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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

August 22, 2019
Flowers and Connections

Climbing trees and Other Dangerous Activities

Suki comments on "We Have Ruined Childhood"

Elementary Kids Don't Need Cell Phones With Internet Access
Fun Events!
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  Flowers and Connections

(0 A July 2019) Dahlias2019.jpgEverywhere I travel I see dahlias, beautiful, varied, many colored dahlias.  I purposely seek beautiful gardens. In almost every town there's a lovely street where neighbors vie with each other to present colorful gardens. In those neighborhoods, I often I connect with strangers working their green thumb magic --people of all colors, ages, backgrounds nourishing gardens of flowers, herbs, vegetables, all colors. We connect by talking about their gardens. It's an easy starting point. These beginnings often lead to varying perspectives on all manor of topics.

There's a dahlia show this weekend. What a wonderful place to take the children and an opportunity to talk to strangers in a safe setting, especially when we model for the children how to engage with open ended questions.

Our articles explore why how we should and can give our children unstructured play time, despite our natural concerns for their safety. I realize it's an odd juxtaposition to be exploring how to give our children more freedom when there are local and national events threatening their safety. We do our best as families and as communities.

Please share our newsletter with new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events!

Have a wonderful weekend with family and friends!  Parmalee

 
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  Climbing trees and Other Dangerous Activities

by Katherine Martinko for Tree Hugger

(0 A August 2019) boy_in_a_tree.jpgSo why are parents so scared of it?

There's a big pine tree in our side yard. It's around 50 feet tall and holds a magnetic attraction for my children and their friends. It's not uncommon for me to step outside and hear a small voice from up in the sky, shouting, "I'm up here!" Sure enough, a small body waves enthusiastically from a high branch. Eventually they come down, covered in sap and scratched by branches, but delighted by their conquest. (Then I show them how to rub butter into the sap, and then wash it off with soap and water.)

I never stop them from climbing that pine tree (or the magnolia or the pear) because I believe it's so important for them. On a physical level, climbing trees builds muscular strength and flexibility, develops motor skills and depth perception, teaches them to assess a branch's size and ability to hold them, and forces them to concentrate.

On an emotional level, it's a pure thrill to attain such heights, to be out of reach of parents and safety, to be in control of pushing their own boundaries. It gives them a space for imagination to run wild and to feel connected to nature. It instills confidence and, in a way, makes them safer overall because they become more capable humans.

But what about injury? This is the niggling doubt at the back of every parent's mind. Read more>>>

Why kids need to climb trees

A London council's proposal to fine kids £500 for climbing trees sparks debate over children's rights to freedom of movement and why adults think they can block it.

When I pick up my kids from school, they often ask to continue playing in the yard. There's a wonderful old cedar tree that they love to climb and during school hours they're not allowed to climb it. Once they're back under my supervision, however, I let them climb to their heart's content.

I do it for a few reasons. It's fun, and now's the time in their young lives to do all the climbing they can; it won't get any easier. Read more>>>

(0 A August 2019) boy_with_a_toy_boat_street.jpg7 reasons to let kids play in the streets

It makes for a better city all around.

Don't be so quick to dismiss the street in front of your home as a potential play space for children. For many urban dwellers, getting a child to a playground or park is challenge enough, let alone a forest or wilderness setting. But the street and sidewalk are right there, waiting to be claimed.

A group called Playing Out would like to see parents become more comfortable with letting their kids hang out in the street close to home. The group believes that every child should have the freedom to step out their own door and kick a ball about. Read more>>>

(0 A August 2019) Outdoor-Fun-Kids.jpgTwo Quebec schools experiment with 'rough play' zones for kids

Finally, energetic kids have a safe space in which to wrestle and play-fight without being chastised for it.

Two elementary schools in Quebec, Canada, are breaking the status quo and allowing children to engage in 'rough play' at recess. Quatre-Vents Elementary School in Saint-Apollinaire and Cheval-Blanc school in Gatineau have both announced that their playgrounds will have special zones in which children can play more roughly than they're normally allowed to.

The zone is marked off by cones, and participation must be voluntary. All children must back off immediately if a playmate says stop; but the kids are allowed to "grab each others' coats and make their opponents fall [and] pile up, to grab each other, to roll on the ground together," as long as they do not kick, hit, bite, or throw objects.

