Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

My Defining Moment in Time - A Teenage Perspective

By Ryan C. Schultz It was my sophomore year and I was coming off a big decision to attend a new High School. I was feeling pretty content about my decision. I was fulfilling my dream; I made the high school baseball team and was playing my favorite sport. I had worked hard to get where I was and it took a lot of practice and not much else. I stayed busy and that’s how I liked it; a practical use of my time. I never had a down moment where I was bored and didn’t know what to do because I was always playing or practicing baseball, working hard on getting better. It was a lot of fun and I had a lot of good experiences from being on the team. I had made friends with those on my team, but most of them I had been friends with because we played on the same club baseball team for years. Throughout the baseball season I noticed that I was starting to act different from the way I wanted to be acting. I knew that the baseball team was having a bad influence on me, but I didn’t really car

Pornography - Normal Curiosity or Virtual Addiction?

By Stephen C. Schultz This is a very interesting topic. I'm always amazed at the emotional extremes that people express as the topic of sex is discussed. Some say teenage sexual interests and experimentation are normal, while others decry it as "sin". As a father of four, three daughters and one son, I am very concerned about what they see and are exposed to on the web. There is no question that this life's journey brings with it inappropriate and often hurtful experiences. My responsibility as a parent is to love and care for my children, help them reach their god given potential, and assist them in navigating those rough waters they will inevitably face throughout their lives. This does not mean I don't protect them from experiences or images that may be inappropriate, however, I can not shelter them either. Within my work , I have had the unfortunate experience of assisting parents who have had their teenage sons involved in sexual misconduct of

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" - A Holiday Miracle

By Stephen C. Schultz I turned on the news and heard stories of a recent mall shooting in Oregon, sexual abuse by a government officials intern, companies going bankrupt and families losing their jobs. There are parents splitting up, teens using drugs, and whole communities feeling "entitled" to a certain standard of living. On the surface it seems pretty bleak. Yet, I also experience the “Good Samaritans” who reach out and assist others. I see the food banks that miraculously get enough turkeys at Thanksgiving. I hear of the “Sub for Santa” and “Toys for Tots” campaigns that instill hope for families and protect the innocence and imagination of their children. There is nothing quite like bringing a smile to a child’s face. During this Holiday Season, I would like to share this example of Christmas giving that crossed cultural barriers of language as well as economics to forever change the life of a little boy. I hope you enjoy this short video entitled; &qu

The Wisdom of Our Elders

By Stephen C. Schultz I had the opportunity to spend some time with David Altshuler, M.S.   in Miami Florida this week. He invited Brent Hall, Executive Director at Discovery Academy , and me over for lunch. What a pleasure it was to see David again. Through the course of conversation, the discussion turned to family heritage. We discussed how stories and experiences passed from generation to generation help create a sense of identity and belonging. David shared a story of his grandmother, as a young teen, working outside the home as a secretary for two dollars a day. He related how she took pride in her work and willfully shared her earnings with her family.   I was reminded of how I take great pride in being raised an “Oregonian”, and the fact that my father, grandfather and great-grandfather all had experience working in the woods as loggers. There were stories of logging trucks losing their breaks on rugged switchbacks. I recall hearing about my father riding in the crummy

UK Consultant Visits U.S. Treatment Programs

By Graham Cook Chief Executive Off The Rails Kids Ltd Northumberland . UK. Mobile - +44 (0) 7872 665022 The following is a journal of my recent trip to the USA where I visited Wilderness Programmes and other Boarding School / Residential Treatment Centres in Southern Utah.   Saturday 10 th November – depart London Heathrow at lunchtime and arrive in LA late afternoon the same day.....transfer to Las Vegas arriving early evening for an overnight stay at the Luxor on The Strip. Sunday 11 th November – waken to a lovely warm Nevada sunny day, not knowing that my host (Steve Schultz from RedCliff ) had battled through a snow storm the previous afternoon and stayed nearby overnight so as to collect me and then to drive me back north up the I15! We travelled in bright sunshine up to St George where we had an early meal (avoiding the coach loads of New Zealand pensioners at the Marriott) and an early night to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Holiday Gratitude

