Sunshine Parenting Insights On


Raise Thriving Kids Workshop – September 27 in Newport Beach, CA
Thank you for all the ways you prioritize and support your kids. I know you are working hard so that[...]
September Reset
September is one of three "new years," especially for those of us who have children or work with them. We[...]
Raising Boys
Perhaps because my three oldest kids are girls, I've researched and read more about raising girls than I have about[...]
My One Word for 2019: Focus
Focus on what  matters. I love the annual process of thinking about what I want for the coming year and[...]
The Best Gifts of 2018
The best thing you can give your children, next to good habits, are good memories. -Sydney Harris Most tangible, material gifts[...]
Ep. 65: Raising Engaged, Happy Kids with Mary Hofstedt
Kids need time in adolescence to answer the questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? Am I normal? They[...]
100 Family Memories
100 Family Memories Every December our family makes a list of 100 family memories from the year. This year marks our[...]
Ep. 64: Home for the Holidays: Preparing for Your College Kid to Come Home
I think when you’re talking about your kids coming home for a longer period of time, whether it is for[...]
Ep. 63: Growing Gratitude with Sara Kuljis
Enjoy the little things because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things. In Episode 63,[...]
How to Respond to Bad Behavior
Bad behavior from other people is an inevitable part of life. While we would love to protect our kids from[...]
Challenging Our Definition of “Success”
Last week I attended a talk by Mary Hofstedt of Challenge Success, an organization dedicated to redefining success and promoting children's[...]
Ep. 58: Authentic Teaching with Jackie Beyer
At Authentic Teacher we are dedicated to helping students learn using culturally relevant lessons, best teaching practices and state of[...]
Three Strategies for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults
What do you want for your child in 10 years? 20 years? What dreams do you have for him/her? These[...]
Ep. 57: The Importance of Adult Friendships with Sara Kuljis
"The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in[...]
4 Friendship Concepts to Share with Girls
In researching and planning for a talk I gave a few weeks ago about girls’ friendships, I read through some[...]
Ep. 56: Off the Clock with Laura Vanderkam
In Episode 56, I'm chatting with Laura Vanderkam about her book Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More[...]
7 Ways to Help Your Daughter Become a Thriving Adult
Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with a group of moms of elementary-age daughters. I shared with them[...]
Ep. 55: Raising Kids who Love to Read with Anne Driscoll
In Episode 55, I'm chatting with Anne Driscoll, owner of Branches Books & Gifts in Oakhurst, California. We talk all[...]
Helpful Books for Raising Daughters
I wish these books had been available when my girls were younger, but they're here now. I've learned from these[...]
Ep. 54: Parenting Tips from Summer Camp to Raise Healthy Kids with Dr. Jim Sears
In Episode 54, I'm chatting once again with my long-time friend and camp colleague, Dr. Jim Sears. I've known him[...]
The Magic Relationship Ratio
I recorded this month's One Simple Thing during a retreat this weekend at 1440 Multiversity I attended with my daughter, Gretchen[...]
Ep. 51: Raising Kids’ Self-Esteem with Dr. Jim Sears
"Chores give children a sense of purpose and accomplishment." -Dr. Jim Sears In Episode 51, I'm chatting with my long-time[...]
Ep. 50: How to be a Happier Parent with K.J. Dell’Antonia
In Episode 50, I chat with K.J. Dell'Antonia, author of How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having[...]
Ep. 49: Changing the Odds with Michelle Kinder
In Episode 49, I'm chatting with Michelle Kinder, Executive Director of the Momentous Institute in Dallas, Texas. Michelle has worked in[...]
More of, Less of, Same of (MO, LO, SO)
This is my August installment of my One Simple Thing tip for having a happier and more connected family. Each[...]
Ep. 48: Common Sense Media with Reid Broudy
Something I always talk about is the parent child relationship. It is so important, especially at this age.  Reid Broudy[...]
The Wisdom of High School Girls
One highlight of my summer has been meeting with our oldest female campers to discuss relationships, goals, and life. These[...]
