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The Weight of Your Words

Today is National Compliment Day, an unofficial (but wonderful) holiday- celebrated by expressing simple praise, sharing congratulations, and encouraging others! Created in 1998 by two women from New Hampshire, today is intended for commending others’ success, brightening someone else’s day with kindness and maybe even lifting others up in spite of their setbacks. Both giving and receiving compliments come with a variety of health benefits like decreased stress and formation of stronger long-term relationships—so why not celebrate those around you! At Thrively, we believe that kindness is something that all students and children should strive for in their day-to-day lives as they develop into young adults and soon-to-be professionals.

adjusted girls

Thrively understands that kindness is crucial to our goal of developing the whole child, where emotional maturity meets intellectual proficiency. In honoring this goal, we have created courses to teach children and students of all ages about the weight of their words.

Our lesson “It’s Cool to be Kind” is geared specifically towards students ages 8-10, and it teaches the importance of kindness and empathy. This lesson builds on the values that every parent and educator aims to instill in a fun and engaging way. Using videos, images, and personal reflection, students are guided through what it means to be kind and how this decision can be consciously made every day. “It’s Cool to be Kind” shows the positive effects that kindness can have on someone’s day, and, most importantly, emphasizes kindness as a choice.


We also know that kindness can be contagious, and we want to illustrate that idea to Thrively children and students. For students ages 9-14, our lesson “Chain Reaction” explicitly demonstrates how one small act can cause another; reaching out to another person with an act of kindness, such as a compliment, can result in their complimenting someone else and creating a chain reaction of spreading kindness. The impact of a chain reaction is an especially important lesson today, as we remember to be kind and uplifting to those around us!

Kindness has profound effects on someone’s mood, their well-being, and the course of their day. Whether it be by giving a compliment or simply being kind to those around you, use today as a reminder to stay positive and treat others how you want to be treated.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

Career Exploration Roadmap

A Career Exploration Roadmap

Hi Thrively Community!

My name is Jerry Blumengarten. You may know me for my website, Cybrary Man, where I’ve curated over 20,000 relevant links for students, teachers, administrators & parents or because on Twitter as @cybraryman1 where I regularly share my resources on many of the chats.  I taught in the New York City schools for 32 years and I have always been passionate about helping kids figure out their interests and careers.  I couldn’t be happier to contribute to the Thrively mission and doing what I can to add to the community!

Career Exploration… Already?

Parents and teachers need to not only talk to children even at an early age or grade but listen to them about their future choices, career options and life as an adult.  We should not wait until a child is in the last year of high school to decide about what they are interested in and their future plans. Learning about why people work, what work is like and the skills needed to be successful will help children on their road to successful futures.  I’ll talk about career exploration in a series of posts starting with my first topic, “self-discovery.”

Self Discovery:

To prepare children for their future we should start by having them do a self-examination and unearth their true interests, values, and aspirations. At the elementary and even middle school level children should reflect more on their likes, interests, and hobbies to learn more about themselves.  At this time they are starting to uncover their personality traits.  Children need to understand how they got to this point in their lives and begin thinking ahead to where they may be in the future.  So, start with Thrively’s Strength Assessment, this helps students identify their aspirations and interests.  Thrively’s Pathways, Sparks and Activities tabs then allow students to do a deep dive into the specifics of each.

5 ways to make sure your child LOVES their first overnight camp experience

lTo some kids, overnight camp is a breeze. They can’t wait to get away, meet new friends and run wild for a week. Other kids, not so much. So how can you make sure that your child’s first camp experience is as successful as it can be?

1.  Make sure they’re ready to go.  

How do you know when your child is ready for overnight camp?  We had a few great tips from moms during last month’s summer camp twitter party:

l2.  Go with friends.

It’s great for kids to go on their own because it’s important to learn how to build social relationships and learn how to make friends.  However, with a first-time or nervous camper, having a friend there can make all the difference.

l3.  Know when to nudge and when to shrug.

 It’s a fine line between introducing something new and pushing them into something that they just don’t want to do. Pursuing new things should be about exploration and discovery.

4.  Test the waters

Tons of overnight camps out there offer trial camps where your little one can attend for 2 or 3 nights.  It’s a great way to test the waters without committing your schedule (and budget!) to a full-length session.

You can search Thrively to find lots of Junior Camps right in your neck of the woods!

5.  When in doubt, just wait.

Your children’s first camp experience will set the tone for many summers to come.  If your gut tells you they’re just not ready, then hold off.  Attend one-day workshops and get a feel for how they do without you for a whole day.  Ease into overnights later.

And above all, HAVE FUN!

What your kids need to know about pursuing their passion?

A friend posted this on my Facebook page and I burst out laughing. Maybe you’ve seen it, the hilarious satire on titled “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life”.

It’s one of those “sad because it’s true” pieces, somewhat of a depressing take on how adults tend to prioritize the mind-numbing trudge through “the daily grind” over pursuing dreams and passions that may seem too lofty or daunting.

I can’t stress this enough: Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. Because the bottom line is that life is short, and you owe it to yourself to spend the majority of it giving yourself wholly and completely to something you absolutely hate, and 20 minutes here and there doing what you feel you were put on this earth to do.

After chuckling a little bit, it’s just… Sad, right? It doesn’t exactly make me want to drop everything and move to New York to get on Broadway, but I do begin to think about that book I’ve been meaning to write or that mountain I’ve always wanted to climb.

But then I thought about it for a minute, and this is where I disagree with Todd. There’s a fundamental difference between the person he’s making fun of and the person that I am: I already know what my passions are, and I figured them out soon enough to be able to enjoy them throughout my childhood and early adulthood and still enjoy them today. I may not get paid to do them, and it is definitely too late to be the next Picabo Street, but the skills and characteristics I developed by pursuing my passions at a young age have helped me to become a confident adult living a healthy, balanced life. And here’s where he proves my point:

Before you get started, though, you need to find the one interest or activity that truly fulfills you in ways nothing else can.

And the first three sentences of the “article” in general:

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years and decades, trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves.

So are passions supposed to be our careers, or are passions supposed to help nurture us, guide us toward being better human beings, and enhance our lives through challenge and creative expression?  As I grow older, I’m convinced that at least for me, it’s the latter. For the talented and committed, sure, passions can most certainly be careers. But for people like me (dare I say “regular folk”), the intent of pursuing my passions isn’t to create a career opportunity or to avoid a job I may hate, it’s about growing as a person and enjoying my life.

We shouldn’t send the message to kids that pursuing the things they love is only worth it if they do it forever or be the best at it. Today, I love and enjoy my career that much more because at an early age I learned how to embrace a challenge, explore new things, succeed and fail, train hard, think creatively, and most importantly enjoy the experience.


AdrienneThis post was written by Activity Adrienne.  She’s responsible for Thrively’s activity content and our social media channels.  At one point in her life, she really did want to be the next Picabo Street.  And the next Martina Hingis. And the next Kerri Strug. And the next Brandi Chastain. And the next… Ok, you get it.