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New Leaf Community Markets - Everything for Healthful Living!
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

December 6, 2012
Parenting Approaches
Mount Madonna
Peace on Earth Can Start at Home
Nutcracker
Enter to Win Free Tickets to the Nutcracker!
A Secret Santa gift circle is a great way to stay in-budget for the holidays.
Springhill
Attachment and Success
This Week
Holiday Train Rides
Click to view our Business Directory
  Parenting Approaches

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We are living in a time when science is making discoveries at warp speed.  Take the brain.  I listened to Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, a leading alzheimer researcher affiliated with Harvard, discuss the three sections of the brain: 1) the stem (manages fear, flight or fight, feeding, our heart thumping), 2) the emotional brain (the seat of emotional balance or imbalance) and 3) the thinking brain (knowledge, planning, problem-solving, strategizing), their interrelationships and how, with awareness of the way our brains function, we  can direct them to achieve health, happiness, and spiritual growth. 

Together with Deepak Chopra he has written Superbrain.  "Chopra and Tanzi propose that, through a person's increased self-awareness and conscious intention, the brain can be taught to reach far beyond its present limitations. "We are living in a golden age for brain research, but is this a golden age for your brain?" they ask.

"Super Brain explains how it can be by combining cutting-edge research and spiritual insights, demolishing the five most widespread myths about the brain that limit your potential, and then showing you methods to:

-Use your brain instead of letting it use you
-Create the ideal lifestyle for a healthy brain
-Reduce the risks of aging
-Promote happiness and well-being through the mind-body connection
-Access the enlightened brain, the gateway to freedom and bliss
-Overcome the most common challenges, such as memory loss, depression, anxiety, and obesity"

If you want to learn more about the brain, read Dr. John Medina's Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby.  He spoke in Santa Cruz about two years ago.  I bet he has done more research since then.

I'm reading The Pathway by Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D.   She frequently references how important it is to be a well balanced parent who both nurtures and sets limits in order to guide our children into emotionally healthy balanced adults. Further she maintains that we cannot do this unless we know how to nurture and set limits for ourselves.  We may still be having challenges with this if we grew up in a family that did not parent with nurturing and setting limits.  Based on scientific studies, she has come up with The Solution for all of us who are still striving for balance in our fast-paced, hectic lives.

Suki comes at the topic of meeting children's needs from a different angle; she looks at how to adjust to children's differing needs for attachment or independence at different times in their lives. Read Attachment and Success by Suki.

I watched a documentary movie that was gripping in its understated, beautiful story about Buck Brannaman, the real life man who was inspiration for the movie "Horse Whisperer."   His journey from being whipped by an alcoholic father to becoming part of a loving foster family, then becoming both a loving husband and father is a testament to all that is good in people. Buck's personal story is revealed as the film focuses on how he trains horses and their owners.   Both his personal story and his work with horses exemplify the concepts of nurturing and setting limits. 

I think it's great that there is so much help backed by science available for us all!  This is a good time to be a good, not perfect, parent!

Nurture and set limits for yourself and your children, Parmalee

  Mount Madonna

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  Peace on Earth Can Start at Home

During the holidays, idealistic phrases such as "Joy to the World" and "Peace on Earth" can be found nearly everywhere-greeting cards, advertising, decorations and more.

However, when daily life becomes busy or filled with worries, many of us struggle to carve out time to consider how to make the world a better place. Yet most of us aim to do just that, especially for the children who are the center of our lives.

(Holidays) Christmas_peacedove.jpgWhether your family celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or another holiday, the holidays provide a good reminder to be grateful for the positive things in our lives. It's also a great time to take a few moments each day to consider how to make your family life as peaceful as it can be.  

Being a parent is challenging. We not only have to balance the stress of finding or keeping work while being present for our families, but also provide support our children need to succeed, including developing life skills, like problem solving and conflict resolution.

With a little extra emphasis on gaining these skills, you may enjoy more confident and ultimately successful children-which will take your family an important step closer to doing your part for peace on earth.

So how can you achieve a more peaceful family life? Here are a few positive parenting tips that can help:

Have realistic expectations of your family, partner and children.

Often during the holidays, we expect a lot-at times, perhaps too much-of ourselves and other family members.

