Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Let It Snow!

Looking back at the blog post I wrote almost exactly one year ago I am intrigued by the vast difference in snow conditions we are enjoying now compared to this time last year. We have had an incredibly productive snow season the past couple months and conditions couldn’t be much better to be riding the slopes. 

Last year we had very little snow and took the opportunity to explore other winter recreation pursuits. This year it seems like we have a snow storm at least every two or three days! This has given many of us (well, the students, myself and a few other winter-loving team members) much to celebrate and an enthusiasm to ride our skis and snowboards as often as possible. 

It has been a fantastic year with many more students than usual learning to ride the slopes and several more progressing their skills they brought with them to Logan River Academy. We are crossing our fingers that February will bring with it many more powder days for us to enjoy.

Mike Bodrero, Adventure Learning Coordinator 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Basic Principle of RESPECT

Each individual is has their own experience in life.  As we go about our lives, it is key to connect with others and strive to do the best we can in order to achieve the goals that we have.  The decisions we make and the things that we do affect those around us.  When we work to build relationships the principle of respect comes into play.  As I have counseled individuals, couples, and families over the years, this principle of respect is commonly struggled with when things are going poorly in relationships.  It is often important to bring this to light and have the simple discussion of what respect is.  I like to talk about respect by sharing my experience of teaching Martial Arts to kids.  I have always found that basic principles such as respect can be incorporated and reinforced with the Martial Arts.  I remember teaching classes of children and simply putting the definition of respect as “treating others they way they want to be treated.”  As we look at individuals we recognize that they are all different and don’t like to be treated the same. 

People also don’t always want to be treated the way we would want to be treated.  Therefore, we would treat them the way that they would want to be treated.  This might take a little work to get to openly communicate and get to know another person in order to see what respect means to them.  I would often ask the students if they liked being treated good or bad.  Of course the answer was that they liked to be treated good.  I would tell them that most people are similar in that they want to be treated good also.  However there may be some small things that a person sees as respectful that are simple for another to say or do to fulfill this need.  We can also reinforce respect as an individual does those things that we like or that are good for us.  Again this goes back to basic communication and remembering that others can’t read our minds.  It is important for us to let others know what we do or don’t appreciate.

And of course it is essential to remember that it is important to give respect in order to be respected.  A lot of individuals that I have worked with think opposite and demand to be respected, even though they are not being respectful to others.  Over the years as I have built relationships with people in different settings, I have applied this principle of showing respect.  Without fail when both people involved want to enhance the relationship, this method works. 
Here are some guidelines that will increase respect for others.

I want to end this with a few great quotes about respect:


Jeffrey Openshaw, LMFT

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

'Twas I, but 'Tis Not I

With the New Year now in full swing, I find myself often talking with clients about resolutions and commitments they are making to themselves and others as they strive to change and make their lives better. 

As I work with them, and with myself, on making these improvements I find myself reminded of the following story.

It comes from a play by Shakespeare.  While I don’t typically read a lot of Shakespeare (frankly he is a bit over my head) I nevertheless have garnered many great quotes from his works.  One of my favorites comes from the play “As You Like It.”  In the play an older brother named Oliver “frequently contrived to kill” his younger brother but to no avail.  Despite his efforts to kill his younger brother, later in his own life in a desperate situation, Oliver was rescued by his younger brother despite his frequent efforts to bring about his demise.  Upon learning of his younger brother’s efforts to save his life, Oliver makes a dramatic change for good.  Later, Oliver is asked by an individual if he was the man who so frequently tried to kill his younger brother.  Oliver replied, “’Twas I, but ‘tis not I.  I do not shame to tell you what I was, since my conversion so sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.” 

“’Twas I, but ‘tis not I” has helped me remember that simply because I have made mistakes in the past, I am not doomed to repeat these.  While I can’t change yesterday, I can choose to do well today. 

I hope for my clients, and for myself, that each of us can in our own way look back on our mistakes and say, ‘Twas I, but ‘tis not I.  

Krys Oyler, LCSW

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lessons Learned from Watching 7-Year-Olds

Last year my then 7-year-old son played on a recreational basketball team. I was his coach. Our team was playing in the final game of the year. The game was a nail biter! Our team led throughout most of the game but had lost the lead late in the game. Our team was down by two points with 5 seconds to go. We designed a clever inbounds play to hopefully get a good look at the basket. The play was executed perfectly and one of our boys was fouled. He would get two foul shots with no time left on the clock. If he made them, the game would end in a tie (no overtime for these kids). As this youngster was preparing to take his first foul shot, the opposing parents started yelling, screaming, pounding on the bleachers, and waving their arms. Keep in mind, we are dealing with 7-year-olds here.

The youngster calmly dribbled twice and sank the first free throw. The fans “cheering” for the other team got even louder and more obnoxious. Despite their best efforts to make our player shrink under pressure, he knocked down the second free throw as well. I must admit this was a glorious moment for me and perhaps saved me from blowing a gasket with the opposing parents after the game was over.

This experience was an interesting one for me to have. I was so proud of the kids for hanging in there and succeeding despite some horrible parental behavior. Due to my profession, my mind drifted to wonder what home life might be like for the youngster who had parents going absolutely ballistic during this game.

Parenting is a wild ride. The ride has ups, downs, rights, lefts, and everything in between. Sometimes parenting seems very unfair. Some children seem very easy to raise while others can be so very difficult. One beauty of parenting is we get to learn each day and try to be better. We get to try to learn from miscues and improve the next day. Each day can be an opportunity to improve our parenting skills.

Dr. Meg Meeker reported some interesting research in her masterful book entitled, “Boys Should be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Boys.” The research tried to pin down what is the number one indicator of whether or not a youngster will have sex, use drugs, drink alcohol, etc. The researchers discovered that it’s not peer pressure like one would assume. Research shows that parents are the number one influence in a boy’s life. It is connectedness—a deep sense that a son fits in the family—he belongs, if you will, with mom and dad. He feels appreciated, loved, and affirmed for who he is as a young man.

The preceding paragraph is not meant to place blame on any parent who has a teenager who struggles with maladaptive behavior. The purpose of the paragraph is to remind us how crucial it is to connect in appropriate ways with our kids.

I would guess that the boisterous parents from my aforementioned story felt like they were connecting with their child by doing what they were doing. I don’t think they were. I think they were showing a very poor example of how adults should behave. As parents trying to do the best we can, I hope we can do all within our power to connect in the right ways with our boys and help them navigate this challenging experience of life.  

Matt Erickson, LCSW