Tag Archive for: Academic Issues

7 Back to School Tips for Parents Post-Pandemic

Every child faces challenges when returning back to school. But back-to-school-time can be even more challenging for students who struggle with mental health or learning disabilities. School routines and expectations are very different from those of summer break.  As the world begins to open up after COVID-19, many kids are finding themselves back in the classroom for the first time in a while. We have all felt the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. And children are no exception. It’s helpful to remember that while children are often quite resilient, they are not immune to the stresses of environmental change. As we prepare for back to school activities, you may be wondering how to help your child deal with school during COVID-19.


Seven back to school tips for parents.

seven back to school tips for parentsMental Health problems often come back with the start of school.

Summer provides a welcome respite from the hustle and expectations of the school year. The jump back into a hyper-regimented schedule is a lot to handle for anyone, but it is especially challenging for kids. Children with special needs will need extra attention to make sure they are prepared to navigate the expectations of the new school year. This will look different for each child, but often this means that a parent will need to help set up organization, study habits, school support team. In addition to setting them up for success at the beginning, keep a closer eye on them throughout the first month or so to see how they are adjusting. As the year goes on, try to touch base with them on how they are doing emotionally.

Get to know your child’s teachers.

Depending on your child’s age and maturity level, you will want to forge a connection with your child’s teachers. Teachers get to know a child’s family through the child’s eyes. They get to know how a child behaves without the parents present.  You can begin by asking questions like: How is my child doing? Do you have any concerns about their social or academic skills? Do you think they need my help with anything?

If your child is older, you will want to encourage proper communication with teachers. This includes reaching out to the teachers via email and in-office hours. It’s important that your child begin building a relationship with their teacher before trouble hits. An easy way to do this is to set up a schedule where your child regularly attends tutorial hours with individual teachers. By regularly rotating through these intimate settings your child will learn the importance of relationships in academic success.

Set up a homework routine from the beginning

You can help your child adjust to the structure of a new school year by making changes to the structure and expectations at home. A dedicated after-school routine that includes time for homework is crucial. Involve your child in the planning, but once the routine is set, do not let them deviate from the plan. You will be reinforcing the importance of this routine, and everyone will benefit from the dedicated time for home studies.

Reinforce good sleep habits.

Getting plenty of rest and sleep is important not only for good grades and staying awake but also for preventing depression and other mental health issues. Establishing a reasonable bedtime routine for your child will let them know that sleep is important. This can be even more important as they get older and have additional commitments outside of school. Setting up the habit early can lead to higher rates of success as they age.

Serve healthy food and encourage healthy eating.

Food choices affect mood, ability to concentrate, and energy levels. It is important that you provide healthy balanced options for your child. Having healthy fruits and vegetables available for after-school snacks will help your child stay alert and focused as they begin their after-school activities. Learn more about your child’s nutritional needs, so you can be setting them up for success. Not only is this going to impact them today with their learning abilities, but these habits come into play later in life as well.

Don’t jump to conclusions.

Every child matures and learns at their own pace. If your child isn’t quite ready for the rigor and expectations in the classroom that is okay. Talk with teachers and administrators to understand what their goals and intentions are for students. They can give you tips and tricks to support your child as they grow into the expectations of the school year. By initiating these conversations with school staff, you will be in a good position for further intervention should your child need additional support beyond what you are able to give.

Don’t overcommit.

With so many good opportunities for extracurriculars, many families find themselves exhausted running from one activity to the next. Keep in mind the cumulative effect that each activity will have on your child. Even if your child can logistically attend all the practices and meetings, it may not be wise to spread their energies and attention across many different activities.

At the Well House Group, we see many kids who are stressed, anxious and exhausted from all their activities. Rigorous extracurriculars on top of a rigorous academic schedule is not a recipe for mental health. To know if you have overextended your obligations, you only need to look to your child for clues. Are they exhausted, anxious, or struggling to manage their responsibilities? If so, this can be a sign that they have overcommitted themselves. As a parent, it is your job to model a balanced lifestyle that includes ample time for rest and fun in addition to academic and extracurricular activities.

