Meet Lloyd Rindels

As the Director of Training and Leadership Development, Lloyd Rindels leads the Shelterwood Mentor program. “Working at Shelterwood with the entire staff, teachers and residential directors has been such a rich and rewarding experience. Everyone here loves God and loves what they do even when it is hard.” Meet Lloyd Rindels, and learn how he works to cultivate Mentors at Shelterwood.

What he loves most about Shelterwood: “I love the impact that Shelterwood has on the lives of teenagers who are struggling and how we help their families,” Lloyd says. “I really believe in what God has us doing, and it makes a difference.”

Before Shelterwood: A veteran of the United States Air Force, Lloyd earned his degree in education from the University of Arizona, and then worked in the Arizona House of Representatives. In 1987, Lloyd made a career shift and went into vocational ministry as a pastor and served at a church in Phoenix. Upon relocating to Kansas City, he and his wife, Brenda, started a discipleship training program at Kansas City Fellowship church called Master’s Commission, and Lloyd went on to become the Director of the All Nations Training Center at that church. Lloyd and Brenda even lived in Belfast, Ireland, for a year, recruiting for the training center. Back in Kansas City, they planted New Day Church, where Lloyd is the Senior Pastor today.

What brought him to Shelterwood: Lloyd and Shelterwood CEO Jim Subers have a long history together, initially meeting each other while on staff at the same church. “I have been involved for most of my vocational career with training of young adults and leadership development,” Lloyd says. “I have not only directed training programs, but built them from the ground up.” So when the opportunity to assist with the Shelterwood mentor program arose in 2014, Lloyd gladly accepted. In 2016, Lloyd became the Shelterwood Director of Training and Leadership Development.

The Shelterwood Mentor Program: Mentors, who are also called Direct Care Staff and Teen Mental Health Staff, are at the heart of Shelterwood’s relational approach. As they work with teens, Mentors lay groundwork for social, academic and spiritual growth of the students. For Mentors, this is not just a job or occupation. This is a calling, and Mentors make a profound impact on the teens in their care.

Day in the life: Lloyd is focused on the development of Shelterwood Mentors. “I am very involved in the ongoing training and leadership development with our mentors, giving them both advice and career counseling,” Lloyd explains. “I make sure that they are able to learn and adapt to the roles they have as they mentor teens.” His days involve giving advice, coaching, helping Mentors think critically, problem solve and, ultimately, minister Jesus to the Shelterwood teens.

How Mentors grow at Shelterwood: While Mentors help teens grow, they are growing too. “Mentors grow both spiritually and professionally during their time here,” Lloyd says. “Whenever we serve, we always grow as well, maybe even more than the people we are helping.” Spiritually, Mentors can be involved in Bible studies and life studies and work with teens who are struggling with their faith. Professionally, Mentors receive extensive training. “Mentor training includes everything from becoming state certified to issue medication, to first aid and CPR training, to how to work with people who have behavioral and social challenges. Mentors’ professional development includes a whole list of skills and competencies.”

When he was a teen: “I grew up in a non-Christian home,” Lloyd recalls. “I had a difficult childhood and I am a Shelterwood kid without having the Shelterwood experience — but God found me. So I have always wanted to serve young adults and help them. In a sense, my whole life in ministry is giving back.”

Family: Lloyd and Brenda have been married for 43 years — “I could not have done anything that I have done without her!” Lloyd smiles. They have three children and five grandchildren. Their oldest son is a fighter pilot in the Air Force, their daughter is the Vice President of Strategic Development at Balance Point Corporation and their youngest son teaches English in Hamburg, Germany.

Outside work: “I am an avid fisherman, and any opportunity I have, I love to go fishing, especially when the weather is nice,” Lloyd says. He fishes at most of the regional lakes around Kansas City, but also enjoys fishing in Iowa and Minnesota.

Best part of his role at Shelterwood: “I enjoy being able to watch our Direct Care Staff and our Mentors grow and successfully help our teenagers who are struggling. The end result of that is seeing teenagers restored to their families. I do not know of a greater reward than seeing parents and their child back in a good relationship, loving each other and loving God.”

Interested in becoming a Mentor? Learn more about Shelterwood Mentors and apply today!

Finding identity beyond social media

Teen life today involves more social media now than ever. Research finds that 94 percent of teens go online daily, and 74 percent of teens use more than one social platform. While social media creates connection in creative, fun ways (think: Snapchat face filters!), it also has many risks. Teens are particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying, isolation, perfectionism and comparison on social media. You as a parent play a vital role in helping your child navigate social media and identity.

