LET & ABLE News
Licensure Education Training & Adolescents for Better Learning Endeavors Programs
A publication of Recco S. Richardson Consulting, Inc. • Recco Santee Richardson, Ph.D., LPC
Issue 29 … May 2017
Dr. Recco’s Corner
Well, the summer months are upon us. Like many of you, I plan to take full advantage of the weather, greater outdoors and time off work. Just the thought of the stated brings a smile to my face.
For many, along with summer’s warm weather comes an increase in crime, family strain and misguided intentions by children, teens and adults. The stated does not bring a smile to my face.
I’m taking the liberty and authority to decree and proclaim that summer 2017 will be a tremendous time of family, living, safety and mindfulness.
I dare to say that a mere 10 dedicated and well versed individuals like you and I can change the trajectory and outcomes of the coming summer months experiences that the most at-risk and marginalized populations need as a time of hope and restoration.
Will you stand with me in the liberty where with we have been set free and promote wholesome life experiences this summer for everyone that crosses our path?
Helping Male Teens Avoid Crime (Part I)
By Recco Santee Richardson, Ph.D., LPC
Youth crime and violence is a problem in most societies. Children and adolescents take part in criminal activities for a number of reasons. At some point, they make an arbitrary decision to break the law as a result of buying into various stereotypes. The move towards crime by children/adolescents is also a result of their feeling marginalized in society and possibly being victims of abuse/neglect at some point.
Lastly, criminal activity tends to follow children/adolescents who participate in sexual intercourse early in life (age 11), early experimentation with alcoholic beverages (age 11) and early exposure to gun violence (age 12).
When exposed to ongoing family dysfunction, children/adolescents may struggle to do well in life and become involved in criminal activities (delinquent behaviors). Kumpfer (2010) reported that not only is it costly, but family dysfunction is the leading contributor to negative behaviors among adolescents.
Other factors are peer influence, poor parenting skills and lack of parental involvement. These and other factors can ignite unhealthy behaviors like substance abuse, delinquency-criminal behavior, and early or unprotected sex.
There are a number of approaches to family interventions which proved to be effective in strengthening family systems and preventing family violence and behavioral or mental health problems in youth.
As well, there are several strategies for decreasing dysfunction within the home such as regulating of leisure time, awareness, employment/cash, restorative justice and community based interventions.
Mental Health & Criminal Behavior
Typically, children/adolescents diagnosed with mental health disorders such as Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant disorder and Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder can be helped, thus avoiding possible future criminal activities and side-stepping antisocial behaviors.
The stated childhood mental health disorders along with character flaws such as lying, stealing, vandalizing, bullying, and experimenting with drugs can lead to being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. What is critical for parents and educators to realize and address is the fact that childhood mental health disorders often lead to school violence, incarceration, childhood/teen suicide, higher school dropout rates, etc.
Criminal behavior (also referred to as antisocial behavior) is defined as an overall lack of adherence to the social morals and standards that allow members of a society to coexist peaceably.
For children/adolescents the behaviors equate to delinquency that can trigger adulthood arrest, conviction or incarceration.
Their poor mental health status, subsequent behaviors, propensity for violence and involvement in criminal activities can be traced back to environment, inconsistent parenting, lack of natural consequences, academic underachievement and genetics. To be continued in next month’s newsletter
SAVE THE DATE
“A Closer Look” Mental Health & Service Provider’s Conference
The 3rd Annual “A Closer Look” Mental Health & Service Provider’s Conference will be held Friday September 22, 2017 in Lansing, MI.
Presenters will share information, interventions and practical insight regarding trauma, grief/loss, suicide prevention, treatment planning and emerging trends and other relevant topics.
It is anticipated that four to seven (4-7) continuing education hours will be approved by several professional certification boards.
More conference details will be provided soon.
The Adolescents for Better Learning Endeavors (ABLE) Program is designed to help school age youth move forward as a result of gaining new skills and competency.
The goal is for participants to be able to successfully participate within the school setting. The program helps participants improve their academics, social life, emotional maturity and decision-making skills.
ABLE Program Components:
- Individual Counseling
- Family Counseling
- Home Visits
- Crisis Management
- Parenting Workshops
- Incentives & Awards
- Support Groups
- Exciting Fieldtrips
Money For College
The State of Michigan continues to offer the highly acclaimed Tuition Incentive Program (TIP). Established in 1997, the program encourages high school completion by providing tuition assistance for the first two years of college and beyond. There is a Phase I and Phase II of the program.
Phase I covers enrollment in a certificate or Associate Degree program. Students must meet Medicaid eligibility history requirements, apply prior to high school graduation and complete the FAFSA. For more information, contact our office or call TIP at 1-800-433-3243.
What Teens Wish Adults Knew About Parenting (Pt IV)
Excepts Taken From “Listen to me: A journey into the lives of today’s youth” (2009)
This is the fourth and final part in our series on parenting. Once again, we travel back and review what some typical Flint teens wrote about their fathers in 2009. The majority of young authors are now full-time college students and making a difference in the world and on campus.
