About this podcast
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.
About this podcast
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.
Ep. 170: "Adulting" with Emma Liberman
Show Notes Enjoy my conversation with 23-year-old Emma Liberman about her insights from Julie Lythcott-Haims' new book, YOUR TURN: HOW TO BE AN ADULT. I asked Emma to read and review my early copy, and she knocked it out of the park with her insights. Links Julie Lythcott-Haims Website Your Turn: How to Be an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now, Meg Jay, Ph.D. Resources/Related [ENCORE] Ep. 139: Doing Life with Your Adult Children with Jim Burns Ep. 160: Cranky Young Adults Stuck in the COVID Vortex Ready for Adulthood Check-List for Kids 9 Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults Ep. 57: The Importance of Adult Friendships with Sara Kuljis 7 Ways to Help Your Daughter Become a Thriving Adult Three Strategies for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults How Camp Helps Parents Raise Adults
Ep. 169: The Addiction Inoculation with Jessica Lahey
Show Notes The Addiction Inoculation In this supportive, life-saving resource, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gift of Failure helps parents and educators understand the roots of substance abuse and identify who is most at risk for addiction, and offers practical steps for prevention. Jessica Lahey was born into a family with a long history of alcoholism and drug abuse. Despite her desire to thwart her genetic legacy, she became an alcoholic and didn’t find her way out until her early forties. Jessica has worked as a teacher in substance abuse programs for teens, and was determined to inoculate her two adolescent sons against their most dangerous inheritance. All children, regardless of their genetics, are at some risk for substance abuse. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, teen drug addiction is the nation’s largest preventable and costly health problem. Despite the existence of proven preventive strategies, nine out of ten adults with substance use disorder report they began drinking and taking drugs before age eighteen. The Addiction Inoculation is a comprehensive resource parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children. The guidelines are age-appropriate and actionable—from navigating a child’s risk for addiction, to interpreting signs of early abuse, to advice for broaching difficult conversations with children. The Addiction Inoculation is an empathetic, accessible resource for anyone who plays a vital role in children’s lives—parents, teachers, coaches, or pediatricians—to help them raise kids who will grow up healthy, happy, and addiction-free. About Jessica Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. Over twenty years, she’s taught every grade from sixth to twelfth in both public and private schools. She writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, Vermont Public Radio, The Washington Post and the New York Times and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. She is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the educational curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show. Jessica earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts and a J.D. with a concentration in juvenile and education law from the University of North Carolina School of Law. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two sons. Her second book, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence, will be released in April 2021. Resources/Related Ep. 43: The Gift of Failure with Jessica Lahey Ready for Adulthood Check-List for Kids Ep. 112: Helping Teens Exposed to Trauma Ep. 16: Born to be Wild with Dr. Jess P. Shatkin Ep. 100: Teens' Advice for Raising Responsible, Independent Kids
Salsa & Sunshine Walk & Talk #5
Visit Sunshine Parenting for more resources & episodes. Get on your shoes, hop on your treadmill or go outside, and join summer camp directors, moms, & joy chasers Audrey "Sunshine" Monke & Sara "Salsa" Kuljis as they share updates, resources, ideas and encouragement with each other and with you! Watch the video of this Walk & Talk on Facebook Related Episodes & Posts Ep. 28: Focusing on Our Kids’ Strengths with Audrey and Sara 4 Ways to Focus on our Kids' Strengths Ep.115: Giving Kids Meaningful Compliments (Sara talks about 3 "Levels of Affirmation") Ep. 57: The Importance of Adult Friendships with Sara Kuljis Presence: My One Word for 2020 Giving Kids Our Full Attention Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success in a Distracted World Links A World Without Email, Cal Newport CDC Updates Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools to Reflect New Evidence on Physical Distance in Classrooms Upside Down Pizza (Tasty) Parenting in Place Masterclass
Creating Structure, Fun, & Connection
Show Notes Visit Sunshine Parenting for more episodes & resources.. Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. Let's all take a few nice, long, deep breaths. Hi Friends, We'll be needing a lot more deep breathing in these coming weeks! This week's episode is a recording of a live webinar Sara Kuljis & I did earlier this week. Our topic was Creating Structure, Fun, & Connection while we have our kids home and have a whole lot of unstructured time on our hands. Participants shared many amazing resources, which I have included in this post (scroll down). If you'd prefer a downloadable PDF (with links), use the sign-up box below. While this is a challenging time, we can also view it as an opportunity to evaluate, do a reset and add in more fun and connection to our family lives. Please send me your challenges, questions, and feedback. I'd love to connect! Stay well! Big Ideas Connection is weaved through everything we do. Try weaving some connection into the structure of your day - a walk with the dog, family dinner, or a nightly game or puzzle are all great options! STRUCTURE The schedule at home will not be the same as at school, and that's okay. But it's good for there to be some predictability. For kids who have synchronous classes, their schedule will be dictated by their online classes. For younger kids, or those who do not have scheduled online classes, consider having guidelines about getting school work done before other activities or in the morning. Instead of following a rigid schedule, consider using a "Daily Checklist." This allows kids (and parents) some autonomy to choose when to do different things. We're all feeling a lack of control right now, so giving our kids some choices (when possible) is helpful. Audrey's daughter, Gretchen, created a checklist for her high school students that works well for adults, too. It incorporates not just the school work, but the other things that will make us feel emotionally and physically healthy. Read more and download Gretchen’s checklist for her high school students (that also works for adults)! REMEMBER THE "ESSENTIALS" I talked with Dr. Jess Shatkin about the "Triumvirate of Good Health" (Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition) in Episode 24. Now's a good opportunity to look at how we (and our kids) are doing in those important areas! It's also important to attend to your kids' emotional needs during