While these are helpful tips for all parents at the start of the year, there are some instances where these tips are not enough. If your child shows signs of extreme anxiety and has unusual difficulties in school, you should discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher as well as a mental health professional. Each of these individuals can advise on whether a child’s problems are normal and age-appropriate or require further evaluation.

How we can help you get Back to School

Our counseling services are for more than just when your child may be anxious or depressed. We have the tools here at The Well House to help with future planning, academic coaching, or to help you with what to do next as a parent. The support necessary for a whole family is important to us here. This year in particular is going to be hard for us and our kids as we navigate a world that looks completely different than it may have before. Kids are doing school online, they may not be able to play the way they used to, and new rules are abundant. School post-pandemic doesn’t have to be scary, though.

We are here to provide you with the support that your family needs, whatever that may be. Reach out to us and schedule a discussion to find out how we can help you and your children. Let’s get back to school without feeling like losing your mind. Let’s make this school year a great one.

Academic Coaching | When School is Too Much

Classes, friends, and all the extracurriculars that it takes to ‘get ahead’ in life can leave you wondering how you are supposed to do it all. Without balance in your life, it can feel impossible. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Academic coaching can help.

Teachers, tutors, counselors, coaches. Soo many adults, so little time – and how do you know who to turn to for help? Teachers, teach you the material. They are a great first stop when you start struggling in school. They can help re-teach a concept or help you catch up with missing assignments. Tutors can help you when the subject is just too hard to figure out in the classroom. A tutor can help you re-learn tough concepts, work through homework, or study for a test.

Counselors, whether school counselors or those out in private practice, can help you with your mental health. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, they are a great person to have on your team. Speaking of teams, we usually think of athletic coaches but there are also academic coaches. Academic coaches, like athletic ones, are there to help you reach your goals. An academic coach will help you identify what is and isn’t working with your school life. You will create goals and actionable steps to reach those goals. If your academic coach is also a counselor, then you get the best of both worlds. You get targeted strategies to meet your academic goals with the expertise to tend to your mental health along the way.

Why is Academic Coaching Beneficial?

With academic coaching at The Well House, we utilize a solution-oriented approach. We focus on the realistic goals that you set for yourself to create a path for success. When tackling a load of classwork, social pressures, and extracurriculars; it can feel like you are climbing a growing wall. As you are tackling one task, it seems like three more are coming your way including grades, parental expectations, and the demands of higher education.

Academic coaching is going to teach you how to not only climb that wall you are facing but prepare you to leap over it. Sometimes all you need is for someone to show you a better way to prioritize and organize the tasks in front of you. Academic coaches are partnering with you to create a plan that works for you. That is going to look a bit different for everyone. Some people are paralyzed by the stress of school. Working past that to a place where the workload in front of you is manageable and expectations are able to be met with vigor is a key strategy for these kinds of students. Just like we all learn a bit differently, coaches help you to find your strategy for facing the challenges ahead.

Once you have mastered the academic portion, you can also move beyond to tackle some of the harder issues that are holding you back from living your best life. It is often found that underneath the academic issues, there are real-life issues as well. Whether you are dealing with past trauma, current trauma, or just want to feel more in control, our counselors can help you to gain the confidence and resources to face it all. These are all things that someone qualified to teach or tutor may not have the resources to handle. Academic coaching addresses the whole person rather than just the school-centered mind.

Reasons You May Need Academic Coaching

It is a struggle to keep up with the classwork

Classwork can become overwhelming quickly. Unfortunately, when we are overwhelmed, it is easy to procrastinate while panicking. This snowballs to create an even bigger stressor every time you think about it. The good news is, that stress is manageable when you are working with a counselor. They are there to teach you ways to manage your academic-related stressors.