Talking with Kids about Friendship
"Friendship is a life skill you need to learn, so why not start now?" Jackson, Age 9 I spent yesterday[...]
Ep. 44: #RaisingAthletes with Kirsten Jones
So many times as parents we get caught in our ego about what level my kid should be or how[...]
4 Ways to Focus on our Kids’ Strengths
One of my highlights of last week was meeting with our Junior Counselors (17-year-olds heading into their senior year of[...]
Ep. 43: The Gift of Failure with Jessica Lahey
In Episode 43, I talk with Jessica Lahey, author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best[...]
Helping Kids Find Their “Green Zone” (and Finding our Own!)
The simple concept of red, green, and blue zones from The Yes Brain has stuck with me and is helpful[...]
Ep. 42: Jedi Mom Tricks with Maria Horner, Part 3
"Don't use the power of your voice, use your feet" -Maria Horner In Episode 42, Maria Horner is back with[...]
7 Ways to Help Kids Through their Teen Years
A focus of our staff training is helping counselors learn to connect with kids, empathize with them, and give them[...]
With Gratitude to My Dad, “Poppi,” on Father’s Day
Four years ago, with the help of Chuck Radke, my dad, Peter Kremer, wrote a book about his life called[...]
Ep. 41: Getting Comfortable with our Kids’ (and our own) Discomfort with Christine Carter
Part of helping kids learn to deal with discomfort is learning how to be uncomfortable ourselves. -Christine Carter, Ph.D. In[...]
Pick a Summer Theme!
With school out, longer days, and more open space in your family's schedule, summer offers a great opportunity to try[...]
Raising Girls
The happiest moment of my life was when my daughter was born. But it was also the scariest. Raising a[...]
Ep. 38: We Turned Out Okay with Karen Lock Kolp
A lot of what I teach is helping parents understand their children as people. The best way to be happy in[...]
What do Kids Need at Different Ages?
In preparation for training our camp counselors, I've spent some time revising and updating our materials and resources about the[...]
Understanding Kids’ Comfort, Growth, and Blackout Zones
“I DID IT!” Many of my favorite moments at camp are when I get to witness a previously fearful and[...]
Ep. 35: Unplugging Your Family with Jill Stribling
"It seems like we have a lot more patience as a family for each other." "We noticed that he started[...]
3 Reasons to Give Your Kid a “WOW” Today
 Would you consider taking a few moments --less than ONE MINUTE -- to say or write something positive to[...]
Ep. 34: Advice on College, Transferring, and How to Support Your Kids with Their Decisions
"When you're applying to college, there's a big focus on the name of the school, the statistics of the school,[...]
Ep. 33: Jedi Mom Tricks (Part 2) with Maria Horner
"You decide as a family what's important...Every single thing can't be important. You have to pick a few things that[...]
Ep. 31: Listen: 5 Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges
You’re not alone. Whatever struggle you're facing and however hard it feels to you right now, I’m confident that with[...]
How to get Closer to your Kid in 5 Minutes a Day
One-on-Ones On our counselor job description, one of their duties is to “check in with each camper, every day.” We[...]
Ep. 30: How to Raise a Durable Human with JJ Madden
"Durable means to be effective for as long as possible - in your mind, your body, and also in your[...]
How Can I Help My Kid Make Friends?
One of the most basic and often overlooked social skills our kids need to learn in order to be approachable[...]
Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to Making and Keeping Friends
I just read a fantastic book to help kids learn about friendship skills - Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to[...]
Ep. 28: Focusing on Our Kids’ Strengths with Audrey and Sara
In Episode 28 of the podcast, I'm back with my good friend Sara Kuljis talking about being strengths-focused parents. Sara is[...]
Ep. 27: Raising Teens who Thrive with Stephen Wallace
"We are highly focused on promoting favorable youth outcomes, things like positive identity formation, character development, leadership, civic engagement, social[...]
Ep. 26: Be the Parent, Please with Naomi Riley
“Parents are bombarded by technology. We’re all under a lot of pressure. But we’ve somehow lost all sense about parenting[...]
