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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

February 13, 2014
Doggone Good Parenting!

6 Annoying Things Your Children Do that Are Actually Good for Them

Christine: A New Kind of Fracking
Do you speak math with your kids?
Ask Nicole: Practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges

This Week
Romance In the Redwoods Weekend
6 Annoyting Things...continued
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  Doggone Good Parenting!

(Holidays) ValentineOld_DogtoMyLove.jpgHappy Valentine's Day to all, friends, lovers, parents, grandparents, co-workers.  Valentine's Day is a day for friends and lovers all.  We at SantaCruzParent think you're the Doggonest Best Parents!   Enjoy the special day with your family! Share the old fashioned valentines that play on puns with the children.  

Savvy parents "talk math" with their children from the moment they are born, but not enough according to the experts.  Today's article on this topic delves into the science of the data and offers suggestions for parents, emphasizing that we do not have to be math geniuses to impart a love of and comfort with numbers to our children.  Whether math is or is not one of our strengths, there's no reason why we can't bring the math fun up to the level of word fun!

This weekend join the great backyard bird count.  Give your child a small journal and colored pencils.  Now that's a quadruple benefit: art, language, math and science!  The child who comes to love birds will have a lifelong avocation, and just maybe when they enter the tweens and teens you can at least talk together about birds!

Inspire the children's verbal talents and sprinkle a lot of math into the conversations and activities. Amaze yourself and let your children amaze you.  I know they do!

 Parmalee

 

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Join Us for the Count!

February 14-17

Click to get started

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  6 Annoying Things Your Children Do that Are Actually Good for Them

by Jude Bijou MA MFT

Kids test parents' patience all the time. They whine, bargain, cry, mope, and dawdle. They yell and scream and make themselves the center of attention. Sometimes they dig their heels in and simply refuse to budge.

(Graphics) TemperTantrum.jpgWhile we may wish our kids would be compliant, cooperative, and sunny in temperament, the reality is that they are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing. They are learning how to manage their emotions, whether it's sadness, anger, or fear. Kids do this by expressing themselves in the moment. Unlike adults, most young children don't hold in what they are feeling. They release pent-up emotions right when they feel them, if we let them, and then they move on!

This is so healthy. As a parent, the lesson is to learn patience, rather than being ashamed and rushing children out of what they are doing. Letting children express their emotions constructively and physically helps them develop into happy, normal, full-functioning kids, teens, and adults.

Here are 6 annoying things children do that are actually very healthy behaviors.

1. Have temper tantrums. When toddlers have meltdowns, they're expressing their anger at injustices and violations. They release the hot, aggressive energy of anger by screaming, crying, pounding their fists, and kicking. After a full-blown tantrum, small children quickly return to their sweet and joyful selves. The best thing parents can do is to allow the child do it--safely. For older children as well as adults, parents can set up an "OK Room" where anyone can pound, stomp, yell, or cry constructively when upset. Anger, sadness, and fear will quickly pass, and calm will be naturally restored. 

2. - 6. continued at end of newsletter>>>

* * * * *

Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction® evolved over the course of more than 30 years  as a licensed marriage and family therapist, and is the subject of her multi-award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

 

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  Christine: A New Kind of Fracking

(Graphics) Christine_Earth_layers_model.jpgThe word "fracking" can sometimes be controversial. It can be used in a derogatory way to describe certain methods of pumping petroleum products out of the ground. However, the word really means "hydraulic fracturing" and is used to describe a means of fracturing rock using water. There are uses of fracking that everyone can agree are beneficial.

Iceland sits on a very hot spot. They have volcanoes, they have natural hot springs, and they try to use the shallow heat to their advantage. Geothermal produces around 25% of their total electricity requirements. It is also used extensively for space heating. Now Iceland is taking the next step.

What could be the next step after geothermal?  Read more>>>

Christine is a local mom and scientist.  You can read more of Christine's science explanations here!

  Do you speak math with your kids?

by Annie Murphy Paul

Many of us feel completely comfortable talking about letters, words and sentences with our children-reading to them at night, helping them decode their own books, noting messages on street signs and billboards.

But speaking to them about numbers, fractions, and decimals? Not so much. And yet studies show that "number talk" at home is a key predictor of young children's achievement in math once they get to school. Research provides evidence that gender is also part of the equation: Parents speak to their daughters about numbers far less than their sons.

(Photos General) CarynCounting.jpgA study published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology drew on a collection of recordings of mothers talking to their toddlers, aged 20 to 27 months. Alicia Chang, a researcher at the University of Delaware, and two coauthors determined that mothers spoke to boys about number concepts twice as often as they spoke to girls. Children this age are rapidly building their vocabularies, Chang notes, and helping them become familiar with number words can
promote their interest in math later on.

