teen rubs cheeks with cream

Healthy Habits to Help Teens During Winter Break

The transition to in-person school in August was likely a challenge for many teens, and with holiday break right around the corner, your teen may slip back into old habits and struggle to return in the new year. Maybe they slept in until noon, binged Netflix all day, or talked on the phone all hours of the night.

While it is true that some days your teen will need to do nothing but chill, especially after spending time with family and friends, it is also essential to keep your teen engaged. Allowing them downtime every day may lead them to make questionable choices when left on their own. To prevent this from happening, add structure to their days unrelated to holiday festivities.

Teach Them About Self-Care

Make the most out of your teen’s time off and teach them how to look out for their own health. This may mean getting enough sleep at night, waking up at a reasonable hour, exercising daily, and eating healthy foods. Teaching them to cut back on sugar and processed foods can help prevent poor eating habits in adulthood. You know your kid best, so design a self-care routine catered to their needs that can stick with them for a lifetime.

Limit Screen Time

Limiting screen time can be extraordinarily challenging. In the age of iPhones, iPads, laptops, and video games galore, you likely have a teen glued to one screen at all times. However, their electronic use can quickly get out of control without adult guidance.

A 2020 study on screen time and mental health in adolescence found that two or more hours of screen use after school was linked to poorer mental health, especially in girls.

Chances are, your teen is spending more than two hours a day scrolling through social media and watching TV simultaneously with the extra downtime. Common Sense Media released a survey showing that teens devote an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on screens each day, not including time spent using screens for school purposes.

The study further concludes that longer screen time was associated with lower levels of life satisfaction and optimism and higher levels of anxiety and depression. Social media can be especially damaging to teens’ mental health during school breaks because it can garner feelings of isolation or cause them to compare themselves to their friends.

Do your best to keep your teen busy and off their phones. You can do so in a number of ways, including:

  • Discourage multitasking: Take notice of how often your teen is texting while completing homework. Talk to them about how doing both at once can interfere with productivity.
  • Establish clear rules: Have a set time when screens should be turned off for the night. If this is met with resistance, it may be a good idea to remove TVs or video games from bedrooms.
  • Model healthy habits: One of the most important tips is to role model healthy screen habits. Limit your own screen time and be mindful of when you’re on your phone around your teen. For example, don’t take a phone call during dinner if they’re not allowed their phones at the table.

Seasonal Work

There are many benefits to your teen finding a part-time job during winter break. They can gain valuable work experience, a sense of responsibility, cultivate their time-management skills, and potentially make new friends. Whether they choose to work in retail, the fast-food or restaurant industry, or something else, your teen can enhance their skills and learn how to successfully job hunt in the future. Earning some extra spending money is always a bonus, too.

Quality Family Time

Don’t let the cold temperatures keep you from getting out and bonding with your teen. Create lasting memories by ice skating, sled riding, snow tubing, or skiing. If these outdoor activities aren’t options nearby, then get creative with the resources you have. Build a bonfire and make s’mores, plan a board game tournament, rearrange or redecorate their bedroom, make a meal together, construct a gingerbread house, build a snowman or igloo, and more.

Promoting Healthy Habits

Overall, promoting healthy habits for your teen will not only benefit their physical health but, more importantly, their mental health as well. A break from school shouldn’t mean a break from taking care of themselves. Allowing them to sabotage their routine can lead to anxiety when it comes to returning to school in a few short weeks. Set a good example and help them learn how to prioritize and take care of themselves.

Keeping a teenager busy and off their phones during winter break may seem like a big challenge for some. However, as a parent, it’s essential to protect their mental health by providing opportunities to teach your teen how to take care of themself. This may be met with resistance at first, but your teen will notice the benefits in the long run and thank you for it. If you’re worried about their mental and emotional health, our caring medical clinicians at Achieve Concierge are here to help. Achieve Concierge offers child mental health services in San Diego to help kids explore ways to cope with anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health disorders. We work with both parent and child to provide a personalized treatment plan that accounts for each patient’s symptoms. For more information on the services we provide and to learn how we can assist your child, call us today at (858) 221-0344.