By Stephen C. Schultz As I watched the crowds pushing and shoving on "Black Friday" this year, I was a bit saddened at what I saw. There were people knocked over, stepped on and pepper sprayed. There was grabbing and reaching and yelling. There were gang fights and people run over in parking lots. It seemed all semblance of human decorum had vanished and decency, consideration, patience and basic manners had crashed to a new low. I was reminded of a little boy in a remote village in Africa who knows nothing of the latest X-Box Game, cell phone, "tablet" or designer clothing. He was thrilled to get some clothes and a small portion of food. Take a look at this heartwarming Christmas experience for a young boy in Africa. During this Holiday Season, may we pause for a moment and find Joy in the simple things of life. May we also recognize the more subtle needs of others such as being wrapped in the "blanket" of belonging or "nourished" at t

The gift of words and how they impact us.

Guest Blogger Linda Kavelin Popov In the last week of his life, my father gave me a gift I had yearned for since childhood.   Like most parents of his generation, he thought that pointing out flaws and mistakes would shape my character and give me “backbone”. He believed that praise was unnecessary, even harmful. His criticisms, though well intentioned, left a deep scar, still tender whenever I receive a hint of criticism, especially from my intimates. Looking frail, my father gathered the family around him, and spoke words of praise we had never heard before. I was stunned by the strength he saw in me, his appreciation for my compassion and my service.   The childhood chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” is a lie. Words can break our hearts. When our words are weighty, we need to weigh our words. We are mirrors to our children of who they are. The words we use about them have a profound effect on how they see themselves. Like so man

The ADHD Struggle...The Courage to Develop a Career

By Stephen C. Schultz I had the opportunity to speak with a mom (Kathy) whose son was 21 years old. He currently has some cognitive learning concerns and a history of being involved in residential as well as day treatment programs. He has struggled in various educational settings, is working part time with his father, but is becoming more and more discouraged. He sees himself as eventually being an independent and responsible member of society but is burdened by his deficits and the impact they have on his path to independence. My brothers ( Scott &  Jared ) and I work with families whose sons and daughters are young adults, struggling to transition into the adult world. The reasons for their “ Failure to Launch ” are as varied as the families that come to us for assistance. Since my brothers and I each have “Day Jobs”, we only consult with families “upon request” from Educational Consultants and allied professionals. One of the main aspects of what we do is to provid

Navigating life’s pathways with gratitude!

By Stephen C. Schultz The sun peeked through the pines providing a concert show with beams of light flickering across the forest floor as the wind whistled through the limbs. It was a cool spring day on the Oregon coast and at 10 years old, I was ready for whatever adventure would come my way. With my Fenwick spinning rod in hand, I was standing at the edge of a fresh water lake about 10 miles south of Florence. My Dad , Mom, Me, Susan and Scott were surrounded by underbrush which consisted of rhododendrons, sallow berries, ferns and sapling cedars. Alder, hemlock and wild huckleberries rounded out the coastal flora. I gazed out to see a floating platform in the middle of the lake. This was to be our fishing destination for the day. Dad thought it would be nice to take the family fishing, but it needed to be somewhere that the smaller kids could enjoy catching some fish. This particular lake was full of yellow perch, which are pretty easy to catch with a worm and a

Troubled Teens “Pay It Forward”

By Jennifer C. Jones     “Service is the rent we pay for living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman, Founder, Children’s Defense Fund Discovery Ranch students are learning that service has benefits beyond what they may have ever before experienced. Terri Miller, Girls Program Coordinator, says, “When they come here the focus is all on them.” But that focus soon shifts as students participate in a variety of volunteer projects such as planting trees, Sub for Santa, buddy soccer and baseball leagues for children with disabilities, and other service projects.     Miller says working, with no thought of “what’s in it for me” has been good for Discovery Ranch students.   The buddy sports league pairs a child with a mental or physical disability with a Discovery student.   They play side by side throughout the game, Discovery students teaching basic sports skills and cheering their buddies on. “A

