Communication in the Family

How can parents help their kids feel comfortable talking to them?

  • One of the greatest ways a can parent help their kid open up communication with them is through learning and nailing the art of validation. The dictionary defines validation as “the recognition or affirmation that a person, their feelings, or opinions are valid or worthwhile.” Validation kindly communicates that you want and are trying to “get” them or their perspective and that their thoughts and feelings are understandable. Reflecting back to your child in your own words a summary or a paraphrase of what they have communicated is a great way of demonstrating that you are listening. It is also an opportunity for the child or teen to clarify what they are saying. Validation is experienced through eye contact, empathy, attentiveness, and a genuine heart to understand rather than get a point across.
  • Your child or teen has a deep and immeasurable need to be known in this way. Often times fear or need for control will hijack such conversations and a parent will feel pressure to use the moment to get information, solve a problem, or lecture to instill a lesson or character trait. To the Youth, this feels like a selfish exchange on part of the parent and in many ways it is. A lecture is actually meeting the parent’s need at that moment and not the child’s, even though this usually comes from a place of good intention. The more you practice validation, the more your sense of when your child needs validation more than anything else will become more apparent. Therapists are also happy and ready to help you learn this skill if you need some help!

How to be open with your parents.

Kids, if you would like to be more open with your parents and feel more heard on things that are super important to you or sensitive in nature, sometimes it is helpful to set up a conversation for success by choosing a good time as much as possible and stating your need. For example, “Dad, I want to talk to you about something important and I need you to please (listen well, not interrupt, sit and talk in my room for a bit, etc). This gives your parent a chance to give feedback about the timing and it alerts them about the importance of the conversation. Sometimes it is really helpful to be respectfully blunt in communication but do make sure to appreciate the difference between being direct about an emotional need vs being demanding.

Benefits of Clear Communication

Clear and direct speaking and listening can prevent an untold number of painful and unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings. Validation and directness in communication build mutual understanding, respect, trust, and ultimately deeper bonding and love between family members.

YCC’s Family Link Program 

The Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns, and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 720-0007.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

3 things you can do now to get more involved in your child’s life

Have you ever wondered how you can get more involved in your child’s life? Perhaps you may have wondered if parental involvement is important for children?

No matter what your reason is, Family Link Therapist Sidney Vernon, MSW, has listed a few suggestions below on how you can become more involved in your child’s life. 

How to get more involved in your child’s life:

1. Create routines.

Routines help children to feel safe and provide structure to their lives. To get more involved in your child’s life, consider making new family routines. Some examples include: try to have a family dinner at least three times a week, start a weekly family game night, have a monthly family movie night, or have a family outing

2. Do a daily “check-in.”

To be more involved in your child’s life, try to build a routine of doing a daily “check-in” with your child. Come up with questions to ask your child during your daily check-in time like what was your favorite part of your day, how did you feel today, etc. Some good times to complete a daily check-in are in the car on the way home from school, on the walk home from the bus stop, bedtime, or any other time of day that you are and your child are typically already together.

3. Communication is key!

Communicating with your child is a great way for you to be more involved in their life. Depending on the age of the child, communication looks very different. Young children communicate through play and behaviors. Older children can communicate more through having conversations. If your older child does not feel comfortable talking, you can try writing letters back and forth.

Why to be more involved in your child’s life/ Some benefits may include:

  • Improved attachment / relationship
  • Builds trust
  • Increases your child’s self-esteem
  • Increases your child’s self-confidence
  • May decrease your child’s bad behaviors
  • May increase your child’s school performance

YCC’s Family Link Program

The Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 720-0007.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

The importance of therapy

What is therapy and can it really help people? 

Therapy is designed to assist someone who may be dealing with life stressors that can affect their outlook on life. You can see a mental health profession for a multitude of problems such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma, low self-esteem, anger, grief/loss just to name a few. Therapy allows you to talk openly with an unbiased mental health profession. As a mental health profession, we assist our clients in uncovering strengths about themselves and to help them learn new skills in life so they can deal with situations that may impact their life. Therapy not only helps you to deal with what is going on internally but it can boost your physical health as well.

Can therapy be for one person or can the whole family participate? 

Therapy is designed for the individual and their family. Individual therapy is one-on-one and it tackles your needs as a person so that you can handle any obstacles that you may face daily. Family therapy allows for family members to come together and work on any conflict and lack of communication there is amongst one another. At Youth Crisis Center we not only provide individual therapy but strive to have family therapy as well to help address specific issues or concerns they may have.

