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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

April 21, 2016

PDCR: Helping Create "Positive" Time-Outs for Your Child

Suki: Woman Types into Blog Software and....

Ask Nicole: Using Discipline Effectively

Steps for Creating Positive Time-Out Areas
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(A Camps 2016) CampGuideWidgetwithArrow.jpgSuki nailed it! The siren call of headlines lures us into clicking on colorful headlines. We soon may need 12 step programs for dealing with this addiction. 

However, our Summer Camp Guide is only a click away and offers solid, helpful, inspiring click-throughs for your exploration of wonderful, local camp experiences for our youth.

As part of an effort to prevent and reduce accidental drownings, Seahorse Swim School has partnered with "USA Swimming Foundation" and "Make a Splash" to offer FREE swim lessons to all ages, levels & abilities on Saturday April 23 from 1-3PM at Seascape Sports Club in Aptos.  No appointment is needed and swimming experience is not required. A level assessment will be performed for all new swimmers. For more information, visit

Coming up in May are two unique family weekend adventures, Kelp Foraging and Pickling and Abalone Camping Weekend, led by the  pros from Adventure Sports.  These are well worth joining.

Discipline, punishment, time out!  Two local parenting resources, Positive Discipline Center Resource and Triple P, offer tips on why, when and how to use these tools effectively.  Need more reinforcement?  Take a class.  You are not alone!

(A Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events! We cannot fit them all into this newsletter.  There are more on the online calendar.

Have a great weekend and many happy moments! Parmalee


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  PDCR: Helping Create "Positive" Time-Outs for Your Child

(A April 2016) PDRC-boy_and_teddy_bear.jpgTime-Out is one of the most popular but most misunderstood and overused parenting tools. In society's effort to move away from physical punishment to manage behavior, we have moved toward emotional punishment. Children are sent to the Time-Out Chair to "think about what you did wrong until I say you can get up!"

Unfortunately, the original issue gets lost, replaced by a new power struggle over the Time-Out Chair. Children often rebel and refuse to sit in the chair. Or they sit and think of a revenge plan and how not to get caught next time while experiencing shame and discouragement that, over time, often leads to more misbehavior and low self-esteem.

Two Types of Time-Outs

Punitive Time Out:
Goal: To get immediate results that stop the undesirable behavior.
Responsibility: In the adults' hands (must manage time and place for time out)
Focus: Blame. "You are doing something wrong."

Inspires: Rebellion, compliance out of fear, resentment.

Positive Time Out:
Goal: To stop the undesirable behavior while teaching life skills; boundaries are held in a respectful way
Responsibility: In the child's hands (must choose calming techniques and a solution)
Focus: Solutions. "You can't do this so you need to make a different choice."
Inspires: Self-discipline, anger management skills.

Positive Time-Out is positive because it:

‣ is respectful; children are involved participants rather than victims of the process

‣ teaches children that their brains don't function well when they are upset; they learn the value of calming down so hurtful words and actions are avoided and solutions can be reached together

‣ teaches positive human relationship tools: self-control, personal responsibility

This method is more likely to help shape your child into the responsible, respectful adult we all hope for.

Brain research supports Positive Time-Outs

Road rage, tantrums, ranting and raving. Young or old, we all have moments when our emotions take over and poor decisions are made. The latest brain research has revealed to us that when strong emotions are experienced, we are operating from the brain's limbic system.

This is the place where fight or flight instincts take over. The ability to listen to others, to be socially appropriate, see another's perspective and problem solve is NOT available. When the strong feelings pass, we begin to operate from our brain's prefrontal cortex. From here we CAN be appropriate, apologize, problem solve, cooperate and think rationally.

Knowing this, does it make any sense to try and resolve an issue when the child and/or parent's brain is flooded with emotions? Not every issue must be solved immediately; there is plenty of time to go back in five minutes or five days and creatively problem solve and attain cooperation.

Positive Discipline Community Resources  Phone: 831.476.7284 ext 107 Resources: Positive Time-Out, Nelsen. Time Out For Parents, Huber. Adapted by Colleen Murphy.

Steps for Creating Positive Time-Out Areas >>>>>>


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  Suki: Woman Types into Blog Software and....