My Experience With Autism

Guest Blogger Amanda Schultz Age 14 I was involved in a Peer Tutoring class at my Jr. High last year, and had the opportunity to work with several of the Special Needs students. It was in the afternoon right after lunch, and I was working with one of the students, Beth, on her math. While she was figuring out one of the problems, I glanced over at William, a little boy who was diagnosed with autism. He was working with the special education teacher. William has restricted movement/control over his fingers, so the teacher was helping him with some finger activities and exercises. Usually, his task is to pick up pennies, put them into a piggy bank, and then retrieve them again. On that day, however, the teacher gave him a more challenging task. She placed a can of soda on the table, and told him to try and open it. He had different tools like coins and Popsicle sticks to try and pull up the tab. William tried and tried, but he couldn’t get the can to open. He was able to move

Boundaries of the heart - Effective Parenting

Guest Blogger by Linda Kavelin Popov One summer morning, I was speaking at a family retreat center in rural Alberta , when suddenly the excited call rang out, “Moose! Moose!” The adults rushed out of the building to find their children pouring out of their classrooms, racing ahead toward a meadow where a moose and her calf were grazing. Mother animals in the wild can be dangerously fierce when their young are threatened, and I could feel the alarm in the voices of parents as they yelled, “Don’t run!” The children seemed to hear only the word, “run” as they flew toward the field. Knowing that children focus better on what we DO want them to do instead of what we don’t want them to do, I looked for a natural boundary, and called out, “Stop at the mowed line and hit the ground!” The children obeyed instantly, skidding to a stop and going down on their stomachs at the mowed edge before the tall grasses of the meadow   – a safe distance from Mama Moose and her baby. As I

Understanding “Family Drama”...we all have it!

By Stephen Schultz I recently had an experience at a family reunion where the family seemed to be involved in some “Family Drama”. I’m sure that all families go through this at one time or another. We have all experienced the “behind the scenes” communication, the hurt feelings and the occasional yelling that goes on when there are emotional family discussions that take place. My reference to "Drama" is based on my 20 years of parenting experience with my own children as well as over 25 years of working with families through delicate familial situations. Please allow me to share a parenting principle that will create a foundation for further discussion. For those of you who have children, I know this will make perfect sense. The concept is that of an “Extinction Burst”. The word “Extinction” refers to a behavior or attitude that parents would like to see their child stop. The term “Burst” represents a description of the behavior once “Benevolent Structure” is put into pla

When problematic sexual concerns plague your teen.

By Stephen C. Schultz My hope is that this information can be helpful to parents, allied health professionals, educational consultants and clinicians. I have been asked numerous times; “How do we know when Oxbow Academy is appropriate for a student?” and the next question is inevitably “How do we discuss these issues with families?” Please feel free to use this document as a resource and foundation for discussion with families as well as colleagues. I recently had the opportunity to speak with an educational consultant . He called to see if there was anyway we could figure out a way to admit a 19 year old to Oxbow. He went on to share with me that this boy was adopted, had some LD issues and was functioning emotionally on a 15 year old level. The current residential treatment facility, where this young man was receiving treatment, was in a cycle of “cops and robbers” with this boy because of his sneaky and manipulative sexualized behavior. This particular educational consultant

Characteristics Of Adult Children Of Alcoholics

Adapted from Adult Children of Alcoholics By Janet G. Woititz, Ed.D., 1987. 1) We guess at what normal behavior is. Because of our environment, we had no role models for normalcy, so we acted the way we saw other people act, people we thought were normal, and continue this performance into our adult lives. 2) We have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end; we procrastinate. Procrastination in the usual sense is the result of laziness. Adult children of alcoholics have never been taught how to solve a problem in systematic, manageable amounts. It was always all or nothing. Consequently, we don't have adult life skills. 3) We lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. Lies, specifically lies of denial, were used to benefit the alcoholics and para alcoholics of our homes. 4) We judge ourselves without mercy. Since there is no way for us to meet the unattainable standards of perfection we have internalized from childhood, we are always falling

A Father's Heart Felt Letter to His 20 Something Daughter

By Stephen C. Schultz Below is a letter written by the father of a college age daughter. I have taken the names out to protect identity. This is not a foreign theme to those of us that work to mend family relationships. Dear Xxxxxxxxx, I have been thinking about you and your welfare quite a bit lately. You mentioned to me in a previous conversation; “Dad, you need to take a step back. You are too close to the situation and lack appropriate perspective.” While this appears to be an independent and mature response to communicate to your father, it is actually a manipulative way to have me “defend” my position.   In my line of work, I have seen it hundreds of times with teenagers and young adults who struggle with their parents. Teens regularly see themselves as a “peer” of their parents, even though their parents have insight, wisdom and life experience far beyond that of their children. This is a thought process that is seen regularly with teens in Jr. High or High Sch