Take time to think about what's most important - whether it's spending time together, helping others in need, giving gifts or staying within a budget - and talk about it with your partner and children. Turn expectation-setting into an opportunity for open conversation. Consider a weekly time together where all family members can share wins and frustrations, and have an opportunity to solve problems.

Model the positive behaviors you want to see.

Children learn new skills by example, and family members are their teachers. First show them the skill, then provide your child opportunities to learn the new skill. For example, speak calmly and politely to each other. Then prompt your child to speak politely (example: saying "please" and "thank you"), and praise your child for their efforts (example: "Thank you for using your polite words.").

(Photos General) ParentingSkillsGardenSeeds.jpgShow your love through affection and attention.

Give your child lots of physical attention-hugs, high-fives or holding hands-and be affectionate as a family. When your child wants to show or tell you something, stop what you're doing for a few moments and look and listen. This kind of short but frequent quality time reassures your child that you're interested, and that you'll be available when your child needs you.

Take time to recharge.

Even though most December holidays are about giving to others, take time every day to look after yourself, even if it's only for a few minutes. Try taking a few deep breaths, go for a 10-minute walk, listen to your favorite song or call a friend. You'll be better able to look after your child's needs if you also look after your own.

Raising the next generation to be confident and resilient, and have conflict resolution skills is a vitally important task that requires effort and patience. Taking the time to invest in your family and learn new parenting strategies can be a gift not just to your family, but also to the world.

These tips come from the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County. Triple P is scientifically proven and is the world's leading positive parenting program. In addition to tips like these, Triple P also offers classes and one-on-one meetings to help parents handle everyday parenting challenges.

For more information about Triple P, visit triplep.first5scc.org, www.facebook.com/triplepscc or www.youtube.com/triplepsantacruzco. To find a Triple P class or practitioner, contact Stephanie Bluford at 831-465-2217 or sbluford@first5scc.org

  Nutcracker

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  Enter to Win Free Tickets to the Nutcracker!

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WIN TICKETS TO THE NUTCRACKER!!

We have tickets for the Nutcracker

by Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, Dec. 14-16. 

You can win up to four!

Send us one new subscriber's email (please ask them!) for each ticket.  We shall enter you into a drawing to win free tickets!

  A Secret Santa gift circle is a great way to stay in-budget for the holidays.

(Holidays) Christmas_SecretSanta2.jpgFor anyone who's not familiar, a gift circle (often called a Secret Santa) is where everyone involved writes their names on slips of paper, and then each person draws a name randomly and buys a present only for that person.  So, each person in the circle gets one present.  Because you're only spending money on one present, you can afford to spend a little more than usual on it.  It's helpful to set a maximum or target spending amount so that people gives gifts that are roughly equal in value- depending on the culture and spending power of the group, a max limit of anywhere from $5 to $100 could be appropriate.

 

(Photos General) VivaGravatar.jpgMy husband's family used to do the traditional gift-giving scenario for Christmas: everyone bought gifts for everyone.  It was fun to give and get lots of presents, but it was also expensive! One year someone broached the idea of doing a Secret Santa gift circle instead, where we would each write our name on a piece of paper, put the names into a hat, and then draw names to determine who would buy for who.  We set the limit per gift at $40.  Originally we drew names at Thanksgiving, though for shopping convenience we've now moved the name-picking date closer to Labor Day.    Holiday shopping is so much less stressful now- we have fewer people to shop for, and a set spending limit for the gift circle (it's now $50 per gift).  It's super fun to show up at our family gathering with our secret gifts, waiting to surprise our gift recipient.

You can suggest a gift circle in lieu of gift exchanges at your work place, for each side of your family, and for groups of friends.

Are you a part of any gift circles for the holidays?  If not, do you plan to start one this year?

Viva Harris specializes in finding ways to both be frugal and have fun! Follow Viva at the Daily Citron.

  Springhill

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  Attachment and Success

(Photos General) SukiRedHead_138.jpgI was reading about attachment research in Paul Tough's How Children Succeed and remembered a conversation I had not long ago with another adult.

I had mentioned something about how so many of my homeschooling friends were attachment parents (read this if you don't know what that is), and this person responded, "Aren't their kids all clingy and shy? Wouldn't they benefit from being away from their parents more?"

 

I answered what I had seen... Read more! >>>

  This Week

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Submit your event!


Check the Events Calendar for More Fun!

