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Sunshine Parenting

Author: Audrey Monke

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Camp Director, Mom, Author, and Speaker Audrey Monke and other youth development experts discuss summer camp, family life, raising thriving kids, and ideas for living more connected and happier lives.
180 Episodes
SHOW NOTES Are you a Super Fan of Sunshine Parenting? I'd love to connect with you and share patron-only podcast episodes and resources and exclusive early content from my next book! Check out my brand-new Patreon tiers and join me for as little as $5 per month! Become a Patron! "Those things that are really, really important are generally the things that you wouldn't be able to take in a fire."Audrey Monke Hi Podcast Friends, This week I share a personal update and some insights. Among other things, I talk about: • The fire that threatened my camp last week and thoughts on what we choose to take in an evacuation. • Prioritizing our own and our children's mental health. • My journey towards learning to accept mediocrity. I also share about the work I'm doing through GATA (Gold Arrow Teacher Academy) to support and encourage teachers in the areas of Creating Community, Celebrating Strengths, Cultivating Character. And I talk about my goal of "finding my people" through my new Patreon community. Thanks for listening to this episode and joining me in raising a generation of kids who become thriving adults! Here's to raising a generation of kids who become thriving adults! Audrey I can't wait to get back outside (after the smoke clears). BIG IDEAS • The most important things in our life aren't things. • Importance of prioritizing our own, and our children's, mental health. • Teachers need support and resources to connect and engage with students (GATA). • We can take small steps, and make simple changes, to help ourselves and our children flourish. LINKS & RESOURCES • Creek Fire News Update (Gold Arrow Camp) • GATA (Gold Arrow Teacher Academy) • Join Sunshine Parenting on Patreon QUOTES • "Think about what it is you value. What would you really want to take with you (besides people & pets)  if you only had 10 minutes to gather it up?" • "We need to remember to prioritize the mental health of ourselves and our kids. Even before this pandemic, we've been in a crisis of anxiety and depression being on the rise and teen suicide being on the rise. For many, the pandemic has made those preexisting mental health conditions even worse." • "I really want to encourage us all to really take stock of how we're doing, how our kids are doing and what maybe simple steps or changes we can make and our homes and our families for ourselves personally, to improve our mental health, not just so that we're not depressed or anxious, but so that we're actually flourishing or thriving." • "Sometimes the answers are right in front of us and we already kind of know them." • "Getting therapy was so helpful to help me reframe everything and really think through how I got myself to the point where I was and what I could do to get back to feeling better and being my best self." • "This year, this time, and this season are not a time to overachieve. For some of us, it's a really good time to just get the job done and be okay being average." • "I'd rather have a small group of people who have more interaction and back and forth." • "I invite you to join me in stepping back and prioritizing, perhaps picking just one project that you want to focus on this fall, whether it's a work related project, something in your family, or a relationship you want to work on, or maybe it's something for your own mental health. I feel like we all need to step back at this point and really prioritize, because as I've learned in the last week, most of what we do or gather around us will or can disappear. But those things that are really, really important are generally the things that you wouldn't be able to take in a fire." Would you like to have access to bonus posts and podcast episodes and be part of my next book? Join me on as a supporter on Patreon!
SHOW NOTES​ Monitoring our kids' tech use is one of our biggest challenges as parents. In this episode, I chat with Dr. Shimi Kang about strategies for raising our kids with a healthy "tech diet." We discuss several of the concepts from her new book, The Tech Solution: Creating Healthy Habits for Kids Growing Up in a Digital World. ABOUT DR. SHIMI KANG Dr. Shimi Kang is an award-winning, Harvard-trained doctor, researcher, media expert, writer, and keynote speaker who specializes in how the mind works. Dr. Kang provide science-based solutions for innovation, leadership, wellness, and resilience. She's spent over 20 years in researching, treating, and working with people from all walks of life. Dr. Kang is passionate about providing science-based tools that optimize the power of the human brain. She is the founder of Dolphin Kids: Future-Ready Leaders, CEO of Spark Mindset App, and host of the YouTube show; “Mental Wealth with Dr. Shimi Kang”. Her books have been released in 12 countries around the world and her newest title, The Tech Solution: Creating Healthy Habits for Kids Growing up in a Digital World, is now available! BIG IDEAS • The tech we consume impacts our minds, just like the food we consume impacts our bodies, knowing that then now we can start to help them understand that toxic tech is any tech that releases that stress response. • We have to understand that technology is like no other product that has come before. There's something called persuasive design. This is a deliberate use of very sophisticated neuroscience. Our dopamine pathways are being used to really get us attracted and keep us on screens.  • The good news is that habits can always change. We have something called neuroplasticity, which means we can always build new pathways.  • I talk about future ready kids having the C’s of 21st century learning. Children who understand communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and contribution. All of these are gonna be played out online as much as real life. That's going to be the new future ready child and adults.  LINKS & RESOURCES • Dr. Shimi Kang, MD Website  • The Tech Solution •​ The Dolphin Parent • Mental Wealth with Dr. Shimi Kang MD - Youtube Channel • Dr. Shimi Kang on Facebook • Dr. Shimi Kang on Instagram Please leave a review for the Sunshine Parenting Podcast over on iTunes. Reviews are very important for helping podcasts find their audiences, and I would love your support in helping people find Sunshine Parenting! To subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss a single episode, you can do so on iTunes here and Android here.
SHOW NOTES This week's conversation is with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., the trusted, down-to-earth parenting expert many of us have grown to trust over the years due to her pragmatic, research-based approach and advice. Tina has researched and written the reference book every new parent needs to combat the anxiety from competing advice from family and friends. In The Bottom Line for Baby, Tina boils down the actual scientific research in short, 2-4 page spreads. She covers many topics including vaccines, co-sleeping, germs, and circumcision. Sometimes the science is clear and sometimes it isn't, but this book arms you with the data you need to know whether your gut instinct about your own child is the direction you should go. She also arms you with the science to defend allowing your child to play in the dirt when you have well-meaning relatives who think you're letting your kid get too dirty. The Bottom Line for Baby is the book every new parent needs during this era of information overload for parents. It'll be my go-to new baby gift for many years to come. Big Ideas An exhausted parent can flip to that subject and within just a few minutes, have the latest science on that topic and then be given a bottom line about what to do. I'll just give you a sneak preview, it's really good for kids to be exposed to germs. So we should just love each other and understand that people have different webs for the decisions they make. I do want parents to say, "You know what, this isn't working for my family, but it's allowing me to be a better parent in another way." And to have that more positive self talk around, or that framework around the decisions we make. Quotes Audrey: This is just so necessary right now because I think like you said, especially when you're a new parent, you just want to do things right. And right now what's right is so confusing. So to be able to have this reference book, it is going to be my go-to baby gift from now on. I wish I had had it too. Audrey: You've summarized instead of us having to go out and find all the science, which is so, so great. Audrey: I heard you talk about it in another setting and you were saying about also just kind of going with your gut. Tina: Just how much we are so hard on ourselves and how we can be so hard on other people, especially around these super controversial topics like vaccination, sleep training, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, you know, those are all such hot button issues for people. Tina: I hope this is how it's experienced, is that parents will walk away with the idea that knowledge is power. 'I am now informed on the latest science on this topic and now Tina has just empowered me to trust my baby and to trust my instincts and to do what's right for our family, regardless of what everybody else says.' Tina: Every decision we make is not done in a vacuum. The decisions we make are part of a web. Tina: And there are many, many ways to be a great parent. And if that's not something that works for you and your baby and your family, you can let that go and ignore people who criticize you. Audrey: So just to be nicer to yourself and it's okay. Audrey: And you can also pivot. Do you know what I mean? If something isn't working, like if you're trying one way because your neighbor or somebody said, 'this is the way you have to do it', and then it doesn't work for you. There's no reason you can't say, 'well, you know what? I tried that, and it's not right for me.' Tina: I think you get perspective, as you have more kids, as you're around more kids that there really are very few, have too's. Tina: So giving in and changing your mind and holding the boundary are three different things. And the first one's not so good, the other two are perfectly acceptable. I want my kids to change their minds about things. I want them to be open when they have new information. So I want to model that too. Watch a Video of Audrey & Tina's Conversation Listen to Audrey & Tina's Previous Conversations Ep: 136: Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. on Showing Up for our Kids During COVID-19 Ep. 121: The Power of Showing Up with Dr. Tina Payne Bryson Ep. 95: Raising a Yes Brain Child with Tina Payne Bryson More Resources about The Bottom Line for Baby Links Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D. The Bottom Line for Baby Tina's Instagram Publisher's Weekly Review Tina's short-run podcast series with Dr. Phil Boucher (pediatrician) Dr. Phil Boucher (pediatrician) Tina's video blogs, with content to support parents through the pandemic Gold Arrow Teacher Academy About the Author: Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice in Southern California. She is the co-author (with Daniel J. Siegel) of two New York Times best sellers, The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline, as well as The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up. Dr. Bryson keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world, and she frequently consults with schools, businesses, and other organizations. An LCSW, Dr. Bryson is a graduate of Baylor University with a Ph.D. from USC. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children. One Simple Thing Consider doing a September Reset. Take some time to prioritize things you want to do differently. My Favorite This week I'm sharing a favorite that I've shared before. This pandemic has left many of us with a lot less time to listen to podcast. Laura Vanderkam's Before Breakfast Podcast is a quick daily podcast with helpful tips for productivity. Before Breakfast Podcast: Tips from Happy Campers Book! I'm a big fan of Laura Vanderkam's other books and advice, as well. You can listen to our chat about her excellent book, Off the Clock, here: Ep. 56: Off the Clock with Laura Vanderkam
SHOW NOTES This week on the podcast, I bring you my conversation with Dr. Courtney Thomas Tobin, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. You may remember Courtney from Episode 145, when I spoke with her and her husband Danny about welcoming a black son in 2020. Courtney has a PhD in Sociology and studies issues of race-based stress, coping, and mental health among Black Americans. In this episode, we talk about her research and she shares suggestions for coping during stressful times like the one we're all in now.  
