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11 Ways To Be an Even More Amazing Parent

At Camp Kupugani, our Midwest summer camp nestled in the woods about two hours west of Chicago and ninety minutes south of Madison, we appreciate the parents who value our camp experience enough to send their child to camp summer after summer!  Given that our camp parents are already AMAZING and FANTASTIC, we culled some articles for a few ways that we can step up our parental game to become even more amazing and/or fantastic! Bullets below, with the full articles from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree here and here.

  • Connect!
    • Be aware of the mood/timing.
      • If someone is in the “reactive phase,” they are not ready to be receptive.
    • Communicate Comfort
      • Help your children know you are a safe person to whom they can express themselves.
    • Validate
      • Remind your child that all emotions are good (but not necessarily all actions).
    • Listen
      • We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
    • Reflect
      • Repeat what they said and how they said they feel.
  • Reduce Words
    • Who likes a lecture? (NOT ME!)
    • Help your child express their feelings in a safe way.
  • Embrace Emotions
    • Allow your child to express any/all emotions.
    • Remind that emotions don’t have consequences. (Although actions can…)
  • Describe, don’t preach.
    • Bring attention to the action/emotion without giving answers.
    • Ask open-ended questions rather than giving answers.
  • Involve your child in any needed redirections.
    • You guessed it…use open-ended questions!
      • How could they have handled the situation differently?
        • Gets them to think internally about their actions.
      • How did this behavior impact others?
        • This question helps to build empathy
      • The solution has to be realistic.
        • Needs to be something the child can do
      • The solution needs to be mutually satisfactory.
        • All parties should leave feeling heard.
    • It should be a conversation, not a judgment.
      • This helps the child feel heard and involved in the process
  • Reframe a “No” Into a Conditional “Yes”.
    • “You can do “x” after homework” rather than “no more TV ‘til homework is done.”
  • Emphasize the Positive.
    • Focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want.
    • Recognize success.
  • Creatively Approach the Situation
    • Laughter can diffuse even the greatest conflict.
    • This helps not only your child’s response but yours as well.
  • Teach Mindfulness.
    • Helps your child experience, observe, and learn from her/his emotions.
    • Mindfulness can help diffuse behaviors by drawing your child’s attention inward.
  • If there’s an issue, assume your child is lacking skills not being intentionally defiant.
    • Identify what led up to the undesirable behavior.
      • Patterns emerge if you pay close enough attention.
      • Solving the underlying issue helps prevent future negative behavior.
  • But I’m The Parent! (This rarely works long term!)
    • Imposing your will upon your child teaches nothing (except that might makes right).
    • How you handle something may not work for your child.
    • Be a teacher, not an enforcer.

Adapted from original source: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Camp Kupugani is one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids

Camp Kupugani has been named one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids.

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Kupugani touches on all the core values and enrichment that we hope to instill in our [child]. My husband and I absolutely love Camp Kupugani. Our [child] gained immensely from camp.

Lisa G.

Everyone…was just so, so personable, kind, and the kind of person I want
my [child] looking up to and spending time with.

Laura V.

[My daughter’s] face lights up when she speaks about camp, it’s a priceless experience.

Kenya P.

I have never come in contact with such a wonderful group of people at a camp before. Everyone did an outstanding job, the camp was so organized, it was unbelievable.

Joe M.

She absolutely loves the camp, the staff, and all the friends she makes there. I consider Kupugani to be a big influence in helping her grow and expand her mind each summer.

Luci A.


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