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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

December 11, 2014
A Dickens of a Good Weekend

Steve: Finding Your Expert

Suki: Mushroom Magic

Ask Nicole: Teaching gratitude every day of the year

Christine: Zooniverse - Something for Every Citizen Scientist

Think Local: Shop Local for the Holidays
This Week
A Boomer Christmas
Ask Nicole: Gratitude continued
Click to view our Business Directory
  A Dickens of a Good Weekend

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Dickens_Fraser.jpgThis weekend I'm visiting a town that transforms itself into a Dickens novel for two days.  About 200 volunteers dress up and act the parts of Dickens characters.  I'm boning up on my characters so I can enter into conversations.  I expect to meet Scrooge, Oliver Twist, the Artful Dodger, Pip, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, the odd Miss Havisham, perhaps even the nasty Madame DeFarge and hopefully David Copperfield.  With all our creative citizens, this would be fun to bring to Santa Cruz.  I'll be wearing a colorful newsboy hat to go with the 1800's times!

We've come a long way in childrearing since the 1800's.  Now we have lots of support and many choices.  Santa Cruz offers many local experts to help us parents: Positive Discipline Resources, First 5, Steve Spitalny and others!  When I saw the title  "Neanderthals Made Better Parents than We Do" I was intrigued. I read it, and some of the points resonated with me.  What do you think? 

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Dickens_StreetScene.jpgSuki's walk resulted in magic!  Take one and see what happens.  Nicole offers thoughts on children and gratitude. Good!  It's a joy to be around people who are grateful.  They tend to be the kind who see the glass as half full.  Steve has thoughts on how to find parenting help that suits your situation.  Christine encourages us to find a way to become a citizen scientist.  Surely our local state parks and places like Elkhorn Slough and Watsonville Wetlands and local Bird Club offer us opportunities. The Santa Cruz Bird Club is counting on volunteers to help with the local bird count on Dec. 20.

The Weekend   ~  December Holiday Events  ~ Parenting Support  ~  Classes  ~  Winter Camps!

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter and for sending so many new families our way. Please, drop us a line anytime and recommend us to a friend

Have a dickens of a good weekend with your family, Parmalee

 

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  Steve: Finding Your Expert

Often I hear parents and teachers asking, "What should I do?" in regard to various situations involving young children. It would make life much easier if there were specific answers to those questions. It would make things easier if their was a recipe book for interacting with and raising young children. There is no PDR for any aspects of early childhood. There is no "one way' to do it in a given situation.


I learned a secret a long time ago. The secret is that there are 7 billion different types of human being. Each one is unique and different. No rules apply to all. No recipes can be general.


That leaves us with a big challenge. The challenge is how to figure out what is the best option in any given situation in which we find ourselves and our young ones.

The situation for adults in our time is much different than the past. Our grandparents had a different set-up, and a harder time getting all the information that is so easily available to us. Not so long ago, multi-generational families lived in close proximity to each other. New parents had handy and experienced grandparents nearby, maybe living in the same home. And parenting methods were handed down by example from one generation to the next. Family members were born, lived, and died without traveling very far from home. The situation for new parents today is different! Read more>>>>

Explore the world of the young child with me, Stephen Spitalny. I am a writer, speaker and early childhood consultant.   Find Steve Spitalny here>>>>

 

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  Suki: Mushroom Magic

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No, today's post will not be an argument in favor of legalizing magic mushrooms. Move on to the next blogger if that's what you're looking for.

The other day I was waiting for my daughter to get out of school. Next to her school is a playing field with a dirt track running around it, and I try to arrive a bit early so I can get a walk in before she's out.

Recently, they put out new mulch in various garden areas around the track, and I noticed the wonderful spectacle that mulch-plus-rain often offers: a lovely crop of varied mushrooms everywhere. My family are great appreciators of mushrooms in the woods and on our table, so I was enjoying the variety and exuberant growth.

