The Kupugani Method
At Camp Kupugani, we are intentionally challenging, intentionally diverse, and intentionally fun! Our parents note positive changes in their child returning home from camp in the
- acknowledgment and appreciation of diversity
- conflict resolution skills
- leadership skills
Below are 10 ways you can optimize character building that happens during each Kupugani experience.
Be Open To Outcomes
Being open to outcomes as a parent means that you are not the sole decision-maker. You provide a safe space where your child feels comfortable sharing opinions and incorporating them into their day-to-day life. Your way is not the only way; this helps build communication and listening skills.
Avoid Punishment by Rewards
It’s not about wielding a stick or offering a carrot to develop long-term character goals. Punishments and rewards–in addition to treating people like pets–are effective only in the short-term, harmful psychologically, manipulative, rupture relationships, ignore reasons for behavior, discourage risk-taking, and reduce intrinsic motivation.
Speak Your Truth
Be present and provide attention. Give 100%. Be 100%. Receive
100%. Be honest with your child, even when some people might think “it’s too soon” for challenging or difficult conversations.
Value Diversity & Celebrate Difference
Appreciation and acceptance are key; “tolerance” is not the answer. We should celebrate and respect our human differences. Difference and diversity expand far beyond race, ethnicity and gender; they encompass diversity of thought, action, and emotion.
Redirect Intolerant Behaviors
If you notice your child exhibiting exclusive behaviors or language, explain why we do not say or do those things. At Kupugani, we have fun redirects for inclusive language; try them out! For example, when addressing a group of girls, and someone says “hey guys,” we chant “Go Ladies!”
Random Acts of Kindness
Incorporating random acts of kindness into your family lifestyle can help develop your child’s creativity, thoughtfulness, and compassion.
Validate Positive Behaviors
Instead of saying “that was nice of you” say something like “the way you listened and gave attention to your friend was very supportive”. This type of specific validation offers immediate feedback on what they should do next time.
Empathy, Not Entropy
Meeting your child’s emotional needs at home enhances their ability to be compassionate and empathetic. Asking your child to put themselves in another’s shoes allows them to gain perspective.
Sparking Social Responsibility
Providing your child the knowledge of “both sides” allows curiosity to sprout. They will ask questions and respect the thought process of others regarding societal issues and controversy. They have the ability to make a difference. You can give them those tools early on.
Freedom of Choice
Offering your child options allows them to learn more about themselves and the natural consequences that come from their own decisions. It can alleviate some of the negative feedback you may receive from making a decision for your child.