this unsettled time, listening and empathizing with them over their losses and frustrations, some of which may seem trivial from an adult perspective. Rather than discounting their feelings, we need to validate their emotions and show empathy. I made this one-minute video about validating kids' feelings a few years ago. It seems especially applicable right now. This is also an excellent opportunity to make sure your family has enough of each of what Challenge Success calls "PDF": Playtime, Downtime, & Family Time. These are common-sense strategies to promote health and well-being. Download Challenge Success PDF for Elementary-Age Kids Download Challenge Success PDF for Teens CONNECTION & FUN Try having at least one meal together. If you haven't been able to have family dinner, try starting now! And let the kids cook or help you cook! Do some sort of family sharing. If your family has a faith tradition, consider watching a live-stream of the service or listening to a podcast together. Exercise together! Get outside if you can to walk, hike, run, or bike. If you have a ping pong table, basketball hoop, or trampoline, take advantage of those resources. Or, stream a fitness or dance video to do together. It could be good for a laugh trying to attempt some new dance or yoga moves! Cultivate gratitude during these stressful times. With your family, name people, things, experiences and opportunities you are grateful for. Gratitude builds hope, stamina and a kind of “emotional immunity," and helps us feel less alone. Model how to keep moving forward for our children. Read together. Consider doing a family read aloud of one of your favorite books. Come up with a hobby or new activity you can try together, either in pairs or as a whole family. Pull out some games or puzzles. Learn a new card game to play together. Want more ideas? Check out these resources, curated by Audrey & Sara and shared by webinar participants: Family Activity Ideas & Resources My son is 12 and really misses playing with his friends. We take our whole family (son 12, daughter 8) and throw and catch a football on the beach. We only last a half hour or so, but they love it. Also we bike a lot and that is great with social distancing. We are doing a lot of reading aloud. Right now my kids are LOVING the book "Ungifted". It makes us laugh a lot. Went for a walk and did physical distancing with my 23 year old niece yesterday to connect with her. Books - it is nice to step away and get into a story. Reading out loud with kids while they work on puzzles/legos. There are several restaurants in my town that are offering pick up. I’m taking my daughter a few times a week to pick up her favorite lunch and walk to the beach to eat. If you have access to fleece via amazon or elsewhere kids can make fleece blankets for a group called Project Linus. They are easy to make and fun to do while chatting or listening to music . Beetles Project - resources usually for outdoor educators, but in these times, perhaps for families, too Coursera classes are often free and wonderful. My daughters and I did a Yale course on the science of well being and I highly recommend it. For families of the Christian faith, I think this is a great time for family bible studies or book clubs, too. We've started asking our kids to research something and bring fun facts to dinner to share with all of us. Funnily, our son thought I asked him to bring facts about Candyland instead of Canyonlands, a place we want to visit, so last night we got a great laugh over the miscommunication! 20 Screen Free Things to do with Your Kids Indoors Watch a TV series together. Take a virtual trip to a museum Another virtual museum list (Travel & Leisure) Self-Care Ideas & Resources Peloton App - yoga, strength workouts, outdoor run/walks and treadmill/spin bike workouts I do the Calm app each morning with my husband, plus 7 minutes of Pranayama (free app) first. We've been doing that for the past 3 years, so nice to already have established. Academic/Educational Opportunities PBS Kids for Parents provides resources on things like how to talk to your children about Coronavirus as well as activities to do together . PBS LearningMedia helps you design at-home learning across grade levels . DreamBox is offering free 90 day accounts for online math resources grades K-8. BrainPOP is offering free accounts to students of closed schools, and has short videos on a wide range of subjects with quizzes to take afterward. Outschool - online classes for homeschoolers and is offering discounts during school shutdown KQED TV will be broadcasting educational programming aligned with state standards . Activities kids can do independently (or, for younger kids, after setting them up) Bitsbox - coding for kids Creative Bug - online art classes for kids and adults Hulu (galinaatencio) The CEO Kid - very cool program for kids to brainstorm and walk step by step thru starting a business The Jackbox Party Pack on AppleTV for super fun multiplayer games. Write in names of favorite books & color (from My Ideal Bookshelf) Let’s Doodle Together Audible is streaming kids books for free while schools are closed!! Let Grow's Independence Kit https://letgrow.org/free-curriculum-independence-kit Final Encouragements “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength—carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” - Corrie Ten Boom Watch Facebook Live (webinar was streamed) Further Listening (or Reading) Ready for Adulthood Ep. 124: Promoting Mental Health Ep. 130: Uncluttering our Schedules & our Homes https://www.additudemag.com/webinar/coronavirus-homeschooling-parent-strategies/ https://www.positiveparentingsolutions.com/parenting/strategies-for-grieving-children https://letgrow.org/social-distancing/
Salsa & Sunshine Walk & Talk #4
Visit Sunshine Parenting for more resources & episodes. Get on your shoes, hop on your treadmill or go outside, and join summer camp directors, moms, & joy chasers Audrey "Sunshine" Monke & Sara "Salsa" Kuljis as they share updates, resources, ideas and encouragement with each other and with you! Related Episodes & Posts Ep. 28: Focusing on Our Kids’ Strengths with Audrey and Sara 4 Ways to Focus on our Kids' Strengths Ep.115: Giving Kids Meaningful Compliments (Sara talks about 3 "Levels of Affirmation") Ep. 57: The Importance of Adult Friendships with Sara Kuljis Links Parenting in Place Masterclass
Ep. 168: Thrivers with Dr. Michele Borba
This episode features my conversation with Dr. Michele Borba about her phenomenal, must-read book THRIVERS: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine - 7 Teachable skills of heart, mind, & will that set happy, healthy, high-performing kids apart. Links Dr. Michele Borba's Website Thrivers book info & video series [ENCORE] Ep. 138: Unselfie with Dr. Michele Borba About Dr. Michele Borba Dr. Michele Borba is an educational psychologist, best-selling author, and TODAY show contributor who has spoken to over one million participants on five continents and to countless media about child development issues. She blends 40 years of teaching and consulting experience with latest science to offer sound, realistic advice to parents teachers and child advocates about helping children thrive. Learn more about Michele.