SHOW NOTES This episode is the second in my two-part conversation with Sara Kuljis. Last week, in Episode 152, Sara and I discussed what we need to do for ourselves as we transition into more pandemic disruption in our families this fall. This week, we discuss strategies for dealing with the continued uncertainties, issues, and concerns about our kids and their education during the pandemic. Sara Kuljis' focus as a camp owner and director has been on youth and staff development. Sara has served on the board of the American Camp Association, and is a frequent speaker and trainer for the Association. She is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach who conducts workshops to help individuals recognize, understand, and utilize strengths at work and at home. I always get so much encouragement and a more positive outlook after my chats with Sara, and I hope you feel equally encouraged after listening to this week's episode. Wishing you a smooth transition to school for your kids, Audrey Download a PDF of these questions to print out! Quotes Sara: This is a time for innovation and looking at things with new lenses. Sara: As the parent, a lot of times my attitude leaks into other's attitudes Audrey: When you're looking back on this time, 10 years from now, what are the things that you're going to want to be able to say about this time? Sara: I hope my kids and for all of us, our kids can look back and say, “I had extra time with my parents and while it was confusing sometimes, I really appreciate it.I enjoyed that time.” Audrey: This is an opportunity for us as parents to really start helping our kids develop more autonomy. Sara: This is an amazing time to hold each other accountable for not doing too much. Audrey: We have no control over when it's going to change, when we're going to go back to “normal,” but between now and that point, we can focus on what's really important. Sara: It can be really challenging because there's different reasons why children fight the homework. Audrey: We need, as parents, to really partner with the teachers and administrators. Audrey: Let's start the school year just knowing that we're all on the same team, we all will make mistakes. Our kids will, the teachers will, the schools will—things will go wrong. Some things will go right. Audrey: It's going to be okay. Sara: I really hope we all can move forward with the mindset that my child isn't going to be all behind—all is not lost. Sara: Let's take some of the burden and the pressure off and go back to: What is the best way for my kiddo to learn right now? Audrey: Let's all just go into this fall with the reset button. Audrey: Push the reset button, rethink, reevaluate, do a do over from the spring, have that meeting with your kids, focus more on your relationship and autonomy development. Links The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
In this episode, I'm chatting with my friend and camp professional colleague, Sara Kuljis. Sara has been a regular guest on the podcast (links to our other episodes below). This is the first of a two-part series to help parents prepare for the fall now that we know that our life - and our kids' lives - will not be returning to "normal" any time soon.  This week, we're talking about strategies for taking care of ourselves so that we can be present and positive (as much as possible!) for our kids and families transitioning into fall with more quarantining and online school. Next week, we'll talk about some different ideas for approaching our kids' education this year. Sara Kuljis' focus as a camp owner and director has been on youth and staff development. Sara has served on the board of the American Camp Association, and is a frequent speaker and trainer for the Association. She is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach who conducts workshops to help individuals recognize, understand, and utilize strengths at work and at home. Questions What am I going to need to be the kind of parent, spouse, leader, friend I really want to be? What support/help do I need? Ask for help! What's on your responsibility/burden "plate"? What are groups/communities I need to stay involved with for my well-being? How does stress show up for you? Your partner? Your kids? Big Ideas • Have a "Co-Counselor Pow Wow" with your parenting partner. • Create a personal time schedule delineating who will be in charge of the kids at which times of day and when you each will have time for work, personal time, etc.             Listen to Audrey & Sara's Other Episodes Ep. 85: Grit is Grown Outside the Comfort Zone (PEGtalk) Ep.115: Giving Kids Meaningful Compliments Ep. 63: Growing Gratitude with Sara Kuljis Ep. 57: The Importance of Adult Friendships with Sara Kuljis Ep. 28: Focusing on Our Kids’ Strengths with Audrey and Sara Ep. 23: Peaceful Mornings with Sara Kuljis Ep. 7: Family Pace and Space with Sara Kuljis Ep. 3: Raising Resilient, Independent Kids with Sara Kuljis Ep. 133: What's Working (and What's Not!) During COVID-19 Resources/Related One Simple Thing Go outside! My Favorite
SHOW NOTES My guest this week is Dr. Nicole Beurkens. As a licensed clinical psychologist with advanced degrees in psychology, education, and nutrition, Dr. Nicole Beurkens is the world’s leading holistic child psychologist. She has dedicated her 22+ year career to providing parents with research-based strategies that get to the root of children’s attention, anxiety, mood, and behavior challenges so they can reach their highest potential. She runs a multi-disciplinary evaluation and treatment clinic and is a best-selling author, published researcher, award-winning therapist, and experienced mother of four. Big Ideas One of the best things we can do for our kids is stay grounded ourselves and model that for them. There is often not a “right” or “wrong” choice. It’s important to look at what is best for your family to help you decide. It’s important for kids to have independent time either by themselves or with their siblings. It’s helpful to pay attention to our coping skills and model healthy ones for our family that do not always involve screens. Quotes Dr. Nicole Beurkens: Parents and kids are now facing starting a year in a really different way. And just the uncertainty of that is generating a lot of anxiety and a lot of distress for kids. But I would say even more so for parents. I get asked all the time, “What do we do for the kids? What do we do for the kids?” And the reality of it is it's really how we're dealing with it as parents that sets the tone for how our kids deal with it. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: The first thing is to realize exactly what we're talking about—that the tone that we set as adults, as parents really makes the most difference. If we're able to manage our own emotions and behaviors around this in healthier ways, that really goes a long way to helping kids do that. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: We need to figure out how to keep ourselves more stable and more regulated. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: We need to find some time to ground ourselves and to help ourselves through the feelings and the things that are going on for us. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: It's super healthy and important for kids to have time when an adult is not structuring or generating and initiating activities. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: Please realize you can step back and take some time to do the work catch-up that you need to do, to sit down with a book and a cup of tea for a few minutes, if that is soothing to you, to go out and take that walk, to do the things that help keep you healthy—your kids can go navigate that time by themselves. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: Ultimately what happens is they start to find things to do. And that's really where an increase in creativity and self-generated activity and initiative comes from is when we allow them to have times where they have to figure it out either independently or with their siblings. Audrey Monke: I think part of it is that when both parents work outside the home, I think what they're used to is when the time that they are home, maybe it's dinner time or whatever, it's very concentrated family time. So I think this shift when your kids are always there, maybe that's an issue that people think, “Oh, it's supposed to always be this like full on work.” Dr. Nicole Beurkens: Screens do not always have to be an option for kids and shouldn't always be an option for kids. And in fact, they should have times during the day when they're not options and there's other things they need to do. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: It's so true that very often now for kids their default, if no one is engaging them in something, is just passive screen time kinds of things. So we need to be intentional about setting times and spaces where that's not happening and here's the secret to that: 100% expect they will not like that. And that is okay. It is totally okay. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: It's something I'm seeing in a lot of older teens and young adults now in my practice that they have not learned how to tolerate uncomfortable feelings, how to be with themselves and their own thoughts because their generation has just grown up sort of defaulting to using passive scrolling through social media or, you know, doing things online and on their devices as a way to kind of numb that. And while that works in the short term, it is not a good longterm strategy and it's not a strategy for helping kids grow up to be more resilient, to be emotionally and behaviorally regulated. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: Now you may be on the computer for many hours a day for work related things, but to even be intentional about things like device-free meal, times to be intentional about when I'm doing something with you, playing a game, taking a walk, doing some kind of play with you. I don't have my devices there. To be intentional about your children seeing you doing activities and things where you're taking a break from the devices where they're not part of the picture, seeing you doing things for yourself to relax and engage in self-care without resorting to devices. Those are really important models. And I think those are far more powerful than the things that we tell them about. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: That's the thing we've had conversations with the kids about. Okay, let's think about all the possible scenarios. And let's just kind of think through some plans for that. And I think that's really helpful strategy for parents and kids to be doing. Especially if you have kids at those milestone kinds of situations. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: I think what that does in thinking that through is it just brings that anxiety down because anxiety is all about uncertainty and about things that we can't control. And while we can't control those things, just by thinking through and making some plans and having like a Plan A, a Plan B a Plan C and even just talking through and anticipating how that will feel and how we'll respond to that. That's a really productive way of helping kids process and work through those emotions. Audrey Monke: I think all of us need to be flexible and that's in workplaces, in families, in schools, teachers, everyone, because like you said, everyone's kind of doing the best they can. Audrey Monke: We've all been talking about mindfulness and how important that is, but it's almost like we're being forced now to be aware and totally better with what is going on inside of us. I think when you slow down, all the stuff comes up. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: A lot of our typical coping strategies have been taken away because at least in the United States, a lot of the default coping is to stay busy. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: What are the silver linings here? Or what are some of the benefits? Dr. Nicole Beurkens: Nothing that's going to happen is all bad. Dr. Nicole Beurkens: As families and as parents, we can support each other and realize that there is no right or wrong, there are options. And you need to look at what is in the best interest of your family's health, wellness, wellbeing. Audrey Monke: Like you said, you can pivot if it seems like it's not working. Links Dr. Beurkens' Website with resources for parents and professionals Horizons Developmental Resource Center Better Behavior Show Podcast Life Will Get Better Book One Simple Thing More of, Less of, Same of (MO, LO, SO) One Simple Thing video series My Favorite Simon & Schuster Audio · THE POWER OF MOMENTS Audiobook Excerpt Creating moments during COVID (surprise camp blanket & jacket presentations):
