lot of potential for overwhelm.

When your kid is overwhelmed and acting out, it can feel like they’re ruining the holidays.

And you maybe feel bad for even thinking that… but the truth is, we put a lot of time and energy into making winter break and winter holidays fun. When things don’t go according to plan, or when we have our little one throwing a huge tantrum in front of your whole extended family, it can feel overwhelming for you as well!

How do we help with this?

We set up a framework for winter break that’s easy for everyone to follow.

Tip 1: Prepare

Tip 2: Set Clear Expectations

Tip 3: Time Management

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Stop and Think: Impulse Control and Anxiety Management For Kids

Stop and Think: Impulse Control and Anxiety Management For Kids

I specialize in both anxiety and anger management for a reason.

Anxiety and anger have a lot in common. If you've ever experienced feelings of anxiety before, consider those physical cues - racing heart, shortness of breath, dilated eyes, inability to focus or concentrate, muscles tensed and ready for action. 

Now, think about the last time you were angry. How your face felt hot and your fists tensed up. How your heart started to beat faster because you were ready for a fight. Your brain focused only on the thing that made you feel this way.

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Anxiety and Anger: Differences for Boys and Girls

Anxiety and Anger: Differences for Boys and Girls

How differently does anxiety manifest itself in girls versus boys? What accounts for such differences?

This May, I hosted a #HealthAMA ("ask me anything") allowing people to ask me any questions on temper tantrums and anger management for kids. You can find all the questions right here, and this summer I've pulled a few to expand on.

Gender differences in anger.

Based on my experience, I often see more boys with anxiety brought in for "anger management" than girls

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What Does "Anger Management" Mean for Kids?

What Does "Anger Management" Mean for Kids?

"From your perspective, what exactly constitutes anger management in children?"

Anger management means helping kids find the tools needed to manage their anxiety, frustration, and temper. I typically utilize CBT to help kids figure out how their thoughts impact their feelings, how their feelings lead to different behaviors, and how they can change that cycle.


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Why Your Teen Automatically Thinks the Worst

Why Your Teen Automatically Thinks the Worst

Why do kids immediately think the worst about a situation or another child's or teen's actions?

Kids and teens often jump to the worst case scenario when their minds run a little anxious. It’s a self-preservation technique on overdrive. Their anxious mind assumes “so and so pushed me on purpose,” or “those kids laughing in class must be laughing at me,” which leads to a fight, flight, or freeze response.

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