As I rounded the track, I came across something curious. In a grassy area, not a speck of mulch to be found, there was a perfect circle of mushrooms. It was an almost magical thing, to see this perfect circle sprouting from the grass.

ShroomFairyCircle

Yes, mushroom fairy rings have a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation. But sometimes it's just lovely to enjoy natural phenomena for the magic they bring into our lives. This fairy ring made me smile.

Just then...   Read more>>>>

Suki Wessling is a local parent who writes about parenting, education, gifted children, and homeschooling at Avant Parenting.

 
(Logos Business) OhanaGymnastics_Logo.jpg
Camp Flip at Ohana Gym
Learn new skills, meet new friends, laugh and play!!
 GYMNASTICS FUN!

MTW Dec 22 - Jan 1, 9am-12pm, Ages 4-12, $50/day, $90/ 2 days; $125/ 3 days, 20% sibling discount

OhanaGym.com

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  Ask Nicole: Teaching gratitude every day of the year

(Graphics) Teacherthankyou.jpgI can't believe how quickly another year has flown by. In my family, the passing of time is marked by major life events: birthdays, vacations, kids' sports activities, the end of school, the beginning of school and holidays. Everything in between seems like a blur. Sometimes it's hard to slow down and appreciate all the things that really matter in life, like the health and happiness of my family, friends - and me! So when this month's question came in, it got me thinking about how we teach children about gratitude.

This monthly column provides tips for anyone who is helping raise children, 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.

Read the rest of Nicole's column>>>>>>>>>>

 
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"Would you love to work from home so you can spend more time with your family?

I can show you how.  Get the details"

http://www.freetimeforfamily.com    831-531-8457     Tracy@Mongold.net

 

  Christine: Zooniverse - Something for Every Citizen Scientist

(Photos General) Christine_Zoonverse-Birders_at_Caerlaverock.jpgThe idea of the citizen scientist is very old. Before science was a profession all scientists were citizen scientists. Even after the advent of science as a career, citizen scientists have played an important role in the pursuit of results. The Audubon Bird Count is over 100 years old. Much natural history information has come from the notes of amateurs who dried plants and kept careful notes about plant growth.

There is a wonderful website that has some of the cream of citizen science projects - Zooniverse.  Zooniverse has a collection of websites from different areas of science. These projects are looking for help in going through data. I tripped over the site when I was looking at data from the LHC. Cern is looking for people to methodically  examine their data for new particles. Read more>>>>>>

Chistine is a local mom and scientist who makes science easy to understand.  You can find her blog here.  That's her happy son Greg several years ago!

Birders_at_Caerlaverock

 
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 Winter Break Camps for Youth and Teens
Ages 5-12: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas; Harry Potter: Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes; Frozen; Create A Play In A Day
Ages 13 - 20 Acting Conservatory

WestPerformingArts.com

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  Think Local: Shop Local for the Holidays

(Holidays) Christmas_ShoppingJingleBells.jpgDear Fellow Locals,

This holiday season help make a positive impact within Santa Cruz County communities by shopping locally the month of December. You can help preserve our unique Santa Cruz culture while making a difference in the local economy by making a conscious decision to support independently owned small businesses.
 
Santa Cruz County shops and restaurants provide a certain vibrancy essential to our collective community life. Shopping and dining at small local businesses offers a more intimate customer- local owner relationship. Local shop owners are interested in their clients and give their customer personal attention to answer questions about their products or services.  
 
Please take these steps for a happy and prosperous holiday season:

  • Shop Local - Support our local shops, restaurants and service providers during Shop Local Month. For a directory of local, independently owned businesses click here to check out the 2015 TLF Business Directory.
  • Make a 20% Shift -The smallest change in shopping behavior can make an enormous difference. Make a goal of shifting at least 20% of your non-local purchases to a local business this holiday season.
  • Eat Drink Local Food - There is a plethora of local food, beer and wines to enjoy for the holidays at many Santa Cruz County restaurants and shops.
  • Use Cash - Paying with cash may help ensure you will stay within the holiday budget and can save local businesses thousands of dollars in processing fees. This helps more of your money to stay local.
  • Relax and Enjoy the Season! - We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Take the time to enjoy the holidays and all its magical Santa Cruz charm with your family and friends.