Global News quotes Quatre-Vents' principal, Sherley Bernier:

"There are certain students for whom it isn't enough to simply go run in the schoolyard. They need a little more to get out their energy."

It's unclear how long the pilot project has been running at Quatre-Vents, but so far there are about 15 kids who use the rough play zone on a regular basis. Bernier said, "We see in class that those children are calmer, and they're more focused." Read more>>>

Introduce risky play into your kid's life

Parents are told kids need an element of risk, but how does one actually go about doing that?

If you are a parent to young children, you've probably heard by now that kids need to engage in risky play in order to develop optimally. When kids are allowed to "test their boundaries and flirt with uncertainty," as University of British Columbia paediatrics professor Mariana Brussoni describes it, they gain better social skills, physical strength and balance, risk management skills, resilience, and confidence.

This sounds fabulous in principle, but we live in a world obsessed with creating boundaries for children. Safety regulations in school playgrounds and public parks have lengthy lists of things kids are not allowed to do. Parents are petrified that their children might get abducted or injured, even though the statistics show that abductions are virtually non-existent and a child is far more likely to die in a car than anywhere else.

So how is one supposed to go about introducing risky play into kids' lives? Read more>>>

 

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  Suki comments on "We Have Ruined Childhood"

"We Have Ruined Childhood"

Well, some of us have! I remember what hard work it was to make sure that my kids had ample unstructured time. You'd think that would be easy for homeschoolers, but we fell into the overscheduling trap just like other parents did.

If you have young children now: Try your best to get plenty of unstructured time into your child's life. Remember that most of our fears are unfounded (this is the safest time EVER to be a human being). The things you did when you were a kid-playing a pickup game of ball in the park with other kids, going for a walk alone in the woods, ditching your chores to chase minnows in the pond-were good for you.

I know it's hard to buck a trend...we had a period of time on our street when our kids were the ONLY kids on the whole street who were allowed to go outside on their own. But it's worth it.

The article Suki refers to: NYTiimes - We Have Ruined Childhood

Suki is a local mom, a writer, small publisher, teacher, and musician. You can go here to check out my writing, books, music, and classes, and also to learn how to contact or follow me.

 

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  Elementary Kids Don't Need Cell Phones With Internet Access

Let's Do Better.

By Mary Ann Blair August 11, 2019

I sat in stunned silence as I listened to what had happened to my friend's son at basketball camp. During a break, a fellow camper had taken out his phone, searched for an inappropriate website, and showed naked pictures of women to the other boys on the team.

These weren't teenagers. They were 9-year-olds. Less than two years older than my oldest son. And as I listened in horror to this story, I literally wanted to throw-up. I guess I shouldn't have been shocked, but that is exactly the problem.

Kids being exposed to inappropriate images at such young ages has become all too commonplace in our society.

And I have to wonder how much of it is our own fault. Parents, can't we do better by our kids? Can't we at least try to preserve their innocence a little longer?

Why are we giving our elementary school students cell phones with full access to the internet?

Why are we allowing our kids to have social media accounts at such early ages-during a time when they are so impressionable and are trying to find their self-worth in all the wrong places? Why are we spending so much time staring at our own devices and not enough time staring into the eyes of our children?

There is no doubt that parenting is probably harder than it ever has been.

Our generation of parents are fighting battles that our own parents never dreamed of fighting. And we would be naive to believe we can protect our kids from everything. But we can say "no" to our kids when our gut is telling us that's the right thing to do. We can give them a cell phone to use for emergencies or to check in with us that doesn't have an unlimited data plan.

We can tell them they have to wait to open a social media account.

We can be more vigilant about their use of the internet. Kids are facing unbelievable technological pressure these days-to have the latest and greatest cell phone, to use all the apps, to have all the accounts. But as parents, we have to fight for what is best for our kids. If we all banded together-if we all took some of that pressure off of our kids by working together to wage a war against the loss of innocence our kids are experiencing, then maybe, just maybe, we could all breathe a little easier as we send our children out into the world.