Salsa & Sunshine Walk & Talk #3
Visit Sunshine Parenting for more resources & episodes. Get on your shoes, hop on your treadmill or go outside, and join summer camp directors, moms, & joy chasers Audrey "Sunshine" Monke & Sara "Salsa" Kuljis as they share updates, resources, ideas and encouragement with each other and with you! Related Episodes & Posts Ep.115: Giving Kids Meaningful Compliments (Sara talks about 3 "Levels of Affirmation") Presence: My One Word for 2020 Ep. 57: The Importance of Adult Friendships with Sara Kuljis Links Parenting in Place Masterclass Simple Boiled Crab Recipe (Cookpad.com)
Ep. 167: Conscious Coparenting after Divorce with Dr. Jenna Flowers
Through her psychotherapy practice and her own experience as a divorced mother of three children, Dr. Jenna Flowers knows the importance of prioritizing children's well-being and practicing "conscious coparenting." Her book, The Conscious Parent's Guide to Coparenting: A Mindful Approach to Creating a Collaborative, Positive Parenting Plan, About Dr. Jenna Flowers Dr. Jenna Flowers has her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She has a private practice in Newport Beach, California teaching parenting classes, and seeing individuals, children and couples and is often asked to consult on divorce cases addressing coparenting issues. In 2016, The Conscious Parent's Guide to Coparenting was published by Simon and Schuster. Dr. Jenna is EMDR therapy trained and has studied Attachment Focused EMDR. She has had the privilege of attending consultation groups with interpersonal neurobiology pioneer and author of "Parenting From the Inside Out" Daniel Siegel, MD., Tina Payne Bryson PhD. Dr. Jenna is also the Clinical Director of Mainspring Family Wellness in Newport Beach and is the cohost of The Mainspring Family Wellness Podcast. She is the proud mom to three kids ages 19, 12, and 9. Links Jenna's Website Mainspring Family Wellness Ep. 6: Jenna & Her Ex-husband Erik talk about how they consciously Coparent their three children Mainspring Family Wellness Ep. 13: How Summer Camp Helps Raise Thriving Kids with Audrey Monke & Sara Kuljis The Conscious Parent's Guide to Coparenting: A mindful approach to creating a collaborative, positive parenting plan If you're facing the challenge of raising children in two homes, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to build a healthy coparenting relationship. With The Conscious Parent's Guide to Coparenting, you'll learn how to take a relationship-centered approach to parenting, foster forgiveness, and find constructive ways to move on when relationships change. Coparenting means putting your child's needs first. And conscious parenting acknowledges a child's thoughts, feelings, and needs, as well as a parent's responsibility to them. This easy-to-use handbook helps you to: Build a coparenting relationship based on mutual respect Lower stress levels for the entire family Communicate openly with children about divorce Discuss and reach parenting decisions together Protect children, meet their needs, and help them build resilience Educate your family and friends about coparenting The concept of ending a marriage peacefully, with compassion and respect for former partners, is often viewed with surprise in modern society. But choosing to consciously coparent is an important choice you can make for yourself and your children--one that will benefit the emotional health of your family for years to come. Resources/Related 9 Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults Ep. 123: Connection Comes First One Simple Thing: Monthly Parenting Challenges for a Happier, More Connected Family
Salsa & Sunshine Walk & Talk #2
Visit Sunshine Parenting for more resources & episodes. Get on your shoes, hop on your treadmill or go outside, and join summer camp directors, moms, & joy chasers Audrey "Sunshine" Monke & Sara "Salsa" Kuljis as they share updates, resources, ideas and encouragement with each other and with you!
Doing Life with Your Adult Children
Show notes & links available here. Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. This is an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes from 2020, my conversation with 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. You can get a A PDF version of the resource by signing up below.
Salsa & Sunshine Walk & Talk #1
Put on your shoes, hop on your treadmill or go outside, and join Audrey "Sunshine" Monke & Sara "Salsa" Kuljis as they walk and talk, sharing updates, resources, ideas and encouragement with each other and with you! Visit Sunshine Parenting for more resources & episodes.
Ep. 166: The Parent Compass
Show notes & links. Check out Audrey's book, HAPPY CAMPERS. Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe to Sunshine Parenting email updates for free resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. Links The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen's Wellness & Academic Journey in Today's Competitive World. website | parentcompassbook.com instagram | @parentcompass facebook | TheParentCompass linkedIn | Cindy Muchnick and Jenn Curtis podcast | Parent Compass on SmartSocial About this episode In this episode, I talk with co-authors Cynthia Clumeck Muchnick, MA and Jenn Curtis, MSW, about their book, The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen's Wellness & Academic Journey in Today's Competitive World. Bragging rights and bumper stickers are some of the social forces fueling today’s parenting behavior—and, as a result, even well-intentioned parents are behaving badly. Many parents don’t know how best to support their teens, especially when everyone around them seems to be frantically tutoring, managing, and helicoptering. The Parent Compass provides guidance on what parents’ roles should be in supporting their teens’ mental health as they traverse the maze of the adolescent years. For anyone daunted by the unique challenge of parenting well in this pressure-laden and uncertain era, The Parent Compass offers: • Advice on fostering grit and resilience in your teen • Strategies to help your teen approach life with purpose • Guidance on how to preserve your relationship with your teen while navigating a competitive academic environment • Clear explanations of your appropriate role in the college admission process • Effective ways to approach technology use in your home, and much more! Using The Parent Compass to navigate the adolescent years will help you parent with confidence and intention, allowing you to forge a trusting, positive relationship with your teen. If you enjoyed this episode, you might also enjoy... Ready for Adulthood Check-List for Kids Ep. 79: Thoughts on the College Admissions Scandal Ep. 34: Advice on College, Transferring, and How to Support Your Kids with Their Decisions Ep. 21: Advice for the College Application and Selection Process Conversations before College: WHO you are matters more than WHERE you go About Cynthia Clumeck Muchnick, M.A. Cindy, a graduate of Stanford University, is an expert in the college admission process: she got her start in admission offices before opening a private study skills and college counseling business in Southern California, which she ran for over fifteen years. As an Assistant Director of Admission for the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago, she screened and reviewed over three thousand applications, interviewed prospective students, and served on the admission committee to evaluate borderline applicants and appeals cases. Then, as a private counselor, she helped hundreds of high school students navigate their academic journeys, including course selection, study skills, time management, and college applications. Since closing her private educational practice in 2011, Cindy has focused on public speaking to student, parent, school and business groups on a variety of education-related topics. Over the course of her career, Cindy has written numerous books: The Parent Compass is her tenth. Her other titles include The Best College Admission Essays (co-author, ARCO/Peterson’s, 1997), The Everything Guide to Study Skills: Strategies, Tips, and Tools You Need to Succeed in School (F&W Media, 2011), Straight-A Study Skills (co-author, Adam’s Media, 2012), The Everything College Checklist Book (F&W Media, 2013), Writing Successful College Applications: It’s More than Just the Essay (Peterson’s Publishing, 2014), and four other books (Simon & Schuster and Random House). In her her research for these books, she interviewed the Deans of Admission of Amherst, Bates, Bucknell, University of Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Grinnell, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Notre Dame, Occidental, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, Stanford, Vanderbilt, University of Virginia, Wesleyan, Williams and Yale. Cindy holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Art History from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Nova Southeastern University. Some of the other twists and turns in her multifaceted career include her stints as a campus tour guide and volunteer student coordinator for Stanford’s Office of Undergraduate Admission, and a tenth grade history teacher at The University School, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Cindy raised her family in Newport Beach, CA, and moved to Menlo Park, CA, in 2018, where she resides with her husband and four children. For further information, or to inquire about a potential speaking engagement, feel free to visit her website at www.cynthiamuchnick.com. About Jenn Curtis, M.S.W. Jenn Curtis owns FutureWise Consulting, an educational consulting company in Orange County, California. She has guided hundreds of high school students from throughout the United States through all aspects of the college admission process. Her passion lies in empowering students to navigate their high school years with confidence, emphasizing self-advocacy, grit, and intention. Jenn’s interest in mental health and research began while an undergraduate at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), where she worked in a lab studying athletic performance anxiety. After college, at the University of California-Irvine’s Child Development Center, Jenn researched treatments for learning disabilities, co-authored a published study on a novel diagnostic tool for ADHD, and supervised and trained undergraduate researchers. After earning her master’s degree, Jenn worked in psychiatric rehabilitation, assisting clients with severe and persistent mental illness. She also served as the Director of Grant Writing for an international university, was an editorial assistant for a forensic psychology academic journal, has edited several books, and coached graduate and doctoral students in developing effective writing skills. Jenn also developed a college and career readiness program for first-generation students. Jenn earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA’s Honors College and master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California, where she was elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and selected as Dean's Scholar. Jenn earned her College Counseling Certificate from UCLA. She resides in San Clemente, California with her husband and two daughters.
