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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

December 8, 2016
Best Science Books

Ami Chen-Mills: "Presence"

Ask Nicole: Your Presence is the Best Present

Suki Reviews "Captain Fantastic" & Rewrites the Ending!
Unlocking Dyslexia
Places to Go!
Ask Nicole: Your Presence is the Best Present continued
Click to view our Business Directory
  Best Science Books

(0 Dec 2016) BookPresents2.jpgOf course books are the BEST gift of all!  Maria Popova of Brain Pickings brings us a fantastic essay on "The Best Science Books of 2016." Please read the article.  It's inspiring!

Two articles on "presence" from favorite bloggers, Ami and Nicole, help us put the season into perspective.  I was privileged to sit in with a dozen lady crafters, to observe a variety of personalities chatting, laughing, caring for each other and offering help with projects. Now that's "presence" with friends.  Is there a neighbor who might enjoy a cup of coffee with you, a far away relative who would enjoy a phone call, a son or daughter, husband, wife or friend who wants to spend time with you!?

I find the series on Dyslexia very helpful.  What do you think?

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! We are still activating posts on our calendar so be sure to check the online calendar for more events over the weekend.

Have a festive weekend with family and friends!  Parmalee

 

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  Ami Chen-Mills: "Presence"

(0 Dec 2016) AmiChen-Mills5.jpgAs we cross the threshold from the holiday of giving thanks to the holiday of giving presents, I offer encouragement to include in your giving this year-in addition to whatever actual "presents" you may give-the gift of your actual presence both to your loved ones, to strangers and lastly, but not least, to yourself.

"Easy for you to say!" you may well respond. "It's the $@#! Holidays!" (Or: "Have you seen my $#@! in-box??")

How do we find our own presence within; how do we re-discover what some would call our higher Selves, our own souls ... in the midst of the busy-ness of this season, and of our overall lives?

We know when we have touched this place of quiet feeling, a sense of assurance arises within, and our problems seem smaller, solutions more evident, or we are content to simply enjoy life as it is, now, no matter what our circumstances.

"We know when we have touched this place of quiet feeling, a sense of assurance arises within, and our problems seem smaller, solutions more evident ... "

Our children benefit, our spouses, our families, our colleagues.

I have learned for myself that the how is as simple as stopping. In my work of late, I've been using the term "surrender." Surrender in the very best sense, meaning we stop trying to control everything around us (a futile task!), and even what is within our own minds. We stop. Emotions may continue, energies in the body. Chaos may swirl, still, for a while. But we do not need to continue to feed our thoughts, which add complexity to the storm. We can stop.

What is here, under this surrender, within this stopping? Under thoughts of what must be done, what we must do, what we must achieve, or change, and how we can prove our worthiness, or disprove our unworthiness? What is under, beneath, within, before and after our "to do" list, whether accomplished or not? ...continue reading>>>

Ami Chen Mills-Naim, a local parent, is a resiliency and well-being coach for families and individuals in Santa Cruz.  Author of The Spark Inside and State of Mind in the Classroom, she also runs retreats, and weekly and monthly drop-in classes. For more information, go to www.AmiChen.com

 

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  Ask Nicole: Your Presence is the Best Present

Ask Nicole: Your Presence Is the Best Present

Nicole M. Young, MSW

My teenage daughter sometimes leaves me sweet notes on the whiteboard in my home office. She recently wrote, "Thank you for making time for me, even when you could be working." It made my heart melt because I know she genuinely loves to spend time with me. I hope that doesn't change as she gets older. The note was also heart-wrenching because it reminded me how she often gets disappointed when I have to work instead of spend time with her. I get disappointed, too. I took a picture of that message to remind myself that although my children are becoming increasingly independent, they still need me to be present in their lives.

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, email me at triplep@first5scc.org.

Dear Nicole, My husband says our kids (5, 10, 12) are becoming spoiled because I give in to their demands and don't make them help out around the house. He thinks I buy their love with presents and they take advantage of me. I just want my kids to know I love them and I feel guilty because I work long hours. When I'm home, I don't want them to see me as "the enforcer." We've been arguing about this a lot lately. Can you help us? Marta

Dear Marta, It's hard when partners disagree about parenting issues. And it's common for children to think their parents exist solely to provide them unlimited food, clothing, money, entertainment and transportation. While providing these things is an important part of parenting, it's also important to teach children how to make respectful requests, accept limits and be kind, considerate and helpful family members. Here are some tips to try: continued>>>

 

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  Suki Reviews "Captain Fantastic" & Rewrites the Ending!

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpgA number of friends have recommended the film "Captain Fantastic" to me. None of them were homeschoolers, and when they recommended it they didn't even mention the homeschooling angle.

Perhaps, given where I live, they were more riveted by the Buddhism and the "stick it to the man" angles.

However, upon reading the reviews, I was looking forward to this film. It sounded like a magnified version of so many homeschoolers I know:

  • trying to raise their kids away from the corrupting influence of popular culture
  • trying to get back to what was good about traditional culture
  • trying desperately not to replicate the mistakes that they think their parents made

"Captain Fantastic" was all that. The film starts with a comic book version of what I know to be the days of many homeschoolers I am acquainted with: The dad is spending real, focused time with his kids. They are in nature. He has borrowed a tradition that he feels had value in the past and updated it [sorta] for his own modern uses. Read more>>>>

Suki Wessling is a local parent, blogger, author and musician who writes fiction and nonfiction about reading, writing, parenting, education, and homeschooling and occasionally sings.

