Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Know Everything. Or Maybe Not.

As a parent, I occasionally get caught in the trap of thinking I ‘know everything.'  Much to my disappointment, I don’t know everything.  I wish I did!  It sure would make things easier in raising my children.  The unfortunate reality is that none of us know everything as parents.  The following article is a useful tool to help us assess whether we are getting caught in the trap of being “know-it-all” parents, along with some simple suggestions for helping us get out of the trap. Click the link below to view the article:

Are You a Know-It-All Parent?

Mont Criddle, LMFT

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Climb On!

The Adventure Learning Program at Logan River Academy has made a huge addition to its repertoire.

We are now offering our students the very unique and rewarding experience of rock climbing in the most natural environment, the great outdoors. Over the past years we have happily used a quality rock climbing gym in our area that has recently gone out of business, leaving a huge void in experience and growth opportunities for our students. 

After the always-exciting gear acquisition period we have put plans in place for trips to local crags, high elevation sport routes in the Uintas, and world-class granite climbing at City of Rocks in remote southern Idaho

Stay tuned for trip reports and pictures from our adventures!

Mike Bodrero, Adventure Learning Coordinator

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Working as a Team With Your Child

This morning I came into work with the intent of changing some pictures and things in my office.  After completing the changes in my office, another therapist and I were talking.  He mentioned how he wanted to shift things around in his office as well so that it was more comfortable for him and created a more therapeutic environment. 
 I quickly offered my help and we worked together as he explained what he thought would be best.  I offered a couple of other suggestions as well, even though I knew that it is his office and that in the end he will have things placed as he wants them to be.  We discussed for a minute and he made his decisions as we put things in their place.  This task of moving and changing things around may have taken a chunk of the day, but because we teamed up and helped each other out, it was a quick, simple process.

The following story illustrates the need for each team member:

Aesop’s Fable - The Belly and the Members

One day it occurred to The Members (parts) of the Body that they were doing all of the work while the Belly got all of the food. They believed the Belly was lazy and unproductive.

It was decided that they would hold a meeting that evening to discuss how unfair this seemed. After what was a very long meeting that night it was voted on that The Members of the Body would go on strike until the Belly agreed to take its proper share of the work.

The unhappy body parts didn’t do anything for several days in an attempt to stop feeding the Belly. The Legs stopped walking, the Hands stopped moving and the Teeth stopped chewing.

As a result of this inactivity and the starving of the Belly, the Legs became more and more tired, the Hands could hardly move anymore and the Mouth became parched and very dry.

Eventually the entire Body collapsed and passed away as the Belly completely starved.

Being a team is sometimes very difficult.  Here are four keys to keep in mind while working together as a team while your child is going through this process of change and growth.

1.  Some members of the team’s contributions may seem less significant or of less value than others, especially as it compares to those that are more prominent members of the team.  However, always remember that each member of the team is still important, even if it is just a supportive role.

2.  Another moral of this story is the need for teams to refrain from evil speaking of each other, gossiping, jumping to conclusions, etc.  These negative things will inhibit the therapeutic process and are not beneficial at all.  One must trust in the team members and trust the process.

3.  Team member accountability is critical, but shouldn’t be personal or based on assumptions. Accountability is based on trust, which is built over time.

4.  Because everyone in the team plays an important role to the success of your child’s goals, the vision and goals must be cascaded up and down the organization so everyone is in alignment.

As we go through the therapeutic process with your child, it is essential to work as a team.  We have to put our minds together to follow through with the best ideas and path for your child.  Our team consists of those at Logan River, therapists, teachers, staff, etc., as well as parents, and of course your child has to be a part of the team too. 

When all of the team works effectively together things go more smoothly, just like on a clock or an engine as the gears properly catch and turn the other gears. 

When one member of the team tries to be in control and dictate what is to be done, the process becomes rocky and the rest of the team cannot effectively do their part.  Things fall apart.

If you are unsure as a parent what your role is or how you are a part of the team, make sure to discuss that with your child’s therapist.

Jeffrey Openshaw, LMFT

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Stacking the Deck

I was working with a parent recently and as we were trying to reconcile the struggles her child was having she asked me a very pointed question, “Will he get better?”  I tend to be a very hopeful and optimistic individual so I quickly answered, “Yes, of course he will.”  As we continued our conversation the question remained on my mind and later in the conversation I felt the need to readdress it.  I told her that I was very confident that her son would change and do so for the better, but I also felt the need to acknowledge and accept the reality that part of her son’s change was up to him.  It was a piece she and I could not control. 

While this caused some anxiety for the parent, as we worked through the issue it actually became a liberating thought for her.  She began to relieve herself of the responsibility of “changing” her son, and instead focus on changing herself and providing the best environment possible for her son in the hopes that it would promote positive change.  We used the analogy of a card game.  We compared this parent’s experience of sending her son to therapy and treatment to stacking a deck in his favor.  She was providing him the best opportunity possible to “win” the card game, but we both acknowledged that it was still up to her son to “play the cards.”  This is the piece that lay outside her control. 

Over the years I have seen many individuals change their lives as a result of parents “stacking the deck” by providing a safe and structured environment for growth.  But I’ve also come to realize that I must accept that students here are going to play the wrong cards on occasion and they may even play the wrong cards for a time when they leave the safe environment provided by parents.  But the cards have been provided, and at some point most do figure out how to play the right way and find ways to win.

Krys Oyler, LCSW

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Sexting

**WARNING: This post contains some vulgar content**

You've probably read the horror stories about sexting that are popping up all over the news, but what exactly is sexting? Is it something I should worry about as a parent? Who's actually sexting? Is it really a problem? Don't worry; we'll help you learn everything you need to know about sexting slang. Recent studies claim that as much as 39% of teens and 59% of young adults have sexted at least once. 

Sexting is defined as the act of sending sexually explicit messages or images between cell phones. It's the modern equivalent of what we older people used to call phone sex. Sexting is a combination of the words "sex" and "texting" and originated in the early 2000's as people became equipped with camera phones. Unlike phone sex however, sexting leaves very little to the imagination.

Sexting is a natural progression among couples. It can be fun and playful - but it can also have consequences for teens. If you suspect your teen is sexting, you should talk to them about the dangers of sending out pictures.

In most states, teens caught with "sexting pictures" on their phones can actually be charged with possession of child porn - even if they themselves are under 18, and sometimes even if the images are of themselves.