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 Dr. Michele Borba, an educational psychologist, parenting expert, and author of 24 books. Her most recent book is Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World. The aim of Dr. Borba's work is to strengthen children's empathy and resilience and break the cycle of youth violence. In this book, she shares her experience meeting kids from all over the world and discovering the unprecedented global epidemic of mental health disorders. Watch Audrey & Michele's chat on video Big Ideas 1 in 3 kids has overwhelming stress levels. As a generation, kids today are lonelier, more risk-averse, and lacking in curiosity. Dr. Borba began to examine the causes and found the lower the income of the kid, the happier the child. Studies found that in the U.S., teens are nosediving in empathy. There was a 40% drop in 30 years, while narcissism and self-absorption were up 58%. Kids today need to develop empathy. Empathy can be cultivated in our youth and doing so will dramatically enhance their success, happiness, and well-being. Here are some ideas: The Two Kind Rule: say or do at least two kind things every day. Check-in with your kids and ask, "What was something kind you did today?" Model kindness and caring. Talk about your values and moral identity. Show and demonstrate kindness in small and simple ways. 9 Essential Habits that Give Kids the Empathy Advantage: Emotional Literacy: Be able to read someone's feelings, to connect with others, talk about feelings. Moral Identity: Feel inside that caring matters and your values inform good choices. Perspective Taking: Feel another person's point of view. Moral Imagination: Share uplifting literature, film, news, and images as a source of inspiration. Self-Regulation: One simple tip is to teach “Belly Breathing.” Practicing Kindness:Look for simple ways for your child to see you extend kindness. Collaboration & Teamwork: Encourage your child to have contact with individuals of different races, cultures, ages, genders, abilities, and beliefs. Moral Courage: Promote moral courage and teaching children situational awareness to embolden them to speak out, step in, and help others. Altruistic Leadership: Don't think about yourself, think about what you can do for others. Four questions to consider: 1. Which empathy habits are you helping your children acquire? 2. Which empathy habits might you be overlooking? 3. Which empathy habits is your school addressing or may be overlooking? 4. Which habit are you interested in nurturing in your children or students? Quotes Michele: "Empathy is teachable. Our kids are hard-wired to care, but we've got to nurture it and the culture is removing it." Michele: "Parenting right now is all about the G.P.A. and the rank and score. So it puts empathy down on a lower level. All we need to do is flip it around because we'll raise more successful, happier kids who are more prepared for life if we do." Audrey: "When you are not feeling good, the best thing you can do is serve other people. Empathy gets you outside of yourself." Michele: "When we look at kids and who their role models are, 20 - 30 years ago it was, I want to be a helper, a doctor, a teacher, a firefighter. Now? Somebody who is rich and famous." Michele: "If we flip our parenting and weave in how we cultivate empathy, and it's doable. It's not another teacher, not another tutor or worksheet--it's simple little things that we can do on a day-to-day basis that will make a major difference in our children's lives." Michele: "You can't have empathy unless you can read somebody else's feelings. That's emotional literacy. Our kids have been looking down, not up. They've been disconnected. So right now, just start talking feelings more because that's the gateway to empathy." Michele: "Kids need to feel inside their heart and soul that I'm a caring person and that matters. So talk about that in your home. 'That's what we stand for, those are our values.' Because your kid will be likely to step in and do the right thing." Michele: "If we keep asking those simple little things, and weave them in, what we start doing is stretching our kids to think 'WE' not 'ME' and that's what helps our kids to be able to fight the stress." Michele: "When stress builds, empathy goes down and burnout comes up. We're now looking at a population of burned out, overwhelmed individuals." Michele: "My challenge to each kid right now is to think of one person who's struggling. It could be a friend, somebody you may not be able to connect with face-to-face, but what's one simple little thing you can do to reach out and help that person? It will not only get your stress level going down, it'll help that person. That's a win-win." Audrey: "During a time of high stress and high anxiety, the best thing we can do is stop thinking so much about our own stress and our own worry and instead think about, 'What can I do?' Little acts of kindness." Michele: "Parents, don't try to do it all. You'll be overwhelmed and your kids won't be so happy." Michele: "Yes, it's important that you get the grade and you study, but it's also important to have balance. Because what you really want is a child who has two things going for them (heart and mind.) That's the kid who's going to be able to handle life well." Audrey: "Parents, remember, talk about it. If it's important to you, make sure your kids know that it is important to you and that you value kindness and empathy." Audrey: "Our identity is so much more powerful than anything else. So if we want our kids, for example, to be healthy, they need to identify themselves as a healthy person who doesn't take things into their body that are bad for them." Audrey: "A lot of communication to kids is, 'Don't do this, don't do that.' It's so much more powerful to say, 'We are kind. We're going to practice kindness.'" Michele: "Words really do matter. Praise can diminish or increase empathy. One of the simplest things to do is catch your kid with any kind of character trait and use the word 'because' in your praise: 'That was being kind because you held the door open for grandma. Did you see how happy she was?'" Michele: "When kids see the impact of a gesture, they're more likely to repeat the gesture until they become that kindhearted kid. Just tuning up our praise the right way can make a difference." Audrey: "Let's take this time to think more about our family's values and use it as a kind of reset...There are simple things we can do right now to come out of this better, kinder people." Michele: "All of these habits, you weave them in. It's kind of like this little scaffolding trajectory. You start when they're little and you keep on going even when they're out of the house. And what you end up with is habit nine--the altruistic kid who wants to make a difference in the world. That's what our world needs right now. The kid who thinks 'WE,' because we get through stuff together, not alone." Audrey: "It's never too late to start this--or too early--and nd it will lift everybody up. We need more people bringing positive changes to the world. What this world needs is people who care and people who are looking out for each other." Resources Dr. Michele Borba 7 Ways to Teach Perspective Taking and Stretch Children’s Empathy Muscles Empathy Is a Verb: My TEDx Talk to Start An UnSelfie Revolution The Altruistic Personality by Samuel P. Oliner Related 5 Ways to Encourage Empathy in Kids Ep. 124: Promoting Mental Health with Dr. Jess Shatkin 30 Days of Kindness Is Kindness the Secret to a Successful Life? 10 Friendship Skills Every Kid Needs One Simple Thing What are the "little things" that bring you delight? Make a short list, and encourage your kids, your partner, and your friends to do the same. When you take time to create your list, you'll realize how many of the little things you enjoy don't cost anything and can be done even when you're stuck at home. Learning to Enjoy the Little Things My Favorite It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships. -Bronnie Ware Bronnie Ware's post, "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying." Here are the five regrets Ware lists in the post and covers in her book by the same name (which I haven't read). 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. 