character strengths

Good Grades May Harm Student Health

Good grades are positive, right? The answer is not as straightforward as you might imagine. Of course, good grades can be terrific. That is, unless the stress of getting them causes children to feel unworthy or fail to develop abilities that matter much more than grades. Even for children who […]

Compass-Inspired
positive parenting

Positive Parenting: Powerful Ways to Raise Healthy Kids

The term positive parenting has become more widespread as the practice of parenting becomes influenced by research in the new scientific field of positive psychology. What is positive parenting? Positive parenting focuses on parenting practices that nurture the development of children’s core internal strengths. Rather than focusing on kids’ weaknesses […]

Compass-Inspired
Role models influence youth

How Role Models Influence Youth Strategies for Success

As teenagers grow to young adulthood, who are their role models? Who do they emulate? Why? One of the most popular articles at Roots of Action is What is a Role Model? Five Qualities that Matter to Teens. Collected from my research on highly successfully, civically-engaged young people, it describes […]

Resourcefulness
Back-to-School Articles 2020

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents 2020

Whether back-to-school this year will involve in-person or remote learning, it is always a time when parents and teachers revisit what is most important for children and how to best support their development.   This popular list of back-to-school articles was updated for the 2020-2021 school year. Some articles focus […]

Compass-Inspired

Service Learning Projects Foster Positive Development

When I was a teenager, we didn’t have a term for service-learning. Projects existed to volunteer in our communities but not many people thought about the lifelong value of such projects. Today, I know that my life was changed as a result of working with a group of students to […]

Empathy
Character Strengths: What Are They and Why They Matter? | Roots of Action

Character Strengths: What Are They and Why They Matter?

What are character strengths? What meaningful role does character play in child and adult development? It is widely acknowledged that character –not beauty, high test scores, or wealth–account for life satisfaction and well-being. Derived from the field of positive psychology, the term character strengths has become synonymous with a group […]

Resilience
Character Education: What Good Teachers Do Best | Roots of Action

Character Education: What Good Teachers Do Best

Good teachers understand that character education is at least half their jobs.  While teachers are hired to develop children’s skills and abilities in academics like reading, writing, history, geography, and math, there is a lot more going on in the classroom than meets the eye. Opportunities abound for students to […]

Integrity
The Key to Success is Within Your Child's Developing Mind, by Michele Borba Ed.D.

The Key to Success is Within Your Child’s Developing Mind

Every parent wants to know the key to success that will help a son or daughter thrive in life, that “secret sauce” for raising a healthy child. Does such a sauce exist? The answer depends on your mindset as a parent and how you turn your mindset into practice with […]

Empathy
Kindness: How You Can Teach Children to Care for Others, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD

Kindness: How You Can Teach Children to Care for Others

Martin Richard lost his life when the second of two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. This 8-year-old boy believed in peace and kindness, values he proudly displayed on a poster he made at school. How do we honor Martin’s wish for a more […]

Empathy
Listening for Understanding: A Win-Win for Families, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD

Listening for Understanding: A Win-Win for Families

Listening to one another is one of the most important ways parents and children create close, loving relationships. When kids feel seen, heard, and understood, they learn the meaning of empathy. They acquire the abilities to emotionally connect with others, make friends, and develop lifelong social skills. Yet listening is […]

Empathy