Is therapy only for someone who is mentally ill? Can therapy tackle more than one issue?

Therapy is not just for people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Everyone needs a positive support system in their life and by talking to a mental health professional regardless of if you have a mental illness or not, it can give you a new perspective on how to deal with certain situations in your life. Therapy can tackle as many issues as you would like to work on. At Youth Crisis Center, our treatment plans are personalized to meet the needs of our patients and there are times where they have more than one issue they would like to work on.

 

YCC’s Family Link Program 

The Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns, and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 720-0007.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

What is stress and how can we manage it?

Stress happens.

In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, “stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands a life.” The Mayo Clinic even states that a small amount of stress can be good for you, and can help motivate you to perform well. However, for some people, what could seem like a minor challenge to you could push another person beyond their breaking point or affect their ability to cope.

Why do we stress?

The National Institute of Mental Health says stress affects everyone. As stated before, there can be stress that stems from the pressure of daily responsibilities such as work, school, and family other things. The NIH also states stress can be brought about by a sudden negative change like losing a job or a divorce. Trauma can also be a factor of stress after experience a major accident, war, assault, or a type of natural disaster. There is no exact reason why people stress because different people experience stress differently. While the Mayor Clinic stated that a small amount of stress can actually be good you do need to be wary of long-term stress. The NIH says long-term stress can harm your health.

Ways to manage stress 

With there being so many things that can cause stress; there are just as many ways to relieve it. Family Link Therapist Carl Keller says it all depends on what kind of person you are. He says if you are someone who likes staying fit or enjoys exercising, he suggests going on a run. If you are more of a creative person, he believes having a creative outlet can often help relieve stress. Keller even says doing things that bring you joy or comfort like reading or listening to music. He says those activities can also help with relieving stress.

YCC’s Family Link Program 

The Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns, and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 720-0007.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Facing your anxiety while preparing for a new school year

It’s that time of the year again…back to school.

 

This year may look a little different than previous years of going to school. Some students, teachers and staff will be wearing masks. Some students may not see their friends anymore because they moved over the summer, they’re being homeschooled, or if they have the option – virtual school. Regardless of what back to school looks like for some – a lot of feelings come with returning to school; some people are excited while others may be nervous or even anxious.

 

What is Anxiety and why do some people have it?

 

Jessica Beal, a Family Link Therapist at the Youth Crisis Center describes anxiety as a feeling of excessive worry, nervousness, or being overwhelmed. Delving deeper, she says physical symptoms can include difficulty breathing, butterflies in your stomach, and some people may even experience muscle tension. Beal explains everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life, but some may experience it more often and at a more intense level. She says genetics, environmental factors, a high-stress level, and poor coping skills can trigger anxiety, but the direct causes are different for everyone.

 

Overcoming your Anxiety

 

Beal says anxiety management starts with knowing yourself. You need to ask yourself some serious questions, such as: what worries you the most, what situations make you feel uncomfortable, and what are some negative beliefs you are carrying around with you. Beal explains anxiety is typically rooted in fear and worry. With that being said, Beal believes negative thinking patterns can allow the cycle of anxiety to continue and worsen over time.

Beal says Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a highly effective treatment for anxiety as well as learning healthy coping skills to lower your overall stress level.

 

Follow the “C’s”

 

Beal suggests for anyone anxious about the start of the new school year is to follow what she calls the “C”s.

 

Community – Surround yourself with your loved ones. You should want to be around people who love you, care about you, and want to see you succeed. This can be your family, friends, neighbors, or anybody else who makes a positive impact on your life.

 

Confidence –  Believe in yourself. Beal wants to remind everyone that they have survived everything life has thrown at them so far. Even though you didn’t think you would be able to make it through some things, you have made it this far in life. That alone took resiliency and strength. You were able to adjust to whatever was going on in life and this new school year is just something we all will need to adjust to.  

 

Caring – Take care of yourself. Beal says self-care is extremely important. You need to know how to listen to your body and know when to stop when you are over-doing it. It’s not just your body, Beal also wants you to pay attention to what your emotions are telling you as well. She also believes in developing a routine and sticking to it is important when it comes to self-care. She also wants to stress the importance of making sure you have time for yourself and you’re taking breaks when you need them and not before it’s too late and you’re already dealing with burnout.

 

Creativity – Find a creative outlet to channel some energy into. 