We can help you to come up with a plan to tackle that snowball one piece at a time. Helping you to break it down into bite-sized pieces allows the pressure to become more manageable. Maybe you’ve gotten behind a bit because of an illness or your extracurriculars are making it difficult to find a balance. Balance is the key to living a life this is fulfilled. Counselors are there to help you achieve the life you desire, and move beyond YouTube breathing techniques.

You are feeling a rise in anxiety surrounding classwork

That being said, anxiety creates a physical response in the body that can be hard to overcome without some techniques. You feel your heart start to race, your breathing quickens, and your muscles are tightening in preparation for your response to stress. The human body has a hard time differentiating between a physical threat to you and a mental stressor. Your body is telling you to either run, freeze, or fight. How does that translate into your work in school? This lends itself to procrastination, avoidance, and poor performance.

Recognizing when you are starting to become anxious is the first step to overcoming those physical responses. A therapist can work with you to help reframe those stress triggers in a way that you can de-escalate those physical responses in a way that is manageable. When you are able to take back control over your body, it is that much easier to tackle the classwork that is coming your way.

You are capable of doing well in school with all the right tools.

You are looking for direction when it comes to higher education

Searching for the right university or college program for you is extraordinarily overwhelming. It can feel like your entire life is going to be determined with this one single decision. It can also feel like the program that you choose is a definition of who you are for the rest of your days. If you want to know a secret, most people have no clue who they are and what they want to be when they grow up even after they’ve been working in the ‘real world’ for years. Self-discovery is a constant journey.

Choosing your college takes a heavy bit of introspection. Small or large; private or public; arts or science? Working with a counselor can help you to answer the necessary questions involved in this decision for yourself. We can’t tell you what to do with your life, but we can help guide you down the right path for you. Academic coaching can help you ask the right questions rather than all the generic questions that are coming your way.

You are overwhelmed and losing interest in school

When you feel buried by all the work and information that school flings your way, it is easy to lose interest entirely and want to give up. Giving up may seem easy at the time, but it makes for hardships later on. This is the time to reach out to people you trust to let them know how you are feeling. It can make it even worse to feel alone and discouraged. Reaching out to those people doesn’t make you weak or dumb. It means you are taking back control of your life and the way you feel.

Taking with a counselor during academic coaching will help you to understand why you are feeling the way you are. Through targeted questioning, we can guide you to finding solutions to the problems that seem too hard for you at the moment right now. It’s about small steps every day to create a life that is better for you. Not only can you be doing better in school, but you can also find fulfillment in it as well. There are no guarantees that we can make school as interesting as those other hobbies you love, but we can help you reframe it to make it less annoying and tedious.

Parents, how you may be contributing to your child’s stress

As much as we love our kids, it is hard not to put undue pressure on their academic performance and life choices. You obviously want the best for their life and their future, but have you taken a step back to wonder if the way that you are approaching that is stressing them out more than necessary? Every child dreads feeling like a failure in the eyes of the people they love the most.

So, that then begs the question: as a parent, how can you help your child when they are struggling with their academic performance and overall satisfaction with their education? One step would be to put them in the best position possible to heal themselves. Take some of the pressure off from your side by letting them know that you will be there for them even when things are not going the way we planned. Listen actively to how they are feeling about school and watch for signs of stress in your child. Make sure you are leaving them time to have a social life. Developing those skills will help them to cope now and create a healthy future in their relationships.

Bringing them into a counseling practice for academic coaching can also let them know that there are more resources out there than just extra tutoring time. Grades are often a reflection of a child’s mental state as well as their learning journey. When they do come to you with a report that contains less than ideal scores, ask them how they are doing. Stress and anxiety can cause major deviations in performance. Communicating to your child that their mental state is an important part of who they are means that they are more likely to check in with themselves as well rather than just letting it go unattended.