Father comforting his sad son

Supporting Your LGBTQ Child

It’s Pride Month! June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Pride Month. For so many, it is a time of celebration—people spend the time dressing up and heading to parades or events held in their communities. It’s a time where communities come together to acknowledge the violent struggles and pay homage to the rights and respect that have been won due to hard work and lives lost by LGBTQ people, their families, friends, and allies. It’s when we all mobilize together to work for more justice, less stigma and for a world that does not put a person in danger nor does it prevent them from reaching their full potential because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

There is no doubt that we have come a long way when it comes to acceptance from society. Acceptance of the LGBTQ community continues to grow globally, but there’s always room for improvement. LGBTQ youth remain vulnerable to suicide, homelessness, and other negative outcomes. This is mainly because they lack acceptance from their parents or immediate loved ones. It’s been taught to us over and over again, parents play an extremely important role in the lives of their children. This stands true especially when a child becomes aware of who they are attracted to or whom they love, or if they feel themselves to be a male, female, or somewhere in between. The love and acceptance by those closest to you are critical to the health and success of any youth. Research shows that children whose parents belittle or shame them are more likely to battle depression or attempt suicide than those whose parents are supportive.  

Sometimes we just don’t know how to support our children, especially when it’s something that we know nothing about—that is normal. There are ways that you can help your child, to show them support and to fill their lives with acceptance no matter their sexual orientation or their gender identity. 

Lead With Love

For some, this comes naturally, but that’s not the case for every person. It could be due to long-held beliefs that may get in the way of being able to respond positively and supportively. What is so important to keep in mind at this moment is that as hard as it is for you to learn about your child’s sexual orientation or gender identity, it was probably so much harder for your child to come to you and tell you this information. Sometimes we are left speechless when we are given certain information, and that is okay. In those moments, when the right words seem challenging or unavailable, sometimes a hug can speak a thousand words.

Just Listen

Coming to you was probably one of the hardest things for your child to do. This is a great first step, but don’t pressure your child to talk about everything in that one moment. If you have a sense that they might want to talk, try open-ended questions, such as “what can I do to support you?” that opens the door for continued dialogue while also letting them know you’re here to support them.

Educate Yourself

As parents, we don’t know everything. There are situations where we lack the knowledge and maybe this is that situation. Take the time to educate yourself. Taking the time to learn about gender and sexual diversity is a great step that shows your child that you care. You don’t have to know everything, more than likely your child is still learning and looking for resources (chances are they probably scoured the internet endlessly,) ask your child if there is anything specific they aren’t sure about or that they would like you to learn more about. Learning the language is a great way to lead you and your child into having important and challenging conversations. Mistakes will be made and that’s okay, own it, apologize, and work harder to do better. This is new and it’s okay to be vulnerable and to not always get it right. 

Take Care of Yourself

You are not alone. There are more than eight million self-identified LGBTQ people in America and 8 in 10 people personally know someone who is LGBTQ. Reach out to supportive families and allies to help you as you continue to learn more about the LGBTQ community. When we reach out to those who understand, it can help us process our feelings and validate everything that we are feeling. 

Remember, when learning that your child is LGBTQ,  there is no one way to react. Whether it be happiness, relief, fear, guilt, sadness, or anger, each emotion that you feel is normal. 

This is a journey for both of you. Take time to process and explore your feelings. 

Showing your child or loved one acceptance and love is the most important thing we can do, especially when they share with us that they are LGBTQ. It’s okay to not have all the right answers when your child comes out to you. It’s okay to let them know that you don’t know much or anything about the LGBTQ community. Having an open and honest conversation allows us to be vulnerable while also showing that we are here to learn. June is a glorious month to start celebrating your LGBTQ child. Attend events with them, buy them that rainbow shirt from Target. Be their biggest and loudest advocate. If you’re not comfortable with that, shower them with hugs. This is a journey for both of you and your feelings and questions are valid. If you’re looking for more ways to support your LGBTQ loved ones, reach out to Achieve Concierge today. Call (858) 221-0344. 


Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder commonly found in children that often lasts through adulthood. Neurodevelopmental disorders are disabilities associated primarily with the functioning of the neurological system and brain. Children with ADHD can have trouble paying attention, staying focused, controlling impulsive behaviors, or be overly active. At Achieve Concierge, we work with patients of all ages to determine the best treatment plan for their ADHD symptoms. 

Childhood ADHD

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines neurodevelopmental disorders as “behavioral and cognitive disorders that arise during the developmental period that involve significant difficulties in the acquisition and execution of specific intellectual, motor, or social functions.” ADHD can affect a child’s school performance and lead to lower grades. A child with ADHD may also have more trouble in social interactions, being accepted by peers, and learning in school. 

It is typical for most healthy children to be inattentive, distracted, and hyperactive at appropriate age levels. A child who is suffering from ADHD has more trouble concentrating and paying attention than a healthy child does at the same age. ADHD symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. According to the Mayo Clinic, children who struggle with ADHD are at increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse and other delinquent behavior and tend to have low self-esteem.

Children who have ADHD can be hard to parent as their constant activity and inattentiveness can be challenging for adults to manage. Common parenting strategies can be ineffective for a child with ADHD. Positive reinforcement, rewarding good behavior and showing support can help improve a child’s self-esteem with ADHD. A daily structured routine at home and school also helps the child to know and understand expectations. Identifying strengths and building on them can boost a child’s confidence and sense of accomplishment.

Teens and Young Adults with ADHD

Social problems among peers in childhood can continue into teen years and adolescence. A lack of positive peer relationships in childhood can limit opportunities to practice and refine social skills, worsening existing deficits. Difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships can become increasingly disruptive for a teen with ADHD. 

Teens with ADHD have more difficulty complying with rules and need more frequent reminders and supervision. This need for supervision can be frustrating for the parent and teen and may lead to a cycle of escalating negative interaction. Showing love and support, reinforcing positive behavior, and finding opportunities where the teen can be successful, will help boost confidence and get the most out of their natural talents. 

Many teens with ADHD continue to experience significant symptoms in adulthood. An adult who struggles with ADHD may have difficulty organizing things, recalling details, and listening to instructions. ADHD can also make a person forget things, get easily distracted, and seem disorganized. This can make it hard for the person to get along with people at work, home, or school. 

Medications for ADHD

ADHD can be treated with stimulant medications, such as Adderall or Ritalin. Since these medications are stimulants, they can be addictive when not used as prescribed by a medical professional. Adderall and Ritalin raise levels of dopamine in the brain, which improves attention and focus. Stimulant use should be continually monitored by a healthcare professional to avoid the risk of prescription misuse. The misuse of stimulants is linked to psychosis, heart attack, cardiovascular problems, or even death.

Co-Occurring Mood Disorders

According to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), “In adults, approximately 38% of ADHD patients have a co-occurring mood disorder. Mood disorders are characterized by extreme changes in mood.” It also states, “Up to 30%t of children and up to 53% of adults with ADHD may also have an anxiety disorder.”

A mood disorder is a condition that affects a person’s emotional state. It can make a person sad, irritable, or depressed. It can also result in extreme happiness or mania. When a person is diagnosed with ADHD and a co-occurring mood disorder, both conditions must be treated simultaneously as a dual diagnosis for the best outcome. With the right treatment, symptoms of ADHD can become more manageable, and a person who lives with a mood disorder can feel more emotionally stable.

Treatment for ADHD

Many people who struggle with ADHD live happy and successful lives. There are many challenges for a person with ADHD may face. However, treatment is available for people of all ages who struggle with ADHD. Achieve Concierge provides medications, psychotherapy, and other ADHD treatments for children and adults. We understand the challenges associated with ADHD and determine the best treatment plan for each individual’s needs. We can design a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.


