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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

August 7, 2014
Competing
Suki: The Search for the Girl Scientist in Literature

Christine: Inheriting Fear

Viva: Frugal Simplicity: 99 Ways to Declutter

Tips for Helping a Child Who is Being Bullied
Sightings Close to Shore!
This Week
2nd Saturday on the Farm
Ask Nicole: Questions and Answers
Click to view our Business Directory
  Competing

(Photos General) Monopoly_RV.jpgNPR had an interesting segment on the development of the competitive spirit in children.  This instantly intrigued me because competition is everywhere --siblings, school, sports, work, politics, nations-- all our lives. 

The message I took from the radio segment is that if we try to squash a natural developmental stage such as competitiveness we are crippling our children to the extent that they may be ill prepared for the real adult world.  Competition, winning and losing, and acquiring some grace in the process are a natural and important part of a child's development.  As always, responsibility comes back to the family.  Read the text of the story.

It's human nature.  We humans have disagreements within our family, among relatives, our communities, our nation and between nations.  Some of us find ways to get along.  Some seem incapable of getting along.  Lately it has seemed especially discouraging and sad to listen to the news, although not unexpected, given the lengthy history of some warring factions.  After reading Christine's article, I understand why some people, even entire nations cannot get along. (Photos General) Lightspeed_Jumping.jpgEpigenetics!  What do you think?! 

Our local state parks have outdone themselves with some new guided adventures. If you're experiencing too much competition with the kids, get outside!  Choose an activity that suits your family and enjoy nature and the rewards of more mellow children.  An outstanding program that channels the competitive spirit and teaches respect, focus, concentration and discipline can be found at Lightspeed Martial Arts.  Interestingly, this kind of program works equally well for the bullied and the bully.

If you are the parent of a driving teen or about-to-drive teen, there is a FREE two hour Start Smart, Drive Smart class given by the CHP at the Aptos Library Friday night.  Parents are welcome too.

Have a great weekend, Parmalee

  Suki: The Search for the Girl Scientist in Literature

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Note: This piece was published by a publishing industry blog a few years ago, but they have apparently reworked their site and I can't find it anymore. So I am reposting it here. This is one of the pieces that I have written that people find over and over-we need to support our scientist/techy/mathy girls, and part of that is letting them know through literary role models that they aren't alone. Unfortunately, I got some wonderful suggestions on that blog for other books, but they are now lost! If you have any other girl scientists up your sleeve, please do leave comments!

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_greenglassSea.jpgMy eight-year-old daughter is a scientist. This isn't a career choice. This is just a fact of her being.

When she was 18 months old, she accidentally pulled on her sensitive big brother's hair.

He cried!

Another child might have felt guilty or might have been upset. Not my daughter. She had only one possible reaction:

I wonder what will happen when I do that again!

And again and again.

Fast forward seven years, and she's... Read more>>>

Suki Wessling writes about parenting, education, gifted children, and homeschooling. If you'd like to learn more about Suki please click here.

 

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  Christine: Inheriting Fear

(Photos General) Baby-Scared.jpgFear is a learned emotional response to a particular situation or stimulant. A recent study has found that this learned response can be encoded in genes and passed on to future generations. Your fear of snakes or spiders may have come from a grandfather who got a good scare.

Genetics has been king in many biological areas. Now an old area of study called epigenetics has been rising up. Epigenetics is the study of environmental behavior or stresses that can be inherited. Although genes are inherited, the expression of those genes (whether they are turned on or off) can be changed by your environment.

This new study trained... Read more>>>>>

Christine is a local mom and scientist. She likes making challenging science accessible to us non-scientists.  Visit her blog at Science Fun.

 

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  Viva: Frugal Simplicity: 99 Ways to Declutter

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Frugal Simplicity: 99 Ways to Declutter, Save Money & Simplify Your Life by Sally Thomas is free right now on Amazon.  It's an Amazon Kindle ebook, but even if you don't own a Kindle you can still enjoy it by downloading it to your computer (PC or Mac), iPhone, or iPad. The instructions for doing so are included under the "Buy Now With 1 Click" button.

PLEASE BE AWARE that the price could change at any time, so always check the price before clicking Buy Now.

Hurry, these promotions don't last long.  Let me know what you think about this book!