3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Ep. 75: Begin with the (Parenting) End in Mind 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! Hi there, I listen to your podcast and joined your discussion of homeschooling a few weeks ago. I was wondering if you think sleep away camps and day camps will happen this summer. I'd love to hear parents and camp directors on this topic. I'm so eager to have my kids have a "normal" summer but it's feeling more and more likely that they won't. I'd love advice on this topic. Thank you, Laura Hi Laura, I really don't know what's going to happen this summer with camps. All camps will hopefully have more guidance soon, as the American Camp Association and CDC are coming up with guidelines. In following what other camps are doing, some have already decided not to operate this summer, some are modifying sessions and starting later or with smaller groups, and some are planning to operate their regular sessions. The majority (including mine) are waiting to make decisions until we get more guidance from authorities and see what's happening with the Coronavirus. So much depends on what happens with the pandemic and when states allow larger gatherings. So... I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. If your kids have a camp they attend, you could contact them directly and see what they're planning. A "normal" summer would be so nice right about now! Take Care, Audrey
[Encore] Ep. 116: Why We Need to Unplug to Connect with our Families
Show Notes Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. This is an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes. Enjoy! In this episode, I'm reading one of my most popular blog posts. It's one that's really applicable during these times that we often take to just spend some time reconnecting with our families: 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 firsthand the benefits of unplugging each summer at camp and have fought back in my own family to rescue us from being sucked into our screens 24/7. Yet, even with all that I've learned and know about the importance of getting off our screens, I've still struggled with myself and my kids when we're not at camp getting us off our screens consistently. It's really easy to get sucked right back into the screen vortex as soon as summer ends. And it's really not just the kids. I, too, get easily back into the too-much-screen-time habit. I know that I'm not alone in having the limiting of screen time be one of my biggest parenting headaches. I think all parents get a lot of pushback about plugging in devices at night. My kids, when they were at home, would often say things to me like no one else has to put away their phones at night. It was probably the most common response I would get from them when I reminded them that it was time to go offline. As with what I've found in other areas of parenting, it seems like it's always better to approach things with a more positive approach and so instead of focusing on rules and guidelines for screen use, a good opportunity is to figure out more screen-free positive family events. A really simple way to figure out some fun family events that are screen-free is to just ask everybody in the family something fun that they would like to do that does not involve a screen. Whether it's just a quick activity or something a little longer, how fun would it be for the kids to each have the opportunity to think up something fun that you can do as a family? It could be a game that you haven't played in a while, a puzzle, some kind of outdoor activity like playing basketball or going for a bike ride or a hike. Even just a family dance party is a really fun idea and one that one of my daughters was often in favor of and while it might require a screen to turn the music on, no one's looking at the screen while we're dancing. When we have something fun to do, when we're not on our screens, it makes it a lot easier to be unplugged. It's also a really great way to have some fun family bonding time. You may not always like whatever the kids choose as their screen-free activity, but I suggest going along with whatever they decide to do because as long as you're together and screens aren't involved, that's a really good thing. Connecting with each other is the most important thing we do in our families and connection happens much better when we're unplugged. When I first shared this post several years ago, I got some great feedback from readers. I remember one mom wrote to me that with their two daughters they gave them the option of picking some screen-free fun family activity and one of the daughters wanted to do makeovers on both her parents, her mother, and her father and they had so many laughs with this make-over that the girls did on the parents, so it's just amazing how creative kids can be in thinking up screen-free family fun. I encourage you to try it this week and just see if you can spend some time together that doesn't involve a screen. I'd really love to hear if you come up with any fun family screened free activities to do, you can get in touch with me by sending me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org Related/Resources Ep. 96: Unplugged & Happy at Camp Ep. 35: Unplugging Your Family with Jill Stribling My 24 Hours Unplugged Ep. 17: Unplugged Middle School Lunch with Rebecca Gogel 5 Reasons to UNPLUG
[Encore] Ep. 68: 12 Parenting Tips for Happier, More Connected Families
Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. This is an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes. Enjoy! Each month this year, I've shared a One Simple Thing tip for creating happier, more connected families. For this episode, I share all twelve tips! 12 Tips for Happier, More Connected Families January: Daily Family Sharing February: Calm the Morning Chaos March: Discovering Your "Authentic" Self April: How to get Closer to your Kid in 5 Minutes a Day May: 3 Reasons to Give Your Kid a "WOW" Today: How to Create More Positivity at Home June: Pick a Summer Theme! July: 4 Ways to Focus on our Kids' Strengths August: More of, Less of, Same of September: The Magic Relationship Ratio October: Why We Need to Unplug to Connect with Our Families November: 7 Reasons to #optoutside December: 100 Family Memories Related Posts/Podcast Episodes 5 Simple Year-End Reflection Activities Ep. 30: How to Raise a Durable Human with JJ Madden 31 Days of Happiness Focusing on the Gain not the Gap
[Encore] Ep. 108: Simple Acts of Giving Back with Natalie Silverstein
Show Notes Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. This is an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes. Enjoy! In episode 108, I'm chatting with Natalie Silverstein about her new book, Simple Acts: The Busy Family's Guide to Giving Back. We talk about the importance of instilling the value of service and acts of kindness. She shares how she created a resource of volunteer opportunities for parents and children in her community and what led to her writing this book for families. It is full of ways to make time in your family's busy life for service and suggestions for making service part of your family's culture. Big Ideas Doing service, acts of kindness, helping others is a wonderful way to grow empathy, compassion, and open-mindedness in young children. Studies show that people who volunteer with their families as children are more likely to do so as an adult. Studies also show that volunteering makes you happier and healthier. There are many ways to give back which don't require scheduling, spending a lot of money, or volunteering formally. It can be incorporated into the things families are already doing: playdates, holidays, vacations, etc. Involve your kids when deciding who to help, how to serve, and which charities to support. You can follow their lead and they will be more invested. When we make service a priority, we find the time to make it happen. There are people in need all year long, not just during the holidays. Social media can be a helpful tool for people to promote positive messages and acts of kindness. It can also be a way to get family and friends involved in service. Quotes Natalie: "All of these life skills that kids get a camp are values that parents want to demonstrate and model at home." Natalie: "I do believe that this work begins at home with very young children. Anything we can do to incorporate these acts of kindness into camp life, into extracurricular activities, and most importantly, into our weekends in our free time, is really so important." Natalie: "It creates