Show Notes In Episode 150, I catch up with Karen Lock Kolp, M.Ed. of the We Turned Out Okay website and podcast. Karen is an early childhood development expert and parent coach. Karen helps worried and hovering parents by bringing reassuring, helpful advice and conversations. She offers simple strategies and guidance in her book, 10 Secrets Happy Parents Know: How to Stop the Chaos, Bring Out Your Child’s Good Behavior, and Truly Enjoy Family Time. Big Ideas • Making little tweaks in our parenting can have positive effects that make our lives easier and calmer. • Kids are very capable and can contribute a lot in the home. • It’s important to lower our expectations of ourselves and focus on some daily connection time with family rather than all of the things we feel like we “must do” right now. • Going through a tough time with at least one person is better than alone—find that person! Quotes Audrey: I think they really need to just relax their expectations of themselves. There's no way you're going to be engaged, connecting, entertaining your children for their entire waking hours. You need to balance it. Try to do something fun every day, maybe for a little bit of time, but also finding those things that can keep your kids busy is really important right now. Karen: As much as you can, make your home life structure so that there is a lot of connection, a lot of laughter, reading aloud to your child. Karen: If you can read aloud to them and make it infectious and fun, you will find them wanting to read aloud to you. And that's what we want. We want it to come from them. We want it to be motivated by them. Karen: It's a rare time for that. I mean, you talk about what is possible, which is an expression that Pat Flynn has used. He is an entrepreneurial podcaster. I really love him. He's got the smart, passive income podcast and he's just relentlessly positive. And he asked the question, “What does this make possible?” And it does make possible a whole bunch of scary things, but we can't live in that space. We have to live like this. Maybe this will make possible some positive things. Maybe our children will discover clay in the brook behind the house and learn how to take that clay and make it into actual, usable, moldable clay. Audrey: Even pretty young kids could help with some cooking, but I mean, if you have even an eight or nine year old, they can cook a meal for you and you can just teach them and then they can just do it on their own. And that would make them feel great and be an incredible life skill to take out of this time. Audrey: My mindset is: everyone's helping, no matter how young you are, we're all going to do something. Audrey: I think sometimes we just have to remember that our kids can do more. So if we're thinking, “Oh my gosh, the house is a mess and I have to do it.” And I think that we can enlist our kids and now more than ever, we can just say, “Hey, we really need you.” Karen: My goal is to change behavior so that you don't have to do as much negative disciplining. You can just be happy because things are much more smooth. Audrey: I think we just all need to take a deep breath and just realize that maybe there's just little tweaks that we can do—simple things that actually make life easier, not harder. Audrey: I also think that it's really important during this time for people to find community. Audrey: We're all okay. It's not looking great really anywhere. And that's okay right now. Audrey: I think it's just finding whatever it is that works for you to get you in the right mindset to be able to be flexible and know that none of us really knows what tomorrow's bringing and we have to just be okay with that because all we can do is try to make the most of today with whatever people we’re with. Audrey: You took something that was really a scary, bad thing and turned it into something amazing. Audrey: I hope that one of the outcomes from this is we all realize that we need each other and we can lean on each other and, we'll get through this better together than alone. Resources/Related Ep. 38: We Turned Out Okay with Karen Lock Kolp Ep. 69: 10 Secrets Happy Parents Know We Turned out Okay (Karen Lock Kolp’s Website) Download Karen’s “Calming the Weeknight Chaos” Helping Your Fearful Kid Try New Things I was also guest on Karen’s We Turned Out Okay Podcast! Our topic was Give Your Child the Magic of Summer Camp! Karen's Interview on Am Writing 32 Ways to Occupy Stuck-At-Home Kids Crucial Conversations Book Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn Karen's Ninja Parenting Community Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics Book Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics Podcast Episode Karen's OkayCon 2020 Author: Mary Balogh One Simple Thing My one simple thing tip this week is to focus on strengths. When we've spent a lot of time with people, we can start to get fixated on their faults and the things they do that annoy us. Take a moment to list out the people you're sheltering with and one strength you appreciate about each of them. Focusing on strengths is a great strategy for improving family relationships! Creating a Strengths-Based Camp, American Camp Association Ep. 28: Focusing on our Kids’ Strengths Celebrating Strengths Focusing on Our Kids’ Strengths My Favorite My favorite this week is one of my favorite mood boosters: listening to music! Music, especially songs that have an uplifting beat or lyrics, are a great way to improve your mood. Here are two of my current favorite "feel good" listens.  
In Episode 149, I’m talking with repeat podcast guest Stephen Gray Wallace about his new book, Impact: An Introduction to Counseling, Mentoring, and Youth Development. The book offers insightful commentary on the important role of mentors in the lives of children and teens. While it specifically addresses camp counselors, Impact is equally relevant for all key youth influencers, including parents, teachers, and coaches. Ep. 27: Raising Teens who Thrive with Stephen Wallace Ep. 92: Creating Strong Relationships with Teens Stephen has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent/family counselor. He is president and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE), a former associate research professor at Susquehanna University, and the past national chairman and chief executive officer at SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions/Students Against Driving Drunk). Stephen also works with the American Camp Association (ACA) as a feature magazine writer, media spokesperson and faculty member at its e-Institute for Professional Development. Review of IMPACT Decades of experience and research are packed into Wallace’s guide for leaders at summer camp. Wallace communicates the responsibility and life-changing impact counselors can have and the many facets of their role, which go far beyond what most people think of when they hear the job “camp counselor.” Covering a multitude of topics that are critical for counselors to understand, with discussion questions at the end of each chapter, the book is user-friendly and can be quickly incorporated into staff training. Lists that offer key takeaways of each concept on topics including developmental stages, disciplinary dos and don’ts, leadership styles, and effective teaching techniques (to name just a few) are instrumental as both a reference and training tool for camp staff. IMPACT needs to be assigned reading for every camp counselor, as the guide clearly communicates the magnitude of the responsibility counselors have for the physical and emotional well-being of other people’s children, the critical importance of developing positive relationships with each of the campers they serve, and an understanding of what to expect and how to handle the different challenges they will face. Camp leaders wanting to be informed and have a positive impact (without having to read the scores of books and articles Stephen Wallace has read) need to read IMPACT and keep it as a resource to refer to when planning training and coaching staff. - Audrey Monke, camp director, speaker, & author of Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults Big Ideas   Quotes   Resources/Links   One Simple Thing Ep. 133: What's Working (and What's Not!) During COVID-19 My Favorite Related Posts & Episodes Ep. 27: Raising Teens who Thrive with Stephen Wallace Ep. 92: Creating Strong Relationships with Teens Ep. 81: The Power of One with Travis Allison Ep. 87: The Impact of Camp Experiences with Laurie Browne, Ph.D. Ep. 123: Connection Comes First Ep. 89: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men with Michael Reichert, Ph.D. Ep. 121: The Power of Showing Up with Dr. Tina Payne Bryson Ep. 68: 12 Parenting Tips for Happier, More Connected Families 10 Parenting Tips from Camp Counselors
This week I'm bringing you my chat with long-time camp director Ariella Rogge of Sanborn Western Camps. Ariella has a TON of amazing ideas for activities we can do to encourage our kids to explore nature. She also shares connection tips families can use to stay close during COVID-19. About Ariella Ariella began her career at Sanborn when she was twelve. After five years as a camper and five years as a staff member she continued her work with young people as a high school teacher. She and her family returned to camp in 2001 and she became Program Director at High Trails. In 2013, she became Director. Ariella received a B.A. in English from Colorado College and is a certified secondary English educator and WEMT. She has been active in developing Outcomes-Based Research for the ACA and often presents at national and regional conferences. Watch our Chat Links to Instructions & Downloads for Activities we Discussed NATURE NUGGETS #2: Nature Bingo NATURE NUGGETS #4: 100 Inch Hike NATURE NUGGETS #5: Nature Scavenger Hunt Question Strategy: "I THINK, I NOTICE, IT REMINDS ME OF, I WONDER..." "... makes them feel different about the world around them." quote Maintaining & Building Connections Virtual dinner get -togethers "real" letters Keeping a record of this historical time - journals, recordings Find Your Summer Self - Fun, laughter, being outside, engaging with other people, eating good food, having really long, full days packed with all sorts of adventure. "How do we capitalize on the spaces we do have?" "It's recalibrating how we are connecting with people in interesting ways." Audrey: This is a time I think that we can all use to sort of reconnect with what's important and regroup, kind of like a refresh of our lives because we have to, we don't really have any other options. Ariella: I think that's a huge part of this experience is everybody has to have a sense of humor. "Everybody has to have a sense of humor." CAMP VALUE 18:43-19:05 (CAMPS as a resource) 19:39-20:00 - OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH "It's only in challenge that we grow. And this is definitely a challenging time for all of us, and yet I think it provides us with a lot of opportunities, too." Resources/Links "My Corona" by Chris Mann Sanborn Western Camps  People of Sanborn: Ariella  Book: 101 Nature Activities for Kids by Jane Sanborn and Elizabeth Rundle  Nature Bingo 100 Inch Hike  Nature Sculptures  Andy Goldsworthy Nature Sculptures Inspiration Nature Scavenger Hunt  Mental Health Practices for Everyone  Additional Ideas at the Sanborn Western Camps Blog Be You - GAC Summer Theme  One Simple Thing: A List of Little Things Learning to Enjoy the Little Things My Favorite Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success in a Distracted World  
