Summer Camp and Disruptive Moments

Former summer campers often describe their experiences as "life changing", despite the fact that they spend far less time at camp than home or school. This article discusses one reason that camps have a disproportionate impact on the children they serve.

Interview for Power, Not Pain

Parents often make a basic mistake when they talk with their children: They focus on the challenges rather than the triumphs of the day. Taking a different approach—interviewing for power rather than pain—helps develop capability and optimism in their children.

In Parenting, Less Can Be More

Parents deep desire to help their children often leads them to do too much. From their children's social lives to their academic performance, they provide more help than their children truly need, overestimating their ability to affect outcomes. Instead, they should create narratives for their children that prime them for success. After that, they should simply do less.

Reasons Cell Phone Usage Reduces Happiness

A recent Kent State University study links frequent cell phone usage to reduced happiness. This article suggests 5 reasons that this happens.

Excess Cell Phone Usage Reduces Happiness

A Kent State University study linked frequent cell phone usage to reduced happiness in students, but did not prove causality. This article provides evidence that the relationship is, in fact causal: the cell phone usage causes the reduction in happiness for the users.

Keeping Grandparents Relevant

Grandparents can be powerful parenting partners, but our culture tends to "de-venerate" our elders. Here is a plan to increase the impact of grandparents.

Choosing Stories for Our Children

Stories frame the way we see the world. As a result, parents must be intentional in selecting the stories that their children hear and believe.

Preparing Teens for College

Parents' desire to create advantage for their children in college may actually create long-term disadvantage.

Demanding Excellence — and Getting It

Children will rise to the expectations of their teachers and coaches. Exceptional youth development professionals know this and demand the best from their charges - and get great results.

Creating Education for Success

Technology provides many exciting options for education, but it can also impede the development of critical skills. These skills are interpersonal (oral communication & collaboration) and non cognitive (grit, optimism, self control). Any discussion of education must include options that are non-technological if we want to create truly successful adults.

Teaching Teens to Lead

We have a leadership gap in our nation. This gap is largely the result of a lack of opportunities to learn leadership skills. This article discusses how young people can acquire and hone these skills.

Giving Children Power over Technology

Parents worry that technology has too strong a hold on their children but are unsure how to reduce tech usage. Their children do not want arbitrary limits. The following approach changes the conversation and increases the chances for success.

The Irony of Parenting

Being a parent is a series of mini-separations that make our children stronger even as they can make us sadder.

Fostering the Skills Critical to Success

Young adults lack many skills that are critical to success in the 21st century. Ironically, perhaps the best place to learn these modern skills is at one of the last tech-free environments: summer camp.

Expecting More From Teenage Men

Male teens are a unique combination of testosterone and undeveloped judgement, but they have the potential to accomplish great things.

Helping Kids Shine

Parents often strive to provide their children a wide array of activities, but they should spend more time finding environments that facilitate emotional growth.

Super-Charged Safety

The role of the parent is two-fold: providing safety and protection while fostering independence and success. Typically, the modern parent overachieves on the safety front, which impedes independence and later success.

The Fallacy of the Parental Fool

TV programs targeted at children portray adults and parents as fools. While this is amusing to children, it is harmful to their relationships with parents. Here are some suggestions to address this challenge.

My Parents Aren't Cool!

Parents must always remember that their children have many friends, but only 2 parents. As such, they must be willing to set limits and say no.

Reflections on Exercise and Depression

My travels in Asia have driven home the point that our bodies are designed to be active and outside. Our modern lifestyles, however, find us indoors and idle, resulting in increased depression.

Homesickness and Growth in Children

Parents should strive to provide growth experiences for their children that stretch them. Summer camp can be a great opportunity to do this. Also, parents should embrace their role as emotional leaders with their children.

Fighting the Flood of Facebook

Do our children lack skills that our grandparents had in abundance? The modern child and teenager is substituting face-to-face interaction with cyber-relationships. This electronic dis-intermediation can impair a child's ability to develop the wide array of skills that are critical to interpersonal relations.

Finding a Framework for Failure

As response to my blog entitle "The Gift of Failure" made me realize that I may have failed in articulating my thoughts. I am a huge believer in support, love, and attachment. I, however, think the parenting pendulum has swung to over-protection versus resilience. Parents that understand this balance with provide their children with a critical gift.

The Gift of Failure

As parents, we hate to see our children struggle or fail, but doing so is a critical aspect of parenting. While it is hard on us parents, it is vital for our children.

Community and Contentment

During travels in Nepal, we saw people who were poor, yet content. The West seems to have wealth, but lacks the contentment of the Nepalese. What can we learn from this?

The Best Memories Are Unscripted

We often fret and plan, hoping for perfection. Yet our best experiences occur when we are present and positive during challenging moments.

Talking with Teens: Drugs and Pornography

On a 6 day trek through the Himalayan foothills, I found an opportunity to broach some challenging topics with my teenage sons.

Creating Advantage in College

Parents are deeply focused on getting their children into the "right schools," but many spend less effort preparing them to shine once there. While few might suspect it, summer camp is an extraordinary opportunity to prepare a child for life beyond the home.