By Deonte, 12th Grader
Most people these days don’t have two parents that really care for them. I do and I really appreciate it. My appreciation is not because they provide for me and buy things for me. I value them for their teachings and the education in life that they give me. When it comes down to life, they want their offspring (me) to prosper. For this, I’m very thankful. They have raised me to succeed in life.
My father and I have been through a lot of things together in our lives. I remember the first divorce and recently when he took me in when I had nowhere else to go. By him being there for me, I have developed into manhood. Our relationship can sometimes be seen as a respectful best friendship. We really get along. We both know when to draw the line and get down to business. Overall, my father (Otis Monroe Williams) and I have the strongest relationship that I have with anyone.
Like any close relationship, we butt heads and have disagreements. We always have been able to work out our differences, which strengthens the relationship between the two of us.
Our relationship is important to me because he really understands me and how I feel. He knows when to be real with me and when to make me feel good. He is important to me because sometimes he may be all I have. When I have problems and those around me turn their backs on me, my father is still there in every situation.
In real relationships, there are always areas of improvement. I need for my father to listen to me more, hear what I have to say and understand how I feel about things. I also need him to agree with me more when certain things happen (i.e. my getting in trouble).
By Meosha, 10th Grader
Young people, if you know your father, appreciate it. There are many people who don’t know their father and wish that they did. I’m one of those people who don’t know their father. I have never met him. I believe that not knowing my father does not affect me at this point in my life. Maybe in the future it will.
If I ever get a chance to meet him, I would take it. I say this because there are a lot of things that a father can teach. He can teach me things that my mother can’t.
By Tarence, 10th Grader
My relationship with my father is okay. Sometimes it is not the best, especially when we argue about stuff. I’m adopted and entered his life at 18 months of age. From this time until age 13, he was comfortable letting my adoptive mother play both parental roles. She usually taught me right from wrong and she gave out the punishments when I did something wrong.
I can only think of one time that he speaks of punishing me when I did something wrong as a little child. Now that I’m 15 years old, he is getting more involved in my life and household affairs.
He talks to me more and offers his advice. I respect him for this because he is the only father that I have. For most of my life, my biological father has been incarcerated.
My father and I have a lot of things in common. We both like basketball, football and other sports. We can talk about sports for hours. He used to take me to sporting events, pick me up from practice and take me over to his friend’s home. He transported us everywhere so that my mother did not have to.
I think he was her spy and reported to her our behaviors out in public. In his wisdom, he allowed my mother to handle our poor behaviors. For years, his favorite place was our garage. He loves going out there to relax.
He can improve our relationship by helping me even more with my schoolwork. I also need more of his help at home. It would help me if he paid more attention to the family.
By Rani, 7th Grader
My relationship with my father is very good. He is very easy to talk to. My father is a pretty easygoing guy. Most people cut me off when I’m talking, but he does not do this to me. He is very helpful and generous.
Almost everything I ask for, I get it one way or another. That is unless my mother says no. His answer to everything is “Go ask your mother.” This makes me want to say, “Do you ever make decisions by yourself?”
My relationship with him is important to me because I learn a lot from him. He teaches me about stuff that I don’t learn in school. He does not teach me about math, science or social studies. He talks to me and teaches me about the world.
He makes sure I know what is going on in the world around me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like algebra, formulas and all the information that I learn about Africa. It is just that the things he teaches and talks to me about help shape my future more.
He can help improve our relationship by treating me according to my age. What I mean is that my father and other adults always say, “You have to act your age to get treated your age.” I do this, but still get treated like I’m a kid.
I get all A’s on my report card and have good behaviors at school. How else do I have to act? How old does he want me to act?
I think what he has to realize is that I’m not his little girl anymore. I’m almost a teenager. He has to start treating me like a teenager. Please! I really don’t like being the only person at my school that does not have a cell phone.
For some odd reason, my father (and mother) thinks that if I get a cell phone, my grades are going to hit the dirt. This is another one of their darned stereotypes. Man, I really hate those things.
By Jordan, 7th Grader
My relationship with my father is wonderful. We get along very well. I’m grateful to have him. Most youth don’t have a father in the home. My father might get on my nerves, yet our relationship is still great. Actually our relationship is healthy.
Because he spoils me most of the time, I feel like I use him to get what I want. I think it is this way because he is not home a lot. We don’t get many chances to argue. I trust him a lot.
When I get into trouble with my mother, he knows how to calm her down and get me out of trouble. Like I said, I’m very grateful to have a father like him.
My relationship with my father is important to me because it is good for me. He is special to me and I’m special to him. He works a job that he hates and works long hours just to bring home a paycheck, to buy food, to put a roof over my head and designer clothes on my back. I owe him.
He is important to me. He would take a gun-shot for me. He is strong for me when I can’t be strong for myself. I don’t want to hurt him. When I observe other girls, their fathers don’t seem comfortable around them or their friends.
My father and I can improve our relationship if he were to stop babying me. We need to move towards a more mature relationship. We also could improve our relationship by finding time to be with each other and the family. He is always at work and I don’t always see him. When he does come home, he usually goes to sleep. I know he is tired from working a 15-hour day.