SHOW NOTES This week I'm talking with my friend Jill Stribling. Jill's family has first-hand experience with COVID-19. If you're a longtime listener, you may remember my chat with Jill back in Ep. 35 about her decision to unplug her family, including her 10-year-old son, whose behavior around screens had started to concern her. About Jill Jill is a teacher and is the owner and founder of English for Fun, a school in Madrid, Spain. English for Fun is a learning laboratory where children and adults are empowered to take risks and try new things. They collaborate with the best research institutes throughout the world in order to bring quality education to Spain and to the world. Jill Stribling has a B.A. in Child Development and Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education and specialty in Literacy and Language Arts from California State University and more than 20 years of experience in education. After several years teaching in public schools in Los Angeles, CA, she was recruited by the American School of Madrid in 2001, where she taught Kindergaten and First Grade and took on several leadership roles (i.e. Grade Level Chair, Accreditation Committee Leader, etc.). With her educational and professional experience firmly in place, she developed a methodology for making language learning fun, and began her entrepreneurial journey in 2008 with literally one student in her living room. Shortly afterwards, she had a total of 70 students, and actually had to expand her business. English for Fun is an educational group with an English Enrichment Program for children and adults, an Urban Camp Program, an American Early Childhood Center and a Training Center for educators. Today, she owns schools in Madrid and Pozuelo de Alarcon, and this year alone more than 3,000 students will benefit from the English for Fun method! Back in the fall of 2018, I had the privilege of visiting the Stribling family, touring English for Fun, and speaking with the parents at both of the school campuses. Big Ideas It is important to think of others during this time. If we are not careful, we could cause the death of someone that we or someone else loves. This is a great time to stay inside and work on ourselves. Quotes Jill: I think that this was the scariest thing that I've ever been through in my entire life. Jill: We were really lucky that he recovered in a week. Jill: I think that now looking back on it, we realize, you know, how crazy everything was and how fortunate we are. But, um, but yeah, it was not easy. And, and, you know, I wish looking back on everything that, that not only would we have taken this more seriously when it happened. Jill: If you are someone who is a carrier and you infect other people, you will never know if you caused a death for somebody that someone else loves. Audrey: It's almost as if like, if you don't know anyone directly, it must not be that serious or something. And these numbers of deaths on that we see on the news just seem not as relevant if you don't know them, which is sad. Jill: The thing about how contagious it is is that you don't even realize it until it's too late. Jill: So that for me is the hardest part of this, is all the damage you do to others when you're not careful. Jill: By the time you realize that you have it, you've already passed it to eight to fifteen people. Audrey: I was wishing we had done better because now of course we're seeing that it's kind of everywhere now and cases are still going up in like most of our states. Jill: I think COVID is kind of teaching us that, you know, we've gotta live differently. Jill: It's not about me anymore. It's about somebody's grandmother. It's about somebody's mother who could have cancer. And I know that for a fact, because I have seen it. Jill: I get it like we're social. We want to go out. But I think right now it's the time to work on ourselves. Audrey: I,  like you, hope that from this, we learn that we are a community. We're a global community. What happens over there impacts us, we all have a responsibility. Resources/Links English for Fun NY Times article Jill mentions I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness Review by Audrey One Simple Thing - Find Your Flow What is "Flow"? Flow is a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi (pronounced “cheeks sent me high”) that refers to a state of optimal experience and involvement in an activity during which we are performing at our best. Watch Dr. Csikszentmihalyi talk about flow in his TED Talk, “Flow, the Secret to Happiness.” When we’re in “flow,” we are doing something we really, really enjoy. We can’t wait to do the activity again, and we feel a lot of positive emotions while participating in the activity. We can stick with it for hours without even noticing the time going by. In fact, when we’re in flow, it’s hard to stop whatever we’re doing. Flow is different from pleasure – simply doing things that are enjoyable like watching TV, scrolling on social media, or shopping. Instead, flow activities usually are demanding and take our full attention and concentration. How do I achieve flow? People achieve flow in all different ways, including while playing a musical instrument, playing a sport, writing, painting, attending a concert, bird watching, riding a horse, or running, to name just a few. Often we cannot relate to the passion others have for their personal “flow” activity, since their enthusiasm and passion seem inordinately high. For the lucky ones among us, we find flow in our daily work. The younger you are, the more likely it is that you’ve been in flow today. Young children excel at getting into a state of flow, usually during unstructured play time. As they create their pretend worlds, “cook” in the sand box, build a fort, or swing high on a swing, they are joyful and time flies by for them. Young children are experts at happily living in the moment. As we get older, however, we need to be more aware of getting ourselves into that engaged, amazing state that we enjoyed when we were younger. Official definition of flow Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Possible Flow Activities And here are some ideas of possible flow activities from Deann Ware, Ph.d: Physical activities such as sports, yoga, dance, and martial arts Outdoor challenges such as hiking Music–writing, playing, mixing Art–painting, sculpture, mixed media, pottery Photography Woodworking Do-It-Yourself projects, such as home improvement Working with animals Gardening Cooking and baking Software development/coding Scrapbooking Writing Needlework–sewing, knitting, cross stitch Horseback riding What you do for work (hopefully!) Questions to ask yourself (and your kids) What activities get you into flow? When have you been doing something that you are so engaged that you’ve completely lost track of time? What are new activities you want to try this summer? What makes your heart “sing?” Sometimes, we need to explore different activities before we figure out which activities get us into that awesome state of flow. Don’t worry if you haven’t found that awesome, engaged state yet. Sometimes, it takes awhile to explore, and many adults haven’t even figured it out yet! So start now, while you have some free time, exploring different activities – creative, athletic, academic, etc. – and find your flow! Flow states are a great clue as we figure out who we are and what makes us our best self! Finding Flow My Favorite I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
Show Notes My family's favorite word to use is 'unprecedented,' because everything is unprecedented this year. We try to use the word as much as possible.-Audrey Hi Friends, How are you doing? I mean, how are you really doing? Many of us - kids and adults alike - are really struggling right now - physically, emotionally, and financially. So much is uncertain, and much has been lost. This pandemic has been devastating. This week (July 2 to be exact) is the mid-point of 2020. What a year this has been. It's nothing like I thought it would look and, for many of us (including me), my life has been turned upside down. I invite you to step back for a few minutes this week and check in with how you're doing in these areas: • Health • Relationships • Work If you decide to join me (and my family, who I'm also having complete the check-in), I'd love to hear any insights you come up with about changes you're going to make for the second half of 2020. In this episode, I talk about my own check-in and the activities I'm finding helpful for my own and my family's well-being. It's normal (and human nature) for us to dwell on all the things that have been lost or cancelled this year, but focusing only on all the negatives of this year is not good for our well-being. The lack of ability to plan is hard for many of us. I love my planner and my lists which, this year, have become useless. For my own (and my family's) well-being, I'm choosing to focus on being present and creating habits that improve my well-being and the well-being of my family in the areas of health, relationships, and work. I invite you to join me in looking at what to continue doing, stop (or reduce) doing, or start doing to make the second half of 2020, regardless of what the rest of this year brings, as good as possible. Thank you for being here! I'm rooting for you and your family to come out of this trial of COVID feeling stronger and more focused on what's really important. xo How are you doing? A Mid-Year Check-In Health How are you feeling physically and is there anything you want to change/adjust for the remainder of 2020 that would make you feel better physically? Areas to look at: • Sleep - Are you getting enough? Are your kids? • Exercise - Do you get at least a walk in every day? • Eating - Are you drinking enough water? Eating whole foods like fruit vegetables? I've always enjoyed exercising, including running, hiking, and my brand-new favorite exercise, indoor cycling on my Peloton. This summer, I've been going on one or two hikes a week and getting on the indoor cycle 3-4 times a week. I've decided that I don't have any excuse this year (since I don't have my camp job this summer) not to exercise, so I do at least a little exercise every day. A few evenings a week, we take a family walk after it's started to cool down, around sunset. Those walks and talks have been a highlight of my COVID days.   