One Simple Thing: Monthly Parenting Challenges for a Happier, More Connected Family
Each month this year, I'm sharing One Simple Thing to try to create a happier, more connected family! January: Daily[...]
How Doing Less Made Me a Better Parent
After suffering from some random aches and pains (hello middle age!) and working way too hard for too many decades,[...]
Ep. 24: The Danish Way of Parenting with Jessica Alexander
This episode of the podcast is an excerpt from my interview with Jessica Alexander, co-author of The Danish Way of[...]
36 Questions to Get Closer to Someone You Love
The art of asking good questions, and listening carefully to the person’s response, is one important key to forming and[...]
Ep. 23: Peaceful Mornings with Sara Kuljis
My regular (and super-fun and wise) podcast guest, Sara Kuljis of Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp and Emerald Cove Day Camp,[...]
10 Solutions for Chaotic Mornings
In a recent survey I asked parents, “What’s the most chaotic, stressful time of day for you and your kids?”[...]
Ep. 22 Jedi Mom Tricks (Part 1) with Maria Horner
These really aren't 'tricks.'... In order for any of this stuff to have to have a strong relationship with[...]
Ep. 21: Advice for the College Application and Selection Process
"For me, I grew more appreciative of everything I have...I also learned that I am a happier and better person[...]
Ep. 20: The Yes Brain with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD
  A 'Yes Brain' is one that is open and receptive and resilient. It's one that, even when something is[...]
How to Have a Closer Family in 5 Minutes a Day
Those of you who've been loyal readers know one of my favorite connection tips (besides unplugging), honed over years of[...]
5 Simple Year-End Reflection Activities
The end of one year and beginning of the next offers a unique opportunity to both reflect back and plan[...]
My Favorite Parenting Books of 2017
If you're looking for some wisdom in a specific area of parenting, you might want to consider reading (or listening)[...]
Parents Guide to Teen Addiction – Book Review
Dr. Laurence M. Westreich, a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in addiction and mental disorders, has invested a quarter-century of his[...]
Ep. 19: Being a “Tech Positive” Parent with Devorah Heitner
Earlier this year, I devoured Devorah Heitner's book Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World during a single[...]
A Guide to EQ and SEL
Guest post by Emma Gibson: Emotional intelligence, also referred to as emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to read other[...]
Ep. 18: Adventures in Parenting with Tom Holland
In Episode 18, I talk with Tom Holland, a camp director and parent of four who has many excellent ideas[...]
Connection Through Questions
If you were to ask me the most important thing parents can provide their children, camp counselors can provide campers,[...]
5 Ways to Create a Happy Thanksgiving
The one area of parenting where I am incredibly consistent is in my unrealistic expectations for how family together time[...]
The Yes Brain with Tina Payne Bryson
I had the opportunity to talk with Tina Payne Bryson about her upcoming book with Daniel Siegel, THE YES BRAIN[...]
Ep. 17: Unplugged Middle School Lunch with Rebecca Gogel
Inspired by this article, as well as my personal connection to her school, I recently got in touch with Corona[...]
Ep. 16: Born to be Wild with Dr. Jess P. Shatkin
In Episode 16, I talk with one of our country's foremost experts on adolescent mental health, Dr. Jess P. Shatkin,[...]
What to do When Your Kid Says “NO!”
After listening to my podcast interview with Ignore It! author Catherine Pearlman, I got a great question from a listener:[...]
Ep. 15: Traits of Parents Who are Great to Work With
I think it's one of my favorite parts of my job, getting to form these really positive, effective, and fun[...]
3 Simple Techniques to Help Kids Make Friends
Coaching kids on their social skills is one of the most helpful things caring adults can do to positively impact[...]
Ep. 14: Ignore It! with Catherine Pearlman
In Episode 14 of the Sunshine Parenting podcast, I interview Catherine Pearlman, founder of The Family Coach.  She co-hosts (with[...]
10 Fun Ways Teachers Can Help Kids Connect with Other Kids
My oldest daughter started her first teaching job about a month ago. She’s teaching high school English to 9th and[...]