a foundation, a moral base for kids, from which they grow." Natalie: "Everybody has a laundry list of extracurricular activities and tutoring and sports and ballet and instruments and all of these things. We don't necessarily prioritize taking time out to say 'no' to some of those things and 'yes' to service and acts of kindness and volunteering together." Audrey: "It's a partnership. It starts at home and then you try to find places like schools, religious organizations, and camps, that also support and reinforce those values that you're trying to teach your kids. Audrey: "We can't do it alone. If we're all trying together to promote these things, it works so much better and our kids turn out a lot better, too." Audrey: "As individuals, we all have different things that bring us flow. I think just like regular work, our volunteering should also be something that's in our wheelhouse, things we enjoy doing." Natalie: "We are all moving through our days, interacting with other human beings. Teach your child to make eye contact with the person behind the counter, hold the door, thank the postman. There are things you can be doing at every moment, almost every day." Natalie: "This is not rocket science. I think the theme of my book is you don't have to change the world to change the world. You don't have to fly to Africa and build a school to make an impact on someone else's life." Natalie: "Give (your children) the opportunity and don't make it negotiable. Say, 'This is what we do. This is how our family operates. Find the thing that really speaks to you and then let's find a way for you to give back in that realm.' It just builds on itself for kids." Natalie: "Instead of saying you don't have time for something, change it and say it's not a priority and then see how that feels." Natalie: "We want to model our values. We want to live our values, perform service and acts of kindness, and just treat people the right way out in the world." Natalie: "These are all things that people can be doing if they're mindful of it. It needs to be intentional. Just like everything in parenting. We need to be thinking about what it is that we can show our kids every day as we walk through our lives that this is how we care about others because we hope that they care about us in the same way." Audrey: "If you find something that you really enjoy doing, then you'll keep doing it and it will bring you a lot of joy, too." Natalie: "You're helping others in the community, doing something substantive. But you're also creating really nice warm family memories and I think those are the things that people remember as adults." Natalie: "There are so many little things that kids can be doing You just have to keep your mind open to it and your heart open to it." Natalie: "You don't have to go out and do this huge, enormous, time-consuming, expensive thing. It's just the little things and they're like drops in a bucket. They add up and they fill the cup of your child's emerging character. It makes a difference in who they are." Natalie: "It's about mindfulness and keeping an open heart and an open mind and really just reminding your children to think outside of themselves." Natalie: "If we can get young people on social media channels to turn the narrative around such that we are putting up instead of putting down--promote the good and spread the good--that can be very powerful." Natalie: "If I'm hosting a play date and these kids are already drawing or painting or making cookies, that can have a service or kindness element built into it. Then even better, go for a walk in the community and deliver those cookies to the local firehouse. This is all part of making it social, making it fun, doing it with other people." Audrey: "It's just so important. We need to counter the negative. Cyberbullying is at an all-time high. If we can just get our kids to flip this and be more focused on what good they can do, then that would make this a kinder world." Natalie: "All of these life skills we learn are tiny drops in the bucket of a child's developing character. If you're not modeling this behavior, if you are screaming at the person behind the counter or the other driver in the car, the way you show your child how you hold the door, how you greet the postal worker by name, it's really powerful. By showing kids 'how we do it in our house', it sticks. It just sticks." About Natalie Natalie Silverstein is an author, volunteer and passionate advocate for family service. After a 15-year career in hospital administration, managed care and healthcare consulting, she now works as a freelance writer and editor with a particular focus on the non-profit sector and community service. Her first book, Simple Acts: The Busy Family’s Guide to Giving Back, was published by Gryphon House on April 1, 2019. In September 2013, Natalie launched the first local affiliate of Doing Good Together (www.doinggoodtogether.org), a Minneapolis-based nonprofit with the mission of helping parents raise kids who care and contribute. As the New York area coordinator, she curates a free monthly e-mail listing of family-friendly service opportunities that are distributed to thousands of subscribers. Natalie is a frequent writer, speaker, and consultant on the topic of family and youth service, presenting to parents, educators, and children across New York City. She is also a contributor to parenting blogs, GrownandFlown.com, and Mommypoppins.com. Along with her husband, she is the co-founder of The Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson’s with GBA (www.silversteinfoundation.org), a nonprofit focused on finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease in GBA mutation carriers, and serves as Executive Director and a member of the Board of Directors. Natalie earned an undergraduate degree in health policy and administration from Providence College and a master’s degree in public health from Yale University. Links Doing Good Together #CampKindnessDay Simple Acts Facebook Page Related Posts & Podcasts Ep. 125: Transforming Schools with Positivity Ep. 117: Raising Good Humans Is Kindness the Secret to a Successful Life? Ep. 46: #CampKindnessDay with Tom Rosenberg Why My Family is Celebrating World Kindness Day Focusing on Kindness
[Encore] Ep. 119: Year-End Reflection Activities
Show Notes If you enjoy learning from Sara and me, consider bringing our Raise Thriving Kids live workshop to your community or participating in our online course. Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. This is an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes. Enjoy! This episode is a live recording of my chat with Sara Kuljis about some of our favorite year-end reflection activities. Joining Sara and me for this episode is Kate Rader, one of the participants from our Raise Thriving Kids Workshop. Kate is a stay-at-home mom to 3 adventure-seeking and fun-loving kiddos, Lauren and Caroline, identical twins who are 13 and Jack, age 10, wife to her college sweetheart Jeff and curious lover of books, podcasts, and conversations about intentional parenting and living. Here's what Kate had to say about our workshop: "It was just so wonderful to be in a room with people who care enough to be intentional about the choices they're making for their families and what they want for their families because it's a work in progress--and we're all working together." Big Ideas In addition to parenting books, podcasts, and coaching, workshops are a great resource for parents. Just as most people need continual training and education in their careers, parents can also take the time to learn and connect with others in order to feel invigorated. It is helpful to share what is working and to discuss best practices for strengthening family bonds. We talk a lot about the importance of self-care and modeling a balanced life for our kids. Today we discuss the ideas I shared in my recent post, 5 Simple Year-End Reflections: Create a Reverse Bucket List. Look back over your life and make a list of the cool things you've already done. 100 Family Memories Brainstorm and make a list of what happened in your family this year. Pick a Quote of the Year Find a quote that resonates with you, or something motivational, looking back or looking ahead, a quote you want to live by. Select One Word that you want to guide you in the new year Be authentic and make it a word that is uniquely yours. Remember your Favorite Books