Communication with your child

Be truly empathetic and non-confrontational

When commuting with your child when it comes to grades, you are often addressing them in a moment of personal crisis. Here are some tips to let you better communicate. First and foremost, it is better to approach them in an empathetic and non-confrontational manner. They are likely to think that you are only going to be disappointed by their underperformance. When you come to them from a place of understanding, they are more likely to really and truly connect honestly with you.

Oftentimes, this will allow you to work your way to the root of the issue rather than addressing surface-level issues. You can go from “I never get any sleep” to “I’m so stressed out about graduating and facing adult life that I am unable to shut down at night.” These are two related issues, but you can see how the first has an obvious answer (go to bed earlier) and the second means that your teen could use the help of a counselor.

Find things to praise your child for

Another way to keep the conversation constructive is to find moments to praise your child. Maybe they are struggling with their academic performance, but they are over performing in other ways. Finding those little moments for them to feel valued and appreciated can help to facilitate their openness to a way to address larger issues. At the same time, allow there to be pauses in the conversation for your child to really think about their responses. Forcing them to solve their own issues right away may not be realistic since they themselves may not even really know why they are having a hard time.

Seek a third party to help them open up

If your child is unable to communicate those frustrations and issues with you as a parent, academic counseling is a great place for them to explore the issue for themselves. Working through it on their own can be less embarrassing sometimes than talking through it with you when they are feeling the pressure of underperformance. Either way, it may be beneficial for you as a parent to seek out some support of your own. Parent coaching, like academic coaching, is a great place to find resources on how to handle the stress that comes with being a parent to all ages of children.

How The Well House Group can help you

Here in Southlake, TX we have all the resources you can need to get back on your feet. Whether we can help you with stress management strategies, create a better balance in your life, and give you help when deciding the direction for higher education. What’s best about our academic coaching is that we are your partner. As counselors, we are able to address any higher issues that present themselves during our time together. For parents, we also offer parent coaching to help you be the best equipped to help your child.

Our counseling practice is also able to provide you with in-person academic coaching as well with our HIPAA secure telehealth connection. For those students with schedules that are harder to manage between academics, extracurriculars, and sports; online counseling means it is that much easier for you to seek out help.

Schedule a consultation with us today so that we can get started on making your academic life more manageable. You can schedule with us via text, phone call, or email. School doesn’t have to be miserable. Let us help you experience success again.

Teen Counseling | A Judgment-Free Zone

Teen counseling can sometimes be a difficult topic to bring up within a family. Parents can feel hurt if they feel blindsided, and teens can feel pushed to do something that is uncomfortable and out of their norm. No matter which side you fall on, it is important that if you are seeing the signs that your teen should be in counseling, you get them the help that they need. Teens, don’t be afraid to make the first move here, too. Reaching out a hand for help can be terrifying, but it is worth it in the end.

Why do so many teens’ emotions feel larger than life?

The teenage years are choke-full of changes: physically, mentally, and socially. All those changes lead to a ton of new stress that never existed as a child. Some find it relatively easy to navigate through this. Other teens have a harder time adjusting. It is the stigma to label the teen years as some of the hardest as a parent. However, think about how exhausting it is as a child to be growing into an adult. Especially in the United States, teens are pushed to grow up quickly. Responsibility without preparation can be a hard thing to handle.

Emotionally, there is a lot going on with your teen. One might attribute some of their poorer choices or outbursts to be associated with a lack of intellectual development. However, abstract reasoning, memory, and the formal capacity for planning are already developed by the time a person is about 15 or 16. The prefrontal cortex which regulates reasoning and impulse control is not fully developed in teens. The reason that they often feel out of control and make some poor decisions is actually attributed to their emotional state. When asked questions about different scenarios, they often say the same thing as adults. Their emotional state coupled with social pressures is actually what is driving that ‘out of control behavior that is so stereotypical to teenagers. Their ebb and flow of hormones are also driving that crazy train, so lookout.