Mary Ann Blair is a stay-at-home mom living in the Pacific Northwest with her two little gentlemen and hubs. Her work has been featured on That's Inappropriate, Perfection Pending, Pregnant Chicken, Her View From Home and in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She enjoys connecting with other parents who like to keep it real. She can be found on Facebook at Miracles In The Mess.

  Fun Events!

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AUGUST

CALENDAR

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1st Days are here!

Be on the lookout in the Santa Cruz mountains for anyone matching this sketch and notify the sheriff's department if seen.

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Investigators are looking for the man, described as having dirty, light brown hair almost in dreadlocks and short, scruffy facial hair that was last seen running back toward the middle school. He reportedly stands about 6-foot-4-inches-tall and is "skinny" in stature with "long dirty fingernails." Patrol deputies, community policing personnel, surrounding schools and parents have been notified. Sheriff's Office patrol deputies are providing increased security around the school.

Contact Sgt. Chris Shearer at 831-454-7645     with information.

 

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Friday Night Bands at the Beach
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  Friday Night Bands at the Beach
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every Fri (Jun 14-Aug 30)
Details: Bring the family and your blanket or low back chair and join us for these classic bands!
Special Instructions:
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Pride and Prejudice
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  Pride and Prejudice
Santa Cruz Shakespeare
Date: Every day (Jul 9-Aug 31)
Details: Fast-paced, off-beat, and irreverent!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Music at Sky Park
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  Music at Sky Park
Scotts Valley Kiwanis
Date: The last Su of every month (Jul 28-Sep 29) from 2:30pm to 6:00pm
Details: GREAT Lineup for our 2019 CONCERTs and they're FREE!
City: Scotts Valley view all details >>
     
Introduction to Positive Discipline 2-Hour workshop
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  Introduction to Positive Discipline 2-Hour workshop
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Date: 08/24/2019 from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: Adults
Details: Will YOU Advocate to bring Positive Discipline to your campus this year?
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-476-7284 x107 view all details >>
     
Parks & Rex POOL PARTY
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  Parks & Rex POOL PARTY
Santa Cruz County Parks
Date: 08/24/2019 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: A fundraiser event for County of Santa Cruz youth recreation programs and the Animal Shelter!
Special Instructions: Entry is first-come, first-served
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 454-7946 view all details >>
     
Apple City Cider Tasting Room Grand Opening
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  Apple City Cider Tasting Room Grand Opening
Santa Cruz Cider Company and Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co.
Date: 08/24/2019 from 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Details: Cider, live music, face painting and food by killer chef catering
City: Watsonville view all details >>
     
Adventure: Safety or Danger?
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  Adventure: Safety or Danger?
Date:
view all details >>
     
Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
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  Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
National Parks
Date: 08/25/2019
Details: ee-free days make national parks accessible to more people.
view all details >>
     
Old Time Music Jam
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  Old Time Music Jam
Toneway Project
Date: The 4th Su of every month at 1:00pm
Details: Play, listen, dance! Ocean View Park
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Tequila & Taco Music Festival
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  Tequila & Taco Music Festival
Tequila & Taco Music Festival
Date: Every day (Aug 24-Aug 25) from 11:00am to 6:00pm
Details: Family Day on Sunday vating delicious tacos, all while enjoying a great music lineup
Special Instructions: Children under 12 free
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Dahlia Show
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  Dahlia Show
Monterey Bay Dahlia Society
Date: Every day (Aug 24-Aug 25) from 11:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Hundreds of Dahlias and help growing them
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Fish Tour: Seining in the San Lorenzo River
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  Fish Tour: Seining in the San Lorenzo River
Coastal Watershed
Date: 09/23/2019 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Details: Observe how seining is conducted while learning about steelhead biology and lagoon dynamics.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Street Smarts Family Bike Ride with Mayor Watkins
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  Street Smarts Family Bike Ride with Mayor Watkins
City of Santa Cruz
Date: 08/24/2019 from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Street Smarts ride and traffic safety open house, fun for kids!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 8316216226 view all details >>
     
Drop-in Support for New Moms
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  Drop-in Support for New Moms
Family Tree Wellness
Date: Every Th from 10:00am to 11:30am
Details: Join us for a safe, confidential drop-in support group for moms of infants and babies up to 8 months old to share postpartum...
City: Los Gatos Phone: (408) 345-5572 view all details >>
     
     
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