Whutz Up A monthly newsletter written for parents of kids in Samoa. Paradise Cove is a residential treatment facility for troubled adolescent boys.
Vol. 1, No. 1 January 1997
IN THIS ISSUE.... INTRODUCING WHUTZ UP JUST DO IT! GOING THE DISTANCE HANDLING SETBACKS LETTING GO PARADISE COVE VIDEOS PARENT COORDINATOR'S CORNER INTRODUCING WHUTZ UP As 1997 gets underway, we are introducing WHUTZ UP in Paradise Cove. WHUTZ UP will be a monthly communication providing updated information, as well as shared experiences of parents and students. WHUTZ UP will be replacing POKIS. POKIS greatly expanded since its creation. As it grew, so did the time required of the volunteers involved . We want to thank all of you that have contributed to POKIS. With special acknowledgments going to Sheryl Johnson, Linda Fielding, Elizabeth Delaney and Deborah Johnson. Their efforts have been greatly appreciated by the staff and other Paradise Cove families. Out of consideration for these families, it has been decided to bring the newsletter in-house. We would like them to have the time needed for their families. We will continue to welcome your contributions as space allows. If you have something to share, please forward it to Glenda Cook, Parent Coordinator via fax at 801-467-3768, e-mail - email@example.com, or mail to P.O. Box 540048, No. Salt Lake, UT 84054-0048. We hope you will look forward to, and enjoy receiving WHUTZ UP. JUST DO IT! by Pat Aderman, son in Samoa 12 months My wife and I completed Focus in Dallas in October 1996. We used to think Discovery was the most powerful experience we had ever encountered. Wrong!! Once you complete Discovery, this is your next step in your growth process. If you have not attended Discovery yet, what are you waiting for? These seminars will help you in your relationships both personal and professional. It will blow your kids' mind when they find out you did it. It will give them a whole new perspective of you. These processes are a cornerstone of the program. We've all spent a lot of money on our children, now spend a little on yourselves. I was dragged to Discovery kicking and screaming by my wife. She made me go. I didn't need it. There was nothing wrong with me. My son had the problem. Iım a tough guy, and I didn't need all that stuff. After completing both trainings and staffing Discovery twice, I'm still a tough guy. My life is so much better for all of this. Was it all fun? No. Was it hard at times? Definitely. Did I ever think about walking out? Absolutely. Was it worth the time, expense, and effort? Without a doubt! My wife and I have forged friendships with people who share these experiences with us that will be there all of our lives. Our relationship with each other is better than I could have ever imagined a relationship could be. The problems with our children had stretched that relationship to the limits. Parenting has become fun again and not nearly as difficult. Our younger son was following in his brother's footsteps. He was rapidly becoming a prime candidate for a South Sea Vacation. He attended Discovery last July. His grades have improved, his attitude has turned around, he has actually turned into a human being again. I urge all of you to enroll yourselves, your family, and your friends at the earliest opportunity. If you want to talk about it, or want additional information, call me any time. My home phone number is 972-296-9975. To all of you "Tough Guys" out there . . . when you decide you want to walk out of one of the seminars, call me . . . any time, day or night. GOING THE DISTANCE by Ellen Koller, son in Samoa 6 months I am, and was, and continue to be the most skeptical and untrusting person. I have been in Discovery, Focus and have also staffed both seminars as well. I still remain the "Question Authority" person. But, I can tell you all; this program is great! It Works! The program works if you will let it work. Do not let your child manipulate you. Take it from the all time manipulated Mom! I want my child home, just as I believe all of you do. I did not even want my child to go. I still think I could have helped him, deep down. I also thought one year was enough. But no! Now I know it is whatever time it takes. I have come to understand the importance of not bringing your son home until he is recommended. If you bring your son home before they are recommended, it is one more thing they have manipulated you to do. It really hurts to say this to all you parents because I want my son home. But I also know deep down that as much as I love him and want him home, he also wants me to be strong and let him be strong too. We also know that we, as his parents, wonıt be ready until we are developed. My son asked us not to visit him until it was time. He used the analogy of a roll of film. He said, "It is like a roll of film. You really want to see the pictures but you must wait. Please wait until I am developed and you have the finished product." I always remember his words and even though it hurts and it is hard, I will not bring him home until he is recommended. I now walk into his room and I know he is safe. He is in the best program although it is faraway. Each day is a challenge. One