Viva Harris writes The Daily Citron, a fun blog about setting goals, saving money, staying organized, and enjoying life in the process. Don't want to miss any tips? Sign up for the free Daily Citron Weekly Newsletter.

 

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  Tips for Helping a Child Who is Being Bullied

By Nicole M. Young, MSW, First Five

Going back to school is an exciting but stressful time for many children and parents. Although a new school year may feel like a fresh start, issues from the past year may resurface as summer draws to a close. This is a good time to address any lingering worries, so that your child can start the school year happy and ready to learn.

(Photos General) Bully_GirlBoy.jpgThis month we'll talk about bullying - behavior that is meant to hurt or scare someone verbally, physically or emotionally. It can happen face-to-face or through technology (texts, social media, email), and frequently takes place without adults being aware of it.

Bullying is a serious and complex issue. There are a variety of reasons why children bully others, and many negative effects on children who are bullied. In this column, I'm focusing on tips for helping a child who is being bullied, based on the world-renowned Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Santa Cruz County. If you have a question or idea for a future column, please email me at triplep@first5scc.org

Scroll down to read this month's questions and answers.

  Sightings Close to Shore!

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Photos by Pete Kiehart, The Chronicle

Humpback whales, Southern sea otters, and an abundance of birds and wildlife have been putting on quite a show at the slough lately.

With anchovies schooling along the coast, humpback whales have been feeding unusually close to shore. Moss Landing State Beach, at the mouth of the slough, offers some great locations for whale viewing. (Visit our Sightings blog to see amazing photos taken by Paul Zaretsky just last weekend.)

So stop by the beach and, while you're there, enjoy some of the work the Foundation has accomplished in collaboration with State Parks -- from the dune restoration project to interpretive panels describing the wonders of mud, marshes, and sea otters.

Speaking of sea otters, we've been seeing a lot of action on the Elkhorn Slough Otter Cam recently, including more than one adorable otter mom and pup.

Now's the time to visit, whether in person or online!

(Photos General) HumpbackBreach.jpgIf watching from land is not enough for you:

  This Week

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Events in the Parks

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg
A - Z Camps Swimming Holes Camp Guide
 

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(Ads 2014) TouchBlueSky_BoyinRed.jpg

(Ads Camp 2014) SantaCruzSoccer_2014_180.jpg

Next event:
SATURDAY September  6, 12-2pm

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FREE SWIM LESSONS

 

Seahorse Swim School
is giving back
to the community!

 

FREE lessons are
the first Saturday
of each month

 

Lifestyle Fitness
Watsonville

 

>>FIND OUT MORE>>

(Ads Camp 2014) SCCParksRec_swim2014.jpg

Big Basin

Hiking and Camping

Click here for information about guided hikes

 

Hiking on Your Own

Easy hiking:
Redwood Loop Trail
Maddock Cabin Site
Sequoia Trail

 

Moderate hiking:
Sequoia Trail

 

Strenuous hiking:
Berry Creek Falls

 

Other trails

Camping

Backpacking

So many

museums!

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Visit several

this summer!

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 2nd Saturday on the Farm

(Photos General) AgHistory_horsesheads.jpg2nd Saturday on the Farm

Ag History Project
Family oriented with special activities for children
Date: 8/9 from 11:00am to 3:00pm

2nd Saturday on the Farm- Aug 9

Join us on Saturday, August 9, as we celebrate Beef, Broncos and Berries! There's always something for everyone, including roping, rope making, crafts and story telling from our own Laura Taay!

This month we will be showcasing a new berry exhibit for the first time. We'll also have a horseshoeing demonstration by Kim Kobow.

Enjoy live animals, including chickens and rabbits. As always, there will be tractor driving and hayrides.


