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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

April 12, 2013


Managing manners and meltdowns at mealtimes

Suki: Flexibility and Ability Grouping

Christine: Serendipity! Surprising Fossil Finds Under Your Feet

This Week
Meet the 8 week old Sumatran tiger cub!
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Books/Products) Book_RuthLo.jpgI knew Ruth Lo, author of In the Eye of the Typhoon. a westerner's inside and personal view of China under a repressive communist regime. Over a period of 40 years American born Ruth lived with her Chinese born husband and raised her two children in China. Her story is a tale of awesome events during the turbulent cultural revolution in China, of losing her Chinese husband, her children being sent to the country for "re-training", living in fear and hiding, and the family's eventual tense escape from China.

Ruth was a great conversationalist; she asked good questions and told interesting stories, but most interestingly she was a remarkable minimalist. When I knew her she lived with her daughter in a one level home, everything in its place. They had three of everything: three plates, three teacups, three forks, knives and spoons, three of everything on the pantry shelves, etc. I've always been impressed, never been able to come close to imitating her and always wanted to "lighten up" regarding my own "stuff".

(Photos General) Teacups_3.jpgYesterday I accidently lightened up. I was moving the hutch so I could clean behind it and suddenly the top part slid off. I managed to hold it steady as glass pitchers, family crystal, plants, soil, pottery and silver went crashing to the floor. Miraculously a few pieces remained intact and the silver has some added character.  What a mess! I've been wanting to lighten up, so I laughed instead of crying!  I just cleaned it up and carried on, not even sad as I realized that I had inadvertently lightened up. I feel inspired to do more, but first I just might go looking for some old crystal stemware that someone else has managed to give up.  That should be fun.

This is a good time of year to lighten up.  The weather's nice and someone else may want what you no longer need.  Click here to post it free.  Do you have a  question another parent could answer?  Try asking it here.  Want to recommend our newsletter to a friend? Click here.

Trying to give up a bad habit is hard, very hard. I like talk radio. Is it healthful to get riled up over news, politicians, gossip and opinions. No! I know it's not, so I'm trying to lighten up; listen to music more often, the birds singing, the waves shushing and crashing, children playing in the park, my friends talking. I like silence when I read.  That makes giving up news junkies easier!

I'm writing this with a couple of horses leaning over my shoulder, soft, sweet hay breaths coming my way.  Definitely better than the news.  Have a great weekend, Parmalee

 

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  Managing manners and meltdowns at mealtimes

-By Susan True

(Photos General) FamilyDinner.jpgDoes this sound familiar? Mealtimes with your children, whether it's breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner, become a battle of wills, a very long process or a scene of chaos. Mealtimes with a toddler are busy and chaotic. Your child is a picky eater or resistant to trying new foods. Older children are so busy with homework and extra-curricular activities that they're unwilling to spend time at the dinner table. It seems impossible to find a time to eat together. You end up making separate meals for everyone at different times. And by the end of the day, you're exhausted.

All of these scenarios are common at some point for most parents-even though most of us strive to make mealtimes an opportunity to connect and enjoy each other's company.

Family bonding at mealtimes is so important. Studies show that when families eat together, children tend to do better in school, have higher self-esteem, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, are less likely to develop eating disorders, and are at lower risk for obesity.

In order to make mealtimes a positive experience, there are many strategies parents or caregivers can use to teach children how to sit at a table, use manners that are appropriate at home and other places, eat healthy meals and participate in conversations. Investing time in learning and using proven strategies will not only help strengthen family bonds, it will also help children develop healthy eating habits.

This month's positive parenting tips can help children of all ages develop healthy eating habits and make mealtimes more enjoyable for everyone:

Have a daily routine, including regular mealtimes. Establish a set timeframe and routine for meals so children know when to stop playing or working on homework, and get ready to eat. Have everything ready to eat before your child sits down. Avoid making a hungry child wait to eat. This can help prevent complaints and other unwanted behaviors.

Keep your house stocked with a variety of healthy foods. Make it easy for your child to choose healthy foods by minimizing the availability of unhealthy choices whenever possible. If this will be a big change, try to gradually introduce healthier foods. Avoid snacks within an hour of a scheduled mealtime.

Serve manageable portions. It's important for children to learn to pay attention to their bodies and notice when they are hungry versus full. An overfull plate can encourage overeating or be intimidating to a picky eater, and it can frustrate parents when their child refuses to finish the meal. Try serving small portions and let your child ask for more if they are still hungry.

Have at least one meal together as a family each day. In today's hectic world of long work hours and after school activities, many families find it difficult to get everyone together. But finding the time to bond without interruptions from TV, video games and other activities will only help to create positive and healthy family relationships.

Encourage the behaviors you'd like to see. Help your child learn the mealtime manners that are important in your family - whether it's using utensils, eating at the table, using napkins, passing food to others, etc. Talk to your child about what you consider appropriate manners, then provide plenty of descriptive praise for their efforts and successes as they learn these skills. Set a good example for your child by setting aside other distractions and focusing on the family conversation. Remember that children learn from what they see - you're likely to face an uphill battle if you tell your kids to eat their vegetables while you eat ice cream for dinner!

Few parents and caregivers escape mealtime challenges with their children. But using some easy-to-follow tips can give you more peace and quality time together as a family-while also helping your child develop lifelong healthy eating habits.

For more information about Triple P, visit triplep.first5scc.org. To get a copy of the Triple P Pocket Guide for Parents or find a Triple P class or practitioner, contact Stephanie Bluford at 831-465-2217 or sbluford@first5scc.org

The Triple P - Positive Parenting Program is made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County. Triple P is scientifically proven and is the world's leading positive parenting program. Triple P offers classes and one-on-one meetings to help parents handle everyday parenting challenges.

