Author: Dr. Shonna John

Mental Wellness During the Summer Break

It is common for children and teens who struggle with mental health to eagerly anticipate the summer break. Many of these youth identify school as their main stressor, and believe they will “return to normal and feel fine” in the summer. Parents and caregivers may also long for the less stressed summer days for their children to be more relaxed, happier and enjoy life again. Parents talk about the improved weather, fun activities, and no homework contributing to their child’s improved mood. The summer break definitely allows time for growth, development, and improved mental health; however, summer can also...

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It’s normal for parents to question whether they are doing the right thing. Caregivers want to protect children from challenging situations, whether it’s a bully at school, struggles with school work, or a difficult boss at a teenager’s part-time job. But such challenges are a part of life. Every person experiences difficult situations, and either has to cope with something they cannot change, or take steps in problem-solving something that can be changed. Emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear are normal in challenging situations. How children navigate those challenges is what makes the difference. Having caregivers who provide...

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Too Scared for School!

About 5-10% of children struggle with significant anxiety. Anxiety can interfere with a student’s ability to perform in school and socialize with others. Times of change (e.g., first day of school) or performance/ evaluative situations (e.g., writing a test) typically cause some anxiety; There are times when a child’s anxiety gets in the way of going to school. “School refusal” describes the problem of a child who does not stay at school or refuses to go to school on a regular basis. Children who struggle with school refusal tend to complain of not feeling well before leaving for school (e.g., stomachaches). They...

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