220 episodes

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.

Sunshine Parenting Audrey Monke

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.8 • 92 Ratings

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. 188 [Tough Twenties] Series Wrap Up with Gretchen (age 30) & Owen (age 20)

    EP. 188 [Tough Twenties] Series Wrap Up with Gretchen (age 30) & Owen (age 20)

    In the final episode of the Tough Twenties series, Gretchen (age 30), Owen (age 20), and I have a conversation about building identity capital in your twenties and how various experiences, whether professional or personal, shape our stories and can influence future opportunities.
    Owen shares his experience as a beach lifeguard, which, although unrelated to his planned career path, provided him with valuable life skills and discipline. Gretchen, nearing the end of her doctoral program, discusses how her camp counseling experience has been instrumental in her teaching career and her current research.
    We also touch on the impact technology and social media are having on our lives. Both Owen and Gretchen share steps they've taken to manage their screen time, recognizing the importance of being present in the moment and the potential negative effects of excessive phone use. They share strategies such as deleting apps, setting screen time limits, and creating phone-free times during the day.
    The conversation highlights the importance of being mindful of our social media usage and the displacement effect it can have on our lives. The time we spend on screens is time we're not spending doing other important things - like building closer relationships and learning new skills. We also discuss the potential future of parenting in relation to technology and the importance of modeling healthy habits for the next generation.
    During this series, we've reflected on the challenges and rewards of the twenties and have emphasized the importance of embracing this decade as an important developmental time of growth and learning. 
    I hope this series has provided encouragement and guidance for young adults navigating their own winding paths.

    Do you enjoy Sunshine Parenting? Please take a moment to give my podcast a rating and review on iTunes.
    Listen to more episodes from the Tough Twenties series.
    Thank you for being part of the Sunshine Parenting community!
    Audrey "Sunshine" Monke

    • 31 min
    EP. 187: [Tough Twenties] The Defining Decade - Meg Jay, PhD

    EP. 187: [Tough Twenties] The Defining Decade - Meg Jay, PhD

    In the Tough Twenties series, I’m interviewing young adults, answering questions submitted by listeners, and sharing resources and tips related to thriving in young adulthood and beyond. Whether you’re an adolescent or a young adult in your twenties, or you’re parenting a young adult, I know you’ll be encouraged by this series.
    Meg Jay, PhD
    In this episode, I chat with Meg Jay, PHD, a developmental clinical psychologist who specializes in twentysomethings. She is the author of The Twentysomething Treatment: A Revolutionary Remedy for an Uncertain Age, Supernormal: The Secret World of the Family Hero and the cult classic The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and on NPR, BBC and—maybe most important for her audience—TikTok.
    We discuss the positive impact The Defining Decade has had on thousands of young adults as well as a few topics covered in the book, including building "identity capital."
    Get in touch
    Submit an anonymous question or comment for the series
    Resources

    Download my “Ready for Adulthood Checklist”
    The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now

    • 25 min
    EP. 186: [Tough Twenties] Being an Excellent Employee

    EP. 186: [Tough Twenties] Being an Excellent Employee

    In the Tough Twenties series, I'm interviewing young adults, answering questions submitted by listeners, and sharing resources and tips related to thriving in young adulthood and beyond. Whether you're an adolescent or a young adult in your twenties, or you're parenting a young adult, I know you'll be encouraged by this series.
    In this episode, I chat with summer camp directors Andy and Alison Moeshberger. Each year they interview, hire, and train two hundred young adult counselors, so they have a lot of great insights on the skills and traits that lead to success at work for young adults. 
    We discuss:
    The benefits of working at a summer camp, such as gaining responsibility, decision-making skills, and leadership opportunities. They also discuss the accelerated learning opportunities, the rapid feedback system, and the development of relationship skills due to the face-to-face communication and round-the-clock community and communication.
    The importance of being coachable, be receptive to feedback and view feedback as an opportunity for improvement rather than a personal attack.
    How the best employees are flexible, open minded, and willing to work through the discomfort of challenges and learning new skills. 
    The mindset shift that young adults need to make when transitioning from a school environment to a professional setting. They note that in school, competition and high grades are often emphasized, whereas in the working world, soft skills and relational skills are most valued. 
    Overall, they emphasize the benefits of working at a summer camp, such as the accelerated learning opportunities, rapid feedback system, and development of soft skills.
    Get in touch
    Submit an anonymous question or comment for the series
    Resources

    Download my "Ready for Adulthood Checklist"
    Mentioned on the Podcast 
     The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter -- And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    3 Reasons to Choose a Job at Camp Instead of a Summer Internship 
    Why Being a Camp Counselor is the Best Summer Job
    The Greatest Internship: 6 Critical Skills Counselors Develop at Camp
     