Teen hormones play a big role in their emotions

Due to the variability of those hormones, their emotional state can feel hard to manage both internally and as a caregiver. There may not be a real way that they can easily grasp that can explain certain behaviors. This is where talking with a counselor can really help sort through an especially confusing time. Teen counseling allows them an outlet outside of their friends and family to feel heard enough to dig deeper into those emotions to help process them in a healthy manner. Online counseling for teens in Texas is also a great place to dive into anxiety and depression-related symptoms to help catch those disenfranchised people before they fall deeper into those negative emotions.

Counselors in Southlake, Texas are not there to judge you

As a teenager, it can sometimes feel like you are under this gigantic magnifying glass for all of the world to judge. Teen counseling in Southlake, TX is not a place for that kind of judgment. Instead, it is about introspection and acting as a guide to help you through arguably one of the toughest times people face. You are stuck right in between adulthood and childhood. Although in some ways you feel like an adult, you are not quite there yet. This can be extremely frustrating if you do not feel heard or seen because of that.

Counselors in Southlake are specialized to help you work through whatever it is that is bothering you. Big or small, we are trained to get to the root of each issue and address it in the manner that best suits you. We are there to work with you. Let teen counseling be a safe place to destress and get back some control over your own life – even when it feels like it is out of your control. This is something that even adults have to face when we are supposed to be ‘adulting’. If you can learn some techniques to better manage your own life, you are going to be that much more prepared for when real adult life does come around.

School can be a major source of stress

Teens walking outside near flowers and green trees. If your teen is struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress, then it may be time to begin teen counseling in southlake, tx. We also provide online counseling for teens in Texas, if online therapy for teens fits better. Call now!Whether you are in middle school or high school, there is a huge amount of pressure to perform in a way that sets the path for the rest of your life. If you are stressed out to the point of severe anxiety though, how are you supposed to be able to perform well? Kind of a catch-22, if you think about it. Maybe it’s not that you can’t do well in school, but rather outside factors like anxiety or stress are getting in the way.

The transition from middle school to high school can be a difficult one. You are finding a new place within your group of peers, discovering who you are, and trying to manage harder and harder academics all at the same time. Having a counselor to talk with can make that transition that much easier. It may feel sometimes like you are alone in your experiences. You are not. We are here to help you in any way we can whether that be coping skills, stress management, or working through anxiety.

Teens are dealing with a lot academically

It now seems to be a societal expectation that most kids go to college too. This may not even be the path for every person, but how are you supposed to find out if you are so stressed out? Talking with a counselor can help you sort through some of those tough decisions at the end of high school and set you up for success at the beginning. Our academic coaching in Southlake, TX may be a great resource for you as you are navigating school and feeling overwhelmed. We can help you work through decisions on higher education, manage your time effectively, and reach your academic goals.

Teen counseling in Southlake, TX is a foundation for a good life

Counseling is something that will always be helpful for people. Like we mentioned earlier, these are the skills that are going to prepare you for the rest of your life. Whether you are learning through online therapy in Texas or in an office with the guidance of a counselor, these skills are valuable. it doesn’t make it less valuable. Counseling may be the easier way to learn these skills though. Let us help you take all of the guessing games out of what it can mean to grow up. We may not have all of the answers, but we are here to help you create a better life.

Counseling can help you learn emotional regulation, social skills, and self-esteem, improved communication, the ability to address self-defeating behaviors and habits, stress management, problem-solving skills, and increased confidence in your decision-making. As a teenager, you are in the process of learning how to build, maintain, and regulate friendships in your life, online counseling for teens can help you with your relationships whether they are romantic or not.

So, while we are here for those cases of depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, and other teenage disorders; counseling is also there for the teens that would like to learn how to be better adults.

