Category Archives for Happiness

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 the sidelines for mom or dad’s direction, protection, or intervention as if they were five, playing soccer, and needed a parent to point in which direction to kick the ball. I began to wonder, I…

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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 because it allows them to reach their long-term goals despite life’s inevitable setbacks. This ability to overcome challenges makes them stronger and more masterful at their tasks. Moreover, the ability to cope with difficulty –…

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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 more appropriate. As an adult, I still need these reminders to help me live my own life better. And, as with all things parenting-related, our kids do not learn from what we tell them or…

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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 ahead. Because I’ve been a journaler and list-maker since I was very young, I’ve always loved this time of transition and chance to start fresh. If you read about my life-changing books, then you know…

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10 Life-Changing Books

Are you looking for some inspirational reads to help you switch some things up? Over the past few years, I have been drawn more and more to books that make me stop, reassess my life and how I’m living it, and make small changes—or at least think about making them! While some of the “aha”…

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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 together time over these coming two weeks – the only time of the year when all our kids’ vacations coincide. In my mind, I’ve built up an unrealistic vision of music playing in the background…

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10 Surprising Things Kids Learn at Camp

I would not be the person I am today without camp. -15-year-old camper My three decades of camp experience, coupled with my own and others’ research, have shaped my long-held opinion that camp experiences benefit children in profound ways. Yet even I was astounded by the revelations shared at our closing campfires last summer for…

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Coaching Your Child to Better Social Skills

Does your daughter have trouble fitting in to a particular social group? Does your son feel like he’s being excluded from social events? Are you concerned your child doesn’t have any close friends? Do you notice social interactions that don’t seem appropriate? Research has shown that children with good social skills have happier, more successful adult lives. And, contrary to…

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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 intuitively know – practicing gratitude and being grateful are keys to a happier life. Therefore, it’s well worth our consistent and continued effort as parents to model and teach our kids to practice gratitude. While…

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5 Tips to Start Running

“I’m not a runner.” “I can’t run.” I’ve heard variations of these statements many times when running comes up in a conversation. I try to respond in a convincing way that anyone can be a runner, because running has been such a life-changing sport for me. When given the opportunity (which is rare because many…

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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 going through your mental checklist of what you packed, and you know you’ve forgotten something, you just don’t know what it is? I feel that way about my parenting. My three oldest—all girls—have grown up…

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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 go to a service event because he didn’t feel like it. He preferred to relax and watch TV. The event was a school commitment that could be missed if there was a compelling reason. Football…

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