Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lessons From A Nine Year Old!

By Stephen C. Schultz

The morning was cool, the air was thin. Dew on the grass sparkled a million flashes as the sun peaked over the snow capped mountain. April, at 5000 feet above sea level, is a beautiful time of year. The valleys are green with spring growth and the mountains retain their white-tipped majesty.

This particular morning was not only invigorating to the soul; it also ushered in the day that my 9 year old daughter was performing in the ritualistic yearly classroom school play. She had some speaking parts as well as singing parts in this youthful exercise of dramatic passion.

We drove to the school and parked in the over crowded parking lot. Parents and students, hand in hand, weaved in and out of parked vehicles in a steady flow that culminated in a bottle neck at the southeast entrance to the school. The walk down the hallway was brisk as we moved like salmon making their way up stream. As we stepped to the door of my daughter’s classroom, she stopped to show me artwork on the walls depicting butterflies, flowers, caterpillars, green grass and sunny skies! She pointed to hers with pride. It’s funny how the artwork of your child can rival that of Monet and Renoir.

We turned and entered the classroom. There were chairs set up in rows and a few parents mingling in the corner of the classroom. Her young Twenty-Something teacher made her way across the room and in a friendly gesture shook my hand. She said, “Hi Amanda, I’m so glad you made it…is this your Grandpa?”

Wow! Talk about awkward! My daughter just crinkled her brow and in a somewhat confused tone of voice said, “No, this is my dad.” The poor teacher flushed red. There was no graceful way out of this one. I chuckled and said, “It’s the grey in my hair. I get that all the time”, even though this was the first time. Her teacher apologized and quickly made her way to the door to greet another child and parent coming in the classroom.

The play was a hit! The kids did well, and even though there were no Oscar’s given out this night; each parent thought their student was the star. This was a time for parents and students to create memories. For many, this was simply another night at the school, but for one parent, it was a subtle reminder that time is a precious thing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Troubled Teen? What options do parents have?

By Stephen C. Schultz

"What can we do to intervene in the life of our struggling teen?"

I hear this comment on a regular basis. The number of times I have had this conversation with a family just outside the emergency room in their local hospital is too high to count! Self harm and suicide attempts are stressful for all involved. Often these teens are struggling with drugs, running away, poor grades at school or simply being disenfranchised with life in general. Deciding which therapeutic option is best for their child and their family can be overwhelming.

With hundreds of therapeutic programs and services to choose from, parents are confused and uncertain about where to turn for help. Here is a good place to start.

Recognized as the foremost leader in Research Informed Treatment, RedCliff Ascent is an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program that accepts students from across the globe. If sitting in a stuffy outpatient office hasn't worked well for your son or daughter, the fresh air, outdoor living, hiking and therapy under a tree might just be a solution!

Here is a brief video from a graduation

Please feel free to share some of your struggles. While it doesn't make the pain any less when dealing with a wayward son or daughter, it is helpful to realize you are not alone.