I've never been able to be consistent about yoga or stretching (It's hard for me to take the time, have the patience), but I've managed to consistently do a quick 6-minute post exercise routine that's been working for me that includes: Cat/Cow (1 minute) Downward Dog (1 minute) Plank (1 minute) Then I repeat the whole cycle one more time. I'm done in 5-6 minutes and I've had fewer back and shoulder pains since I started. How is your mental/spiritual health during this trial? Many of us are carrying a lot of extra stress and anxiety this year due to the loss and uncertainty COVID has caused. While there is much we can't control, there are a few things that I'm finding helpful to manage my stress. What's working for me: • Practice Presence Spending less time worrying about the past and what's going to happen in the future, and practicing more presence, being in the moment, seems to be just about our only option right now, so we may as well embrace it. • Keep a Consistent Morning Routine Until this year, I've been inconsistent about following a morning routine, but I'm finding that it's been helpful to have some part of my day - and my life - that is staying consistent despite the chaos. Here are my morning tasks (in order, most done while drinking coffee) which usually take me between 30 minutes and one hour: Bible Reading: I'm using the Bible Recap plan to read through the Bible this year. Gratitude Journal Text or note to a friend or family member Exercise I filmed a short video about my morning routine earlier this week:   View this post on Instagram   One Simple Thing: A morning routine can help your - and your kids’ - well being. A post shared by Audrey Monke (@sunshine.parenting) on Jun 27, 2020 at 7:04pm PDT • Create a day of rest or "Sabbath" Ask family members, "What's restful for you?" and make sure you set aside some time to do those restful activities, at least once per week but preferably more often. Create a ritual or tradition to "kick off" your day of rest. Benefits of a day of rest (from A Day of Rest, 12 Scientific Reasons Why it Works, • Reduces stress • Gives you a chance to move • Reduces inflammation and the risk of heart disease • Boosts your immune system • Improves sleep • Adds years to your life • Restores mental energy • Increases creativity • Increases productivity • Improves focus • Improves short-term memory • Can help you love your job again Relationships How are you doing with relationships? We know that positive relationships are the best predictor of our health and happiness, so it's important - especially now - that we focus on our relationships with our family and friends. Family Dinner Sharing Family Dinner Arthur Aron's 36 questions to get closer to someone you love Questions for Connection Practice active listening/giving people our full attention  Practice empathy "It's so important in all of our relationships we are careful not to step on other people's feelings." "When someone is sharing something we us, we validate that we hear what they're saying." "When you feel heard, it's a really good feeling." Work How are you learning and growing in the area of your "work"? Your "work" is whatever you spend your time doing - whether that be in a job, care giving, or volunteering. Your work is how you fulfill your purpose, how you get meaning in your life. Whether or not you have your dream job, you can always think about learning and growing to give your life more meaning. Consider crafting your own "syllabus" for the remainder of 2020 to cover a topic you'd like to learn more about or a skill you'd like to improve on. You could sign up for an actual online course, or you can create your own syllabus with books, podcasts, documentaries, etc. and have your own customized plan to grow and learn over the next six months - and beyond! Resources/Links USA Today article: No camp for kids this summer? How to entertain your children while you work from home Follow me on Instagram Peloton Calm App Differently Wired, by Debbie Reber The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod The Bible Recap - Daily Bible reading plan (I access the reading plan through the Bible App). The Bible Project - Animated videos explaining each book of the Bible. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer Before Breakfast Podcast Episode - Craft a Syllabus Anti-Racism Resources: There have been many resources shared recently with anti-racism resources. I listed several of my favorite resources (so far) here: Special Message: Listening and Learning How to be Anti-Racist Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources Parenting Resources: Parenting in Place Masterclass Series (Summer, 2020) Happy Campers 9-Week Read Along Do your own Mid-Year Check-In!
Show Notes This week I'm chatting with brand new parents Danny & Courtney Tobin about their thoughts and insights about being new parents in 2020 to their Black son. They share advice for white parents about how to raise anti-racist kids. Courtney Thomas Tobin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. She has a PhD in Sociology and studies issues of race-based stress, coping, and mental health among Black Americans. Danny Tobin is the Camp Director at R.M. Pyles Boys Camp. A non-profit summer camp that promotes long-term positive behavioral change for low-income, disadvantaged boys by providing a multi-year wilderness camp experience supplemented by year-round mentoring the builds life skills and instills the values of hard work, education, and positive choices. I met Danny through my favorite professional association, WAIC (Western Association of Independent Camps).  Danny graciously offered to chat with camp professionals wanting to discuss race so I took him up on his offer! Big Ideas It’s important to teach our kids about peoples’ differences instead of teaching “colorblindness.” The books we have in our homes and the movies and shows we watch should have people of all races represented. Using current events is a great way to bring up the topic of race with our kids. Racism is not something that only happened in the past. It’s imperative that we are teaching our kids (at home and in school) about what it looks like currently, in addition to in the past. Quotes Danny: We're not recognizing that we are different and we need to be able to coincide in the world with differences. Danny: If you have a little girl who wants a Barbie, well get them that white Barbie, but at the same time, get them that Brown Barbie and create that environment where they are getting used to seeing people of color. Courtney: I think a lot of parents shy away from pointing out differences, or they don't mention that, but again, like you said, that colorblindness or just blindness to differences doesn't really help, especially when they get a little older and then the conversation does focus around race because they've never had those conversations before. Courtney: We know from lots of research out there, like you mentioned, kids notice different colors, skin and things, you know, very, very early, like by the age of two. And they use those differences in those observations to make decisions about people and their behaviors. And so without having a context for understanding that different color skin doesn't mean that one is bad or one is good or things like that. Without having that context, kids will just come up with all kinds of things and nine times out of ten, it's not necessarily going to be good. And so it's really, I think, important to just as parents make sure our kids have the messages that we want and have those positive messages. Danny: It's not even about being racist. It's just looking at something that's different and not understanding it. Courtney: I think having diverse representation is just as, or if not even more important for white kids, because so many kids have never seen people of color before. And so you may not be able to change necessarily the composition of your community or your school, but if you had books or movies that have these positive images, which it's 2020, it's a lot easier to find than I think in years prior. But, I think if folks are really intentional about having that representation for their kids you might be able to avoid some of those kind of awkward situations because it's not like a situation where there's so many examples out there about little preschoolers saying, ‘Why is your skin like that?’ Or like things because they just don't know, or they don't understand that people look different. Courtney: I think using current events as a way to start the conversation is a really great way because the kids see there's protests, there's all these things happening. And so that could be a good opening to say, ‘What have you heard about this? Or what do you know?’ because kids will surprise you. Danny: We do want to protect kids from certain things, but we also want to have real conversations with them and recognize that they can understand and handle a lot more than parents give them credit for. Most people just build a bubble of protection that doesn't need to be there. Danny: Parents have a lot to worry about, a lot of things that they're going to have to talk to their children about, maybe it's sex education or whatnot, but to really realize that for black families, at a very, very young age, we already have to have a conversation with our children, especially black boys about how to interact with police officers. And to know that you don't have to have that conversation with your child is definitely a sense of privilege as well. Audrey: I was talking to a friend who's a person of color and she was saying that she's made a lot of efforts her whole life to make everyone comfortable, like going into work settings and just different places just to make it easy for the white people around her. And that really resonated with me that just thinking about that and having more empathy for the extra work that parents have to do, it's tough. Danny: Something that I think is also really important, and this is more maybe on an education in the school-wide system level, is that we focus on it as not being something that happened in the past. I know growing up for me in my school setting, it was, ‘Let's talk about slavery, let's talk about civil rights…’ all things that happened in the past, that don't exist anymore. Well obviously they do exist still and so we need to be cognizant about how, it's not just something that happened in the past, but let's talk about how that has shaped the current events as well. Audrey: Let's stay in touch and keep this conversation going because it's such an important one. Audrey: The camp community and the education community working together can really make a difference. Links Courtney Tobin at UCLA Danny Tobin at R.M. Pyles Boys Camp Just Mercy (Watch the movie for free here!) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Related Posts & Episodes Ep. 143: Talking About Race with Alex Gamboa Grand Special Message: Listening and Learning How to be Anti-Racist Ep. 117: Raising Good Humans
Show Notes This week's discussion is with Jenifer Joy Madden, author of How to be a Durable Human. We participated in a conversation for Digital Wellness Day, and this episode is a recording of our conversation from that webinar. We discussed concepts from both of our books. Madden is a health and environmental journalist who is also a digital broadcaster and adjunct professor for Syracuse University in their DC Program. Madden is a child advocate who has volunteered her time to establish new walking and biking trails throughout northern Virginia. Madden is also the parent of three durable adults. Listen to Episode 30 if you'd like to hear my first interview with Jenifer about her book, How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through the Power of Self-Design. And you can listen to our second chat here: Ep. 71: Growing Your Child's Bushy Broccoli Brain. Big Ideas Our kids need to be seen and heard especially during the pandemic. We still need routines even if we and/or our kids are having a hard time right now. When we “think outside the loop” we can create memorable moments for our families. It’s important for us to be “durable” and for us to help our kids become “durable” as well. Quotes Audrey: We have to be more intentional and in control of this digital world that is so much now a part of what we do. Audrey: During times of stress or challenge is where we build our resilience or our durability. Jenifer: Resilience has more to do with being knocked down and being able to get up again, but durability is to endure day to day and to actually maybe even grow in strength. Jenifer: Almost every expert agrees that we need to be rocks and models. And what I mean by that is that for children, we are their constant in all of this. Their lives have totally been upended as have ours, except we're the adults in the room. And so we have to be reassuring to them and we have to be steady and they have to lean on