ADHD poses significant challenges in children, teens, and adults and can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Developing social skills and maintaining relationships can be difficult for a child or teen living with ADHD. An adult with ADHD can have organizational problems and the inability to stay focused, making it hard to complete tasks at work or home. Often, those who have ADHD can also have an underlying co-occurring mood disorder. At Achieve Concierge, we offer treatment for all ages of people living with ADHD. We provide medications, psychotherapy, and other ADHD treatments and natural remedies tailored to a patient’s individual needs. Our patients experience a continuum of care that addresses not only healing for the mind but the body and spirit as well. While there is no cure for ADHD, treatment is available. We offer same-day appointments as well as telemedicine appointments. If you are struggling with ADHD, there is help available. To get more information about our services, call (858) 221-0344.

Tips for Dealing with a Teenager Suffering from Anxiety-Induced Anger Attacks

Tips for Dealing with a Teenager Suffering from Anxiety-Induced Anger Attacks

It is common for individuals diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to experience anger attacks. Some may be angry with themselves for their illness and some experience rage instead of anxiety. Growing up in a household of aggression is not easy for anyone, but there are steps that you can take as a parent to help your child through their anger attack.

Before we list the steps you can take to calm your child down, it is essential to acknowledge and accept one thing — your child is not openly choosing to have an anger attack. Yelling, cursing, or fighting will only increase the likelihood that your child’s mood will amplify. Here are some tips:

Tip #1: Realize that anger may be replacing sadness or anxiety.

It can be tricky to decipher whether your teen is having anger attacks because they’re truly angry or because they are hurt. Acts of aggression could be a direct reflection of your teen’s need for love and attention. Figuring out how to feel in a particular situation can be stressful and challenging for the whole family, but especially for teenagers. Approach your teen with love. Even if you are met with hostile behavior, it will resonate with them that you did your best to support them and let them know that you are not a threat, and they don’t need to be violent with you. When that type of anger arises, it is important to note that their brain is in “flight or fight” mode, which mentally and physically prepares your child for an incoming attack.

Tip #2: Come from a place of love and support with QSTUD.

Your first reaction to your child having an angry outburst will likely be to raise your voice right back and engage in a verbal or even physical altercation. Unfortunately, this is not going to calm your teen down. There are four things to help you through your teen’s anger attacks: Quiet, Space, Time, Understanding, and Distractions (QSTUD).

A quiet place is the first step to a teenager learning how to curb their outbursts. Anticipate broken items, screaming, cursing, and noise. They need their space, so give them time to let their anger unfold. Time is another critical tool for an upset teen. Give them time to get out of the “flight or fight” mentality. Give them time to cry, scream, and curse on their own. You don’t need to be involved with how they deal with their anger.

The next step in the QSTUD technique is understanding. This step is important because it helps parents approach their teen in a respectful and de-escalating manner. Understand that it is not your child’s goal to wreak havoc on your lives or to harm you or the family. It will be fairly common for your child to feel immense guilt or shame after their outburst. Distraction is the most crucial part of this de-escalation process. Suggest that they play a video game, go for a walk or run, browse social media, or journal their frustrations — anything to take their mind off their anger and calm them down.

Tip #3: Let your child know that you are there to hear them out after their episode.

It may feel incredibly challenging to sit with your child after they have said and done hurtful things to you. However, they need a parent who acknowledges their anger and does not shun them for such behavior, but instead encourages open communication. Give them the option to talk to you about why they got so angry or what triggered the anger attack. Keep a list of known triggers and avoid them as much as possible. Be patient with your teen as they navigate their journey on how to express their emotions in healthy ways. It will get better — your child loves you. Your support will mean the world to them.

Anxiety is not a battle that you or your child need to go through alone. The team at Achieve Concierge can provide treatment options of all kinds to you and your family. We are committed to providing the highest level of mental wellness care with personalized service that is second to none. To learn more, call us today at (858) 221-0344.