    • 31 min
    EP. 185 [Tough Twenties] Myths that Might be Holding You Back from Living Your Best Life

    EP. 185 [Tough Twenties] Myths that Might be Holding You Back from Living Your Best Life

    In this episode, I share about some myths that can hold you back from living your best life. It's easy to get caught up in the pressure to conform and meet expectations of others. We can find ourselves striving for success based on societal standards or seeking validation from those around us. To live our best lives, it's essential to explore our unique strengths and follow our own path. 
    During this episode I share about five myths many adults base their lives on, truths that counter those myths, and what you can do now to start living your best life. It took me a long time to learn these lessons, and I really wish someone would have talked with me about them when I was launching into adulthood. 
    Myths that Might Be Holding You Back
    Everyone (or certain people) need to approve of our job/career for it to be “successful.”
    Truth: Some of the older adults that you think of as being successful are not happy with their lives and regret not pursuing something they were really interested in but didn’t have the same level of prestige/income associated with it. 
    What to do: Chase your strengths/interests. Spend time learning about yourself and talk through ideas with a friend or trusted mentor. 
    Some tools you might use:
    Enneagram
    VIA Strengths
    Four Tendencies
     Gallup Strengths
    We have to make really big changes in order to reach our goals.
    Truth: The tiny, consistent habits are the way most people eventually reach their goals. This is true for both vocational goals and physical goals.
    “Cramming on something for a couple of hours once in a while as just a slow, steady progression, a little at a time.
    TINY HABITS, BJ Fog
    ON WRITING, Stephen King
    What to do: Break down an impossible-seeming goal and break it down into the tiniest step possible.
    Ex: Read one page of a book about a topic you want to learn more about.
    I need to start really big and do something huge for my first career-type job.
    “I want to write a book.”
    “I want to start a non-profit organization.”
    What to do: Figure out what’s the first, very small step towards XYZ (starting a non-profit in a particular area). 
    Example first step: Do a Google search of the non-profit food providers in your area.
    Example next step: Volunteer a few hours at one of the food providers.
    Get an accountability partner! 
    Brainstorm together
    Is this step small enough?
    Circle back in a week and report on your first step, discuss your next step.
    Once I _________, then I’ll be happy.
    Truths:
    We actually miss a lot of the great moments in life when we’re spending all of our thoughts on this thing out there in the future.
    It does feel good to accomplish things, but sometimes we feel bad after we reach the goal.
    “You’re gonna miss this” song (Trace Adkins)
    What to do: Figure out your current “Once I…” statement that you’re believing in too much. What’s something you can replace that with? Like, what is it about your life right now that you’re really enjoying? What are you grateful for in this season?
    I’ll get to ______ later, when I have more time.
    Truth:
    Regardless of life stage, your time will get filled by things you can’t control but there’s always some discretionary time. Sometimes we’re not aware of it, because we default to spending time doing things that don’t lead to better well-being.
    What to do: Recognize that you have the same amount of time as everyone else. Figure out what you want to prioritize and schedule it in.
    Cal Newport Deep Life Podcast - Zero Sum Time Budgeting. 
    One more idea: You can make time more meaningful and things more memorable by putting a little more effort into it.
    Laura Vanderkam’s “Effortful Fun”
    Power of Moments, Chip Heath & Dan Heath
    In conclusion, discovering our unique strengths and path is essential for living a fulfilling and thriving life. It requires us to challenge the myth that we need others' approval or validation for our choi

    • 30 min
    EP. 184: [Tough Twenties] Creating Community and Connections with Owen, Age 20

    EP. 184: [Tough Twenties] Creating Community and Connections with Owen, Age 20

    In the Tough Twenties series, I'm interviewing young adults, answering questions submitted by listeners, and sharing resources and tips related to thriving in young adulthood and beyond. Whether you're an adolescent or a young adult in your twenties, or you're parenting a young adult, I know you'll be encouraged by this series.
    In this episode I'm chatting with my son, Owen, who has just entered into his twenties. We discuss building connections and relationships in young adulthood and how unplugging from technology can help foster those connections. Owen shares his experiences as a sophomore at San Diego State University. 
    Highlights
    Unplug to Connect: Owen suggests that taking breaks from technology and unplugging can be beneficial for establishing and nurturing connections. Unplugging also allows for reflection, goal-setting, and engaging in activities that can lead to shared experiences and stronger connections.
    Focus on developing "weak ties" socially, as well (see Meg Jay quote below).
    Develop some daily habits including activities like exercising and reading. For reading, you might consider some focused reading on a topic you want to learn more about. You can become an "expert" by reading five books written by five experts in the field. 
    Take advantage of brain plasticity and learn new skills you're interested in, like learning to play guitar in Owen's case.
    Get in touch
    Submit an anonymous question for the series
    Links & Resources

