Healthy, strong family relationships are foundational to young people’s growth, learning, and well-being.
These relationships build strong social and emotional strengths that kids use throughout their lives.
But great family relationships don’t just happen.
Welcome to My Discovery Destination!
Discovery Family Adventures
where your family can find plenty of opportunities to
The Discovery Family Adventures provide ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships.
Our goal is to strengthen family relationships to help kids be and become their best selves
and to support parents in raising happy, successful, resilient kids in an exciting,
but sometimes turbulent and dangerous world.
Choose from the Adventures listed below
(or design your own family adventure!)
8 Hugs-8 Seconds Every. Day.
Help counter the dopamine world we all live in and balance it with plenty of endorphins.
Make this a DAILY Adventure! Review the information below and then make sure each member of the family gets 8, 8 second hugs per day.
This one is HUGE . . . a HUGE expectation for families that are not used to it (and especially for family members that are not touchy, touchy!), but also HUGE in impact!! Make sure that the reward reflects that. Go as big and bold as you can with this one, especially in the beginning while you are setting a habit.
Also, this is one to set up an ongoing reward system with. Create a fun 8-for-8 trophy that could be 'the reward' each week with the winning family member getting to have the trophy for the whole week, similar to how the winning team of the BYU vs. USU football game gets the wagon wheel for the whole year. It's not about the actual 'WHAT IT IS', but the reward is that you get to claim the glory for the whole week.
You could create a funny 8-for-8 sign they can hang on their door, or make a goofy 8-for-8 trophy the winner gets to keep in their room all week. You could even attach special privileges to being the holder of the trophy that week, like whoever has the trophy gets to sit shotgun or choose dessert or not have to take the trash out. The 'trophy' could even be a coveted item that everyone in the family wants. For example, the winner gets the favorite pillow during family time or gets to carry the kids' cellphone when it's not out on assignment by parents for the week (does anyone still do that-- one phone for the kids so whichever child is away has a cellphone, but not every child has one all the time?) What is something at your house that everyone is always making claim to or trying to get to first?
Here are some more ideas:
Every family member that gives other family members an 8-for-8 hug every day for a week gets __to choose a special privilege (within reason of course), gets an extra hour before bedtime on the weekend, gets to choose a new book (if the budget allows) ___.
The family member that gives out the most 8-for-8 hugs during the week gets to ___choose the family activity for Friday night, buy a new shirt, extra time on the gaming system, whatever will be super meaningful to them___
Remember--- this is a BIG ask, with even BIGGER results that will absolutely change your family dynamics in a very positive way, so make the reward as big and 'Awesome' as you can, especially in the beginning.
The 8 for 8 Challenge~
We all know the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but not very many of us may know the saying “8 hugs a day keeps the psychologist away.”
With the ever increasing issues of stress, depression, anxiety, and feeling of loneliness, we humans need appropriate touch more than ever before. Why? The reason is simple - when humans are touched [appropriately] by a person they love and care about, the neurotransmitter/hormone Oxytocin is released which helps individuals to feel safe, loved and cared for. Oxytocin helps stabilize moods, thereby decreasing anxiety, stress, and depression.
Oxytocin is secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.
~Dr. Christy Kane
This 'Adventure' is the first of 2 CORE ADVENTURES that we encourage you to do regularly and frequently; for this particular one . . . every single day!
Dr.. Kane recommends everyone get a minimum of 8 hugs for 8 seconds every day. Whether you find this to be easy or hard, DO IT! You will be surprised at how it impacts your family.
Do you sometimes worry that your kids (or your spouse, or YOU!) spend too much time on their cellphones and social media? Dr. Kane taught me that the number one thing you can do to counter potentially negative effects of overuse of technology and social media is to HUG YOUR KIDS! So even as you are working to bring balance to some of the problem areas you may have noticed with your kids, this simple challenge can help protect your loved ones while you work towards balance.
Do you get points for completing this Adventure? YES! Print off this chart and keep track of your progress. You will notice the circles are in groups of 8, and there are 30 sets. After you have done your 8 for 8 hugs for 30 days you can record this Adventure and earn a point.
Not quite convinced yet?
Here are additional quotes and recommendations regarding this Adventure:
Neuroeconomist Paul Zak recommends at least eight hugs a day to be happier and enjoy better relationships.
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” ~Psychotherapist Virginia Satir
“A 20-second hug, along with 10 minutes of hand-holding, also reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate. This makes sense since hugging is known to lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol. But research suggests there’s even more to it than that. ~Mercola.com
“The skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centers called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve winds its way through the body and is connected to a number of organs, including the heart. It is also connected to oxytocin receptors. One theory is that stimulation of the vagus triggers an increase in oxytocin, which in turn leads to the cascade of health benefits.” ~Mail Online
“A hug, pat on the back, and even a friendly handshake are processed by the reward center in the central nervous system, which is why they can have a powerful impact on the human psyche, making us feel happiness and joy… And it doesn’t matter if you’re the toucher or touchee. The more you connect with others — on even the smallest physical level — the happier you’ll be.” ~Shekar Raman, MD
Ready to take this to the next level?
If you are able to achieve the 8 for 8 challenge in 30 CONSECUTIVE days, the points go up!
If you want to triple the points, track your progress by circling the day in RED if you completed it consecutively. When you hit 30 consecutive days record your Super-Achiever Adventure and get 3 points!
Take a selfie of your family enjoying a GROUP HUG for this Adventure, but you also need to show your chart in the photo! You can be creative with how the chart is included, but be sure we can see that you've recorded your 30 days, or 30 days consecutively!
by 8 for 8
Our mission is to empower individuals and communities by providing evidence-based, neurological, mental health tools and solutions. With a focus on prevention, we know we can disrupt the mental health crisis to enjoy wellbeing for a lifetime.
Check back often as we will post new Adventures every week
Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?
Discovery Family Program How-To Visual
My Discovery Destination! Adventures
Sponsored by My Discovery Destination! and local businesses and organizations in your community
for the purpose of
STRENGTHENING FAMILIES and BUILDING CHARACTER.