  This Week

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December in the Parks

 

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School Corner

Spring Hill School K-6, Kindergarten Open House 12/11

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12, "Seussical the Musical", 12/13 & 14

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To Contributors to our weekly newsletters! You help us navigate the parenting challenges!

Lorraine Pursell

Parenting

Steve Spitalny

The World of the Young Child

Suki Wessling

Parenting Gifted and...

PDRC - Positive Discipline Resource Community

Parenting Workshops

First 5 Triple P - Nicole

Parenting Workshops

Jeff Luhn

Photography

Christine Cockey

Science

Viva Harris

Frugal Tips

Annie Murphy Paul

Brilliant, The Science of Smart

 

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Girls Night Out

Friday

The Art Factory

(Ads 2014) ArtFactory_GNOPaintingCollage.jpg

ArtFactoryStudios

(Logos Business) MusicalMe_Logo2013.jpg

MusicalMe, Inc. is expanding to offer an introductory six-week Family Favorites session at the newly opened Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery, at the Capitola Mall.

REGISTER NOW!

Come sing and dance November 17th through December 22nd, taught by our Director Lizz Hodgin. 

Space is limited so register NOW to guarantee a spot in this NEW class!

 

CLUBS FOR KIDS!

 

Parenting is "thrilling, exhausting, hilarious, fun, frustrating, rewarding.... and requires constant vigilance..."

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Tune up Your Parenting Skills


Workshops for  Parents with Babies to Teens


 

FREE

ACTIVITIES

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  A Boomer Christmas

Saratoga History Museum
It's a Boomer Christmas-Toys from the 1950's, 60's and 70's
Every Su, Fri and Sat Nov 21-Jan 25, 10:00am to 4:00pm

A new holiday exhibit debuts on November 28 and runs through January 25 at the Saratoga History Museum. Nostalgic toys of the 1950's-1970's will be on display-sure to tug on everyone's heart strings.

(Photos General) Boomer_Mr.jpgEnjoy the holiday decorations and the new holiday exhibit: It's a Boomer Christmas-Toys from 1950-1970s.     The gift shop will have many nice things to choose from-be sure to pick up an item or two.

What's a boomer, you ask? Baby boomers were born after World War II or between 1946 and 1964-a period of time that marked high population growth.

 Nostalia Exhibit Features Favorite Toys from 1950-1970
The Saratoga History Museum opens a new exhibit, It's a Boomer Christmas- Toys From the 1950's-70's, on November 21. The exhibit highlights favorite toys from one of the most innovative eras (Photos General) Boomer__SillyPutty.jpgin the US. Toys such as hula hoops, frisbee, Silly Putty, Wonka trucks, Yahtzee, Barbie dolls, little green army men, Mr. Potato Head and more may conjure up your Christmas fantasy in the 1950s.

Visions of Chatty Cathy dolls, GI Joe, Operation, Rock Em Sock Em robots danced in the heads of children of the 1960s. Atari, pet rocks and more were on Christmas lists of (Photos General) Boomer_Yahtzee.jpgthe 1970s. Come to the Saratoga History Museum and see your favorite toy. The exhibit is open from 1-4 PM Friday-Sunday. The Saratoga History Museum is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Saratoga. The exhibit is free and runs until the end of January.

Come see your favorite toy-bring your children, grandchildren and re-visit the past!!

The gift shop features special holiday gifts, too.