Helping Your Fearful Kid Try New Things
“I DID IT!” Many of my favorite moments at camp are when I get to witness a previously fearful and[...]
Why We Need to Unplug to Connect with Our Families
I've been following the trends and research about screen use and have long been an advocate of unplugging. I've seen[...]
5 Must Reads Before You Drop Your Child off at College
Since August is the month when many of us say goodbye to our college-age kids and find our homes more[...]
5 Steps to Raising a Problem Solver
One of the most important skills our kids need to learn in order to become responsible adults is the ability[...]
Ep. 13: Raising Boys to be “Knights” with Heather Haupt
"You are to use that [strength] to defend the women in your life against men that are abusing their strength."[...]
7 Simple Steps to Teach Kids to Introduce Themselves
Introducing yourself is much more than saying your name; it’s a way to connect with someone new by exchanging words[...]
Ep. 12: Teaching Teen Girls to “Get Savvy” with Kathleen Buckstaff
"I've written the book that I needed as a teenage girl." -Kathleen Buckstaff In Episode 12 of the podcast, I'm[...]
Ep. 11: The Opposite of Spoiled with Ron Lieber
What summer camp offers is the opportunity to quite deliberately place them [children] in a very different environment, and if[...]
The Five Most Common Parenting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Before I was a parent, I worked with hundreds of kids as a camp counselor and then as a camp[...]
Why Being a Camp Counselor is the Best Summer Job
In the summer of 1987, I returned for my second year as a camp counselor. Those summers 30 years ago[...]
Ep. 8: A Camp-Grown Parenting Style with Scott & Sally Whipple
"Sometimes we feel like salmon swimming upstream, but camp has really made us feel comfortable when we've made those decisions[...]
11 Ways to Help Kids Create REAL Connections
A 75 year longitudinal study of adult development at Harvard Medical School had two main findings. Researchers George Vaillant and[...]
Ep. 7: Family Pace and Space with Sara Kuljis
“A moderately paced schedule serves our children better.” -Sara Kuljis In Episode 7 of the podcast, I'm talking again with[...]
10 Lessons for Parents Raising Children in a Digital World
Those of you who’ve been hanging around Sunshine Parenting for a while know how much I love to research and[...]
Ep. 6: Staying Underwhelmed with Erica Jameson
“Not WHO you are but HOW you are.” -Erica Jameson I learned a lot talking with Erica Jameson, the third[...]
10 Ways to do LESS and be a MORE Effective Parent
After three decades working with thousands of kids at camp, and more than twenty years parenting my own five, I’ve[...]
Ep. 5: Using a Growth Mindset with Jeff Cheley
In Episode 5 of the Sunshine Parenting Podcast, I interview Jeff Cheley, the 4th generation director of Cheley Colorado Camps, a world-renowned[...]
Resources for Parents of Introverted or Sensitive Kids
Do you have a shy, introverted, or extremely sensitive kid? While these traits or descriptions often go hand-in-hand, Susan Cain[...]
Why Kids Need to Feel Needed
When my husband picked my 13-year-old son up recently from a movie night at a friend’s house, the mom mentioned[...]
Ep. 4: Giving Kids’ Phones a “Vacation”
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] "We want this party to be with all the girls being present and in the moment with their friends."[...]
Ep. 3: Raising Resilient, Independent Kids with Sara Kuljis
In Episode 3 of the Sunshine Parenting Podcast, I interview my good friend Sara Kuljis about raising resilient, independent kids.[...]
Giving Kids Our Full Attention
Rapport feels good, generating the harmonious glow of being simpatico, a sense of friendliness where each person feels the other’s[...]
Thoughts on “Being 13”
“Most adolescents with access to smart phones are living their social lives online as much as they do face-to-face. Adults[...]
What are you going to do?
One thing I taught my kids last year was to ask “What else can I do?” to help them learn[...]
Good Things Come to Those Who Breathe
My 2016 ended with a bang – two trips to the ER on New Year’s Eve. My son needed a[...]
Focusing on the Gain not the Gap
Last week, I was listening to a podcast from one of my favorite leadership and motivational speakers (Michael Hyatt's This[...]
