Unpacking Joy

An Interview with Linda Eyre

I had the pleasure of recently interviewing Linda Eyre, renowned author and parenting expert, who, along with her husband Richard, has significantly impacted the field of family relationships through their extensive body of work. Our discussion was rich with insights on fostering joy…a theme central to the mission of Finding Foxtale. 

Linda began by sharing a compelling story from their early parenting days. When their first child was born, they were pressured by a local school to immediately focus on academic success. However, the Eyres chose a different path, realizing the importance of joy and the simple pleasures of childhood. Their personal experience with this perspective led to their creation of the “Joy School,” a program designed to teach children the essential joys of life through playful, imaginative activities. 

One of the standout moments of our interview was Linda’s explanation of the difference between happiness and joy. She described happiness as fleeting, often tied to temporary pleasures like a good meal or a fun outing. In contrast, joy is deeper and more enduring, arising from meaningful experiences and inner contentment. This requires thoughtful intentionality and is crucial for parents who wish to instill lasting values in their children, rather than catering to momentary desires. Most importantly, it is the essential ingredient to the mental and emotional well-being of our children.  

Linda elaborated on the structure of Joy School, which is divided into four main sections: physical, mental, emotional, and social joys. Each section is designed to address different aspects of a child’s development. For instance, physical joys include activities that engage children’s senses and bodies, while mental joys focus on fostering creativity and imagination. Emotional joys help children build confidence and trust, and social joys emphasize the importance of honesty, sharing, and service. 

We also discussed their book The Entitlement Trap, which provides practical strategies for managing children’s use of social media—a pressing concern for many parents today. She emphasized the importance of setting clear boundaries and agreements with children regarding their screen time. One effective method she mentioned is creating a contract with children that outlines acceptable use and responsibilities, involving them in the decision-making process and fostering a sense of ownership and accountability. 

Linda shared a fun and inspiring anecdote about a school that temporarily banned phones, and the reaction within the first 48 hours compared to 4-5 days. Students were actually joy-filled once again! Limiting digital distractions and encouraging children to engage more deeply with their surroundings and relationships does lead to shared joy. 

It was pure joy to speak with Linda Eyre, not just because of her experience and wisdom, but because of the lasting impact her work continues to have on families. Linda’s words remind us of the profound importance of our mission to create meaningful moments and shared joy between children and their loved ones. Together, we can continue to cultivate environments where children can thrive, learn, and find joy in every moment. We love our growing community who is working toward a world filled with enchanting adventures and heartfelt connections. 


Please join us in Growing Shared Joy. 


To delve deeper into our enlightening conversation and explore the full range of Linda Eyre’s wisdom, I encourage you to listen to the complete interview. It’s a treasure trove of practical tips and heartfelt advice that can transform your parenting journey.