 

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School Corner

 

Gateway School K-8 Open House 12/6

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf K-8,  Waldorf Alive! A Walk Through the Grades 12/12

 

Coastal Community Preschool, Night Out 12/7

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12,  Campus tour Day 12/12

Best Holiday Camps!

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Robotic Camp at Makers Factory

 

Catalyst Soccer

 

Holiday Workshops and Camp at The Art Factory

 

Santa Cruz Gymnastics

 

Watershed Art at The Tannery

 

Camp Flip at Gymnastics Learning Center

From Christine...

Fun Science for Parents to Share with children!

 

Do some people really attract mosquitoes?

 

I never thought about it until I started backpacking with a new boyfriend who eventually became my husband.


Mosquitoes seemed to drive him crazy. There was one backpacking trip where I asked him to sit in a different part of the meadow. There was a cloud of mosquitoes around him and I saw one or two if I wasn't next to him. I've even slept outdoors in the Sierras hatch.


If you've never seen it, all mosquitoes in one area hatch at the same time in the snowmelt. I've needed to blow mosquitoes off my food in order to eat. Bites also don't itch. My husband on the other hand. . .Read more...>>>

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Classes for Young Children!

Holiday Fairs, Events and Fun!

 

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Carriage Rides Downtown Santa Cruz

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Finding Beach Treasures

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Vasona Lake Park lights

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Roaring Camp Tree Walk

All Holiday Events are in the Calendar!

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 Holiday Train Rides

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(Ads 2012) Boardwalk_HolidayLightsTrain2012.jpg

Thomas the Tank
Every Su and Sa (Dec 8-Dec 23) from 10:30pm to 1:30pm
$24 Ages 2 and up

Thomas the Tank Engine is always a big hit with fans of the classic children's books and popular PBS program. Geared toward young Thomas fans, each "Holiday Out with Thomas" ticket includes a 25-minute train ride, an opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, a carousel ride, a "make and take" Thomas ornament, face painting, plus your choice of mini golf, laser tag, or arcade tokens.

Train to Christmas Town
November 23 - December 23
Adult $ 36.75; Child (2-12yrs) $ 26.25; Adult with Babe in arms $36.75

There's a new train in town! Experience the heartwarming story of a little girl named Janice who loves riding the Train to Christmas Town with her brother and grandmother every year. The tale comes to life as you ride the train to Christmas Town with Janice and her friends - Bumblebee the Polar Bear, Wabash the Squirrel, and Zephyr the depot cat. Busy elves serve cookies and cocoa and sing Christmas carols.

When the train reaches Christmas Town, Santa climbs on board greeting each child with a gift, holiday cheer, and his signature "Ho, Ho, Ho"! Train departs from the Boardwalk, traveling northwest, toward Wilder Ranch and back. RIDE TIME: 1 Hour

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train
November 24, December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23
$26 adult/ $20 kids 2-12

Ride Roaring Camp Railroad's vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, through the streets of Santa Cruz. Sing along to seasonal carols while sipping hot-spiced cider, listen to musical entertainment, and enjoy a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

This train departs from the Boardwalk and travels to the base of Pogonip and back. RIDE TIME: 45 Minutes

Purchase Tickets

The Season Begins!
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The Season Begins!
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The Season Begins!
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Workshop Day for Gifted Learners
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  Workshop Day for Gifted Learners
Scholar Search Associates
Date: 12/09/2012 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: Students Grades 3-12 & Families
Details: Free Day Event for advanced learners and their families!
City: San Jose Phone: 408-249-2510 view all details >>
     
The Season Begins!
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The Season Begins!
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A Boomer Christmas
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  A Boomer Christmas
Saratoga History Museum
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa (Nov 21-Jan 25) from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Details: It's a Boomer Christmas-Toys from the 1950's, 60's and 70's
City: Saratoga Phone: (408) 867-4311 view all details >>
     
The Season Begins!
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  The Season Begins!
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Candle Dipping
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  Candle Dipping
State Park Mission
Date: 08/12/2017 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Details: Hand-dip a wax candle!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.425-5849 view all details >>
     
Jingle Bell Rock 5K
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  Jingle Bell Rock 5K
Toys for Tots
Date: Every day (Nov 12-Dec 12)
Details: 5K Walk/Run and 1K for Kids to Benefit Toys for Tots
Special Instructions: RACE DAY DEC 10
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
The Season Begins!
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