(AA Oct) Suki_2015.jpg...the next thing that happens is mind-boggling.

Do you respond to clickbait? I really




want to.

I want to click on that headline, which always has the same sentence structure:

[Person] [verbs] [object]. And the next thing that happens will [outrageously over-stated verb] you.

Are we done with this yet? Has Facebook yet inured us to to charms of that headline?

The answer is no. Here I am:

  • I started using the Internet when it was still called the Arpanet.
  • I got involved in my first flame-war when most people thought that anyone who was "flaming" needed a fire extinguisher. And quick.
  • I saw a demo of the Web very shortly after it had been invented. OK, I admit it: I thought it was inconsequential.
  • My husband invented the first animation app for the Web. I used it on one of my first websites.

I'm not saying all this to brag. (In fact, I believe that the above facts may place me somewhere on the spectrum between "geek," "dork," and "really, really old.")

I just want to lay things out here. I am not a neophyte. I used the word "newbie" before you were ever close to being a newbie. Perhaps before you were born.

Yet, I want to click on those links.

You know the ones. I see them on Facebook but I bet you see them all over because you're cooler than I am and you actually know what the heck people use Instagram and Pinterest for.

[Person] [verbs] [object]. And the next thing that happens will [outrageously over-stated verb] you.

It's like they have found the secret sauce of headlines.

Here's today's:

Man Pours Couscous On The Table, But The Next Thing He Does Is Mind-Boggling

Never mind the fact that the writer doesn't understand capitalization rules. The reason I didn't hotlink that is because You Want To Click On It.

So do I, so don't feel so bad.

We all do. My clickbait headline of today is this: Read on>>>>

Suki Wessling is a local parent of two who writes fiction and nonfiction about reading, writing, parenting, education, and homeschooling. More about Suki.


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  Ask Nicole: Using Discipline Effectively

By Nicole M. Young, MSW

My son recently got his driver's permit, which has tested my parenting skills. A lot. I started off as a great teacher, using several Triple P parenting strategies. The driving lessons were our quality time. I gave clear, calm instructions and modeled how to turn and brake smoothly. I gave descriptive praise for his efforts and improvements. We bonded.

It was great as long as we were in an empty parking lot going 5 miles an hour. Now that he's driving in busy parking lots and on highways, it's incredibly hard to remain calm and encouraging when I fear he's going to hit something. It doesn't help when he debates whether he was going too fast. It reminds me of the toddler years. Occasionally my emotions take over, and I abruptly end the driving lesson. While it feels better (safer) in the moment, I know it's not an effective way to teach him this new skill. Like me, he needs to try, make mistakes and try again.

Dear Nicole,

What's the difference between discipline and punishment? My son is 7 and throws a fit whenever he doesn't get his way. He talks back and sometimes tries to hit me, so I take away his video games or send him to his room. My sister says I'm punishing him and am too harsh, but I thought this is how you're supposed to discipline children. Who's right?       Luis

Dear Luis,

Many people are unsure about the difference between discipline and punishment.  Did you know that "discipline" comes from the Latin word for teaching (disciplina)?  Discipline is a process that teaches children about the effects of their behaviors so they learn to make better choices. Punishment is a reaction that tells children they've done something wrong, but doesn't teach them what to do instead. Here are tips for using discipline effectively:

Build a positive relationship with your child. This sounds obvious, but it's worth saying. Many parents become so busy or overwhelmed with daily life that they stop noticing what their children do well or only pay attention to "negative" behaviors. This teaches children to get their needs met by acting out, which increases parents' frustration and attention on the negative behaviors. Some parents become so angry about their children's behaviors that they find it hard to be affectionate and nurturing, which intensifies the challenging behaviors.

This cycle can be interrupted with some positive parenting strategies. Giving brief, frequent quality time reassures children that they matter and that their parents are available for them. Talking, showing affection and giving descriptive praise also help strengthen relationships and prevent challenging behaviors.

Clarify your goal before responding to behaviors. The goal of punishment is to control the child, "make them pay" for misbehavior or "teach them a lesson" about disrespecting their parents. This leads to harsh or punitive words and actions that happen when everyone is stressed, frustrated or angry. This rarely leads to learning or positive relationships.