Discovery Ranch - Learning With A Purpose

By Jennifer C. Jones There are no bells, no lockers, no football teams or cheerleaders. But that is not what makes school at Discovery Ranch different from other academic institutions.             “One of the great strengths of the ranch is the ratio of adults to students,” says Clinton Dorny, Executive Director.   “In the classroom the ratio is five to one, or less.   There is a lot of one on one instruction and all of the programs are self-paced and individualized.”             Dorny  says a traditional classroom setting of 30 students is extremely difficult for what he calls “lost or troubled students.” “If they’re with that teacher for an hour, the most the teacher could spend is about a minute with each student.”             “We have an opportunity for students to bond with a variety of adults who offer them encouragement, insight, and assistance,” Dorny explains.   “They’re not going to get that in a normal school setting.”             Clinton  says because

What is the meaning of work?

By Stephen C. Schultz "The two best ways to find meaning in life are to develop meaningful relationships and meaningful work." ~ Viktor Frankl "Work is a very important part of human development. It is an entry way into society. It is how people become integrated into their communities." ~ Jared C. Schultz PhD Jared Schultz ( My brother ) did not want to be a mortician when he grew up. The interest survey he took as a sophomore in high school missed the mark. He didn't think that formaldehyde and embalming fluid was the way to a girls heart! He decided he did not want to be an apartment maintenance worker or a painter or a landscaper. These are all very fine careers, but just not for him. How did he know this? He worked at these jobs in high school and during the summers in college. There is an aspect of work that speaks to us. It is a part of who we are and an integral part of who we want to become. Fredrick Herzberg mentioned in an article h

Why does suicide ever seem like a good idea?

By Stpehen C. Schultz It was a Thursday afternoon and I was sitting in a seat at 36,000 feet above the earth. While I have made the trip to Atlanta from West to East many times, the trip coming home always seems to take forever. I put down my novel and tipped my head back against the seat. The stale air from the little nozzle overhead blew in my face. I closed my eyes and thought sleep would help the time pass. I was wrong...sleep never came. I was thinking about my time in Atlanta. I was there with Shawn Brooks, the Executive Director of Oxbow Academy . We were in Atlanta providing a workshop to clinicians on the struggles teens face now days around the development of healthy sexuality. It was a good workshop that covered topics from abuse , to trauma to ASD . It was actually a fun and a productive trip. I reached under the seat and pulled my carry-on up onto my lap. I reached in and slid out my I-Pad. Since sleep was not an option, I thought I might as well check emails and

Three main areas of focus when raising teens!

By Stephen C. Schultz “What is essential is not that the therapist learns something about the patient and then teaches it to him, but that the therapist teaches the patient how to learn about himself.”   Fritz Perls   As the father of four children, three of which are now teenagers, I am amazed at the level of “parenting energy” that my wife and I put into our family. It seems that we are being pulled in many different directions and find ourselves being more “reactive” to life’s daily endeavors than “proactive”. I assume that my family is not much different than most other families. As my wife and I move through this enigma called time, we find ourselves trying to meet three very specific needs of our family. 1)       Physical This includes everything from a bed to sleep in to clothes, food, healthcare and recreation. We find ourselves moving from one activity to another whether it is shopping for clothes, attending a baseball game or quietly sitting through a piano

My Stint in the Wilderness - Day 3

By Laurie Frost My last morning in the RedCliff wilderness therapy field starts with me and Steve Schultz, the media rep for RCA, leaving to go to the camp just over the hill. I feel kind of leery to leave "my boys," as I think of them, but I need to find some RCA girls around here to interview. Yellow Badger comes to lead us to the camp just over the hill (an all girls group). I walk into a clearing and feel several pairs of eyes on me. I'm dirty already, but not nearly as much as these girls. They introduce themselves, from Jessica (who's only been in RCA for eight days) to Silent Raven, a quiet girl whose hair is matted with dirt. She's been out for 96 days. I turn to an olive-skinned girl on my left, whose long brown hair is plaited in two tight pigtails. "What's your name?" I ask. "My name's Kaylani," she chatters. "I'm part Hawaiian. There are lots of people who think I don't look Hawaiian, but I am.