Five Ways to Avert Thanksgiving Disappointment
The one area of parenting where I am incredibly consistent is in my unrealistic expectations for how family together time[...]
Quick Friendship Activities
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Earlier this year I reached out[...]
“SASHET”: A Connection Tool
I just returned from my favorite annual camp conference. Spending time with this group of camp owners and directors refocuses[...]
How Big is My Problem?
This past summer at camp, one of our counselors reported a conflict within his cabin group. A camper had told one of his cabin[...]
10 Ways to Teach Kids to Calm Down
Being able to resolve conflicts is one of the most important social skills our kids need in order to thrive[...]
More than “I’m Sorry”
Teaching Kids the RIGHT Way to Apologize An important relationship skill is the ability to resolve conflicts. And resolving conflicts[...]
No Time for Family Dinner?
Back in 2012, I wrote about how much I treasure our Family Dinner. That was a precious, memorable year for our family,[...]
Google Parenting
In a phone call with a parent this week, she relayed the story of her teenage daughter running away (briefly) and how,[...]
Learning to Enjoy the Little Things
September is my “new year.” The busy summer is over, and I have some time to rest, reflect, and regroup[...]
Final Conversations Before College
Today I traveled 2,326 miles to drop off my youngest daughter for her freshman year of college. After a few[...]
Hop on The Energy Bus!
One of our treasured camp traditions is reading to campers each evening at bedtime. We adopted the tradition more than[...]
The Power of Positive Words
Well, I don't know the child that was returned to me on Saturday. It definitely wasn't the child I dropped off[...]
Dear Parent Hitting the Refresh Button (again) to View Camp Photos
Dear Parent Hitting the Refresh Button (again) to View Camp Photos, I know your pain. I’m on your side of[...]
Why Kids Need to Get Uncomfortable
As parents, we spend a lot of time making our kids comfortable. Feeling cold? I’ll grab you a sweatshirt. Hungry?[...]
Helping Kids through their “Low Point”
During one of our final training sessions with counselors, we ask them to think back to their “low point” as[...]
Connection Before Correction
Because I know our counselors may not retain every bit of information covered in training, there are a few concepts[...]
Celebrating Strengths
What are the qualities you like best about yourself? If you’re like me, I’ll bet you haven’t thought about that[...]
7 Reasons to Get Outside
Next to unplugging, one of my favorite things to talk about is spending time outside. In fact, I believe the[...]
Questions for Connection
When the calendar turns to spring, my mind turns full steam into counselor training mode. I can’t help it. After[...]
Conversations Before College: Preventing Sexual Assault
  This is the third installment of my “Conversations Before College” series, written in honor of my daughter and her[...]
The Uncool Mom
One of the numerous times I’ve made my son mad this year was the day I told him he had[...]
Learning to Breathe
I learned to breathe a few weeks ago. Let me explain. While I’ve been breathing my whole life, I found[...]
5 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid
Before I was a parent, I worked with hundreds of kids as a camp counselor and then as a camp[...]
Conversations Before College: Honest Talk about Alcohol
“3 Things to Teach Your Kids about Alcohol,” the most important thing I’ve ever written, was a plea to parents[...]
The Perils of Perfectionism
When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness[...]
Surviving and Thriving (in High School and Life)
Many kids struggle with their sense of worth and forget who they really are during high school. For high achieving[...]
Tips from a Natural Hawaiian Mama
My family has been on a relaxing, beach- and sun-filled spring break this week on the Big Island of Hawaii.[...]
Conversations before College: WHO you are matters more than WHERE you go
I just spent spring break with ten high school senior girls and some of their moms. Several of these girls[...]
The Power of Compliments
I saw this video last week, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the power of compliments: Isn’t[...]
5 Taco Tuesday Twists: Super Easy Family Dinners
While I’m not a food blogger or an accomplished chef, I am a mom who—like most moms—must figure out what[...]
Five (MORE) Reasons Great Parents Send Their Kids to Camp
There are so many reasons great parents choose to send their kids to summer camp. Two years ago, I shared[...]
