Category Archives for Happiness

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 10th graders. Less than a month into school, she has students who come hang out in her classroom during morning break, lunch, and after school. She’s been told by several students that she’s their favorite […]

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Learning To Put My Own Oxygen Mask On First

Last week I did something unheard of during my first 32 years as a camp director. I took a full day off during the very first week of camp. On my day off, I did several things that “refueled” me: I took a long hike by myself. I took some long, deep breaths. I finished […]

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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 cast for a small buckle fracture in his arm from a snowboard crash (see Exhibit A), and we had a health scare with my dad that ended up being nothing serious. And that crazy evening […]

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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 is Your Life). Hyatt talked about the importance for business leaders to create an environment where small victories are celebrated and, when a goal isn’t reached, the leader encourages the team to celebrate the “gains” […]

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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 will go, especially when we haven’t been together in a long while. I have this dream of all seven of us gathered in one room, with everyone smiling, laughing, and enjoying each others’ company (just […]

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Quick Friendship Activities

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Earlier this year I reached out to my dear friend Tiffany, with whom I have been woefully out of touch since the 20th century. The Christmas card I had mailed to her had come back, undeliverable, and I needed her new […]

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“SASHET”: A Connection Tool

I just returned from my favorite annual camp conference. Spending time with this group of camp owners and directors refocuses me and helps me get motivated for another summer of camp. These are the only people in the world who understand what I do “the rest of the year” and face the same challenges of balancing […]

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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 in relationships and life. I’ve written a series of posts about different conflict resolution skills, including how to apologize well. When kids (or adults) are really mad, words and reactions can be ugly. The inability […]

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Ep. 1: Raising Happiness with Christine Carter

In episode 1 of the Sunshine Parenting podcast, I talk with best selling author Christine Carter, Ph.D., about her book, Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. We discuss two of the tips from her book, including “put on your own oxygen mask first” and family dinner. We also address a listener question about teaching children how to […]

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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 – three things I have never mastered. I’ve been drawn this month to books that continue to give me the same message loud and clear: slow down, savor, be present, be mindful. Those words are […]

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10 Ways to Create a Happy & Connected Class

Part of the “magic” of camp is that from the first moment, we focus on building relationships and getting our cabin groups connected. We train our counselors to help kids develop social skills so they can form friendships and feel a bond with their peers. The minute kids arrive at camp (or get on the […]

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