Here are three ways to help your teen cultivate identity beyond social platforms:

Help your teen set boundaries

Boundaries are critical for teen social media usage. When you develop boundaries for social media, be sure you and your teen do it together, as a team. Ensure the boundaries are centered on love. “Rules are fear-based, but boundaries and guidelines are more relational,” says Julie Faddis, Assistant Clinical Director at Shelterwood. “If you and your teen are struggling to have open communication, work on solidifying the foundation of trust and forming that positive relationship.”

When your teen establishes boundaries around screen time, they have more time to cultivate offline interests. Boundaries free up time to build relationships, stay active in their hobbies and serve in the community. Help your teen create realistic boundaries and then follow through with love and consistent reinforcement. Read more on how to help your teen set boundaries here.

Help your teen build a support system

Teens may be connected to hundreds of “friends” digitally, but they also need in-person community. Research shows that more social media time can lead to isolation and loneliness. Help your teen expand their circle, so they know they have a network of people who love and trust them beyond their screen.

Create opportunities for your teen to further engage with people who could be a positive influence. Support systems connect your teen to meaningful relationships beyond your family. Your teen can learn their value as a person beyond the image projected on social media. Read more on how to help your teen build a support system here.

Be aware of warning signs of technology addiction

Technology addiction is a growing concern for teens, particularly on social media. Addiction can be defined as someone engaging in a behavior that is repetitive, and that person has lost control over that repetitive behavior, says Ken DeBlock, Shelterwood’s Director of Substance Abuse and Recovery. Social media is marketed and designed to engage teens for a long period of time.

“It is a fundamental principle that people need connection,” Ken says. “Yet these devices provide a very different type of connection. Connection to other people is not through personal experiences, but through this online resource. This makes it easier for teens to project who they want to be and how they want to feel. There are many more opportunities to be inauthentic. These platforms center on a controlled environment that is easier to dictate than actual life.” Read more about how to help your teen with their screen time, and how to tell if your teen may have an unhealthy relationship with technology here.

Utilize these three tips to support your teen’s healthy social media usage. If you’re concerned about your teen’s technology usage, consider Shelterwood. At Shelterwood, we offer real hope, real heart change and real restoration for struggling teens. We are committed to bringing heart change to teenagers and restoration to families. Connect with admissions today: 866.585.8939.

Warning signs and triggers: Helping your teen to be aware

Parenting teens is no small feat, and it is natural to be mystified by your teen’s behavior sometimes. It may seem like anything and everything can set your teen off. Yet, the situations that seem to push your teen’s buttons, often called “triggers,” can have patterns. A “trigger” can be thought of as an event, a feeling or a situation that precedes an emotional response. Helping your teen become more aware of those triggers is central to stopping the out of control behavior. Here are some steps to guide your teen towards greater awareness:

Observe your teen’s behavior to notice patterns

We often discuss a trigger as a precursor to an angry outburst, but triggers can be precursors to many responses. Common situations and feelings that may “push your teen’s buttons” and trigger an outburst include being told “no,” bad news, being left out, being bullied, being criticized, not knowing what to do, being ignored and overstimulation. Of course, just as every teen is unique, your teen’s triggers will be unique as well.

The first step to helping your teen be aware of triggers is observing and being familiar with the situations that make your child restless, frustrated or upset. Pay attention and be aware of warning signs of triggers, and look for patterns and connections.

Think backwards

When your teen does have an outburst, consider what happened beforehand. For example, perhaps your teen may act angry and restless when it’s time for them to study for a test. This could indicate a trigger — maybe your child is struggling in the class and doubts his abilities as a student. The trigger could be a feeling of inferiority or worrying about getting a bad grade.

Consider your teen’s perspective

You may assume that you know what happened, but your child may have experienced the situation differently. Give your teen some space to cool off, and when things are calm again, ask your teen to explain what occurred. Truly listen. How your teen articulates what took place could reveal some important clues about triggers.

Start the conversation

Feelings and triggers are directly connected. The trigger itself is not the root of the problem; how your teen thinks and feels about that situation is. Choose a time when both you and your teen are calm and relaxed, not in the middle of an outburst, so you can both communicate authentically and clearly. Share with your teen what you have noticed about their triggers and related behaviors. For example, you might say, “I’ve noticed that when you’re studying for a test, you get upset and lose your temper.” Ask questions about how your teen felt before, during and after the situation. Allow your teen to share freely. This conversation opens the door to awareness about triggers.

Stay patient

Ultimately, make sure your teen knows that you are here to be a resource. You are your teen’s greatest advocate and central to their support system. As life changes, triggers can change too. Identifying and managing triggers is not easy, but helping your teen become aware of their own triggers can be a turning point for your family. With time, your teen can learn how to anticipate their triggers and develop a plan for a healthy response.

If your teen is struggling, consider Shelterwood. We combine clinical excellence with a faith-based approach for real restoration. Contact us to explore how Shelterwood can help your child.