That was made clear in another study, published in Developmental Psychology in 2010, which also used recordings of parents talking to their children to gauge how often number words were used (the kids in this study were between the ages of 14 and 30 months). Psychologist Susan Levine of the University of Chicago and her coauthors found huge variation among the families studied: Some children were hearing their parents speak only about two dozen number words a week, while others were hearing such words about 1,800 times weekly.

The frequency of number talk in the children's homes had a big impact on how well the youngsters understood basic mathematical concepts such as the cardinal number principle, which holds that the last number reached when counting a set of objects determines the size of the set ("One, two, three-three apples in the bowl!"). A subsequent study by Levine found that the kind of number talk that most strongly predicted later knowledge of numbers involved counting or labeling sets of objects that are right there in front of parent and child-especially large sets, containing between four and ten objects.

(Photos General) CountingEggs.jpgThough it may not come naturally at first, parents can develop the habit of talking about numbers as often as they talk about letters and words. Some simple ways to work numbers into the conversation:

• Note numbers on signs when you're walking or driving with children: speed limits and exit numbers, building addresses, sale prices in store windows.
• Ask children to count how many toys they're playing with, how many books they've pulled out to read, or how many pieces of food are on their plate.
• Use numbers when you refer to time, dates, and temperatures: how many hours and minutes until bedtime, how many weeks and days until a holiday, the high and low the weatherman predicts for that day.
• With older children, math can become a part of talking about sports, science, history, video games, or whatever else they're interested in.

With practice, parents and children alike will find that math makes a very satisfying second language.

I love to hear from readers. Please email me at annie@anniemurphypaul.com. You can also visit my website.

  Ask Nicole: Practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges

-By Nicole M. Young, MSW

Raising kids is incredibly rewarding-and possibly the hardest job you'll ever have. Whether you're a parent, a grandparent or other caregiver of a child or teen, chances are you've wished for support and guidance at one time or another. I know I have.

Dear Nicole,

Our daughter is in 7th grade and my partner and I are having a hard time staying connected with her about life at school. We know her social life is very important to her, but asking too many questions makes her withdraw. I'm concerned that if we don't do something, we won't be able to be there for her when she really needs us. How can we stay close with her?

-Heather, Soquel

Dear Heather,

First, you and your partner are not alone on this issue. This is among the greatest challenges that parents often face. For many teens and pre-teens, relationships with peers are extremely important, yet often complicated and drama-filled. And teens are often reluctant to talk openly with their parents because they worry they will be judged, corrected or lectured.

Consider the timing of when you want to connect with your daughter about what's happening at school and in her social life. For example, you may feel compelled to ask her questions when she gets home from school or after she's been out with friends. However, that might be a time when she just wants to relax and needs space. If this is the case, try creating a special time to check in before bedtime - even if it's only for a few minutes.

When you talk with your daughter, ask open-ended questions rather than questions that can easily be answered with "yes" or "no." When she talks, try to resist giving your opinion immediately, even if you feel that you can help her. Letting your daughter talk openly will encourage an environment in which she can share more with you. If you can, depending on your other responsibilities, host her friends at your house and take advantage of opportunities to drive for carpools. By simply being present, you and your partner can create a deeper bond with your daughter-and that bond will help you on the day she really needs you.

--Nicole

Nicole Young manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P - 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 triplep.first5scc.org, www.facebook.com/triplepscc To get a copy of the Triple P Pocket Guide for Parents, the Pocket Guide for Parents of Teens or 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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  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg(Ads) SantaCruzParentFacebook.jpgBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

 

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School Corner

Spring Hill K-6, Open House 2/19

 

 

Pacific Collegiate 6-12, Information Meeting 2/20

 

 

Orchard School K-6, Auction 2/22

 

 

Gateway K-8, Mount Madonna PreK-12, York School 6-12 & Cabrillo College: An Evening with Science and Nature Writer, Biologist and Neuroscientist, and Stress Expert, Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky, 3/6

 

 

All School Activities

 

Clubs for Kids

 

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Clubs for Parents!

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Parenting Workshops

 

Support Groups

(Holidays) ValentineOld_ThereSnow.jpg

Mister Mom

The Bay Area's Only
Live Talk Radio Show
About Parenting

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Sundays 2-3pm

KSCO 1080 AM

or online or smartphone
at

ksco.com

mistermomradio.com

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Your pet is your family, and the American Red Cross wants you to know how to care for your furry friend.
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Today, the Red Cross launched the Pet First Aid App for iPhone and Android users. It puts veterinary advice for everyday emergencies in the palm of your hand. Get the app and be prepared to act when called upon. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it's never been easier to know Pet First Aid.