us. Jenifer: Especially when we're talking about technology, we have to be aware of how we're using our technology so it doesn't get in the way of them. Audrey: During meals is a good time for everybody to catch up and see each other. And then bedtimes are very important for that, too. Audrey: I think a lot of parents are feeling really frazzled just from the pressures of everything going on. And I just think that I know with my kids who are a little bit older, it's been really good for us to just be sharing. We share at dinner our highs and lows. And just to say, “You know what, today was a better day because this and this and this, and today I was just really feeling discouraged or down.” and being really open and honest with them that these are very real and normal feelings during this time to not feel like your best self every day. Jenifer: We have to know we're not superheroes. We can't be. We can't have our finger on every pulse at every moment. We almost have to lower the expectations for ourselves. Audrey: Just a simple activity that we can all do right now is just to make a really short list of just the little things in life that bring us some delight. Audrey: They always say at the end of our life, the things that you're going to miss most are just the real basic stuff, like having a cup of coffee with your spouse and chatting in the morning and smiling and talking with your kids and laughing over a funny joke around dinner. I mean it's those things that money can't buy. Jenifer: The experts are also saying that we need to validate their feelings, which is if they're moping around, rather than giving them a hard time, say, “I understand, I know what you're going through,” and they suggest you can say, “I’m here.” Audrey: It is great to have a really warm, close relationship with your kids, but it is not the same. We are not the same for them as what their peers and their friends do for them. Jenifer: The hug is like a muscle relaxant, tranquilizer, and love potion all rolled into one. Jenifer: Having screen-free bedrooms is a good idea. Audrey: We need to raise people who are able to make good decisions and promote their own good habits. Audrey: In order for your little microcosm of your home to function well, everybody needs to be pitching in. Audrey: The message of pro kindness and reaching out and having compassion for others is far more powerful in a way that we can appeal to their identity as a person. Jenifer: Once you get them going, their imaginations do take off. Audrey: When the kids are there all day, you really do need to strategize some ways to get them and encourage them to play either on their own or with their siblings without needing you there all the time. Jenifer: When they grow up and they want to go to medical school, they want to be a surgeon, they have to be able to handle a needle. So this is another reason to give them play-dough instead of a screen. Jenifer: We have to have this overview of giving our children some time to be bored and not be constantly entertained. So they actually start to think for themselves. Audrey: Doing things with our hands is to me kind of a good, relaxing thing too. Audrey: It's interesting that we are being drawn to these things that make us more durable. Jenifer: I think things might get even more confusing than they are now. And so we have to be checking in with ourselves about: Are we getting upset? Is there a way that I can back out of this and not be so upset? I think that using techniques such as deep breathing, removing yourself from the situation, placing your hands on a hard surface if that's the least you can do, close your eyes and take some deep breaths just to get yourself pulled back together because there are going to be challenges and we need to have quick strategies to figure out, “Wait a minute, I'm flying off the handle. I don't want to, I'm not going to.” and walk away. Audrey: What a great example we can set if we can manage to just take even one or two deep breaths before we respond. Jenifer: I know it's possible for you to be durable and keep that compassion and that intuition and creativity up front. Links How to be a Durable Human by Jenifer Joy Madden  Digital Wellness Day Digital Wellness Collective Unplugged Family Interview with Coach Madlin of Unplugged Family and Jenifer Joy Madden Related Posts & Episodes Ep. 30: How to Raise a Durable Human with JJ Madden Ep. 116: Why We Need to Unplug to Connect with our Families 10 Lessons for Parents Raising Children in a Digital World Ep. 71: Growing Your Child's Bushy Broccoli Brain
Show Notes Parenting in Place Masterclass Series Alex Gamboa Grand - Co-founder of Good Intent -- an online shop offering sustainable alternatives to everyday essentials like home goods, cleaning supplies, and personal care products. Program Manager at Portland State University's School of Business providing support for underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Portland area who want to grow their businesses.   Links: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson Book & Movie  Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Malcolm X Autobiography White Fragility by Dr. Robin diAngelo  Dr. Robin diAngelo Video  Christine Caine and Anita Philips Video  Glennon Doyle on Instagram  Shaun King on Instagram 
Listening & Learning How to be Anti-Racist (Links) The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein Long after the topic of racism stops trending, white people (including me) need to be actively anti-racist. Let's listen, learn, ask how we can support POC, and do the work to make our world, our country, and our communities places where children and adults of every color and religion feel safe and protected and are able to thrive. Graphics/Visuals They're Not Too Young to Talk About Race from the Children's Community School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A guide to white privilege by Courtney Ahn Design Podcast Episodes Unlocking Us: Brene Brown's interview with Ibram X. Kendi on How to be an Anti-Racist Talking Race With Young Children (NPR) Books Books I've read and highly recommend: Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas Real American, Julie Lythcott-Haims Motherhood So White, Nefertiti Austin Next on my "to read" list: White Fragility Stamped from the Beginning Videos Movies Other Anti-Racist Articles, Lists & Resources I will be continuing to add resources and reviews - please send me an email or comment with more resources. Rachel Cargle The Great Unlearn Books about Race & Racism ( I shudder, do you? Julie Lythcott-Haims Anti-Racist Resources Embrace Race Website: Let's raise a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave abut race.  (podcast & website) By age five, Black and Hispanic children show no preference toward their own group compared to Whites. On the other hand, White kids remain strongly biased in favor of whiteness. By the start of kindergarten, “children begin to show many of the same implicit racial attitudes that adults in our culture hold. Children have already learned to associate some groups with higher status, or more positive value, than others. -Andrew Grant-Thomas, Your 5 Year-Old is Already Racially Biased. We have to eliminate the White Savior role, which centers whiteness and portrays people of color as victims. But white kids should know that they can play an important support role when it comes to fighting racism. Emphasize and prioritize the efforts of people of color, but include white allies too, John Brown, Viola Liuzzo, James Ian Tyson.-Mia Birdsong, Lift Up The Freedom Fighters Do you have Anti-Racist resources you'd like to see added to this post? Please comment and we'll add. 6-5-20
Show Notes Tap into the camp values of gratitude, attitude, and courage to help you and your family cope during COVID-19! This week on the podcast, I'm chatting with camp professional and podcaster Cole Kelly about summer camp and how his family is coping with sheltering at home. Cole and his wife Kate are the owners and directors of Camp Weequahic in Lakewood, Pennsylvania. Cole spends his summers setting the tone for camp, joining in on the fun with the kids, and supporting both the staff members at camp and parents back home in every way possible. While there are too many joys of camp to list, getting the youngest campers’ ‘happies’ each night and leading the weekly Friday Night Campfires are among his favorites. During the off-season, Cole travels to meet potential new families around the world and oversees the preparations for another great summer. Both Kate and Cole have come a long way together from captaining their collegiate teams (soccer at Dartmouth for Kate and golf at Virginia for Cole.) When not talking camp or volunteering in their home community of Athens, GA, Kate and Cole spend their time parenting their three boys – Cole3 (16), Jack (14) and Luke (12) – and caring for Camp Dog Mac. Cole hosts the Campfire Conversation Podcast: Listen to Audrey's interview with Cole on the Campfire Conversation Podcast. Play! It's good for everyone! - Michael Brandwein on Campfire Conversation (mentioned in this episode). Download Screentime Ticket Checklist from Camp Weequahic. Gretchen's Daily Activities Checklist  Cole's posts about gratitude, attitude, and courage: Gratitude in Action The Space Between Speaking from the Heart Big Ideas Many camps focus on character-building and have resources that can be helpful to families right now. It’s important for us to encourage our kids to move, connect with their friends, and have fun! Family members may need breaks from each other and will feel refreshed after some time to themselves. There may be games or activities that your family has not done in awhile that they may enjoy together again now. QUOTES Cole: There's a great quote that says that crisis doesn't build character. It reveals character. And the crisis that we're going through has shown what the character is of the camp community, which is we're here to help. We know about kids, we know about connection, we know about relationships. Cole: We're trying to keep people's minds off it while also always pointing back to the values of our camp, which is what we really focus on, which is gratitude. We've talked all the time that a grateful heart is a happy heart, attitude is the only thing you have total control over in your life. So choose a good one and then building courage. Cole: This moment that we're in right now, those values are so vitally important to practice and to put out into the world. Audrey: Try to recreate a little of that camp magic. Cole: The other things we're counseling families to do is whatever you can do to add a little bit of fun. Cole: Perfect is the enemy at this point. You just need to be there and be with your kids and want to relate. Cole: If parents treat this as an opportunity, they can connect with their kids in ways that will leave a very big lasting impression. Audrey: I do think that so many people are struggling because they're trying to figure out this new normal, but instead of putting so much pressure that everything has to be perfect, just like you said, let's just do a little bit of fun and connection Audrey: We need breaks even from each other during this time.   Resources/Related Posts Ep. 63: Growing Gratitude with Sara Kuljis Advice & Encouragement During COVID-19: Bringing Camp Home with Maria Horner Advice & Encouragement During COVID-19: Bringing Camp Home with Mike & Mary Endres Advice & Encouragement During COVID-19: Bringing Camp Home with Ariella Rogge Happy Campers Camps Video version of our interview ONE SIMPLE THING Pick a Summer Theme! MY FAVORITE Dr. Michele Borba's quick tips on Twitter & Instagram are my favorite for this week. Dr. Michele Borba on Twitter Dr. Michele Borba on Instagram Check out my recent interview with Dr. Borba about her book Unselfie: Ep. 138: Unselfie with Dr. Michele Borba
