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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

April 11, 2014
A Riff on "No"

Feel-Good Fundraising: Summi for the Planet

Steve: The Importance of Saying "No"

Suki: Unreasonable Expectations, Part 1
Ask Nicole: Practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges
This Week
Ask Nicole: Practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges
Click to view our Business Directory
  A Riff on "No"

(Graphics) No_Frog.jpgWe parents have all been there when our two year olds start saying "No" to us.  Steve offers good advice on why and how to use "No" effectively.  Right now I'm struggling on round 5 of getting an insurance company to say "Yes".  I'm beginning to wonder how many "No's" their guidelines say to use before capitulating with a "Yes".  Some folks with ill-mannered dogs probably got caught up in how cute they were when being naughty and didn't practice enough "No's".  As a teacher I had more success with "Yes" than "No".   What works best with your children... and spouse?

Now I know why Suki has been silent for a bit. She has been delving into Common Core.  Is it a no, yes or maybe?  What's your opinion?

There's a camp that's a "Yes" for your child right here and here.

I feel best when I feel connected with nature.  I like watching birds, I walk along beaches, in the woods following trails or work in my garden.  You too?  Teachers in  our schools are doing a wonderful job helping children to care for our earth home.  It's time for the Summit for the Planet at Mount Madonna School.  It's a beautiful, natural campus.  Check out the Summit events!

So sorry for the delayed newsletter with weekend and upcoming activities. Sometimes the IT folks say "No, not fixed yet..."

Have a great weekend, Parmalee

 

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  Feel-Good Fundraising: Summi for the Planet

Walk-a-thon and Festival Offers Healthy Family Fun and Nonprofit Support

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_girls.jpgGarbed in costume-like fashions made from colorful plastic packaging, aluminum foil, paper, re-purposed fabric and more, about a dozen children, ages 7 to 17, strutted across the stage during last year's Summit for the Planet "Trash Fashion" show. The show was a culmination of weeks of gathering recycled materials and designing wearable garments during school art classes and provided a fun outlet for showcasing students' creativity in using items that might otherwise have ended up in a landfill.

"The kids enjoy the hands-on 3-D design and construction aspect of this project," explained professional artist and middle school art teacher Sandy Shaw. "We start with a discussion about the importance of reducing, reusing, recycling - and recreating to help inspire students and get their creative ideas flowing. I offer the option to create a garment or a sculpture, and it's gratifying to see them move through idea generation and having an abstract concept, to developing a 3-D physical piece of work!"

"Trash Fashion creativity is a sight to behold," commented show emcee and first grade teacher, Cassia Laffin. "Every design is unique. Students, let your imaginations soar as you deliberate on your new design! What recycled finds will inspire the inner diva in you?"

Catch the next Trash Fashion show and a whole array of family-themed activities at the 8th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration, on Saturday, April 26. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, this FREE public event combines a 5K fundraising walk-a-thon supporting local nonprofits with an eco-carnival, solar car races, music, wildlife, "green" shopping, learning expo and organic foods.

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_7thgradegirls.jpgFestivities will begin at 9:00am with walk-a-thon registration; the walk begins at 10:00am. The celebration will get underway as the walkers return, and concludes at 1:30pm. 

The event spotlights education, and participants will include the Bat Conservancy of Coastal California, Allterra Solar, Wildlife Education Rehabilitation Center (WERC), Bay Area Amphibian and Reptile Society (BAARS), Mt. Madonna Stables and Save Our Shores.

The support of key sponsors is very important for sustaining and growing this festival, and event organizers are honored that local businesses are participating, including presenting sponsors, SunRidge Farms and the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation.

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_Otters.jpg"Fundraising is an essential component of every school, public and independent," comments event coordinator Pamela Blunden. "All organizations have a choice when it comes to fundraising and what they choose to do is a reflection of who they are and what they value most.

"This walk-a-thon promotes a healthy lifestyle and is a great alternative to sugar-filled "caloric fundraisers'. Families are invited to join faculty, friends, and community members and spend time walking a 5K course through the forest."

Things to know when you go:
8th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration, April 26, 9:00am-1:30pm. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna. There is a $25 fee to walk and receive a t-shirt. The celebration is FREE. For more information or to sponsor a walker, visit: SummitforthePlanet.org

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.

 

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  Steve: The Importance of Saying "No"

(Photos General) SteveSpitalny.jpg

Why is it so hard to say "No' to our young children? Here are 5 reasons why it is so hard, and why I think it's important to be able to say "No.' Let me know what you think.

  1. We want our children to be happy and to do and have what they want. We want them to have everything to their hearts' content. We see their sadness when they don't get to do or have want they want. Our saying "No' leads to our child's unhappiness.
  2. We want our child to like us. If we say "No' to their desires then they won't like us. If we always give them what they want then they will like us.
  3. We don't want to be thought of as the "mean' parent. Our child will tell the other children, their grandparents and their teachers that we are mean because we never let them do what they want.
  4. We read a book explaining that a parent should never say "No' to their children because the children will grow up with repressed desires and resentment.
  5. All the other parents are saying "Yes' and you want your child to 'fit in.' And we don't want our children to have to wait for something we will probably eventually give them or let them do anyway. Why not let it be now?