This isn’t just restricted to just being creative with drawing, painting, writing, etc. Beal says it is important to have hobbies. Hobbies are necessary for some people to get their feelings out there, especially if they cannot necessarily verbalize them. If you are someone who struggles with opening up about feelings or has a hard time finding the right words to say, Beal strongly suggests looking for a creative outlet or something to channel those emotions into.

 

Coping Skills – Beal reveals that a good set of healthy coping skills is what is lacking the most when she meets with students. She says coping skills can be anything from practicing mindfulness to having hobbies. According to Beal, you must have something that you enjoy doing.

 

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

 

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 720-0007.

Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

The world through our children’s eyes during COVID-19

This will be a six-week online program for children between the ages of 6 and 10. Youth Crisis Center Family Link Therapist Clarissa Benitez, MSW will conduct this free online group through BlueJeans.

Space is limited please call 904-575-1324 by May 11th, 2020 to learn more and reserve a spot for your child.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family

The Great Indoors: Staying inside and entertained with your family

 

There are more options for things to do as a family are starting to open up with the news of some of our local beaches opening up along with parts of our country. For some, cabin-fever is the only thing they are feeling as many people in our country have been told to stay at home and to practice social distancing. Social distancing has led to strict rules at our grocery stores, favorite shopping areas, and even to our parks. Staying inside has become the “norm” for the majority of us and we could still see certain restrictions throughout the next couple of weeks.

 

Keeping kids entertained

 

Family Link Lead Therapist Jazmin Jerome says it is important to keep kids busy to prevent the feeling of anxiety, depression, and other negative feelings. She says that can sometimes be a result of feeling isolated. Jerome is a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern with the Youth Crisis Center. She recommends helping your child find new hobbies to engage in, increase family time, and encourage a healthy amount of electronic communication with peers. She also says there are a number of things you can do as a family to stay entertained such as watching movies or even holding a marathon of some sort. You could learn a new recipe as a family to make something new and enjoy it during dinner as a family. Jerome recommends eating together at least three times a week.

 

Keeping yourself occupied

 

For adults adjusting to the current pandemic, Jerome says it is important to participate in self-care frequently. She says anything from taking a few moments to relax, to taking a hot shower are just a few things that can be done. If you have children and you’re able to work, you are probably having to help home-school kids while ensuring your daily tasks get completed. According to Jerome, being able to keep a healthy balance between work, school and personal life is key to keeping your sanity during these questionable times. She recommends having structure for both yourself and the kids so you can have some sort of routine similar to what life was like months ago.

 

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

 

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family.

 

All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 725-6662.

 

 

 

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family

What do I do with a child dealing with depression?

Depression and what does it look like for me and my child? We as adults think we understand what depression looks like, we sleep a lot, maybe we eat too much ice cream, we wear black, and listen to sad music. We write sad poetry and comment on the unfair nature of life? What does it look like with our children should be the real question? Honestly with all the physical, social, and emotional changes happening with our children each day depression and anxiety for a child are so difficult to differentiate. Before with children, we would chalk it up to growing pains, or a phase of life for which children will grow out of. The real truth is, it is one of the most difficult times in American history to be a child.

 

If you looked up Depression in the Webster Dictionary you will get a definition of:

1.        Feelings of severe despondency and dejection

When I first looked at this definition, I note with the question “What is severe?” With many kids’ emotions and the many fluid changes happening in a kid’s life, everything seems severe. Some may wonder if it could be so severe that it will end in drug addiction, criminal behavior, or suicide. The fact is what is severe with one child, may not be severe for another. We cannot assume that because we as parents can deal with something our child will be okay. A break up of a relationship or a failing grade may not lead to an extreme action of self-inflicted pain or suicide. This may not be the case for other kids, as an event like this may lead to the decision to harm themselves or others. As a parent, it is important to an error on the side of caution and you should speak to a professional. You may know your child, but if they are dealing with depression or anxiety, they may not want to share that with a family member or a loved one. In some cases, kids may find it easier to open up to someone who is not related to them.  

 

 

What is part of growing up and what is a mental health condition?

“In 2017, 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said they had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8% (or 2 million) in 2007, the total number of teenagers who recently experienced depression increased 59% between 2007 and 2017. The rate of growth was faster for teen girls (66%) than for boys (44%). 7-in-10 U.S. teens said anxiety and depression is a major problem among people their age in the community where they live, according to a Pew Research Center survey of teenagers ages 13 to 17 conducted in fall 2018. An additional 26% cited anxiety and depression as a minor problem. An article in Johns Hopkins Health Review explains adolescent depression is a relatively new diagnosis. Until the 1980s, mental health professionals were reluctant to diagnose youth with a mood disorder in part because the adolescent brain is still developing and they thought it would not be appropriate to diagnose someone so young with depression. Also, professionals believed that teen moodiness was perfectly normal during what is often referred to as the “turbulent years.” According to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Pew Research Center). 