day I feel great. The next day I am depressed or angry or lonely. I look at old pictures and it hurts. But I will tell you what I tell myself . . . . please hang on! We share a common bond in that we love our children. We love our children through the anger, the stress, the fights at home and through the distance. We love them, we want them to live . . . and that is the bottom line! I now believe that these kids are learning what it takes to be happy, caring, strong and powerful individuals. Wow! I wish I learned this early on. Anyway, take it from a Mom who more than ever wants her son home. I want to touch him, hold him and hear his voice. I want my little boy back so much. Now I know I will get him back. And I will have a mature, loving, caring and self assured young man. This is really what we all strive for, and hope to raise. This child will do well in anything he chooses, because we, as parents, gave him the chance. We did not give up. We cared. It may take time for our children to realize this, but they will. I know it. I do not expect the thank you, but in my heart I feel I will receive thanks . . . especially in knowing that everyday my child lives and is happy. HANDLING SETBACKS by Cherryl Dawson, son in Samoa 15 months I am going to tell you something that I have heard several times since my son left for Samoa. And I know it is going to sound strange. The BEST thing we can hope for as parents is that our kids mess up. What a better place in the world for them to learn as many life lessons as possible, than someplace where the consequences are a level drop, or time in isolation, instead of out in the world where the consequences could be prison, or even death. The boys learn to be accountable when they have setbacks and have to face the result of their choices. My son was one day away from his movement to Level 3 when he got a Cat 2 and was dropped back to Level 1. It was the best thing that could have happened to him. Even he says so. It has made him a lot more aware of what he is doing. Someone very wise told me to look at this as another great opportunity to grow. When I look at his struggles and realize that they are HIS struggles and NOT MINE, it allows me to move forward and let him live his life. LETTING GO by Montserrat Wassam, son in Samoa 7 months I would like to share with you a realization that I had one day recently as I was walking in the park . . . . an attempt to clear my mind of confusion and pain regarding my desire to help/control a problem my son had experienced in his "family" at Paradise Cove. As I walked among the trees, I noticed how vines were climbing and winding around their trunks and branches. It was beautiful, but something else stood out to me. Has my love and concern for my son been like the vine squeezing ever so tightly around this tree? The parental love, like the vine at first glance, was indeed beautiful. But was it helping the tree grow or was it stunting itıs growth? I wondered if my love was smothering my son, not allowing him to breath and experience the bad just like the good. I imagined untwisting the vine and allowing the tree to grow into that space. I thought how twisted the vine would be if I pried it away. But I knew it would also grow straight if trained. This is what this program is teaching me. Another kind of love. One in which each side allows the other to grow. ORDERING HOLIDAY VIDEOS There were so many wonderful happenings at Paradise Cove, we were able to create two separate videos. The first video is all Christmas activities. The second video has activities that include Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Make your check or money order payable to Paradise Cove. You should expect to receive them within 3-6 weeks. Mail to: Paradise Cove Holiday Video P.O. Box 3109 St. George, UT 84771 Please Print Mailing Information Name _____________________________________________ # 1 - Christmas Video - $10. ______ Street _____________________________________________ # 2 - Holiday Video - $10. ______ City _____________________ State______ Zip__________ Total $___________ PARENT COORDINATOR'S CORNER By Glenda Cook The focus of my time is to orient new parents. If you are a new parent, and we have not spoken yet, please contact me. Please note that I attend many of the seminars and will be out of the office during those times. Urgent matters will take priority. All other calls will be returned in the order received. 801-467-3768: Voice & Fax firstname.lastname@example.org P.O. Box 540048 N. Salt Lake, UT 84054 M-F 9am - 5pm Mtn. Time To register for any seminars, please contact Ren at 801-635-0918. Likewise, please contact Ren concerning staffing requests. ********************************************************** I was always complaining about the ruts in the road until I realized that the ruts are the road. - A Twelve Step program recovery saying ********************************************************** HELP !!!! E-mailed letters to Samoa are requiring 8-plus hours per day to download, plus it clogs the use of fax machine. Please rely on the US Mail to send your letters. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but your assistance with this is vital.