Together we can raise a generation of happy, connected kids
who bring positive changes to the world.
Welcome to Sunshine Parenting!
I share ideas, stories, and tips to help parents (and anyone else who works with young people!) raise competent, kind, optimistic kids.
What I Believe
Kids who experience positive connections and develop great social skills and character, grow into flourishing adults.
Summer camp experiences can be transformational.
Caring adults can positively and profoundly impact children’s lives through simple, research-based practices.
As parents we need to “put on our own oxygen mask first” so that we model for our kids what flourishing looks like.
More About Me
Camp: Over the past three decades as a summer camp director, I have had the privilege of working with thousands of campers, counselors, and parents. I’ve walked campers and parents through the painful experience of extreme homesickness. I’ve helped college-age counselors do life planning. And I’ve had thousands of phone calls with parents talking sometimes about camp but often about other challenges related to kids and parenting.
One of my favorite roles as a camp director is training counselors with the skills they need to be positive adult mentors for campers. When I found that much of what I was training my counselors to do was applicable to my own parenting, I started Sunshine Parenting to share those ideas with other parents.
Education: I graduated from Stanford University in 1988 with a degree in International Relations and recently returned to to get my master’s degree in psychology from California State University, Fresno. For my thesis research, I focused on positive psychology and, of course, the impact of camp experiences!
Family: I’m three-fifths of the way to “empty nesting,” with three adult daughters at college or beyond and two teenage sons still at home. My husband, Steve, and I have been parenting and directing camp together since 1994.
Hobbies: I enjoy reading, running, photography, and writing. I read that if you’re wondering what activity or hobby will make you the happiest, think back to what you enjoyed doing when you were a young adolescent. That formula works for me, because I started all of my current favorite hobbies before I was 13!
If we have the chance to meet for a cup a coffee (my favorite and vitally important daily drink), I’d like to chat with you about your kids. How many do you have? How old are they? What are their personality quirks? What are your current parenting struggles? What great parenting tip do you have to share? I’d like to hear your stories about funny and challenging situations and different ways you’ve figured out how to do things.
I’d also ask you for book recommendations. In fiction, I prefer historical fiction with a great story line (Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society), suspenseful fiction (Girl on the Train or any Liane Moriarty books), and heart-warming stories of community and connection (A Man Called Ove). I read a lot of nonfiction, especially books about parenting, leadership, and positive psychology. Friend me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading now!
I’d love to hear your feedback! Email me with your questions, input and ideas, and feel free to comment on my posts. It’s helpful when you let me know which posts and resources you like best.
If you enjoy reading my posts, please subscribe, and I’ll send you an email each week with my latest post or podcast.
Thank you for reading and enjoy your kids today!
Audrey “Sunshine” Monke