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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Is work the answer for teenage entitlement?

By Stephen C. Schultz


Life experience is only as valuable as our interpretation of it!

Do teens know how to work anymore? Do they know how to meet the needs of an employer? Are they always looking for the next exciting activity, trip, technology or game? What are they learning from a society of instant gratification? Has substance abuse and emotional concerns increased because our teens are constantly searching for the next thrill, but never able to find it?

When teens and young adults find themselves battling the demons that are associated with emotional concerns and family turmoil, they miss out on some crucial life and work experiences.



Throughout their young lives, the focus has been on their journey through the Adolescent Stages of Development. What has been missing are the very important Formative Stages of Career Development.

I don't see the paperboy anymore or the bag boy/girl at the grocery store. We have online news and self check out at the store! While this may be more convenient, there is a trade off for future generations. They are missing out on the opportunity to learn the value of work, the skills to be of value to an an employer and the determination to stay focused through a full day of work!

These experiences provide a foundation for a successful transition into adulthood.

I hope you find value in this related blog post entitled…

Something About Work Is Good For The Soul

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is Your Teen Safe Tonight?

By Stephen C. Schultz



For many parents, the first night their child spends at RedCliff Ascent is the first night they have slept peacefully in a long time. There is no more wondering where she is or if she will come home safely.

RedCliff Ascent is the wilderness program parents choose when it’s time to intervene and stop the sleepless nights.




Your child thinks and behaves as though the whole world is her personal playground. No responsibilities. No consequences. No problems.

In other treatment settings, your teen may be labeled only by his diagnosis:  Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, ODD, bipolar mood disorder, or others.      

At RedCliff, they know the teen and their illness are two distinctly separate matters. Their therapeutic model addresses each one specifically.

“We are not a high adventure recreation camp or a boot camp or any other kind of camp” said Scott Schill, Executive Director. “If a camp or recreational activities were the answer, parents wouldn't be looking at RedCliff Ascent”, Schill continues.

Most teens don’t struggle with a lack of entertainment in their life. What they lack is the ability to master the mundane responsibilities that come with school, work, and family relationships. 

Since their founding in 1993, RedCliff has helped thousands of students and their families.

Their therapeutic model helps parents disrupt dysfunctional patterns, not just move them to a different location. Everything they do has a therapeutic purpose.

RedCliff Ascent is the place your child will learn and practice the coping mechanisms, competencies and discipline necessary to manage their life in an age appropriate manner. They will learn the skills necessary to become an independent, productive member of society.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

UK Journalist Explores Teen Sexual Issues

By Stephen C. Schultz


As a partner in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that works with students who are demonstrating out of control sexual behavior, I regularly get calls and emails from the media. Some are legitimately interested in learning more about the issue…others are only looking for a few controversial or humorous sound bites.



I recently had a conversation with a journalist from the UK by the name of Trisha R.  It was obvious through her questioning that she had some preconceived notions and ideas about sexual issues in general. I would like to share with you some of her questions and some of my responses. My reason for this is that I’m sure many parents probably have some of the same questions, even if not discussed with allied health professionals personally.

She asked some very general questions that leaned towards a simplistic view of sexual issues. So, I tended to answer her questions with more refined questions. Most parents want to avoid having to deal with their teens sexual issues.  However, things can go from embarrassing to litigious in a heartbeat.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Teen Therapeutic Interventions At A Glance

By Stephen C. Schultz


This is information I have gathered to be helpful for clinicians and other Allied Health Professionals. Please don't hesitate to stop by each of the sites to learn more!




Discovery Ranch for Boys -- Boys RTC - Highly anxious socially awkward boy. The student who “acts in” as opposed to “acting out”.  The model is Experiential with use of DBT, Calf and Equine Therapy. 
  