Location: 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-724-5898 •website Watsonville

Competing
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Competing
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Competing
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Competing
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Competing
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Basic Bicycle Maintenance Class
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  Basic Bicycle Maintenance Class
The Spokesman
Date: The 3rd Sa of every month (Jul 19-Aug 16) from 10:00am to 11:00am
Ages: Free
Details: Learn tips and tricks to keep your bike happy!
Special Instructions: Sat, July 19, 10am - 11am or Sat, August 16, 10am - 11am
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Movies at the Ranch: Vertigo
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  Movies at the Ranch: Vertigo
State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: 08/09/2014 at 6:30pm
Details:   Rancho del Oso goes Hollywood with movie nights at the
Special Instructions: Meets at the Rancho del Oso Nature and
City: Davenport Phone: (831) 427-2288 view all details >>
     
Competing
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The Backpack Project: Packing Life into Giving
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  The Backpack Project: Packing Life into Giving
Lynda and Kids Backpack Project
Date: Every day (Jul 1-Aug 15)
Details: Help us provide 200 backpacks to kids who need them
City: Scotts Valley Phone: 831.332.6371 view all details >>
     
Competing
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Contra Dancing
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  Contra Dancing
Santa Cruz Dance
Date: The 2nd Fri of every month from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Ages: 7+
Details: Contra couples dancing for beginners and experienced dancers - Make dance magic happen on the dance floor!
Special Instructions: Beginner's lesson at 5:40. Dancing 7:00-10:00
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Competing
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Baby Sign Language Introductory Class
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  Baby Sign Language Introductory Class
Touch Blue Sky Baby Sign Language
Date: 08/19/2014 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Ages: Birth to 18 months
Details: Baby Sign Language Introductory Class
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (650) 571-0337 view all details >>
     
Boardwalk 2017 Concerts
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  Boardwalk 2017 Concerts
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every Fri (Jun 16-Sep 1)
Details: Come on down for free Friday night concerts
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-5590 view all details >>
     
     
  Ask Nicole: Questions and Answers

Dear Nicole,

My 4-year-old daughter is anxious about going back to preschool because of a bad experience with bullying last year. She was repeatedly pushed and called names by another child. We had no issues during the summer. However, when we talk about going back to preschool now, my daughter cries, complains of stomachaches and says she doesn't want to go. Any suggestions?

Todd, Aptos

Dear Todd,

Many parents like you are concerned that bullying is starting at a younger age, but aren't sure what to do. When children are young, it can be hard to tell the difference between behaviors that are typical for that age versus behaviors that are warning signs of bullying. It's important to teach young children how to manage emotions, communicate feelings and needs, and be kind and respectful to others.

Here are some tips:

Ask questions and listen. 

  • Try asking open-ended questions like, "How do you feel about going back to preschool?" or "What do you think might happen if Joseph is in your class again?" If she has a hard time answering, try using a "feelings chart" (pictures of faces showing different emotions) or have her draw pictures to describe what she's feeling.
  • If the bullying happens again, ask questions about what happened and what she did or said in response. This will give you a better sense of your child's point of view of the problem and how much help she needs to handle the situation.
  • Keep listening and let her know it's ok if she feels sad, angry or upset.

Teach your child coping strategies.

  • Coping skills - such as problem solving, positive self-talk and seeking support - help children deal with stressful events.
  • Ask your daughter what she could do if the bullying happens again. If she needs help answering, offer ideas such as walk away and say "Stop it. Leave me alone." or ask an adult for help. Ask her what she thinks of each idea, then help her pick one or two ideas to try.
  • Have your daughter practice what she will say or do. You play the role of the "bully," and have her practice standing tall, looking you in the eye and using a firm voice. Do this several times so that she gains confidence in her ability to do this at preschool.

Talk with the teacher and/or the director of the preschool.

  • Request a meeting with your daughter's teacher as soon as possible. Let the teacher know you are interested in working together to make this year a positive experience for everyone. If needed, give a few examples of the behaviors that occurred.
  • Ask the teacher what ideas s/he has to prevent or stop bullying. It might lead to solutions such as closer supervision of aggressive children and class discussions about problem-solving.
  • Identify steps each of you can take to stay in touch. For example, you might agree to check in with each other at least weekly. Or, you might agree that either one of you can call or email the other if there is a concern.
  • If bullying occurs again, let the teacher know right away, and then request another meeting to do some joint problem-solving. Ask the teacher what s/he has observed so you can understand the teacher's point of view. Ask the teacher to share additional ideas on how to solve the problem.

These suggestions only scratch surface when it comes dealing with bullying. However, the more we have problem-solving discussions with our children, our friends, our neighbors, our teachers and our colleagues, the more everyone benefits.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 10 and 14, 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 http://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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