Read more to find out how to say no>>>>>

 

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  Suki: Unreasonable Expectations, Part 1

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpgThis is the first in a two-part post about the new tests being administered through the Common Core. To find out more background on these tests, visit the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium.

It's that season again, the one that used to involve lots of filling in of bubbles. This spring, Google is giggling all the way to the bank as our schools purchase carts full of Chromebooks to have their students take the new, Common Core-aligned computerized tests.

Reports have been filtering in from around the country, with tales of crying children, broken software and hardware, and lots of overworked IT guys. But I wondered how things were going locally and talked to a teacher from a shall-remain-unnamed local public school. (Not my daughter's school-her class hasn't gotten to take the test yet because the district is worried about too much net bandwidth at one time so they're spreading out the pain.)

The tests are new, and this year they "don't count," which actually doesn't mean that they aren't taking data from the results. The data, in fact, will be very important. We the parents, however, will not get to see our children's scores, nor will the scores be used to fire our beloved, hardworking teachers. Not yet, at least. The data they're taking is supposedly going to improve the test itself, and from what my teacher-informant tells me, there's room approximately the size of California for improvement.  Get the scoop>>>>>>>>

  Ask Nicole: Practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges

-By Nicole M. Young, MSW

Parenting is hard work-and also incredibly rewarding. One of the greatest challenges any parent faces is balancing the role of parent with all the other priorities in life. Many parents feel they are dropping the ball in one or more areas of their lives at any given time...or is it just me?

Whether you're a parent, a grandparent or other caregiver of an infant, toddler, preschooler, elementary school child or teenager, this column has been created for you. It is my hope that this column provides an opportunity for you to share your parenting questions and get answers that help strengthen your relationships with your children.

This month we'll cover the complicated and dynamic world of sibling relationships. While this isn't the first time we've covered this issue, clearly it's an important one for many parents. I hope you'll find value in the following practical tips and ideas based on the world-renowned Triple P Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Santa Cruz County.  If you have a question, please drop me a line at triplep@first5scc.org.

Dear Nicole,

My 6- and 8-year old boys are having a really hard time getting along, and it's making me crazy. Just about every day they get into this frustrating cycle where all they do is argue. They usually do this when I am not in the room and then one of them comes running to me upset and blaming the other. They each know exactly what to say to push the other's buttons. What can I do to improve this situation and my sanity?

Katy, Bonny Doon

Scroll to the end of newsletter for answers!

  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpgBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything.

Summer Camp Guide   ~   A- Z Summer Camps

 

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Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration
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  Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration
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  Ask Nicole: Practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges

Dear Katy,

I'll bet that just about every parent of siblings has experienced some of what you are feeling. I've certainly been there. Luckily there are several strategies you can use to minimize this type of conflict...and help you keep your sanity!

Use engaging activities to teach cooperation and communication. 

-       Bickering often occurs when children get bored or don't know how to communicate their needs. To prevent boredom, create a list of activities with your children - things they enjoy doing together and separately - and encourage them to pick a new activity when they start to get restless. 

-       If you have time, participate in an activity with your children. This gives you a chance to spend quality time together. It also gives you a chance to teach skills for cooperating and communicating. Model through your own words and actions - "How should we decide who goes first?  That's a great idea, Tim.  We can roll the dice to see who goes first.  How does that sound to you, Brandon?"  Have your children practice throughout the activity by asking them, "Whose turn is it now?" or "What happens next?" 

-       Give descriptive praise. "That's right, Brandon, it's Tim's turn next. Thanks for waiting so patiently."

Create "ground rules" for playing together. This is helpful if you need to be in a separate room while your children are playing. Examples include: take turns, use kind words, keep our hands to ourselves, etc. Limit ground rules to just a few so they are easy to remember. State them in the positive (take turns), instead of the negative (don't grab).

Check in periodically. In the beginning, plan to check on them every few minutes. As your children become more skilled at cooperating, you can increase the amount of time between your check-ins. 

When you check on your children, acknowledge their efforts to follow the ground rules and get along. Describe the specific behaviors you like - "The two of you are doing a great job taking turns," or "I appreciate the way you're cooperating and making the game fun for both of you."

Give your children brief and frequent amounts of quality time throughout the day. Your children may feel they're getting the attention they crave when you help them resolve their bickering. To shift this pattern, give them your full attention when they want to tell you something, even if it's just for one minute. 

Bickering siblings can really test your parenting skills and patience. But it is possible to teach children cooperation and communication skills by trying a handful of these practical solutions. Remember, small changes can make a big difference!

Look for one of Triple P Santa Cruz County's two pocket guides-one provides general tips and the other is focused on teens. Both pocket guides are free and available at various locations throughout the county, including health clinics, pediatrician offices, schools and First 5 Santa Cruz County.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 10 and 13, who also manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, the world's leading positive parenting program. Scientifically proven, Triple P is made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (Mental Health Services Act) and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department. For more information, including classes and one-on-one meetings to help parents handle everyday parenting challenges, visit triplep.first5scc.org, www.facebook.com/triplepscc or www.youtube.com/triplepsantacruzco. To find a Triple P class or practitioner, contact First 5 Santa Cruz County at 465-2217 or triplep@first5scc.org.

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