My Stint in the Wilderness - Day 2

By Laurie Frost I roll out of my sleeping bag first thing the next morning, stiff, sore and cold. (Luckily the sun was coming up to dispel the chill in a short time. Then, of course, I was too hot. Go figure.) I eat breakfast, oats with some apple sliced in it and honey over it. Hunter looks over my shoulder as I stir it up. "That looks good," he says. I instantly want to give him some - I can get French toast at home - but there's a strict no-food-sharing policy at RedCliff . So I just say, "Yeah, it does, doesn't it?" and keep stirring. I find out that morning I'm not much of a campfire cook. The apples are still crunchy and the oats are soggy before I finally give up and just make myself a Scooby ( RedCliff slang for an ash cake). How do these kids do this, anyway? I think. I'm a tough girl, and I can't seem to manage . That was definitely the theme of the day - I wasn't as tough as I thought, and I definitely wasn

My Stint in the Wilderness - Day 1

By LAURIE FROST My experience with RedCliff Ascent wilderness therapy program began, as usual, with me pulling away from the house 45 minutes late. I had to be in Enterprise at 8:30, and unless my '87 Chevy Cavalier was going to sprout wings like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I was not going to make my appointment on time. It was already 8:15, for crying out loud. I hunched over the steering wheel and imagined Steve Schultz, the RedCliff media rep and the one who would be escorting me around in this wilderness camp, standing in the Enterprise Office, looking at his watch and huffing and puffing. "Why isn't she here yet?" I imagined him saying, tapping a wing-toed shoe. "We need to get out there now!" That image of Steve, and my obsessing with time and lateness, was two of the many illusions that would be shattered in the next three days. When I pulled up to the RedCliff offices at a quarter after 9, I had little idea what was awaiting me. But the firs

A Tribute To Moms!

By Stephen C. Schultz (I know it...I'm not much of a poet!) Since Mother's Day is almost here, it's time to remember our Mother so dear. There will be gifts and cards and Mother's Day Brunches. There will be breakfast in bed and flowers in bunches. Some Moms will get kisses, some a ride in the car. Some Moms are close by, while others are far. One thing about Moms, I have learned to this day! There is always a lesson, and they won't let you stray! So, check out these posts, they're about teens and their mothers. If you like them a lot, please share them with others. A Mothers Wisdom - Lessons for a teenage boy. An Educator And A Mother    Why do bad things happen to good people? My Memories of Mother   Hawaii - 5 - O

Family - When Relationships Matter!

I have been traveling quite a bit over the last two months. This has certainly had an impact on my blog submissions. For that I apologize. But the impact that I feel the most strongly about is the time away from my family . While it is nice to see new and exciting places, there is a sense of emptiness in the experience when you can't be there with loved ones. One thing I have learned through my time away from home is that happiness in life is not found in the "Things" or the "Stuff" acquired, but in the "Shared" experiences and memories spent with family . I have listed below my  "Top 5" favorite blog posts from my blog that have to do with family and associated experiences. I hope they encourage memories of experiences and lessons learned in your own family . You may even want to re-evaluate how you spend your time. Enjoy! "Family Night"...Much more than fun and games! The Pizza Caper...A Nine Year Old's Sneaky Ad

What's the best way to deal with "Failure To Launch"?

By Stephen C. Schultz There is a record number of people living in multi-generational household's with parents and grandparents. The poor economy and weak job market is a reality. Most families in the United States and many from around the world recognize the economy is a problem that needs rectified. Regardless of political persuasion, there is an impact felt by those who are retired, or about to retire. These “ Baby Boomers ” in the U.S. as well as families around the world are faced with adult children who never leave “the nest”. Even when their children go off to University, they are often financially and socially encumbered by young adults who spread their wings in the search for independence after graduation, only to return home discouraged. The Pew Research Center found in a recent study , that 58 million Americans live in multi-generational homes. adult children between the ages of 25 to 34 living with their parents doubled between 1980 and 2012. We also know that