or resources from the past year Take time to let the new things that you have learned (in books, podcasts, workshops) to percolate and apply the concepts or practices to your life. Pick one or two of these ideas that resonate with you. You can do an activity on your own or engage the whole family. Make the delivery of the idea fun and light. Allow people to be silly. Getting the family together over the holidays, expressing gratitude, and setting intentions together are my favorite ways to bring in the new year. Quotes Sara: "Sometimes parenting intentionally feels counter-cultural. When we're swimming upstream, to have fishies to swim with is so confidence building. It's reassuring, it's empowering. I've loved all the parents we have gotten to work with through this project because it has fueled me." Kate: "The regular accountability is equally as important to me as the one-day workshop. Whether it's via podcasts, recorded conversations, or live conversations, getting together at Starbucks, or whatever it might be, that's really beneficial in maintaining the kind of wonderful feelings that we got coming out of the workshop." Kate: "If we're going to develop a true family culture, we need to be intentional about spending time together as a family. And that time is harder and harder to come by." Kate: "Just being together, away, experiencing some new adventures has been a neat way for us to firm up our family culture and values and make memories together. That's been a key take away for me." Kate: "It's not about those grand gestures. It's about the thoughtful, meaningful moments where people take the time to appreciate their relationships." Audrey: "Even if you're not a person who gives affirmations, I really don't think there's a person in this world who wouldn't mind getting a nice note saying something that someone likes about them." Audrey: "Sometimes parents start thinking that their relationship with their child is supposed to be like a normal, reciprocal relationship. Expecting that you pour into this child and they're going to pour back to you, is not how parenting works. However, I'm seeing that once they're adults you may get more of the reciprocity than when they were kids. I get very filled up now by my adult children when they give me affirmations or send me a nice message--it's really great." Audrey: "You keep encouraging, even if you don't think it means something because I think it really is landing somewhere." Audrey: "Another activity could be taking a year's worth of fun texts, cards, and nice messages and putting them somewhere like in a scrapbook just as a great boost." Sara: "I love the idea of sitting down with the whole family and saying, 'let's look way back' because there is a chance that something that I didn't consider very bucket-y might have been really significant to my kids. I think it will remind us that it has been a rich life of experiences." Audrey: "I would challenge you to focus on yourself for your own reverse bucket list. Sometimes it's good to just think about for your own self-awareness and self-worth and knowing that you're enough just the way you are. I would suggest that the bucket list idea is more of a personal thing because it is recognizing the goals you've already achieved and the cool things that you've done, whereas the 100 Family Memories would be the things you're grateful for." Audrey: "The goal is to try to remember (as many as) 100 things so you get down to some of the minutiae and those are some of the funny, random, individual things that happened. It's been a really fun practice." Kate: "I think when you allow each family member to share their treasured memories from the year, it gives us insight into their personalities and their level of value and priorities, as well." Audrey: "I like spending time at the end of the year, really thinking through what my one word is, thinking about what was good this year and what is it that I want to take into the new year and feel more of, or do more of--I love the process." Audrey: "Determine the kind of person you want to be in the next year. Identify the characteristics of that best self. When you're being your best self, what does that look like? It has guided me a lot because once I pick a word, I then seek out resources and ideas to help me live that word better." Kate: "It's a neat way to put the focus on how you're going to spend your time, your energy, your reading, and research--all that good stuff. When it is meaningful, it really does carry you through the year and it gives purpose to how you're spending your time." Audrey: "It really hit me that my best contribution to my family, to the world, comes when I focus and take the time to do some research, reading, writing, thoughtful time, which is not a normal part of life anymore. You have to actually build in focus." Audrey: "There are so many new ideas and things you can do, but to really move the needle, all you need to do is just one. I am challenging myself this year to slow down on the consumption of new information and instead get out the books I've read, look at my highlights and just recap." Related Posts & Podcasts 5 Simple Year-End Reflection Activities Learning to Enjoy the Little Things 100 Family Memories #oneword My One Word for 2019: Focus 15 Books for a Happier, More Purposeful Life Stop & Celebrate Ep. 68 12 Parenting Tips for Happier, More Connected Families Ep. 105 Live Above the Noise with Rob Reiher Resources Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist How to Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp Finding Fred Podcast
Know and Love Yourself AND Your Kids
Show Notes Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. This is an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes. Enjoy! At its core, the Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge. - The Enneagram Institute Website In Episode 104, I'm chatting with my daughter Meredith who--like me--enjoys learning more about herself and other people. The tool we discuss most is the Enneagram, which Meredith discovered last year through her employer and introduced to me and the rest of our family. Big Ideas It is important for parents, and anyone who works with kids, to be self-aware. Understanding personality types can help us to create healthier relationships because it affects the way we view the behavior of others, as well as our own reactions in different situations. Empathy increases when we are more aware of other people's tendencies. Each relationship is unique based on personality types. It is the parent's responsibility to adjust and to figure out where the child is coming from. Noone can be defined by one personality test or type but learning about the different characteristics and identifying with types can be extremely informative. We can't accurately assess other people's types just by observing their behavior. Personality test results are personal and best used for self-reflection. Being self-aware helps us identify our weaknesses and strengths in relation to achieving our goals and in our relationships with others. The Nine Enneagram Types in their Family Roles Ones: family perfectionists Twos: family helpers Threes: family stars Fours: Shed light on family problems Fives: family experts Sixes: move between building family unity and rebelling against the family unit Sevens: family cheerleaders Eights: family protectors Nines: family peacemakers Quotes Audrey: "The theme of this podcast is about the importance for parents and anyone who works with kids to know themselves because your own self-awareness has a huge impact on how you view the behavior of others." Audrey: " You can have more compassion when you understand where other people come from and it changes your view of why they do something that may annoy you or that kind of thing." Audrey: "As parents, we are different with each of our kids because our kids each have different personalities. It's our responsibility to adjust and not our kids." Meredith: "I do think that the Enneagram, and with most personality quizzes once you find out what you are, you sometimes don't want to be that. I think its easier to focus on the downsides of that personality type and look at the good sides of other personality types." Audrey: "Remember, 'Comparison is the thief of joy.'" Audrey: "The more I've read about my type, the more it has freed me from some of my frustrations with myself. It has given me