  Unlocking Dyslexia

by Gabrielle Emanuel

Millions Have Dyslexia, Few Understand It

November 28, 2016 • It's the most common learning disability, yet it's still hard to answer the question: What is it? An NPR reporter who has dyslexia talks with other people - young and old - in search of answers.

How Science Is Rewiring The Dyslexic Brain

November 29, 2016 • Scientists are exploring how human brains learn to read - and discovering new ways that brains with dyslexia can learn to cope.

Raising A Child With Dyslexia: 3 Things Parents Can Do

November 29, 2016 • Dyslexia is a reading problem, but its influence can be felt far beyond the classroom. It often disrupts home life, making dinnertime and bedtime a struggle.

Dyslexia: The Learning Disability That Must Not Be Named

December 3, 2016 • Many parents and teachers report that schools won't use the word dyslexia. Why might this be? And what is the Department of Education doing about it?

  Places to Go!

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Kirby School 6-12, Winter Concert 12/9

 

Mount Madonna School PreK-12, The Pirates of Penzance 12/10 & 11

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Streets of Bethlehem
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  Streets of Bethlehem
First Baptist Church
Date: Every day (Dec 7-Dec 10) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Details: Experience the streets of Bethlehem's time when Jesus was born
City: Salinas Phone: (831) 422-9872 view all details >>
     
Community Open House
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  Community Open House
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Date: Every day (Dec 3-Dec 11) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Free admission for Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito County residents
City: Monterey view all details >>
     
Presence is the Present
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  Presence is the Present
Date:
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Alice in Wonderland
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  Alice in Wonderland
Los Gatos Ballet
Date: Every day (May 26-May 28)
Details: We are excited about our brand new full-length production of Alice in Wonderland, a whimsical journey down the rabbit hole to Wo
City: Saratoga Phone: 408.399.7577 view all details >>
     
Santa & The Banana Slug String Band
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  Santa & The Banana Slug String Band
Mission Hill Creamery
Date: 12/10/2016 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Join us Saturday December 10 for two very special guests.
City: Ben Lomond Phone: 831-216-6421 view all details >>
     
Track Santa with Norad
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  Track Santa with Norad
Norad
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 23) from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Details: Follow Santa's progress Christmas Eve
view all details >>
     
Presence is the Present
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  Presence is the Present
Date:
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Single Parenting (Positive Discipline Saturday Series)
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  Single Parenting (Positive Discipline Saturday Series)
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Date: 12/10/2016 from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Details: Single Parenting (Positive Discipline Saturday Series)
Special Instructions: Limited Scholarships Available for Workshop and Childcare ($10/child)
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 476-7284 view all details >>
     
Girls Night Out at The Art Factory-Needle Felting
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  Girls Night Out at The Art Factory-Needle Felting
The Art Factory
Date: 12/09/2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Ages: Adults
Details: Bring Friends. Make Friends!
City: Aptos Phone: (831) 688-8862 view all details >>
     
Jingle Bell Rock 5K
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  Jingle Bell Rock 5K
Toys for Tots
Date: 12/11/2016 at 9:00am
Details: 5K Walk/Run and 1K for Kids to Benefit Toys for Tots
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Presence is the Present
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  Presence is the Present
Date:
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  Ask Nicole: Your Presence is the Best Present continued

Show your love with your presence. It's understandable that you feel guilty about working long hours and want to reassure your children you love them. Instead of buying presents or giving in to their demands, try spending brief and frequent quality time together. Even 30 seconds of your undivided attention given frequently throughout the day can make a big difference. Talking (and listening), reading together, playing games and giving affection are also powerful ways to show your children you care. These simple strategies strengthen relationships and build the foundation for kind, respectful communication.

Agree on realistic expectations. Talk with your husband about what is reasonable to expect of your children. If you have widely different opinions, aim for common ground. Define a few basic rules you can both support that will set the expectation of respectful communication, such as "Say please and thank you," or "Ask before taking things." Then discuss what each child can do to help out around the house (taking their ages and abilities into consideration). For instance, your 10- and 12-year-olds might be capable of vacuuming and dusting their own rooms, while putting toys away might be a more age-appropriate expectation for your 5-year-old.

Talk with your kids about the family rules and expectations. Once you've reached agreement with your husband, sit down with your kids to discuss the family rules and expectations. This provides an important opportunity for your kids to see you and your husband working as a team. Tell your kids you love them and they are important members of the family - which is why there are new family rules about being kind, considerate and helpful.

Be consistent and give descriptive praise. This is especially important in the beginning, when the rules and expectations are new. Your children might "test" you to see how far they can push the limits before you give in. Remember you can be both firm and loving when setting limits, and that teaching children to do things for themselves increases their confidence and self-esteem. Give descriptive praise when you notice them being kind, considerate and helpful, like "Thank you for setting the table. I appreciate your help." This lets them know you notice their efforts and encourages them to keep it up.

Final thoughts: Children often behave in ways that seem difficult or "spoiled." Many times, they're just expressing their need for love, attention or affection. Parents can meet their children's emotional needs while teaching valuable life skills by being a consistent, firm and loving presence in their children's daily lives. It's the gift that lasts a lifetime.

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