Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Logan River Academy: Surrounded by Adventure, Part 2

In part 1 of our Surrounded by Adventure series I tried to paint a portrait of the unrivaled access we have to recreation opportunities mere minutes from Logan River Academy. This installment will focus on the exciting and freeing world of road trips and the beautiful places we often explore when we can get away for a few days.

One of my favorite things about living in Cache Valley is that we get to thoroughly enjoy four separate seasons. Because of this, we tailor our explorations to chase the best possible weather to maximize our enjoyment of an experience. During the hot summer months we either go north or climb elevation. The alluring Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Sawtooth Mountain Range offer cool, northern temperatures while the Uinta Mountain Range in northeastern Utah offers backpacking and hiking up to 13,528’ in elevation.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

From My Bookshelf

I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood, with overflowing bookshelves at home and work to prove it.  Like other bookworms, I read both for fun and relaxation and to learn more about things that interest me.  Over my 4+ years working at Logan RiverAcademy, I’ve transitioned to working primarily with students on the Autism Spectrum.  It’s no surprise that I’ve amassed a small collection of books focusing on the lives and stories of people who live with this complicated, fascinating, and often frustrating symptomology and diagnoses.  I’d like to share three of my favorites with you: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Journal of Best Practices, and Look me in the Eye.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Can You Hear Me?!

As human beings, relationships are often a measuring stick of how successful our lives are. Most of us value relationships. Relationships are often at the core of how happy or unhappy we are. An essential ingredient to positive relationships is the ability and desire to listen. All of us love to interact with good listeners. How many of us truly are good listeners ourselves?

I would like to highlight 6 blocks to being a good listener:

1.    Referring everything to your own experience: Have you ever talked with someone that constantly redirects the conversation back to him/herself rather than actually letting you finish your thought or story? I have. It's really annoying! Work on allowing the person with whom you are talking to finish his/her thought or story before interjecting a comment that directs the conversation back to you.

2.    Advising: Some of us go directly to problem-solving before listening or validating. Never advise when the advice is not asked for or wanted. Most of the time people would rather be heard or validated than given solutions or ideas.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Certainty of Parenthood

Over the years I've learned that there are not too many things in life that are certainties.  There are however a few things that you can always count on - death, taxes, the sun coming up, and parenting being very, very difficult at times!

There are often many different things going on with each of my four children.  They are all at different ages, different stages of development, with different temperaments, different interests, and on and on.  Sometimes it can become a bit hectic parenting each of them in the way that best meets all of their individual needs.  There are some things however that all four of them need despite their differences in age, developmental level, etc. Things such as rules, empathy, limits, attention, consequences, listening, praise, etc. are things that all children need.  As a parent, I've sometimes noticed myself getting a bit out of balance with those things.  At times, I've noticed myself being a little heavy on the rules and consequences and not doing as much of the empathy, listening, and praise piece.

The following "parenting pyramid" has been a visual reminder for me over the years of the importance of always keeping those different parenting pieces balanced.  And more so, that the blocks of my parenting foundation needs to always be things like attention, empathy, talking, etc.  I hope this small little tool can be of some help to you as it has been to me!