a better understanding of why I've done some of the things I've done and why I am the way I am. It actually makes me feel a little better." Audrey: "I like the whole idea that there are some things that just make me kind of unique and just because I don't do something the same way or view things the same way, it's still okay." Audrey: "I just think that self-awareness is a really important part of social intelligence and a lot of us don't have it. I really don't think I did until a few years ago when I started doing more strengths testing, this Enneagram, and the four tendencies. It's like all this stuff kind of comes together like a puzzle of self-awareness." Meredith: "It's a tool for yourself and maybe for your close family members and friends so that they can understand you better. It's not something that you go around asking people, 'What's your Enneagram number?' because sharing your numbers, sharing how you think, your weaknesses, the different lies you believe about your self, is actually quite personal." Audrey: "You really have to read the book to understand for sure the one (type) you are because oftentimes depending on how healthy you are and what you're doing, you may look like a different number." Audrey: "You really can't tell about someone else because you don't know what's going on inside of them." Meredith: "Being aware of Enneagram numbers has helped me to empathize with the way other people were thinking and for them to understand me, as well. It has made me more aware of myself and for example, how I can come off to others, even when I don't think I'm coming off as critical." Meredith: "It is helpful to be aware of the way my brain is wired, that I need to actively work to give myself grace, to be aware of my thought patterns so that I can see when I'm starting to be in a state of stress or a state of health because I'm taking on those qualities." Audrey: "For me, I'm prone to not rest in my emotions long or deep enough and that came out in the last few years with problems in my body. Like in my shoulder, my knee, I would always have some huge pain and it was because I had internal pain that I wasn't dealing with." Meredith: "Read an introductory level book. It's most helpful to read the descriptions in-depth and identify with one. I think that's more helpful than just taking a quiz and having it spit out an answer for you." Meredith: "You move around on the Enneagram a lot, sometimes to lots of different ones depending on if you're in a state of stress or security. So it's not like your number is locked in. You move around to your wings and then to other numbers too. It's normal to identify with lots of different qualities, but I think it's when you really identify with one number, you found the right one." Audrey: "It's fun to take them because any little insight that you gain is just more self-awareness." Meredith: "You have to give yourself grace because it's not like you can know what Enneagram or personality types all your kids or family members have, especially when kids are changing and forming in different ways. I think it's good just to be aware, but don't be too hard on your self." Audrey: "There can be certain personalities that may bring out your not-great parts, like when your kid has a personality that's so different from yours or one that clashes with yours. That can be really hard as a parent." Audrey: "A lot of parents have pain when they don't feel their relationship is really strong with one of their kids. But there is always reparation, especially if you take the time to learn a little bit more about each other and figure it out." Books We Discussed Different Personality, Strengths, and Tendencies Assessments The Enneagram is one of many different assessments that can give you more self-awareness. Here are some other popular options: Myers-Briggs Read more about Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies or take her quiz to find out yours! Related Posts & Podcast Episodes Ep. 28: Focusing on our Kids' Strengths 4 Ways to Focus on our Kids' Strengths Celebrating Strengths Ep. 75: Begin with the (Parenting) End in Mind Ep. 59: 5 Ways to Help Kids Thrive during their School Years and Beyond Ep. 97: Parenting the Challenging Child #oneword My One Word for 2019: Focus Want More Sunshine? Subscribe to my email newsletter to keep up with my podcasts, events, book club & resources, including favorites like my Ready for Adulthood Checklist. “It is remarkable to witness what happens when kids think and talk about a strength, often for the first time identifying it in themselves, and then learn how they can use that strength in different settings. When given a name to a part of themselves they recognize and intuitively know, kids gain a vocabulary to talk about themselves more positively.” #happycampersbook
[Encore] Ep. 61: National Adoption Awareness Month
Show Notes Join my PATREON squad for special perks, including bonus podcast episodes, exclusive posts, and resources. Subscribe for resources and ideas for happier, more connected families. This is an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes. Enjoy! You don’t have to adopt or foster a kid to help kids in the system. There is so much need. You can volunteer. Especially for older kids, you can provide scholarships or skills training… Don’t forget these children in your communities. Just think about some way you or your family can contribute. It can even be as simple as taking a meal to a foster family. Audrey Monke In Episode 61, for November’s National Adoption Month, I’m chatting with Anne Driscoll, owner of Branches Books & Gifts in Oakhurst, California. We talk about our families’ experiences with adoption and share advice for prospective adoptive parents. Big Ideas We compare and contrast international adoption and domestic foster care adoption. Which route to take depends on many factors, including the family's preferences, composition, and timing. Many view the adoption process as a path to parenthood. For others, it is a way to offer assistance to children in need. For all adoptive parents, it’s an emotional road and involves a lot of preparation, vetting, and waiting. Advice for prospective adoptive parents: Be honest about what you can handle. Identify what strengths you have to pair with child’s needs. Be gentle with yourself. Expect many highs and lows. Volunteer Opportunities: Independent Living Programs (ILP) for foster kids as they age out of the system Teaching skills (cooking, financial management, hobbies, auto care, etc.) Become a CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates There are many ways to help! Quotes Anne: "It’s a huge decision, not to be taken lightly because no matter what the scenario, there is still a sense of loss because they are not with their biological parents. There is a visceral emotion tied to it which you have to be aware of." Anne: “When you see (your child) succeeding and feeling good about themselves and hopefully starting to heal, it is the most rewarding thing ever." Audrey: “It has been one of my life’s greatest joys and also one of my biggest challenges.” Audrey and Anne: “We both love our kids dearly and they are such incredible human beings – so resilient, amazing and strong. They are going to do great things. It has been a privilege to have them in our families.” Audrey: “The more years in, the better things get!” Links National Adoption Month. 2018 theme is: "In Their Own Words: Lifting Up Youth Voices." Today’s Hoda Kotb Opens Up about her adoption 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis (recommended for all parents) The Whole-Brain Child and The Yes Brain by Tina Payne Bryson and Dan Siegel CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates Related Posts & Podcast Episodes Ep. 97: Parenting the Challenging Child Ep. 95: Raising a “Yes Brain” Child with Tina Payne Bryson Ep. 123: Connection Comes First Ep: 136: Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. on Showing Up for our Kids During COVID-19 If you liked this episode, you might want to listen to Episode 31, where I interview Tosha Schore, co-author of Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges. Listen to Episode 55, my podcast on Raising Kids who Love to Read with Anne Driscoll. Read my blog post, Learning to Breathe. Adoption Resources AdoptUSKids Adoption resources at childwelfare.gov Heartbeat International About National Adoption Month Show Hope