Be a Better Parent by Doing Less
If you’ve read my posts the past few weeks, you know that I’ve been on a roll with thoughts about[...]
How Camp Helps Parents Raise Adults
“The movie Stepford Wives came to mind as I watched my students live their college life still somehow looking to[...]
Ready for Adulthood Check-List for Kids
  I’ve just finished listening to Jessica Lahey’s The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go[...]
My 2016 Reading List
If you read my post last week, you know that I’m planning to refill my parenting “toolbox” this year (especially[...]
Picking my Parental Battles
“Battle” is probably not the ideal metaphor when discussing parenting, but lately I’ve felt like it’s been one scuffle after[...]
5 Ways Camp Grows Grit
"It turns out that grit predicts performance better than IQ or innate talent. Grit makes our kids productive and successful[...]
5 Ways to Teach Kids to Live Life Well
As I started writing this, I realized that my title is inaccurate: “5 Ways to Live Life Well” would be[...]
3 Simple Year-End Reflection Activities
The end of one year and beginning of the next offers a unique opportunity to both reflect back and plan[...]
10 Life-Changing Books
Are you looking for some inspirational reads to help you switch some things up? Over the past few years, I[...]
5 Fun 30-Minute Family Activities
With more of my kids away at school than still living at home, I have lofty ambitions for our family[...]
“What Else Can I Do?”
This simple question is a parenting tool that helps grow kids into responsible adults who employers will be beating down[...]
A Grateful Family is a Happy Family: 5 Gratitude Practices
Creating a grateful family culture is a challenge in our entitled, indulgent age. Yet much research has confirmed what we[...]
Get Savvy: Letters to a Teenage Girl About Sex and Love
“As a girl, I was really trained and enjoyed playing a certain range of ‘keys’ – that was being nice,[...]
Choose Wisely: 8 Questions to Ponder Before you say “I Do”
Do you ever get an anxious feeling when you’re on the way to the airport, leaving for a trip? You’re[...]
Does our Family’s Schedule Reflect our Values?
A few weeks ago, one of our children (who shall remain nameless to avoid incrimination) made the choice not to[...]
10 Friendship Skills Every Kid Needs
As parents and adults who work with youth, we can positively impact kids’ lives through helping them build good social[...]
5 Ways to Stay Connected with your College Kid
We all know the dangers of helicoptering and over-parenting, but just how does a parent stay appropriately connected with a college kid who's living away[...]
A Cherished Memory
"The most precious jewels you'll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children." His eyes were locked[...]
Six Tips for Complaining Well: Guidelines for Parents
“Are you the person I file a complaint with?” Those were the man’s first words to me as I stepped[...]
Countdown to Camp: 5 Things to do NOW
School is ending and camp is right around the corner. Do you know where your packing list is? I suspected[...]
Parent Top 10
As I prepare for next month’s camp counselor training, I find myself reflecting—once again—that parents should get at least this[...]
5 Mid-Life Lessons
“Every laugh line on your face made you who you are today.” This One’s for the Girls (Martina McBride) In[...]
5 Steps to Help Kids Resolve Conflicts
The Conflict Resolution Wheel I’ve always considered myself non-confrontational and I do my best to avoid conflict. In researching ways[...]
One Simple Way to Increase Happiness
In two weeks, I’ll be graduating with my master’s degree in Psychology. Why at 46 did I decide to go[...]
“Pay it Forward” Day is April 30
No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. -Aesop I usually rush through the day thinking about what I[...]
Focusing on our Kids’ Strengths
Every Monday morning I get an email with my kids’ current grades. Typically, I scan over them for any assignments[...]
Embracing Risk: Savage Park
“Americans, I beseech you, it is not as impossible as it seems. We may have an ocean on the east[...]
Research finds Children Learn Social Skills at Camp
Last summer, I conducted research on the impact camp experiences have on children’s social skills and happiness. This research was through[...]
College Touring 101
2018 Update: We're back on the college touring scene once again -- 4th time around in our family! Our 11th[...]
Super Mom or Super Bomb? Modeling a Balanced Life for our Kids
“First and foremost, we need to be the adults we want our children to be.” Brené Brown Books have an[...]