 

   Kids today deal with more than any other child in the modern age, from social media overstimulation, increased standards for success earlier in life, limited avenues for success, disjointed family structures, and divisive social interactions.  

 

Children deal with : 

Uncertain time

Today’s youth are living through world Pandemics, Terrorism, School shootings, increased levels of suicide, drug use to include drug overdoses, and increased teenage gang involvement. We live in a world where our news is on a 24/7 cycle. There is always something breaking in one country. Kids today know and can access more information both positive and negative than any other generation in the past. 

 

Lack of sleep:  

Electronics increased requirements in school, and limited avenues of success for youth in school (no music, art, or vocational arts). We all have our distractions, but kids these seem to be caught with their video games, social media apps, and streaming services that some may spend less time working or socializing in person.  

 

Lack of Family and Community: 

A new Pew Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households. While U.S. children are more likely than children elsewhere to live in single-parent households, they’re much less likely to live in extended families. In the U.S., 8% of children live with relatives such as aunts and grandparents, compared with 38% of children globally. According to the New York Times In 1962 African American Homes single parent, were 30% and in 2017 reported 82%. Caucasian homes in the same statistic went from 5% to 55%. Today 28% of families report having both parents in the home and never married. We have no real definition of family. Community interaction is limited at best to non-existent, and schools due to security threats look more like prisons than places of youth education. With mass shootings at public events, and security needs around the world people have been isolating from 9-11, and now with the world in lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic, this issue will be intensified. 

 

     So as a parent what should you look for with a child dealing with depression?

The following symptoms for childhood depression are: 

  • Irritability or anger
  • Continuous feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Changes in appetite — either increased or decreased
  • Changes in sleep — sleeplessness or excessive sleep
  • Vocal outbursts or crying
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Physical complaints (such as stomachaches, headaches) that don’t respond to treatment
  • Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities, and in other hobbies or interests
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Impaired thinking or concentration
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If my kids have some or most of these symptoms what do I do?

     Get help from a professional. 

 

With resources in the palm of your hand, there is no excuse to get help. In every city and state, there are resources out there to help you and your family. With tragedies like school shootings Parkland Florida, and Columbine High School, Columbine, CO has come a better understanding of Mental health, depression, bullying, school pressure and the need for professional aid. You don’t need to be ashamed, you’re not alone. If you don’t have money there are services for free to aid children. 

 

Exercise: 

It is proven that exercise creates the brain chemical known as Dopamine which is directly responsible for happiness. Get your child out of the house and running around. Take your child to parks, playgrounds, and other places for safe fun athletic involvement. Enroll your child in organized group activities they are good at and encourages social interaction. 

 

Eat healthier: 

This means less fast food and more home-cooked meals, more greens, beans, nuts, and rich health proteins. What we put in our bodies directly reacts and relates to our mood. If you eat healthier, then you allow the body and the brain to run more efficiently. With the creation of the T.V. dinner in the 1970s, we stopped family dinners and moved from the dinner table to the drive-thru. With more meals, you will see a better mood, better school performance, and less depression. 

 

Get more sleep: 

Children require a minimum of 6 hours of sleep and recommended 8 hours of sleep. This allows time for the brain to enter REM mode which allows the brain to reset chemically. It was believed the brain shut down during sleep, but with technological advances, we have come to learn the brain becomes hyperactive as it processes and resets the brain to optimal working standards. When you do not get enough sleep your brain fails to have this opportunity and works less efficient which leads to anxiety and depression.

 

Be involved with your child: 

Be involved in your children’s lives. It’s not enough to provide their needs, and wants, but to be involved in their lives. Teens begin the “War for Independence” when they enter the “turbulent years,” which makes connections difficult, but it is still very important for them to know that you are there for them. Children develop life skills from school, the social interaction from friends, and self-esteem from both Parents. It is not enough to take care of them, you need to be there for them.

