10 ways summer camp helps kids learn resilience

10 ways summer camp helps kids learn resilience

It is hard to believe–especially since it seems like winter only just left us behind–that summer is quickly approaching. And during this time when school is out of session, many families are looking at summer camps for their kids.

What makes summer camp so good for most kids? There are so many activities parents can do with their kids. But even when they have time and energy, it can be really helpful for children to have experiences away from their parents. And, camping can actually make kids more resilient and better problem solvers.

Here are 10 wonderful ways that summer camp builds resilience in kids:

1. The best summer camps offer opportunities for manageable amounts of risk and responsibility.
2. Kids are forced to make new friends.
3. Kids learn new skills camping, fire building, hiking, swimming–all without parents constantly watching.
4. Camp helps kids develop self-confidence as they develop new skills and discover new talents.
5. Kids gain a sense of fairness.
6. They get lots of fresh air …[Read More]

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Thoughts and behaviors for managing Tax Day stress

Thoughts and behaviors for managing Tax Day stress


As a recent national survey from the American Psychological Association indicated, a great number of us are under significant stress, and not dealing well with it. With tax day stress looming here are some strategies for taking the edge off.

Using Coping Thoughts

Just like we can swap out an uncomfortable pair of jeans for a comfortable pair, we can swap out a painful thought (that is usually untrue), that is serving no good purpose, for one that is more adaptive (that is usually true).

Here are some to try. You should only use those that you believe to be true:

• Quoting Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert in the movie Happiness: “The difference in happiness between a person making $5,000 and $50,000 is dramatic. However, the difference in happiness between a person making $50,000 and $50,000,000 is not dramatic.”

• “I work my butt off. That’s all anyone can do at the end of the day.”

• “I can control taxes about as much as I can control …[Read More]

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8 tips to bury your winter blahs

8 tips to bury your winter blahs


I admit it–I am so done with winter.  This is one thing that pretty much everyone (other than the most avid of winter sports enthusiasts) on the east coast and midwest can agree on, we are all ready for spring.

Winter blahs are not the same as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most of us are not clinically depressed. We don’t need medication. We don’t need therapy.

We need some sunshine and warm temperatures.

Most parents need to know their kids will be going to school during the week and not starting two hours late. Snow days are not going over well with many of the families I see in my practice. The kids are home, but the parents still have to get to work. This really complicates mornings.

So, what can we do until the season finally ends?

Here are a few ideas to get us through the next few weeks…even with more snow predicted.

Take advantage of sunshine when it shows its beautiful face. Sit by the window, get …[Read More]

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9 steps for de-stressing a stressed-out teen #stressAPA

9 steps for de-stressing a stressed-out teen #stressAPA



This week the American Psychological Association released the results of its annual Stress in America survey, a national survey regarding stress in the United States. This year’s report places a key focus on the stress experience of teens. I invite you to read the full report, but I will note a few summary points here.

Teen stress levels higher than they consider healthy

Teens estimate that a healthy level of stress is a 3.9 on a 10-point scale. However, they report that their stress averages a 5.8 during the school year and a 4.6 during the summer months, with just about one in three indicating that their stress has increased in the past year. Teens report that their top sources of stress are school (83 percent), concerns about life after high school (69 percent) and worries about their family having enough money (65 percent).

While more than half of teens indicate that managing stress is important, only 41 percent believe they are doing a …[Read More]

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