3 Ways to Make Family Dinner like a Campfire
Most of us know the importance of family dinners: Kids who regularly eat dinner with their families are more emotionally stable, are[...]
Three Character Traits Kids Develop at Camp
While it’s easy to think of ways to teach our kids to do laundry or solve math problems, finding a[...]
Living Life in our “Sweet Spot”
I usually slog through these kinds of non-fiction books over a few months, interspersed with some “fun” reading. With this[...]
7 Ways to Foster Relationships Using Social Media
No human on the internet can miss the flood of articles about how bad all of our screen time is[...]
10 Social Skills Kids Learn at Camp
At one of my son’s soccer games this fall, a mom on our team offered her son $50 for each[...]
Five Reasons Every Teen Should go to Summer Camp
Being at camp gives me this sense of belonging that I've never felt anywhere else. I know that I can[...]
Raising a Book Lover
When I was four years old, I amazed my Pre-K teacher by flawlessly reading aloud Are You my Mother? by[...]
10 Parenting Tips from Camp Counselors
At one time in their lives, many of the parents I know were camp counselors. Those same people have told[...]
Top 3 Posts of 2014
Dear Sunshine Parenting Reader, Thank you for reading my posts this year! In 2007, I read a book called Writing[...]
15 Books that Inspire my Parenting
As a fun, year-end activity (at least for a book nerd like me), I've pulled some of my favorite books[...]
Book Review: Age of Opportunity
“…nothing will ever feel as good as it did when you were a teenager.” -Laurence Steinberg, Age of Opportunity: Lessons[...]
Raising Grateful – not Entitled – Kids
grate•ful:  feeling or showing appreciation; thankful. en•ti•tiled: believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. An interesting juxtaposition[...]
Is Your Child’s Sport Their Passion or Yours?
I recently watched a documentary about four athletic kids and their parents. These parents had, according to their own descriptions,[...]
Why my Family is Celebrating World Kindness Day
Like most families, we are constantly on the go between school, sports, and other activities. But as I inventory where[...]
The List: My Best Parenting Tip
Before I had kids, there were several things I said I would never let my kids do. Once I was actually a[...]
Screen Overload: 5 New Family Rules
I have a love-hate relationship with my screens. I know how important it is to get unplugged, and I enjoy many[...]
Stop Dreaming, Start Doing: 5 Steps to Finding Your Career
This post is dedicated to the fabulous young adults who choose to forgo privacy, sleep, and social media to work 24[...]
Let Your Son Go!
I started listening to the Dr. Laura radio program a few decades ago while living in Los Angeles. Callers ask Dr.[...]
Who’s Not Ready for College?
This is the text message I sent to two friends last week who were dropping their children off at colleges[...]
Life Changing Lunches
45 hours. That's a conservative estimate of how much time I spent making my children's lunches each school year until[...]
3 Life Lessons Learned on a Tow Rope
The recreational sports we teach at camp include sailing, water skiing, rock climbing, and many more fun outdoor sports. But[...]
It’s Not All Bullying
  A few summers ago, a ten-year-old camper wrote a letter home telling his parents he was being bullied at[...]
Focus on the “Do”s
Next week 100 counselors arrive to spend 10 days learning to lead campers to have fun, make friends, and grow this[...]
Should I Make my Kid go to Camp?
I get asked this question frequently, so I’ve created a grid to help you make the decision. Just see what[...]
One Important Thing
I overestimate what I can do. Every day. You would think after nearly five decades of living with me, I[...]
My Biggest Fan
 I knew you were on my side, even when I was wrong.  -Taylor Swift, “Best Day” I’ve spent my first[...]
3 Things to Teach Your Kids about Alcohol
With my oldest daughter's 21st birthday in just a few days, I am again thinking about deadly traditions around alcohol[...]
Why Kids Flourish at Camp
Campers often describe camp as their “happy place”” or “the best two weeks” of their year. And, from my own[...]
“Pay it Forward” Day is April 24
No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. -Aesop I usually rush through the day thinking about what I[...]