In this episode, I'm chatting with "Happy Science Mom" Sandi Schwartz about how we can use nature to help us - and our kids - feel happier during COVID-19 and beyond. At the time of our recording, Sandi was on Day 66 of her "Ecohappiness" Challenge, and she's shooting for 100 days of doing something nature-related to improve her well-being. We talk about some of the very doable, simple activities she's tried as well as the benefits of getting ourselves outside. Grab Sandi's FREE 30-Day Ecohappiness Challenge Calendar filled with fun and relaxing activities for your family to enjoy together without even leaving your own neighborhood. Sandi is the writer behind the blog Happy Science Mom. She has also published hundreds of articles in outlets such as Motherly, Scary Mommy, and more, and recently her blog was listed in Feedspot’s list of Top 100 Mom Blogs Every Mommy Must Read in 2020. Sandi researches and writes about nature and its positive effects on us and is currently working on a book on the topic. Sandi lives in Florida with her husband and two children, a daughter in elementary school and a son in middle school. Big Ideas • Being in nature is healing to us and to our kids. • Participating in something nature-related (even if you have to stay indoors) is positive for our mental health. • There are so many ways to bring nature into our lives. Quotes Sandi: You can really tap into nature in so many different ways. And when it comes to your kids, you don't have to necessarily force them to do something they don't enjoy. You could kind of spin it off from something they already love. So if they're into art, so have them go on a nature walk and then even nature photography have them, um, you know, paint a picture, draw a picture of something that they love. If there are athletes, get them outdoors more playing their sports. There's just so many options that we can, you know, weave in, in nature. Audrey: We each have our own unique combination of experiences that kind of lead to the things we need to learn. Audrey: If you want to raise a child who becomes a thriving adult, they need to see what that looks like. They need to see a parent who's showing them the way that when things get hard, how do you deal with it? What are your strategies for coping during difficult times? Sandi: The coolest part is that even the days that I'm kind of like tapped out and I'm like, am I going to come up with something unique today? Something appears. Sandi: You don't always have to work hard to seek out nature. It can find you as well. Audrey: You can see the silver linings and it sounds like  you've really found a silver lining in your, what you always knew: your knowledge that nature can heal and can help through challenging times. Sandi: I appreciate the well-roundedness of how we can reach out to nature, whether it's through your computer, your balcony, your backyard, or if you're going on a hike. Audrey: It's a very relaxing feeling to be fully in nature. Sandi: You don't necessarily have to be at the natural water body to experience it. A lot of it is even closing your eyes and imagining you are at the beach. Water is so powerful. Audrey: Sometimes we try to separate different parts of us, but really we are part of nature and the world and our bodies are also really connected with how we feel like drinking enough water and getting sun and getting that vitamin D. So there's so much that it's all interconnected. So being outside is obviously something that we all need. Sandi: Nature also gives us that positive ability to go back and be in awe even from our past experiences. Resources & Links Happy Science Mom Happy Science Mom on Facebook Happy Science Mom on Instagram Happy Science Mom on Twitter The Happiness Project by: Gretchen Rubin Blue Mind by: Wallace J. Nichols Related Posts & Podcast Episodes Advice & Encouragement During COVID-19: Bringing Camp Home with Ariella Rogge 7 Reasons to #optoutside One Simple Thing Do one thing outside as a family this week, even if it's just for 20 minutes. Ideas: picnic on a deck or in your backyard walk or bike around your neighborhood chalk art or basketball in the driveway golden hour photo shoot nature bingo What simple outdoor activities have you tried with your family? Comment or send me pictures!  My Favorite For all these reasons, spending time in nature with your children may be an ideal way to nurture family bonds, whether you’re dealing with a fussy infant or a recalcitrant teen. Nature doesn’t have ring tones or deadlines. You can reach it without spending a penny. And you can even get outdoors together with other families to increase the sociability and fun. As parents like Debra Scott have discovered, getting outdoors can help both you and your child feel better, while giving you common ground for discovery and play. -Sara St. Antoine , "Together in Nature: Pathways to Stronger, Closer Families" (Children & Nature Network Spurred by my conversation with Sandi, my favorite this week is the Children & Nature Network. Founded by Richard Louv (best-selling author of Last Child in the Woods and Nature Deficit Disorder), C&NN offers free resources and tools for families and organizations to help get kid out in nature. Free PDF Dowloads from Children & Nature Network Nature Clubs for Families Together in Nature: Pathways to Stronger, Closer Families
Link to show notes for this episode. Katherine Reynolds Lewis is an independent journalist, author and speaker based in the Washington D.C. area on topics including parenting, children, education, mental health, technology, work, entrepreneurship, caregiving, diversity, equity and inclusion. Her award-winning book, The Good News About Bad Behavior (PublicAffairs, April 2018), explains why modern kids are so undisciplined and tells the stories of innovators who are rebuilding lost self-regulation, resolving family conflict and changing the trajectory of young lives. Based on the most-read article ever published by Mother Jones, the book documents a new model of discipline for a generation of children who are out of control.  Katherine is a certified parent educator with the Parent Encouragement Program in Kensington, Md. Katherine contributes to The Atlantic, Experience Life, Medium, Parents, USA Today’s magazine group, the Washington Post and Working Mother magazine. Her byline has also appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, MSN Money, Money, the New York Times, Parade, Slate, and the Washington Post Magazine. She's appeared on CNN, NPR, Bloomberg television and radio, and HuffPost Live, as well as many TV and radio programs nationally and internationally. Big Ideas Kids today really do behave differently than in previous generations. It’s important to model to our kids how to calm down or stay in control when we are stressed so that they can learn what works best for them in their own situations. Connecting with your child goes a long way. Making mundane things fun by playing a game, timing it, or doing it in a different way are effective techniques worth trying with your kids. It’s important to reframe the way we look at a child’s misbehavior. Quotes Audrey: If we can't show our kids how to appropriately handle difficult situations, that's hard for them too. Audrey: There are things that we can do to positively influence our kids by being more aware of our own triggers and how we can respond more effectively in different situations. Katherine: And when you start modeling all of the many strategies there are for self-regulating, then your kids first of all see, Oh, it's normal to feel disregulated many times during the day and to need to bring yourself back under control. And then they start thinking, Oh well what would, what would work for me? Katherine: We always try to have this conversation of: I see you're starting to get worked up. I'm noticing your face is getting a little flushed. What do you think would help? Right. And the more that we start turning it back to our kids so that they tune in to their own bodies and their own needs, then they're going to find the solutions that work for them. Audrey: So these behaviors that we see, a lot of it is just that they are not able to comply if they don't have the skill yet. Katherine: The apprenticeship model is really viewing our kids as capable of growth and change. Katherine: Relationship is the foundation of self regulation. Katherine: Even if it's little by little by little, even if it's two step forward, one step back, having that faith and vision that our kids are able to succeed, if we can have that vision for them, then they can start to believe it and inhabit it as well. Katherine: The information you're getting from your kids through their behavior is just data and it helps you to figure out, okay, what might be going on? How can we potentially find a better path, um, through this challenge. Katherine: The apprenticeship model is these three Cs, connection, communication and capability building. Katherine: I think so often parents are asking authors like us, “What do I do? What's the technique that will make my kid be perfect? That will make them finally do what I, what they need to do in this situation.” But it really comes down to that relationship between you and your child. And I think that if you or I were in someone's home, we still wouldn't have all of the clues that the parent has to to really understand the dynamics and what might help and what might be the underlying issue. Audrey: It's fun for them. You've made it so that something that happens every day and is mundane suddenly is like appealing and kind of fun. Katherine: Sometimes if we can just lighten up as parents, have a little faith, and make it silly and playful, that's going to be the most effective way to just change the script a little bit so the kids aren't getting a long lecture or they're not earnestly sharing their feelings. They're just playing the game. Audrey: Sometimes it's just a matter of using things that you already use with other relationships more in your parent child relationship. Katherine: Everyone wants to feel that connection. They want to be listened to, have respectful communication, and they want to be seen as capable of growth. Audrey: I’m often talking to parents about that capability piece that actually making sure our kids know that they are valued and important contributors to our homes. Katherine: If we can instead say, “Oh great, I'm going to take the extra 20 minutes to teach you how to sweep or spray a bottle to wash the windows or chop up vegetables for salad, then it feeds that sense of belonging that is the deepest human need to feel that we belong in our family and our community, whatever group we're part of, that we're needed and that we authentically contribute. Audrey: It was neat to me to hear that the contribution goes beyond your home. And I think that's sort of the ultimate goal. Katherine: Instead of drilling our kids with flashcards or working on their times tables, if we could just say, “Hey, would you like to help me organize the spice rack?” That's going to be just as important, if not more to their success. Plus it's an activity we do together. They're helping our home. There's so many things packed into these simple household tasks that we can do together. Resources and Links Katherine Reynolds Lewis Website Book: The Good News about Bad Behavior Parent Encouragement Program in Kensington, Maryland Explosive Child Book Lost at School Book Viral Story for Mother Jones Magazine Study Comparing Russian Kindergartners Today to Russian Kindergarteners 50 Years Ago One Simple Thing During this pandemic, a simple thing you can do to improve your own and others' well-being is to lower your expectations and standards for yourself and everyone else. I talked about this in my interview on the Happier in Hollywood podcast. I like the concept of the "Minimum Effective Dose" I learned from Dr. Christine Carter in her book, The Sweet Spot, and it seems especially helpful during this challenging time. The “minimum effective dose” (MED) is considered to be the lowest dose of a pharmaceutical product that spurs a clinically significant change in health or well-being. In order to live and work from my sweet spot, I had to find the MED in everything in my life: sleep, meditation, blogging frequency, checking my email, school volunteering, homework help, date nights. We have a deep-seated conviction that more work, more enrichment activities for the kids, more likes on Facebook or Instagram, more stuff would be better. Unless we like feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, we need to accept that more is not necessarily better and that our go-go-go culture, left unchecked, will push us not only beyond our MED — but beyond the “maximum tolerated dose,” the level at which an activity (or drug) becomes toxic and starts causing an adverse reaction. -Christine Carter, Ph.D. Want to listen to my conversations with Christine on the podcast? Ep. 127: The New Adolescence with Christine Carter, Ph.D. Ep. 41: Getting Comfortable with our Kids’ (and our own) Discomfort with Christine Carter Ep. 1: Raising Happiness with Christine Carter My Favorite Download Christine's free eBook, How to Gain an Extra Day Each Week: 3 Science-based Strategies to generate more time for the things things that matter most. I especially like Step 1 in Tactic No. 1 (Upgrade Your Task List): Decide on your Top Five priorities. Not just at work, but in life.  