Q. My son often rejects any suggestions I have for him to be healthier or happier. How do I get him to attend the YMUW?
A. At our parenting workshop, Parenting Your Challenging Teenage Son, we teach parents how to effectively communicate and motivate young men without engaging in unnecessary dialogue or drama. Until you learn these skills your biggest challenge of getting your son to attend the YMUW may not be whether he wants to go or not. It will likely be how confident you are when you inform him and not reacting when he tells you he’s not interested. Parents should not be asking, negotiating or begging their sons to attend this life-changing event.
The conversation should go something like this; “Son, I’ve heard about an event that is really special. If I had something like this when I was your age, I never would have made as many mistakes in my life and I would have obtained the things I wanted in life a lot sooner with a lot less stress. It’s very cool. The event is on a weekend on (date) and I am excited for you! I know you’ll get a lot out of it” That’s it. That’s all you really have to say to start the process.
You’re probably thinking, “Whoever wrote this answer is crazy. If I tell my son anything like that he’ll get verbally abusive and tell me he won’t go”. This technique works when you are speaking to your son in a relaxed and cool manner. Click here for more details.
Q. How can I convince my son that he will benefit from the YMUW?
A. The main thing is to let him know YMUW is a lot of FUN! They participate in sports competitions, open forum discussion groups, obstacle courses, community service, drum circles and ceremonies that are designed to enhance teamwork, leadership skills and personal growth. Away from the influence of his parents and society he’ll be supported by our mentors to discover who he really is and how he really wants to show up in life.
Q. Why is there a workshop for parents at the same time our sons attend the YMUW?
A. It’s not reasonable for parents to think that by sending their sons to a weekend initiation, they’re going to become respectful and responsible young men overnight. Parents need to know how to support the natural individuation process of their sons; otherwise they’ll actually be perpetuating the conflict in the house. When the parents learn the technology that we teach their sons (The RIGHT Way® Method of Family Unity), they’ll be able to speak to their sons in a language that actually motivates them to do the right things.
This workshop, Parenting Your Challenging Teenage Son, shows parents practical techniques that work in the toughest situations, including drugs, sex, schoolwork, lying, stealing, irresponsibility and indifference. Parents learn how to reduce the fighting with their sons and increase the trust, cooperation and love. Most importantly, they’ll be in a community of other parents who bring practical insight to issues you may be struggling with.
Dr. Schillinger’s workshops include lots of laughter, ceremonies, open forum discussion, PowerPoint and a place for parents to share their solutions and their sorrows.
Q. Is the YMUW for troubled youth only or can any young man attend?
A. This program is for all males, age 13 – 20, whether they appear to “have it together” or not. It always saddens us that programs like ours are perceived for being valuable to troubled youth only. The truth of the matter is almost all adolescent young men are deeply concerned about their future well being and have similar fears about how they’re going to be independently happy and successful.
We often find parents telling us they don’t think their sons need our Ultimate Weekend because, “everything is fine” or, “my son is not in any real trouble”. At YMUW we believe that all youth, male or female, are “at risk”. We assume their interests about maturity require guidance from outside the household otherwise they will seek information from the wrong sources.
Our graduates, regardless of their social, economical, academic or athletic backgrounds, leave their Weekend accountable for their lives and ready for the challenges of the adult world.
Q. What does my son need to bring to the YMUW?
A. The most important thing young men want, we have plenty of: FOOD. They will need to bring basic camping supplies including a sleeping bag and a backpack or bag for toiletries and clothing. They will not need to bring a tent. If they have any special medication they’ll need to bring that but our first aid volunteers supply whatever else they might need. Once a young man is registered, the parents will receive a confirmation letter that has just a few more details about what they’ll need to have with them
Q. If my son likes the YMUW, can he attend again?
A. Absolutely yes! We had a few graduates attend three and four times! More importantly, after a young man graduates from two weekends, he’s eligible to serve on production with the adult males. This is the key opportunity for the young man to learn how to apply his will and focus his abilities to become more independent. We’ve had many young men serve on production and then go on to increase their responsibilities by assuming key positions at the weekend.
Q. Do you recommend that my son attend the YMUW alone or with friends?
A. The main thing is to get him there whether his friends go or not. If he does go with friends this will be an experience they will not likely forget and will share for the rest of their lives. We’ve had young men attend YMUW and then return, bringing their friends with them.
Q. After the YMUW what services are available for my son?
A. In order to keep your son focused on the life lessons he learned at the YMUW, we strongly recommend your son continue his personal growth by attending one, or both, of these programs in Marin County:
RIGHT Skills Program for Young Men – The purpose of this five week program is to mentor your son to help him develop his personal, social, financial and academic skills.
For more information contact Dr. Mark Schillinger, DC, YMUW co-founder, at (415) 785 – 8818 or info@ChallengingTeenageSons.com
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Young Mens Mentoring Team – The purpose of this program is to mentor your son to set goals and learn how to be accountable. Each session also includes boxing workouts, where your son learns how to work through his barriers and develop discipline.
For more information contact Richard Platt, LMFT, past YMUW President, at (415) 760 – 8541 or richard@TeenSolutionsTherapy.com
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Q. How many young men have graduated the YMUW?
A. We’ve had over three thousand graduates from all over California and from places throughout the country. It is our goal to produce the YMUW in locations around the world as our non-profit grows!
Q. Is the YMUW affiliated with any religion or teach specific religious principles?
A. The YMUW is not aligned with any organized religion and does not require anyone to adhere to fixed doctrines or specific ways of being. All of our programs use a self – help method (The RIGHT Way®) that shows people how to use their own innate wisdom to find the answers to their life challenges. We emphasize five time honored, cross – cultural virtues and values that promote respectful and resourceful relationships:
Respect — esteeming with reverence
Intelligence — applying intuition and experience into wisdom
Gallantry — engaging in heartful acts of courage and courtesy
Humor — celebrating with amusement and gratitude
True — living life with integrity
The main goal of this method is to help people live meaningful and fulfilling lives by developing positive beliefs and protective behaviors.