The Saratoga History Museum (20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road) is open from 1pm to 4pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Location: McWilliams House, 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga Map
Phone: (408) 867-4311 •website Los Gatos

A Dickens of a Good Weekend
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Holidays on the Ranch
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  Holidays on the Ranch
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: 12/09/2017 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Details: Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music and merriment from the early 20th century.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-0505 view all details >>
     
Child Nutrition and Cooking
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  Child Nutrition and Cooking
Stanford University
Date: Every day
Details: Self-paced course examines contemporary child nutrition and the impact of the individual decisions made by each family
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Trek to the Forbidden Sandhills
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  Trek to the Forbidden Sandhills
Quail Hollow Ranch
Date: Every Su and Tues (Apr 2-Apr 30) from 10:00am to 12:30pm
Ages: 16+
Details: Take a rare tour of the sandhills
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-9348 view all details >>
     
Hansel and Gretel Children's Opera
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  Hansel and Gretel Children's Opera
Saratoga Civic Theater
Date: 12/14/2014 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Hansel and Gretel Children's Opera Hansel and Gretel is a family
City: Saratoga Phone: 408-868-1291 view all details >>
     
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  Ask Nicole: Gratitude continued

Dear Nicole,

It's getting harder to enjoy the holidays because the craziness starts earlier each year. I saw Halloween candy in stores this summer and Christmas decorations before Halloween. It's too much! I want my kids to understand that the holidays are about more than candy and gifts and that we should be grateful for what we have. I also can't afford everything they want, but my kids just seem to want more, more, more. I'm worried they'll grow up to be spoiled and ungrateful. What should I do?

- Juan

Dear Juan,

I'll bet you're not the only person who feels the meaning of holidays often gets lost among all the sales and wrapping paper. It's natural for children to get caught up in the excitement of holiday celebrations, especially ones that involve gifts. The anticipation of opening a present is very appealing. But you raise a good question about how to teach children to be grateful for things other than material objects. Research shows that grateful people tend to be happier, more optimistic and more satisfied. Having an "attitude of gratitude" helps people develop positive relationships with others and feel connected to their community. Here are some tips to teach your children about gratitude:

Teach gratitude through modeling.

There's a saying that "Parents are a child's first and most important teacher." As parents and caregivers, we can teach our children how to be grateful by expressing our own gratitude through words, affection and other acts of kindness. Start by modeling how to say "please" and "thank you" to your children, your partner and others you interact with. Then take it a step further by talking about the things you appreciate on an everyday basis. Show your gratitude for both material objects and intangible things, such as love, affection and help from others.

Make gratefulness a habit.

The holidays usually serve as a reminder about being grateful for what we have, helping others and giving back. However, the attitude of gratitude often fades in the New Year. Try creating routines in your family so that gratefulness becomes a habit throughout the year. Pick a time to talk about the things each person appreciated or felt good about that day (hint: family meals are a great time for this). Reassure your children it's OK to be grateful for their "things" (yes, even electronic devices), and encourage them to notice the little things we often take for granted: a friend's kind words, a sibling's help with a chore or a vibrant sunset.

Encourage children to help and care for others.

Sometimes, the more we try to teach our children by talking, the less they actually learn. It's the Murphy's Law of parenting. One way to educate children about gratefulness is by having them help and care for others. This gives them a chance to practice being thoughtful, patient, generous and empathetic toward others. And when they receive gratitude from other people, they experience the positive feelings that come from having their efforts recognized.

This holiday season, try finding an activity your whole family can help with - provide toys and food for families in need, or serve meals at a shelter. Involve your children in picking the activity and talk about how it will be helpful. Acknowledge their helpfulness during the activity. Afterwards, ask them how it felt to help others. Continue to look for opportunities to help others so your children learn to give and receive gratitude throughout the year.

Final thoughts: Gratitude is about much more than saying "please" and "thank you." It's about being aware of and thankful for the positive people and circumstances in our lives, instead of taking them for granted. Feeling and expressing gratitude is a skill children can learn through modeling and practice. They may not always get it right, especially when presents are involved. But then again, many of us adults are still trying to get it right, too.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 11 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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