  Download the app today!
http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/pet-first-aid-app

(Holidays) ValentineOld_Dear.jpg

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 Romance In the Redwoods Weekend

State Park Big Basin
Easy romantic 2-hour walk
Feb 15 & Feb 16
Free

Romance in the Redwoods Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16
Love is in the air at Big Basin! Celebrate Valentine's weekend in the romantic Big Basin redwoods. Start your day with complimentary morning coffee and cocoa around the stone fireplace in the park's historic visitor center. Choose a peaceful walk among the (Photos General) BigBasin_Wildflower.jpgmajestic giants, a leisurely wildflower stroll (yes, flowers in winter!), a fun walk to see how some birds, beasts and plants of Big Basin reproduce, or a romantic hike through old-growth forest. All walks are led by park naturalists.

Bring a picnic lunch to share with your sweetheart, and maybe even spend a romantic evening in the park's comfy tent cabins. For details about Big Basin's many Valentine's weekend events visit www.bigbasin.org.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Sunday, Feb 16, 9am-12noon

Romance in the Redwoods(Holidays) Valentine3Hearts.jpg
Saturday, February 15 at 1:00 pm

On this easy, two-hour walk you'll learn about the courtship behaviors of some of the park's most fascinating plants and animals. Join us and discover how some of Big Basin inhabitants celebrate love in the wild! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Winter Wildflower Walk!
Saturday, Feb 15 & Sunday, Feb 16, 10am

Redwood Loop Walk
Saturday, Feb 15, 11am & Sunday, Feb 16, 1pm


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: (831) 338-8861 •website Boulder Creek

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Girls Night Out
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  Girls Night Out
Art Factory
Date: Every Fri (Oct 14-Dec 16) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Details: Treat yourself to some time with the girls, wine and cheese and a create evening
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Quinceanera Expo
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  Quinceanera Expo
Quinceanera Expo
Date: 02/16/2014
Details: Quinceanera Expo Monterey 2014 Quinceañera Expo is an event
City: Seaside Phone: 650-906-7019 view all details >>
     
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Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
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  Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
UCSC Recreation
Date: Every day (Feb 23-Feb 26) from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Details: Ignite your passion for adventure, action & travel!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
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Babysitter Safety and CPR for Adult, Child and Infant
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  Babysitter Safety and CPR for Adult, Child and Infant
Dominican Education Center
Date: Every Sa (Feb 8-Jun 21) from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: ages 12-16
Details: Learn what it means to be a babysitter and how to run a business
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.462.7709 view all details >>
     
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  6 Annoyting Things...continued

2. Cry easily. In generations past, children were told not to cry. Boys who cried were "sissies" and girls who cried were "babies." In reality, tears are very healing. Research shows that crying almost immediately reduces the level of stress hormones in the body. Letting a child wail after she's fallen down actually helps her feel better. Crying allows kids to resolve and self-heal their physical, emotional, and psychological hurts and losses.

3. Act scared. Many young kids are afraid of the dark, get scared by lightning and thunder, and feel anxious when they're in a new place with strangers, especially without their parents. Rather than telling them "Don't be a scaredy cat," validate their fear. They are feeling what they feel because their sense of safety is threatened. Fear is normal and healthy. In fact, it can be life-saving. Offer reassurances, and give them permission to shiver and quiver (kids love to do this--and they soon dissolve into laughter). Letting kids express their fear helps them stay present, rather than feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and ashamed of being weak.

4. Dawdle. For parents who are focused on getting kids bathed, dressed, fed, and ready for school, there's almost nothing more irritating than a child who seems to be moving at a snail's pace. Children have to learn how family schedules operate and how to gain mastery over new skills--and that takes time. Moving like molasses can also be a child's way of expressing his or her discomfort with transitions. If you have a child who's always one step behind everyone else in the family, instead of getting angry at him for holding up the show, give him extra time by letting him eat in the car, for example, or by waking him up earlier. This will honor his individuality and help him adjust at his own pace.

5. Plead and whine. Children and teens are geniuses at getting what they want and need. They plead and nag and whine until their parents toss up their hands in surrender. What they're doing is important. They're learning to test limits--theirs and yours--and they're working hard to negotiate their side and be heard. It's important that children feel their position is taken into consideration, so listen a bit to understand and validate them. It's equally important to lovingly set and enforce reasonable limits so children learn that they're not always going to get what they want.

6. Be resistant. When a child stomps her feet and yells "No, I won't do it!" she's expressing a spontaneous emotion. Anger. Outrage. Injustice. Violation. It's as essential that children are allowed to assert themselves as it is for adults to do this. It's just that we've been programmed as parents to expect our kids to obey us. If it's inappropriate to the situation, parents should explain to the child that she needs to help and be part of the team right now, but tell her when you will be able to listen to her side. If a child is adamant in her resistance, pause. She is telling you what emotions she needs to express in order to feel happy. Help her find a safe place at an appropriate time and let her do that.

Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction® evolved over the course of more than 30 years  as a licensed marriage and family therapist, and is the subject of her multi-award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

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