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Central Texas teenagers get back to routine after the holidays; how parents can help their mental health

Teens mental health
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 17:59:09-05

WACO, Texas — Going back to school after a holiday break can be tough for teenagers and their mental health.

25 News' Lauren Adams learned the story of a local teenagers who has troubles, and experts have a few tips for parents that might come in handy.

Kayla Hodge says, “I kind of want to get back into my routine of doing things again — I don't want to go back because I remember I’m there, and I hate it, like I’m dreading everything," Kayla Hodge said.

"It's just it's a lot of work.”

Hodge is a high school sophomore, and she had anxiety about going back to school after the holidays.

“The education aspect was easy — but the social aspect was nerve-wracking just because of our generation, how judgmental our generation is, and, subjects, and the standards that you're supposed to live up to," she said.

Professional Counselor Dallas Smelter often sees patients who feel like Kayla Hodge. 

“A lot of kids have anxiety, depression, and sometimes insomnia," Smelter said.

He says the best things parents can do is listen to their children, limit social media, get them into a routine, and plan something new for them to look forward to, like game night or movie night.

Dallas Smelter says, “One of the best ideas is spending more time listening to them. And letting them voice concerns.”

There are a few weeks of school before spring break, so Smelter has some advice to make it through that will help students' mental health.

“Consistency, structure, routine, encouragement, and support — your time is the best thing to give them," Smelter said.

"Nothing can replace your time.”