Making Friends: Developing Emotional Intelligence
Why should we care so much about our kids making friends? Because children with friends show many positive characteristics that[...]
Five Reasons Great Parents Send Their Kids to Camp
My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. Two weeks later, she came home transformed.  She blossomed.[...]
Making Friends: Managing Difficult Emotions
Here are a few tough questions: • Has anyone ever accused your child of bullying or being mean to another child?[...]
Friends: Finding Gold in a Plastic Era
“Friendship is the gold of childhood.”   Michael Thompson’s statement stuck with me long after I attended his session on the[...]
Making Friends: 3 Communication Skills Your Child Needs
Leaving a soccer game last fall, a teammate called out to my son, “Great game today!” My son didn’t turn[...]
Why Family Dinner is Important
I almost changed the title of this post to “Why my Kids won’t be Olympians,” since it seems appropriate this[...]
Enjoy Your Teen Daughter
2014: Inspired by an email from a friend last week asking about parenting her soon-to-be-teen daughter, I found this post[...]
Practice What I Pin: Get Organized!
I’m like a lot of other moms in that I have A LOT of different projects and tasks going on[...]
5 Reasons to UNPLUG
Oh, how I love my nightly Pinterest sessions.  I look forward to that mindless scrolling and pinning of recipes I'll[...]
Hug Your Teen Today
“The most important assignment a mom has is to nurture her children.” Tim Sanford, M.A. (Losing Control & Liking It)[...]
4 Parenting Challenges and How Camp Can Help
In today's digital, fast-moving, ultra-competitive world, raising kids who grow into happy, independent adults has become more challenging for parents.[...]
My SMART Goal: Encouraging Notes to my Kids
I love thinking about and writing down my goals for each year.  I used to set unrealistic, vague, way-too-big goals[...]
Catch Them Doing the Right Thing
I've often thought it would be great if all parents could go through the kind of training and orientation we[...]
Two Ways to Be a Better Parent
This weekend, I had the pleasure of listening to Madeline Levine, PhD. (author of The Price of Privilege, Teach Your Children[...]
Let the Kids Cook Dinner
One of my parenting role models is a fictional animal.  She’s the lead character in the children's book The Country[...]
Are We Having Fun Yet?
I have a confession to make. My family, as of late, does not have much fun together.  Yes, there are[...]
Making Family Dinner like a Campfire
An activity we do at campfires at camp has been helpful in our family at getting our kids to communicate[...]
Finding Flow
“The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task...” -Wikipedia definition of flow While[...]
Parking Your Helicopter
"The study, released Feb. 12, found that behaviors associated with helicopter parenting have a negative impact on the college-aged adult's[...]
Grit, Goals, and Growth
Gold Arrow Camp has taught me to be brave and reach my goals. If it wasn't for GAC, I wouldn't[...]
Gratitude Revisited
I couldn’t let this year end without revisiting the theme of gratitude, which became an important focus this year for[...]
That’s Why We’re Here!
We finally got out of our pajamas and headed to the ice rink late Christmas afternoon.  My natives were restless,[...]
Jack You are my best friend. We had fun together. I will miss you. I will talk to you in[...]
Good Gifts
The best thing you can give your children, next to good habits, are good memories. -Sydney Harris Our home is[...]
Book Review: How Children Succeed
“We think that even if your children have the academic skills they need – and we’re doing our best to[...]
Way Too Much of a Good Thing
Anyone who's been reading my blog knows that I'm a big proponent of getting kids "unplugged."  I love that they[...]
Sharing our Highs, Lows, and Buffaloes
What do kids choose to share with their parents about their camp experience, or, for that matter, about any experience?[...]
Homesickness Help
Homesickness is an emotion that most campers feel to some degree at camp.   Fortunately, in most cases, the fun and[...]
Get Unplugged
The January/February, 2011, issue of Stanford Magazine reported on research being done about the impact of time spent online (link[...]
Hand Written Letters
This week I’ve been going through the many boxes of letters, photos, and memorabilia which I have collected over my[...]

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