This past week I had a nice reminder of an important parenting principle that I find myself too frequently overlooking. I had the opportunity to attend a simple little awards ceremony at my son's elementary school. The students were being awarded for having completed certain amounts of reading over the past several weeks.
Now, I wish I could sit here and tell you that my 6-year-old son had read the largest number of pages out of the entire school. I can't tell you that.....because he didn't. In fact he was receiving a certificate along with about 40 other kids for reading the minimum number of pages to qualify for getting a certificate. There were many children who had read significantly more pages than he had read. Nonetheless, I was proud of him. And more importantly, he was clearly very proud of himself, along with the other 40 children in his group.
It was a reminder to me of how important it is to acknowledge, praise, and reward children, sometimes for even relatively small accomplishments. Now does this mean that children need to be praised and rewarded for every single little task? No, it doesn't. I'm not a big fan of, nor am I espousing the "everybody's a winner, everybody gets a trophy" mindset. However, I am a fan of complimenting and acknowledging children when they are doing positive things. Too often I get caught up in life and don't take the time that I should to do this with my children, two of whom are teenagers and need the praise, compliments, and acknowledgment just as much as the 6-year-old needs it. So, here's to all of us making a little better effort to notice those things in our children's lives and give them the praise/acknowledgement that most children so clearly need and desire.
Happy New Year to all of you!
Monte Criddle, LMFT
Friday, December 19, 2014
An old saying that poetically fits outdoor adventure says: Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. While we whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment in the Adventure Learning Program, we can’t help but reminisce of the places we’ve gone and things we’ve seen. 2014 has been an especially enjoyable year to review and draw inspiration from for building and planning our next year full of excitement, learning, and adventure.
Winter can be harsh and unforgiving, but it is also elegant, beautiful and the most primed season for education, awareness and personal growth. Our winter season always includes yurt trips throughout Utah, Wyoming or Idaho, as well as numerous ski and snowboard trips to Snowbasin.
Our Spring Season was filled with trips to Logan Canyon, Southern Utah, local waters for fishing and canoeing as well as mountain biking and hiking trips up and down the Bear River Range.
The lazy-days-of-summer is an adage we do not adhere to. Long days, sunshine, warm weather, cool rivers, high elevations, dry trails…all things that give us way too much opportunity for adventure to be sitting around trying to get tan. This year we spent lots of time on the Snake River and in the Tetons in Wyoming, backpacking around the High Uintas in northeastern Utah, and as always, right here in our own backyard of Cache Valley.
Autumn brings bright colors, cooler temperatures, great fishing, but more importantly, an internal drive to finish the year on a high note, to explore, achieve and excel. The slanted light, burning sunsets and migrating birds remind and motivate us to get off the beaten path and find something new. We again turn to Southern Utah and local waterways and mountain peaks to round out our year, preparing our skis and snowboards for the next calendar to get hung on the wall.
See you soon 2015.
Mike Bodrero, Adventure Learning Coordinator
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
I have always loved Thanksgiving and the holidays associated with December. For me these holidays have brought treasured memories. Most of them I have spent with family who I love and care about. Family traditions always add a special touch as well. The turkey, Charlie Brown specials, football, pies, gifts, holiday decorations, and special music make this time of year special.
My parents are special people. They raised six of us kids. There never seemed to be a dull moment in our household growing up. I am the youngest of five boys and I also have a younger sister. My parents always made these holidays very special for my siblings and me despite a modest teacher’s income. My parents seemed to constantly teach us about gratitude. They taught us in many different circumstances the importance of being grateful and expressing gratitude to others. These teachings sunk deep into my mind and heart. I have tried to instill these same values into my three boys. I guess you could say I believe in gratitude. I strongly believe that grateful people are happy people.
Fortunately, research agrees with this premise (http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/harvard_mental_health_letter/2011/november/in-praise-of-gratitude). Research indicates that happiness and gratitude are closely linked.
Over the almost 13 years of working at Logan River Academy I have worked with a lot of adolescents and their families. One marker of progress I look for is when I see students start to show gratitude to their parents and the staff here at Logan River Academy. I have noticed that students who show gratitude are often some of our most successful students.
Research indicates that expressing gratitude can improve our health, emotional well being and relationships. There are many ways to cultivate gratitude in your life. Please consider applying a few of the following examples:
1. Write in a gratitude journal often.
2. Write thank you cards to those who do kind things for you.
3. Call someone today and express thanks for your relationship with them.
4. Say “thank you” often.
5. Make it a point to show gratitude to your spouse. Gratitude seems to heal many wounds.
6. Remember and count your blessings. Many times we get caught up in what is not going well instead of the many blessings in our lives.
Gratitude is a wonderful principle that we can all apply no matter what our circumstances. Most of us have a lot to be grateful for. We wish to extend to our Logan River families a very heart-felt Happy Holidays. We are grateful for you and our privilege to know you and serve you.
Matt Erickson, LCSW