The goal of discipline is to teach children new skills, including managing feelings, thoughts and behaviors and solving problems. If this is your goal, then try the relationship-building strategies described above, before trying any discipline strategies. This is often enough to address and stop the behavior.

Use proactive, assertive discipline. Establish a few family rules with your son. Get close to him and get his attention before giving clear, calm instructions. If a family rule is broken, ask what the rule is - "What's our rule about jumping on the couch?" - then have him practice following it - "Please show me how you can sit on the couch."

If needed, use a logical consequence that fits the situation, like removing an activity or object related to the problem for a short amount of time. Afterwards, return the activity or object and have your child practice following the rule or solving the problem. Or, your child may need time and space away from a situation to calm down before returning and trying again. After using any of these strategies, give descriptive praise for positive choices and behaviors.

Final Thoughts: Assertive discipline is teaching children versus punishing them, but it's only effective when there's a warm, loving relationship in place. When things get hard, remember Frederick Douglass' words, "It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken (wo)men."

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 12 and 16, who also manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P - 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


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Branciforte Middle School, Spring Festival 4/29


 Great America, Physics, Science, Math Day 4/29


SantaCruz Children's School K-5, The Sign of the Seahorse (Play) 4/30


Julia Robinson Math Festival, 5/1


ChartwellSchool 1-12, Open House 5/3


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Campus Tour 5/11


SC Montessori Pre-8, Spring Yard Sale 5/14


All School Events

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Backyard Astronomer
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  Backyard Astronomer
Cabrillo Kids on Campus
Date: Every Fri (Apr 22-Apr 29) from 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Ages: 8+
Details: Learn how to identify the stars and constellations seen in our local skies in this fun hands-on workshop.
City: Aptos view all details >>
Fourth Friday Family Music Jam
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  Fourth Friday Family Music Jam
MusicalMe, Inc
Date: The 4th Fri of every month from 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Ages: birth - preschool with caregiver
Details: Your children want from you, more than anything, to sing & dance & play - with you and their loved ones!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 438-3514 view all details >>
Strawbale Gardening Demo
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  Strawbale Gardening Demo
Aptos Farmers Market
Date: 04/23/2016 at 10:00am
Details: How to grow a high-yielding garden with "monster" results using straw bales
City: Aptos view all details >>
Discipline or Punishment
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  Discipline or Punishment
view all details >>
The Fascinating Honeybee
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  The Fascinating Honeybee
Watsonville Wetlands
Date: 03/28/2017 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Details: Allison Gong discusses the biology of honey bees, pollination ecology, and threats to pollinators
Special Instructions: Lee Road and Harkins Slough Road
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-345-1226 view all details >>
Every Child Outdoors Festival
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  Every Child Outdoors Festival
Every Child Outdoors Foundation
Date: 04/24/2016 from 2:00pm to 6:00am
Details: Support the SC Outdoor School and have funtoo
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-435-9999 view all details >>
Swanton Pacific Railroad in Davenport
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  Swanton Pacific Railroad in Davenport
Swanton Pacific Railroad Society
Date: 04/24/2016 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Swanton Pacific Railroad Steam Trains
Special Instructions: events are by reservation only (no walk-ins)
City: Davenport, CA Phone: (831) 423-8204 view all details >>
Discipline or Punishment
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  Discipline or Punishment
view all details >>
Swim Lessons in New Private Pool
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  Swim Lessons in New Private Pool
Seahorse Swim School
Date: Every day
Ages: 6 months and Up
Details: Swim lessons in Tiffany Harmon's Seahorse private pool
City: Aptos Phone: (831) 476-7946 view all details >>
Jr Guard Prep Classes
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  Jr Guard Prep Classes
Seahorse Swim School
Date: Every Sa (Feb 4-Mar 11)
Details: Register for Jr. Guard prep class
City: Aptos Phone: (831) 476- 7946 view all details >>
Enter to Win
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  Enter to Win
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Date: Every day (Apr 19-Jun 30)
Details: Enter to win a 'Let's Cruz' Vacation Package created just for Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks!
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
Physics, Science, Math Day
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  Physics, Science, Math Day
Great America
Date: 04/29/2016
Details: Great America offers special days where the amusement park is turned into the world's largest classroom
City: Santa Clara Phone: 408-988-1776 view all details >>
  Steps for Creating Positive Time-Out Areas

Steps for Creating Positive Time-Out Areas

1.  Wait until the age of 2 ½ before implementing positive timeouts. Toddlers lack the ability to understand cause and effect. Young toddlers need close supervision and redirection to an acceptable activity.