 

Limit media intake: 

 

There is nothing wrong with limiting negative information and access to free streams of information. No matter how intelligent your child is, or believed capable or interested in social media it is important for limits to social media, news, video games, and other technology. Youth are still dealing with all the same scholastic, social, romantic, and parental demands we dealt with, but now they are connected and plugged in 24/7. As parents, it’s important to limit online connectedness for real-life family interaction. 

 

Finally, if you suspect Suicide?

  1. Ask your loved one if they are suicidal or plan to harm themselves. They may answer “no” and you may still need to take them to the hospital for help, but the fact you asked the question may be enough to draw attention to the situation for the youth.
  2. Call the Police. In Florida, we have what’s called the Baker Act named after the originator Maxine Baker. This law was created for those wishing to harm or suicide themselves could be taken, assessed and receive treatment. 
  3. If you know someone that is planning on killing themselves then please call (866) 441-8725 in the state of Florida. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255 or call 911 and speak to the local police. 

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 725-6662.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family

Staying on top of your mental health during COVID-19

The kids are home from school and you’re probably working from home as the world continues to deal with COVID-19. For some families, this could be a dream come true to spend the entire day with their loved ones every single day. Others might not know how to deal with this kind of scenario because it rarely ever happens for them. Being at home with your loved ones all day when you’re not used to it could cause conflict, according to Family Link Therapist Jessica Beal.

Finding Time for Yourself

Beal recommends finding time for yourself as the calls for “social-distancing” continues. She says the feedback she gets from her clients is that tension is higher due to boredom and feeling trapped. Beal says she has been suggesting to her clients to spend time safely outside. She also recommends using your extra time for personal hobbies like video games, exercising or developing a new skill.

Establishing a Routine

It can be difficult to keep track of days for some people who are being told to stay home due to the virus. Whether you’re working from home, doing your college work, or helping your kids get their schooling done; Beal strongly encourages getting into a routine. Before this happened, chances were that you had some type of schedule or routine for your job or everyday activities. As the world deals with this time of uncertainty, having a regular routine can help you keep your mental and physical health in check.  Beal says she has been recommending that her clients continue to wake up at their normal time, eating regular meals, and taking care of their hygiene. This also can be said about working or schooling from home, for example setting up a work space or designating an area in your home to schoolwork. Setting a routine can also help with possible tension in the house by limiting distractions while one is trying to work or learn.

Social Interactions

At a time of social distancing, it is important to not social isolate yourself form your loved ones. Beal shares that many of her clients have been getting creative and using video conference platforms to hang out with friends as a group. She says social interaction with others is especially important during this time with an emphasis on video chats and phone calls.

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 725-6662.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family

Finding your flock; how to avoid getting mixed in with the wrong crowds

It’s a proverb you have probably heard once or twice in your life, “birds of a feather flock together.” It means those who have the same interests or like the same things will usually be found together. Everybody has their own flock whether they’re extroverted and enjoy going out on Friday nights for karaoke or staying in and reading a book. At one point in your life, you have probably felt pressure to do something a certain way or felt the need to try to fit in with a group of people. With the rise of social media, kids and teens may feel or experience this pressure even more than those who were the same age about 10 years ago.

As parents, your main job is to protect your kids. You want to help them be their best selves and sometimes who they spend their free time with plays a role in that. No parent wishes for their child to get mixed up in the wrong crowd. If a child feels like their parents or guardians are strict when it comes to who they hang out with – there’s probably a reason for that. Family Link Therapist Jazmin Jerome has several pieces of advice for kids who find themselves constantly being told to avoid a certain group of people.

Be You

Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” As cliché as it may sound, it’s true. Being unique is what makes someone stand out. Jerome says if you have to change who you are to fit in with a certain crowd that is a sign of possibly getting involved with the wrong crowd. If a group cannot accept you for who you are then there shouldn’t be much of an incentive to try to fit in with that particular group who doesn’t accept you as you are.

Communicate Your Needs

According to Jerome, Often times kids and even adults are drawn to find that they are missing.

“Find someone you can trust and talk to about what is missing in your life so that you don’t have to feel drawn to the wrong crowd.”

Jerome also suggests trying to stick to your values. That means honoring your parents’ or guardian’s wishes and never forgetting how you were raised.

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

 

The Youth Crisis Center was founded in 1974 as Florida’s first run-away program and has grown to be one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. Nationally recognized as setting a standard in youth services, YCC has been ranked as one of the top five programs in the United States by the Youth Policy Institute in Washington DC. Throughout the past 45 years, YCC has helped thousands of youth and their families overcome adversity and build stronger relationships. 

 

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 725-6662.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family