It's really hard to narrow down priorities, but it's an important first step in figuring out which tasks to prioritize. When I read The Sweet Spot several years ago, I spent some time figuring out my priorities. I pulled my copy out and saw that my number three priority was writing my book, which I only managed to do because I put it as one of five priorities. This pandemic has made it clear to me that I need to prioritize what's most important to me. Christine's book and advice helped me realize that having too many priorities scatters my attention and effort and makes me frustrated and less effective in the relationships and activities that I value most. Listener Question Hi! I am the in-school suspension lady at my school, and I need some kind of activities or lessons to teach my 5th through 8th graders when they get into a fight or defiance towards a teacher. Do you have any ideas? Mary • Connect, connect, connect! It's challenging when we have so many kids to manage, but connecting with children and letting them know that they are loved and cared for despite their behavior is so important. Instead of getting angry at the child for their behavior, look at them with curiosity. You can read more about why the child's behavior is likely due to their neurobiology and a lack of appropriate coping skills. My favorite books and videos on this topic are from Dr. Dan Sieigel and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., including their best-selling books, The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline, The Yes Brain, & The Power of Showing Up • Talk about calm down strategies when the child is in a calm state (not when they are agitated/ "in trouble") so that they can start learning to self-regulate. • Brainstorm what works for them. Empower the child to come up with their own ideas. For younger kids, you could have them make their own Conflict Resolution Wheel. I write a lot about strategies for connecting with kids and forming close relationships, as well as how to flip the script on traditional, punitive discipline, in my book, Happy Campers. I invite you to download a free chapter (Secret #1: Connection Comes First) and see if my book could be another resource for you! Video: Emotional Responsiveness with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. Ep. 95: Raising a “Yes Brain” Child with Tina Payne Bryson Ep. 97: Parenting the Challenging Child Ep. 110: Keep Calm & Parent On 10 Ways to Teach Kids to Calm Down 5 Steps to Help Kids Resolve Conflicts
Interested in positive strategies for happier children, adolescents, and families? Check out Sunshine Parenting Coaching! Show notes & links available here. In this episode, Audrey's guest is Jim Burns, President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 30 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books include: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, and Closer. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; two sons-in-law, Steve and Matt; and two grandchildren, James and Charlotte. The aim of Jim (and Homeword)'s work is to strengthen and equip parents, couples and families. They believe in strong marriages, confident parents, and empowered kids. Big Ideas Our kids (no matter their age) need us to be their biggest cheerleaders. Sometimes our kids need tough love, which is not meanness. Our adult children really need us to listen. When our kids become adults we have to make some changes in our parenting role. Becoming independent can be an awkward, painful process, but we can support our kids through it. Today’s young adults “meander” towards independence compared to previous generations and that changes parents’ roles, too. Your role as a parent changes throughout your child’s life. We need to have healthy boundaries and refrain from coddling our adult children. Quotes Jim Burns: But the truth of the matter is what brings them back is setting a tone of what I call awe, affirmation or affection, warmth and encouragement...I want to be the top cheerleader in their life. Jim Burns: Even if they've not launched or they're not doing so well or if they violated values, the bottom line is they're asking this question, do you still love me? And I really believe that our kids need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, Hey, I still love you and we're going to get through this process together in that. I think that's the best thing. We as parents can offer our kids at the same time know we do have to set boundaries and hold expectations but in a way very different than when they were children. Jim Burns: I had to realize that experience is a better teacher than advice. Jim Burns: Unsolicited advice is taken as criticism. Audrey: Even if they're doing things that are crazy or not right, you can still affirm them and be their biggest fan. Audrey: It is cool at camp that other adults can pour into kids and see that in them. Audrey: For our kids, if we can just focus on the strengths that we see and help them grow those, it's remarkable. It will help them throughout childhood and adulthood. Jim Burns: If we have somebody who believes in us, that is just huge. Jim Burns: Tough love is not meanness. Tough love is saying they're going to have to experience some of the consequences for them to learn. Audrey: I think part of what parents struggle with, and I know that you find this too, is just the fact that when you're becoming independent, it's kind of a painful, awkward process. So it's not this smooth line where you go to college and suddenly you're mature or you get a job and you're suddenly mature. It's painful and there's two steps back, one step forward. It's a lot of ups and downs. But what I like about your book is it's very much what, as a parent, we need to do help the process. Audrey: The truth is that none of us are ever really ready for something we haven't done, even adulthood. And we have to remember that when we started doing things, we weren't ready either. Jim Burns: So they go away and they are more ready than we are ... Not totally ready, because there are some bumps along the way. But you know, I think part of it is a process of us getting ready and us realizing that we have to reinvent the relationship. Audrey: Be comfortable with a little bit of discomfort or sometimes a lot of discomfort, which is when your child's going through a difficult time trying to do something on their own. You know, the innate desire as a parent is to jump in and rescue. That's not what they need. Audrey: I do want to encourage parents to read your book and I think it's good to read as early as you can, even during adolescence or sooner to kind of prepare yourself emotionally for the journey so that you're ready for it. But even if you have already a 30 year old, you could still read it and get some great insights from it. Jim Burns: You help them launch by sometimes showing empathy, showing care, but not necessarily giving them the answer unless they ask you. Resources & Links Homeword Doing Life With Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut & The Welcome Mat Out Understanding Your Teen: Shaping Their Character, Facing Their Realities Confident Parenting Doing Life With Your Adult Children Online Video Course Related Ep. 75: Begin with the (Parenting) End in Mind 9 Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults Ready for Adulthood Check-List for Kids Ep. 122: How to Connect with Your Teen with Chris Thurber One Simple Thing: Post a Quote or Mantra Each summer at camp, we select ten positive, inspirational quotes and post them on the doors of our bathroom stalls. Campers often offer the quotes, word for word, as something they learned at camp. Why not create some positive messages in your home to help remind your family about the positive practices that will enrich each of your lives? Repetition and reminders in the form of signs, notes, and postings are a great way to reinforce important lessons. If you have a favorite quote or mantra, tell your kids about why you like it and post it in a prominent location. I guarantee your kids will remember it (even if they make fun of you for posting it!). Here are some of my favorite quotes: Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.  -Mother Teresa A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. James Keller People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou We rise by lifting others. Robert Ingersoll Throw kindness around like confetti. If you want more kindness in the world, put it there. A great attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great life. Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out. Please don't hide your inner awesome. The world needs it. Be the reason someone smiles today. If you decide to post a quote or mantra, I'd love for you to share it with me.  My Favorite The Dibble Institute: Free Resources "The Dibble Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that promotes relationship training for youth—especially in the context of dating and romantic connections. Our goal is help to young people build a foundation for healthy romantic relationships now, and for lasting, positive family environments in the future." Explore all the great free resources at The Dibble Institute, including their series of Tip Sheets which include: Guiding Teens & Young Adults in Developing Healthy Romantic Relationships Tips for Parents: Coping During the Coronavirus Pandemic Listener Question This week's listener question came in via email. If you have a question you'd like me to cover on a future episode of the podcast, email me or record a voice message!   Do you have any suggestions for how to start doing family meetings? Family meetings are a great way to make sure you have a set time to talk as a family, plan ahead, and communicate about values and other things that are important to you. Most of us didn't experience family meetings growing up, so it might feel awkward at first calling your family together for a meeting. In our jobs, we know that regular communication, often in the form of weekly or monthly meetings, is vital to keeping people informed and up-t0-date. The same holds true for our families. Even if you start with just one meeting per month, it's a great way to open up communication about topics that don't normally come up in day-to-day life. In the resource section of my book, Happy Campers (p.230-231), I offer some suggestions for how to format your family meeting. 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