 

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  Suki: Flexibility and Ability Grouping

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpgFor many years, the word "tracking" has been taboo in American education. The general consensus has been that separating the "Bluebirds" from the "Meadowlarks" imposes a class system in the classroom. Everyone points out that kids know what the groups are, whether or not euphemisms are used: the smart kids and the stupid kids. The rich kids and the poor kids. The white kids and the black kids.

But recently, lots of people-including pretty much everyone who advocates for gifted education-have been revisiting the idea of ability grouping. The writer of Should it be OK to place students in ability groups? points out that ability grouping today doesn't have to be what it was in the past. I agree-as always, I think that the best education is the most flexible.  Read more!>>>>

 

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  Christine: Serendipity! Surprising Fossil Finds Under Your Feet

(Logos Event Calendar) MammothDiscovery.jpgKeep your eyes open when you are walking around. You never know what you will find. Fossils have been found by all kinds of people, some in the middle of cities. One of my favorite words is - Serendipity. It means a happy accident, or a lucky find. You find something or someone you aren't looking for - but just keeping an open mind and open eyes makes something wonderful happen.

A 10-year-old boy recently found fossilized horseshoe crab footprints in England. They are over 300 million years old. These are extremely rare and scientists are very excited to see them.

In San Jose, a man was walking along Guadalupe creek with his dog and noticed something odd sticking out of the ground.... Read more!>>>

Click here for more science with scientist and mom, Christine Cockey.

 

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April 20 - Get more information.

  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Camp_Directory.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 >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

FAMILY EVENTS SUPPORT GROUPS PARENTING WORKSHOPS

 

 

School Corner

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 SC Waldorf K-8, Morning in the Kindergarten 4/13

 

Gateway School K-8, Open House 4/16

 

Mount Madonna School Pre-12, Tour Day 4/17

 

Orchard School K-6, Circo Orchard Performance 4/19 & 20

 

Lorraine Pursell, Bully Proof Your Child, 4/20


Chartwell School K-8, Open House 4/23

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This land IS your land!

Camping Festival

April 27

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Cattle Dog Puppy

 Meet the 8 week old Sumatran tiger cub!

(Photos General) SFZoo_SumatranTigerCub.jpgMeet New Zoo Babies


San Francisco Zoo
Meet the 8 week old Sumatran tiger cub!
Date: Every day (Apr 1-May 30) from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Admission Fees: Adult (ages 15-65) $15.00 Child (ages 4-14) $9.00 Senior (65+) $12.00

Special Instructions: Children under 3 Free, Parking M-F $8; Sat-Sun $10

We are happy to announce that our 7-week-old Sumatran tiger cub is a girl! Recently the Zoo's carnivore staff began to "socialize" the cub so that she is comfortable with human touch, scent and sounds. Since she will spend her life in captivity, this next phase is very important, especially when vet staff need to conduct wellness check-ups. Socializing is a twofold process: human interaction with the cub and acclimation of public presence.

 (Photos General) SFZoo_TigerMomandCubCollage.jpgWith her mother, Leanne, in a nearby exhibit or outside stretching in the sun, animal keepers have begun to work with the young cub, playing with her or introducing her to other areas of her enclosure. Leanne appears to welcome the break from motherhood, and the cub seems to welcome the play!

 In addition, we have opened the Lion House to the public for limited viewing. So far, she's been shy and hesitant to come out of her nest box, especially when there is a lot of noise in the Lion House. For those times, we have placed a monitor with a live video feed of the nest box in the Lion House so that the public can watch her nurse, nap and play.With each public visit, she is likely to become more accustomed to her thousands of fans.

 Please come and meet her soon. Check the schedule on our website.

 
Location: 1 Zoo Rd, San Francisco Map
Phone: (415) 753-7080 •website San Francisco

LIGHTENING UP!
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  LIGHTENING UP!
Date:
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Earth Day Santa Cruz
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  Earth Day Santa Cruz
City of Santa Cruz
Date: 04/22/2017 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Activities for all ages, delicious food and live music!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Nature Walks
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  Nature Walks
City of Watsonville
Date: Every Su at 1:30pm
Details: Bring the peace and beauty of nature into your life!
City: Watsonville Phone: 831.768.1622 view all details >>
     
LIGHTENING UP!
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  LIGHTENING UP!
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4th of July BBQ in Pacific Grove City
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  4th of July BBQ in Pacific Grove City
Chamber of Commerce Pacific Grove
Date: 07/04/2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Details: Celebrate the 4th with an old-fashioned, down-home BBQ
City: Pacific Grove Phone: (831) 373-3304 view all details >>
     
LIGHTENING UP!
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LIGHTENING UP!
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LIGHTENING UP!
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LIGHTENING UP!
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LIGHTENING UP!
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Autism and Asperger Syndrome Support Group
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  Autism and Asperger Syndrome Support Group
SPIN
Date: The 3rd Tues of every month from 7:00pm to 7:30pm
Details: Meet with other parents for support, networking and information
City: Soquel Phone: (831)722-2800 view all details >>
     
LIGHTENING UP!
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LIGHTENING UP!
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Book Making - Blurb for Kids
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  Book Making - Blurb for Kids
Watershed Art
Date: Every Th (Mar 21-May 30) from 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Ages: 5-13 yrs.
Details: Desk top publishing even kinders can do!!
Special Instructions: $100 for 10 sessions plus $15 book fee
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 234-3430 view all details >>
     
     
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