Oxbow Academy – Boys RTC – Anxious, socially awkward students with sexual concerns. Excessive porn use, fetish behaviors, poor social boundaries. Provides comprehensive Psycho-sexual evaluations and works with co-morbid issues. Separate campus for ASD, NLD and highly anxious students. Model is Experiential with use of equine therapy. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Connecting Generations...It's not about technology

By Stephen C. Schultz


“Mom!...Mom!...Mom!”,  she exclaimed as she burst in the room. Rough around the edges and worn from age, the door stuck for just a moment when she turned the knob and hit it with her shoulder at the same time. With an unbridled motion, she was through the door. The glass pane rattled and the faux wood blinds swayed back and forth as she caught the inside edge with a left handed back-swing and sent the door whistling to its closed position.



Past the old wood stove and into the kitchen, she kept yelling, “Mom!...Mom!”.  

While I’m not her mom, but her dad, I finally said,

“What is it hon? What’s the matter?”

She turned and said with a heavy breath,

“It was so cool! We sang Over the Rainbow and Puff The Magic Dragon with them!”

With her heart rate still up and short rapid bursts of breathing, she continued,

“We even painted their nails! It was so fun…but so sad. They were so happy to see us. One lady even played the ukulele…she was so talented!”

Then my daughter Emma, all of 13 years old, thoughtfully said in a somber voice,

“It’s hard for me to think that we all end up like that…forgetting stuff, lying in bed watching TV all day.”

This was the second time that my daughter has gone to the local nursing home with her friend from across the street. They go as a part of a church youth group to sing and share time with the senior generation. 

As her father, it has been interesting to watch her demonstrate sincere compassion and empathy for those who have contributed so much in an earlier time. I find it ironic that our most “connected” generation of all time is conveniently “disconnected” from its heritage.

It did my heart good to see my daughter and her friend selflessly attending to the very subtle needs of an older generation. To her, it was a fun night singing songs and painting finger nails with “Old People”. She probably isn't aware of it, but I see the development of a caring, compassionate teen that recognizes there is value in life beyond the latest clothing styles and technology.


Here are a couple of other posts that include my daughter. One is when she decided to sneak out of the house and the other is about her interactions with a homeless man in San Diego, California. You can check them out here and here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

“Christmas Spirit” and a Holiday Attitude of Kindness

By Stephen C. Schultz


The day was overcast and chilly. There was a brisk wind blowing from the North and scattered rain drops splashed off windshields of parked cars. I pulled my collar up around my neck, dipped my head into the wind, and started walking toward the local department store as cigarette butts and bumps of old chewing gum seemed to glide past me on the sidewalk below.

As I approached the east side of the building, I noticed a father and mother, each with a young child in their arms, rushing through the wind towards the door. They had coats wrapped around their young children and were doing their best to shelter them from the ensuing storm. I sped up my pace just a bit and reached the door before them. I swung the door open and stepped back, just as they approached. The mom looked up, turned and caught my eye, and with a sincere look of gratitude simply said, “Thank You.” They then moved on to the shopping cart area where they did that proverbial parent/child dance of getting their young ones situated and strapped in a cart. They were then off into the store, wheels wobbling as they disappeared behind aisle five.



Just two nights ago, having had our fill of turkey leftovers, my wife mentioned that I go down to the local Mexican food place and get some tacos for dinner. So, I grabbed my thirteen year old daughter and off we went. It’s not far, so there was some light conversation about school, her latest babysitting job and whether we would do drive-thru or walk-in to order.

I’m not a big fan of the drive thru. In my entire life, I have yet to receive an order through the drive thru that is correct! (OK, maybe just half my life!) Then, you’re left with that nagging decision of turning around and going back or just accepting the fact that you get screwed at the drive thru!

So, we placed our order at the counter and moved a few steps back to wait. My daughter was checking her phone and I’m simply watching the process of filling orders and cooking food that is taking place behind the counter. The woman who placed her order prior to us was standing to our right, with a young girl about six years old. Her daughter had some crayons and was coloring a child’s place-mat featuring cartoon characters.

