How to raise a happy child

Michael Pritchard, Humanist & Child Advocate, shares advice for parents on the best way to raise children who are happy, confident, and successful in life
How To Raise A Happy Child - Michael Pritchard
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How to raise a happy child

The best way to create a happy child is creativity- creativity- creativity. Art, music, theater, dance, not being afraid. You know, I remember the first time my kids ever watched me. I was on an episode of Taxi. I played a gay disco dancer who danced with Judd Hirsch. And that episode won 8 Emmies. And I stepped out of all comfort zones to not worry about what anybody thought of me in my hometown. And I had such a delightful time, not just dancing, but being unafraid, which was more significant. And to teach your kids in those moments. When they watch it in Nickelodeon, they go, Dad, how did you choose? I go, because I refused to be afraid. I refused to be afraid. It's called life and its journey. And to be strong enough to know that you're going to get depressed. People will hurt your feelings. People will say mean things. People will be cruel. People will be indifferent. And that might even be in your family where they're hard on you. Sometimes the person we have as a best friend is the hardest critic we ever had and we ever have. And it's important to know that's okay and to accept that about yourself and to laugh and to find that compassion, that self-compassion that's so powerful and important. To realize we're all weak. We're all sad. We're all afraid. We're all in question for everything. And to figure out how to be our real true self is to be kind to ourselves. And that's the key. And that brings the happy person. And I tell them, you don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. I had 100 year old marine at the Marine's Memorial. I said, Tommy Malloy, what's the best part of turning 100, and he went the absolute lack of peer pressure. Well there's such wisdom in that, because he's not being pressured by anybody, but he's known that he's been a straight true arrow of joy all the way through - being himself, authentic, genuine, and laughing.

Michael Pritchard, Humanist & Child Advocate, shares advice for parents on the best way to raise children who are happy, confident, and successful in life


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Michael Pritchard

Humanist & Child Advocate

Michael Pritchard is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. Michael Pritchard is a big guy with a warm heart who as one student described him, “truly walks as he talks.”

He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. In 1980, Michael Pritchard won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition as well as winning the prestigious California Probation Officer of the Year.

Michael’s offers from Hollywood rolled in including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award winning episode of “Taxi”. His sensational standup comedy billed him with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg playing venues as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, Universal Ampitheater and opening for such names as Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mc Donald and Boz Scaggs. But Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults.

Drawing from his counseling background, Michael Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

His broad base of audience from corporate employees, healthcare workers, government and state officials have honored him with countless standing ovations and numerous awards including: President’s Volunteer Action Award, Commendation - Office of the Attorney General , Paul Harris Fellowship - Rotary International, Toastmaster’s International Speaker, Outstanding Performance - Federal Executive Board , Josephine Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the Key to the City of San Francisco.As a result of his work, Michael Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s “The Today Show”, “The Tonight Show”, CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, “Time” magazine and “People” magazine.

His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. “The Power of Choice” “You can Choose”, “Big Changes, Big Choices”.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence”, featured in both Time magazine and on CNN, filmed after the tragic Columbine disaster. His new series: “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has already received the Parents Choice Award

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and winning, 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation and the 2002 Marin Community Foundations Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

As an extension of Heartland Media, he established Heartland Media Foundation building character and emotional intelligence, violence prevention, inciting motivation and leadership in both youth and adults to improve schools and communities. The foundation provides youth guidance programs, including video, print curriculum, and live presentations by Michael Pritchard to aid in schools and communities where the funding is limited.

In the fund raising capacity, Michael Pritchard has help raise millions of dollars by donating his time and talent to events and various charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Club – Ronald McDonald House –Salvation Army - Jewish Family Services – SF Giants Community Fund – American Heart Association –Women’s Wellness Forum – Special Olympics - CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates - Bread & Roses – Recreation Center for the Handicapped –– DARE –– Texan’s War on Drugs –– Vietnam Vets of America - Guide Dogs for the Blind

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