Sometimes I feel like he should just quit and find another job. They probably will lay him off in August or make him work some hours for no pay. What is the use of going to work and not getting paid for all of your time? If I were in his situation, I would quit and find a good-paying job with reasonable work hours so as to have time with my family. I know that it is not that easy for my father to just drop his job. I hope it all works out.
By Israel, 12th Grader
My relationship with my father can be disturbing and abusive with a lot of arguing. I struggle with trusting him. The reason why I say that is because of the level of abuse me and my siblings have experienced in the past. I find myself needing to forgive because I don’t want to be the victim anymore. My relationship with my father is wasting away. This is because I’m in foster care. My relationship with him has become filled with anger, distrust and disgust.
Due to his level of denial, I have a hard time liking him. When he does admit to various things, the next day he turns around and denies everything. This is difficult for me to deal with. I’m not sure if I can live with him again. His mental issues and problems leave us with unresolved issues that he refuses to discuss. He refers to our concerns as a fantasy because in his world most of our concerns never happened.
My relationship with him is important because I need him to teach me how to be a man. I need to learn from him how to respect adults and how to treat women. Maybe he does not have these characteristics himself, thus he can’t teach or help me. I don’t think he realizes how much I need and rely on him to teach me things. As a result I have been teaching myself things that he should teach me.
Regardless, I still need his help. I need to have a relationship with him. This would help me become a respectful and independent adult. I want to have a good relationship with my father so that I can relate to other males that I meet.
I can improve my relationship with him by talking about things with him. We can discuss his childhood, forgive each other and move on. He made his mistakes. I think I’m over everything. We both can learn from everything that has happened. We can learn to agree to disagree.
I respect him but I don’t necessarily trust him. I’m not sure what he is capable of doing to me next time. I hope that everything will be resolved one day, even if he never admits some things.
By Aisha, 8th Grader
My relationship with my father is good. We love each other and show it by not arguing. Actually we barely ever argue. We think about each other. For example if we were at the store without each other and saw an item of interest, we would get it for each other. I show him that I love him by folding his laundry. He shows his love by buying me things and cooking me breakfast.
We have trust in each other. If I were to tell him something, I can trust that he would not tell other people or sabotage my life. He does not make a big deal out of things nor does he create problems. We play with each other and always hug. This happens while we are out to dinner or when we see each other in the house.
My relationship with my father is important to me because I want to be able to talk with him about my problems. He actually listens and depending on the topic gives some good ideas. I want to be comfortable when I’m around him so that it does not feel weird.
My father can improve our relationship by spending more time with me. I would like for him to play video games with me and take me places.
By Imani, 8th Grader
My relationship with my dad is okay most of the time. It could be much better if he did not work so much and spend so much time with his girlfriend. His girlfriend is not mean and she makes some good lemonade. It is just that they spend too much time together. I’m starting to get jealous.
Sometimes when we go to his house, we just watch television or he goes to his bedroom. We could be watching television at home. Anyway, I’m sort of happy because we are supposed to go bowling with him this week. If we go, I will not invite any of my friends to go. When my friends go with us, he always starts talking to them, especially my friends that are boys.
My relationship with my father is important to me. I need a man in my life so that I don’t end up depending on other boys to take the place of my father. I also need him in my life because I need as many people as possible supporting me. It is important that he supports our family as much as he can. It’s not enough to just pay child support payment.
He can improve our relationship by spending more time with me and hanging out with me. Right now my friends are closer to me than he is. They probably know more about me than he does. He could improve our relationship by calling me more. I need more than a once a week, brief call from him.
I think he could help my mother out a little bit more than he does. For example he could transport us to different places so that my mom can save her gas. He could start thinking about us more and not about himself all the time.
Offered by Recco S. Richardson Consulting, Inc., the Licensure Educational Training (LET) Program is an effective supervisory program that targets Limited Licensed Professional Counselors (LLPCs) who need supervision.
Please contact our office if you are in need of LLPC supervision. Currently, LET programming is offered in three cities and has regular participants from 10 different counties.
Group Supervision: Monthly gatherings that review caseloads, offer Q/A sessions, discusses trends in the field, secures guest speakers and much more.
Individual Supervision: As requested, informal one-on-one sessions that provide personal attention, intentional brainstorming and insightful strategies.
Communication: Unlimited monthly communication via phone, email and text.
Other: NCE workshops, counseling residencies, business services support, book club and scholarly writing/research.
Services Offered By RSRC
Afterschool Programming • Staff Trainings/Development • Business/Entrepreneur Support Individual/Family Counseling • Research Institute • Book Writing/Publishing Treatment/Support Groups • Educational Services • Post-Adoption Services • School-Based Initiatives • LLPC Licensure Supervision • Compliance/Regulation • Grant/Proposal Writing • Cultural/Educational Fieldtrips • Youth Programming • Motivational Speaking Program Development • Conferences/Retreats • NCE Test Workshops • Agency Clinical Directorship
Recco S. Richardson Consulting, Inc.
Recco Santee Richardson, Ph.D., LPC
2500 S Linden Road, P.O Box 321252 .. Flint, MI 48532
(810) 394-7815 (Office) (810) 732-6657 (Fax)