Let’s talk about suicide and self-harm in teenagers

Teen boy standing outside near brick building leaning against railing. The teenage years can be hard, for both parents and teens. Consider teen counseling in southlake, tx and parent coaching today for further guidance. Begin teen counseling near me "southlake, TX 76092"Self-harm is something that makes a lot of people wonder why. Why are they doing this? How could it possibly make them feel better? What am I missing in my teen to make them do this? All of these questions and more are ones that often only your teen can answer for themselves, that is if they even know it themselves. Self-harm is a major sign that they are not able to cope with whatever is going on in their life. That can range from loss to self-hatred to severe anxiety.

Having a counselor step in may be necessary

Seeking out the help of a counselor is critically important if you are seeing signs of self-harm or elevated levels of stress in your child. We work with your child to help them understand why they are doing this and to find healthier ways to manage their emotions. If you are a teen that is self-harming and you don’t understand why you may not be able to stop. Please reach out to us. Online counseling for teens is a judgment-free zone, and we are here to help you feel better. Your friends are not equipped to help you in this area of crisis, but your counselor can help.

Warning signs your teen may be struggling with suicidal thoughts:

Teenage suicide numbers continue to rise each year. The factors that play into these numbers are different for every person, but there are usually warning signs there for parents and other close friends to see before it happens. Sometimes, they will attempt suicide after an acute crisis occurs or there is a particular conflict between them and family or friends.

  1. Noticeable changes in eating or sleeping habits
  2. Unexplained or unusually severe, violent, or rebellious behavior
  3. Withdrawal from family or friends
  4. Sexual promiscuity, truancy, and vandalism
  5. Drastic personality change
  6. Agitation, restlessness, distress, or panicky behavior
  7. Talking or writing about committing suicide, even jokingly
  8. Giving away prized possessions
  9. Doing worse in school

If you are seeing any of these symptoms, there are things you can do to help them out. First, offer to be a person that will just listen to what is bothering them. Sometimes teenagers feel like there is no one to listen to them without the fear of being judged. When you offer them a place to feel supported with compassion, they can begin to open up about their feelings. Talk with them about the concerning behavior, but refrain from offering advice or trying to solve the problem for them.

Talking About Suicide Can be Uncomfortable, but it is Important

It’s also important to talk about suicide with the term ‘suicide’. When we talk about suicide using other terms, we may make it seem trivial when in fact it is very serious. When we talk about teen suicide and self-harm, it can be very uncomfortable. Even if it makes you uncomfortable to discuss, it’s no less important than sexual education with your children. If this is a topic that you are struggling with, then parent coaching with The Well House can be helpful alongside teen counseling. This can also help make your teen feel heard and understood. As well as provide you parent support during these difficult times. Parenting is a difficult task full of imperfection. Therefore, it is hard to know when we are doing the right thing for our child.

If the situation is not emergent, please seek out professional help. A teen that is attempting or talking about suicide is in need of immediate professional help. When your child is in direct harm’s way, do not feel afraid to also seek help at an emergency center. (Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255) These people are trained to help in all kinds of emergent situations.

What do we offer here at The Well House in Southlake?

Here at our office in Southlake, TX, we cater to teen counseling with our specialized team of counselors. Reagan Vermillion is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate who specializes in the family dynamic. Reagan and Jennifer are a great team to tackle all of the issues that come your way in life. Whether you are a parent looking for guidance and resources for your entire family. Or, you are a teen looking for a safe place to feel heard, our practice is the place for you.

Other services The Well House Offers:

Alongside our teen counseling, we also offer academic counseling, parent coaching, and therapy for moms, EMDR therapy, EMDR for peak performance, postpartum support, marriage counseling, and couples therapy, young adult therapy. Alongside our regular office, we also offer online therapy in Texas. If coming to the office is something that is holding you back from getting the help that you need, do not let that stop you. Our HIPAA-approved connection means that you and everything that you share is safe within each session.

Let us be the hand you need to hold to get to the other side. Life can be hard, but it can feel easier. Especially with the right resources and support. In the meantime, life doesn’t have to feel out of your control. Schedule an appointment by call, text, or email with us today to feel like yourself again.