1. Attention parents of High School Seniors!

    High-school graduation can be an exciting but stressful milestone for your child and entire
    family. Below are eight important tips to help your child make a seamless transition from high-school graduate to a first-year college student.

1. Financial Planning:
 Complete financial aid paperwork, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any additional forms required by colleges.
 Explore scholarship opportunities and deadlines.
 Discuss budgeting strategies with your child for managing expenses during college.

2. College Visits and Decisions:
 Accompany your child on any final college visits or revisit campuses to help them make a final decision.
 Review acceptance letters, financial aid packages, and any scholarship offers together.
 Help your child make a final decision on which college to attend.

3. Housing and Roommate Selection:
 If applicable, assist your child with selecting on-campus housing or finding off- campus housing options.
 Discuss roommate preferences and encourage your child to reach out to potential roommates. A lot of colleges have social media or other platforms to connect students who are seeking roommates.


4. Academic Preparation:
 Ensure your child completes any remaining high school coursework and exams.
 Assist with registering for any necessary placement exams or orientation programs required by the college. Sometimes they are scheduled earlier than you may think! Encourage your child to check their email regularly for these dates.
 Discuss academic expectations and resources available at the college.

5. Health and Wellness:
 Schedule a physical exam and ensure your child is up to date on vaccinations required by the college.
 Review health insurance options, whether through the college or staying on your family plan. Also discuss and plan any new physician offices or pharmacies that they can access if they are attending a college out of state.

 Discuss mental health resources and support available on campus.

6. Personal and Emotional Support:
 Have open conversations about your child's expectations, fears, and excitement about starting college.
 Encourage independence and decision-making skills while offering your support and guidance.
 Discuss strategies for managing stress and homesickness during the transition.

7. Practical Preparations:
 Create a packing list and assist your child with gathering necessary items for their dorm or apartment.
 Plan transportation to the college, whether by car, plane, or other means.
 Consider attending any parent orientation programs offered by the college to
learn more about support services and resources available.


8. Celebrate and Enjoy the Moment:
 Take time to celebrate this milestone with your child and family.
 Encourage your child to connect with friends and make memories during their final months at home.
 Embrace the excitement and anticipation of the journey ahead.


By completing these tasks together, you can help ensure a smooth transition for your child as they prepare to embark on their college journey. Best of luck!

In this space, you’ll find pressing topics and clinical insight from one of our clinicians, Shannon Tavis, LMSW. She offers feedback on mental health and your child that are relevant towards every day living. 

Join us here each month for a new blog and fresh topic!


Helping Your Child Beat the Winter Slump: Tips for Boosting Motivation and Focus

Dear Parents,

As winter settles in, many students find themselves facing a common challenge: the winter slump. It’s that time of year when the combination of colder weather, shorter days, and the monotony of school routines can diminish motivation and focus. If you’ve noticed your child struggling to stay on track with their schoolwork or lacking enthusiasm for school, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are several strategies you can utilize to help them overcome this seasonal dip and reignite their motivation and focus.

  1. Encourage Physical Activity: It’s no secret that movement has a positive impact on mood and cognitive function. Encourage your child to engage in physical activity regularly, whether it’s playing a sport, going for a walk, or participating in indoor exercises. Even a short burst of movement can help boost energy levels and improve concentration.
  2. Create a Cozy Study Space: The dreary winter weather can make it challenging to feel motivated to study. Help your child create a cozy and inviting study space that they look forward to spending time in. This could involve adding soft lighting, comfortable seating, and personal touches like photos or artwork. 
  3. Offer Support and Encouragement: Be a source of encouragement and support for your child during this challenging time. Let them know that it’s okay to struggle sometimes and that you’re there to help them navigate through it. Offer words of encouragement and praise their efforts, no matter how small. You can even create a countdown for the number of days left until summer break or another event that they are looking forward to. Sometimes, a little positivity can go a long way in boosting motivation and morale.
  4. Explore New Opportunities: Winter can be a great time to explore new hobbies or interests that can help with some of the winter blues. Encourage them to pursue activities outside of school that they find enjoyable and stimulating, whether it’s learning a new instrument, trying out a new sport, or delving into a creative project.
  5. Practice Self-Care: Remind your child of the importance of self-care, especially during the winter months when the days are shorter and the weather can be gloomy. Encourage them to prioritize activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as meditation, journaling, listening to music, or spending time with loved ones.

In conclusion, while the cold weather may present challenges for students, it’s important to remember that it’s temporary and manageable with the right strategies put into place. By putting the above tips into practice, you can help your child beat the winter slump and thrive academically and emotionally. Remember that every child is different and what works for one may or may not work for another. It can be helpful to review these tips with your child and let them have some autonomy over which tips they would like to implement into their schedule.

Learn More about Shannon or our Clinical Services. 

The Power of Food

Food is obviously important for our survival, but did you know it also plays a huge role in our mood, focus abilities, and energy levels? Have you ever made a poor choice with your diet and felt groggy, irritable, or unmotivated the rest of the day or the following day? There’s a reason for that! Let’s learn some fun facts about ways to improve our diet to feel our best.

Flavonoids are plant chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors and help our brain work to it’s full potential. On days you are feeling unfocused, try reaching for a healthy snack such as beets, peaches, tomatoes grapes, oranges or apples as these contain high levels of flavonoids.

Some other vitamins/minerals that are important for our brains and bodies to feel their best are fiber, Vitamins A, C, B6, E, and K, iron, folate, choline, and potassium. Foods that contain these include:
blueberries, carrots, pomegranates, spinach, sweet potatoes, eggs, poultry, fish, chickpeas, soybeans, quinoa, flaxseed, pecans, walnuts, and tea.

A good rule of thumb is that the darker the food is – the healthier it is for you.

If you are not properly nourishing your brain, your brain will not be able to produce the proper amount of feel-good hormones that increase our happiness and satisfaction levels. Next time you are craving a salty or sugary snack – remember that even swapping out for a healthy snack once a week can make a
HUGE difference in your mood.

There are also certain foods that have been known to naturally help your body’s melatonin (sleep hormone) production. Eating these foods before bed can help you fall asleep quicker and easier and stay asleep.

These include bananas, pineapple, rice, honey, ginger root, asparagus, tomatoes and peanuts.