The teen behind the counter called this woman’s number and she stepped forward. As she approached, her order required about five different small bags to fit her order. She started to struggle gathering all of the bags together in a way that would allow her to carry them outside to her car. I tapped my daughter on the shoulder and whispered, “Why don’t you help that lady carry her food out to her car?” Without hesitation, my daughter bounced up to the counter and offered to help. The lady hesitated for just a moment, but my daughter insisted. They then split up the bags and out the door they went. My daughter returned just a few minutes later wearing a big grin.

As we returned home, my daughter ran into the kitchen declaring, “Mom! I helped a lady! She had a little girl and I helped carry their food to their car!”

These two experiences have been on my mind lately. I’m not sure why. But it is apparent to me as I get older, that the “Christmas Spirit” and a Holiday attitude of kindness really are about the small things. It’s about the subtle acts of kindness. Its opening the door for young parents and helping a lady carry her food to the car. It’s about offering a smile as you pass on the sidewalk and patience as you pass in a traffic lane.  

Let’s do our best this Holiday Season to reach out to others with Kindness. I'm interested in any random acts of kindness you have been involved in; either as a giver or receiver. When we share, it becomes contagious...in a good way! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

When Holiday Gratitude Blows In On A Cold Wind

By Stephen C. Schultz


The arctic blast had settled in...17 degrees Fahrenheit and I was walking down the street yesterday to get my hair cut. At the time, it didn't seem like such a good idea. I've heard that the quickest way to lose body heat is through your head. That’s why a beanie or stocking cap is a good thing in cold weather. Here I was, consciously cutting off what “insulation” I still had!

I leaned forward into the brisk wind and continued on my way down the street. I had some errands to run and it was a tight schedule. I had called ahead of time and the young lady who usually cuts my hair was unavailable, so I took the next person on the list to be assigned a “Walk In”.



It’s the front end of the Holiday Season and I was going to be out of town this week. I would be back home in time for Thanksgiving, but it was a tight schedule. So, this was truly the only time I had to get this done over the next week and a half.

I stepped to the door, head down, and turned the doorknob. The little bell hanging above the door announced my arrival as the door swung open. Nobody noticed. Conversations seemed to originate at the back of the building, slowly building and cascading forward past each stall, picking up the dull roar of conversation as hair product fragrance filled the air. It then seemed to dump right at the front counter. I stepped to the counter and gave my name. There was a pause, a check of the database and a soft spoken “just a moment” as the young woman turned and walked away.

This was turning into a bad experience quickly…and it hadn't even really begun. I was frustrated because of my tight schedule, the person I usually have cut my hair wasn't available, the weather sucked and the customer service at the front counter was less than desirable.

The girl from the counter came back to the lobby with another young lady and introduced us. I followed her to the stall and sat in the chair. She seemed a little timid and nervous. I thought to myself,

“Great…I get the new one right out of school.”

She asked how I usually have my hair cut. (I wear it short, not quite a crew cut, but messed up with gel…not real complicated.) 

We finally got it figured out that she would cut about a ½ inch off and trim up the back and sides. She reached for the clippers and the cord was in a huge tangle. She stood awkwardly trying to get the cord untangled, moving the prongs through loops and wrapping the cord forwards and backwards. Once it was untangled, she plugged it in and moved closer to me only to realize she had not put the drape thing over me. So, she reached forward to put down the clippers and simultaneously leaned in front of me to grab the drape thing.

She asked if I wanted my hair washed and at this point I simply said, “No thank you”. 

I knew that would only be one more opportunity for “Chaos Theory” to continue its ugly rampage through my already busy day!

I was now settled in and she started to comb through my hair. The scissors made that snipping sound. Her fingers trembled and she meekly asked, 

“So, are you from around here?” 

My mind screamed, “Oh, you have got to be kidding me!!!!” 

Why is small talk a necessity when you get your hair cut? Is there any reason to drag a 5 minute process into 10 or 15 minutes? I then simply mentioned that I was from town…and I closed my eyes.