    Download my "Ready for Adulthood Checklist"
    Sharing Topic: Highs, Lows, & Buffaloes
    "As a result, brain regions that support executive, social, and emotional functions appear to be particularly malleable and responsive to the environment during early adolescence, as plasticity occurs later in development."
    Read more about brain plasticity during adolescence in Neuroscience News.
    “Information and opportunity spread farther and faster through weak ties than through close friends because weak ties have fewer overlapping contacts. Weak ties are like bridges you cannot see all the way across, so there is no telling where they might lead.”
    The Defining Decade, Meg Jay
    Free Guy Movie – Mentioned when Sunshine couldn't come up with the appropriate acronym NPC (non-player character), or what some students seem to act like as they walk across campus with headphones on, heads down, and not interacting with other humans. 

    • 33 min
    Ep. 183: [Tough Twenties] Foundational Health Habits with Charlotte, Age 25

    Ep. 183: [Tough Twenties] Foundational Health Habits with Charlotte, Age 25

    In the Tough Twenties series, I'm  interviewing young adults, answering questions submitted by listeners, and sharing resources and tips related to thriving in young adulthood and beyond. Whether you're an adolescent or a young adult in your twenties, or you're parenting a young adult, I know you'll be encouraged by this series. In this episode my daughter Charlotte, age 25, and I talk about one area that can be challenging during the transition to adulthood - taking care of health. This episode was motivated by the following listener question:
    How do I manage the transition from college to the "real world"?
    If you have a question or topic you'd like us to cover on the Tough Twenties series, please submit it here. 
    "We all are allotted 24 hours in the day, and we're choosing how we spend every one of those hours...What are you doing in some of those hours that you could cut down on slightly?"
    -Charlotte
    Foundational Habit #1: Sleep "Going to bed early is sleeping in for adults."
    Laura Vanderkam, Why You Need a Bedtime (Harvard Business Review)
    "For adults, getting less than seven hours of sleep a night on a regular basis has been linked with poor health, including weight gain, having a body mass index of 30 or higher, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression."
    How many hours of sleep are enough for good health? Mayo Clinic
    "Experts recommend that adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night. Adults who sleep less than 7 hours a night may have more health issues than those who sleep 7 or more hours a night."
    How Much Sleep is Enough? National Institute of Health
    Foundational Habit #2: Nutrition Eat your breakfast!
    Managing blood sugar
    Foundational Habit #3: Exercise "Find an exercise routine that you enjoy and that's fun for you."
    Charlotte
    "Call a friend while you're on a walk."
    Charlotte
    "Find something to get your body moving, and if you can be outside and get some fresh air and vitamin D while you're doing that, it's even better."
    Charlotte
    Foundational Habit #4: Manage Alcohol & Drug Use "It's important to evaluate what your relationship with alcohol is."
    -Charlotte
    Alcohol and Young Adults Ages 18 to 25, National Institute of Health
    Related Posts & Episodes: Ep. 180: [Tough Twenties] Charlotte, Age 25
    Conversations Before College: Honest Talk about Alcohol
    [ENCORE] Ep. 124: Promoting Mental Health with Dr. Jess Shatkin
    Ep. 56: Off the Clock with Laura Vanderkam
    Links: @charchareats (Charlotte's Holistic Health & Wellness Instagram)
    Download "Ready for Adulthood Checklist"

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
92 Ratings

92 Ratings

Ncb2020 ,

Love the 20s episodes

When my daughters were younger, they went to Gold Arrow Camp—one had a lot of anxiety and Audrey “Sunshine” got on the phone with me and talked me through everything. She remained very responsive when I shared the highs and challenges of my girls’ camp days, so I was extra excited to get send a copy o her great book about parenting. I recently rediscovered this podcast as my first is off to college and was thrilled I could continue to learn from Audrey virtually on this podcast, as parenting truly is a journey that never ends. Thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a relatable way!

JLL_underscore ,

Fun and informative

Some podcasts are all about the fun - some chit-chat that's nice to listen to but doesn't do anything useful. Some are all about the informative - but take themselves a little too seriously. Audrey's sense of humor navigates both of these worlds effectively to make a useful podcast that's a joy to listen to!

Dpippen ,

☀️☀️☀️

Audrey's joy is so contagious. I'm so grateful to be connected to someone who takes parenting seriously but doesn't live like a martyr. I love how she always thinks in terms of possibilities!

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