2.  Discuss the purpose of time-out. Explain that all of us have times when we lose control of ourselves or find ourselves in a bad mood. We feel too bad to know the best thing to say or do. It is helpful to have a time-out place to go to until the bad feelings pass.

3.  Have child pick time-out spot. A place in their room, a big cardboard box they decorate, a cozy section of the couch, a space created by mosquito netting. Brainstorm with them what things might help them calm down and feel better. Place items in the time-out spot (i.e. stuffed animals, pillows, books, punching bag, drawing and writing materials, music, etc.) Parents can cross unreasonable items off the list (i.e. candy, loud music, TV).

4.  Establish rules for the use of Positive Time-Out. Together come up with guidelines so that the time-out area isn't misused. Examples could be: only one person at a time in the space, child sets a timer for the amount of time she thinks she needs, no destruction of the space.

5.  Taking time out can also happen anywhere for you and your child. The simple actions of stepping outside, eating or drinking something, sitting in the car, exercising, deep breathing, playing with a pet are all that's needed at times to shift out of a heated moment.

Guidelines for using Positive Time-Out

✦ Positive Time-out is NOT the only effective discipline tool. It is not appropriate for every behavior with every child, all the time.

✦ Allow children to choose Time Out. If, in the heat of the moment, your child storms off to their time-out spot before the issue is resolved, let him go rather than force the issue in the moment. Or you can suggest time-out to your child. "Do you think it would help you to go to the time-out spot now?" If the answer is no, "Would it help you if I went with you?" If the answer is still no, you may want to say, "Well, I think I will go. I think it will help me."

✦ Follow through after time out. This means that the issue at hand is not forgotten but is respectfully addressed once the emotions have cooled. Parents can say, "You look calmer. Can we hug? Are you ready to clean up the blocks that you threw?" Often Positive Time-out is enough to change the behavior, and isn't that the point? Positive Discipline encourages parents to move away from investing in making children pay for what they did wrong and move towards helping them make a change in their behavior for the future.

Key Steps

• Remember, the worst time to resolve issues are when people are angry.

• Explain the purpose of a positive time-out spot to your 2 ½ year old and up.

• Create the spot together.

• Set up guidelines for usage.

• Child has the choice to go to a calming area; parent also has the choice to go alone; or child can be respectfully walked there together.

• Follow-through by addressing the issue after time-out time.

• Time-outs can happen anywhere, it doesn't always have to involve a designated spot.

• Trust the process.

• Focus on what you will do to help yourself in angry moments, not what you will MAKE your child do. Adults need time-outs more often than children!

• Remember, taking time out doesn't reward children or let them get away with anything; it makes space for respectful resolutions to be reached.

Going Deeper

As parents, we focus on our child's misbehavior. We often neglect to look at our own tone of voice, facial expression, attitude, and choice of words. When we reach those moments when phrases like these are coming out of our mouth:

"I'm warning you."

"I'm not going to tell you again."


this is the perfect time to recognize that you are the one who needs the Positive Time-Out the most. We are often escalating the tension and prolonging the conflict through angry, shaming outbursts.

When we find ourselves locked in a heated battle heading towards a hurtful outcome, this is a great time to take the opportunity to model taking responsibility for yourself. Stop talking, tune in and ask:

 "How is my breathing and my heart rate?"

"Is there tension in my body?"

"Am I scrambling for control instead of looking for a win/win solution?"

"Is this something I can come back to later when emotions have cooled?"

Modeling the proper use of Positive Time-Out as a means of anger management and self-care will be the best thing you can do for yourself while providing powerful lessons for your children.

Positive Discipline Community Resources  Phone: 831.476.7284 ext 107 Resources: Positive Time-Out, Nelsen. Time Out For Parents, Huber. Adapted by Colleen Murphy.

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