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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

January 31, 2019
Keeping Romance in Your Life!

How to Raise Kind Kids

Great Backyard Bird Count

Ask Nicole: Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

Fun Events!
Click to view our Business Directory
  Keeping Romance in Your Life!

(Holidays) ValentineCouple.jpgWant to spice up the romantic side of  life? Click on these links from Brain Pickings for thoughtful reflections on love.

"To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love," the great Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh admonished in his terrific treatise on how to love - a sentiment profoundly discomfiting in the context of our cultural mythology, which continually casts love as something that happens to us passively and by chance, something we fall into, something that strikes us arrow-like, rather than a skill attained through the same deliberate practice as any other pursuit of human excellence. Our failure to recognize this skillfulness aspect is perhaps the primary reason why love is so intertwined with frustration." But, keeping it simple, "love is a verb!"

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!

Have a great weekend with family and friends!  Parmalee

 

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  How to Raise Kind Kids

(0 A January 2019) KindnessIsLikeSnow.jpgI have not yet met a single person who does not want to raise their children to be kind, both now, as we raise them, and also later in life as an adult.

by Dr. Zachary Roberts
Head of School, Gateway School

I know many parents who want most of all for their children to experience happiness in life, and many others who wish for their children to have success in their work and activities, and still others who prioritize their children having good friends and loving relationships. All of them also want their children to be kind.

Kindness matters for so many reasons. Research has shown that being kind not only makes other people happy, it also directly benefits us too, in both mood and health. Plus, as we embody our potential most fully when we are kind, we create safer, more welcoming homes and schools.

So how do we nurture our children's innate capacity to be kind and good in today's complex world? We face vast challenges from a toxic political culture that vilifies and demonizes political opponents; a generational culture of entitlement that spoils children instead of setting expectations and holding them accountable; and a hyper-sexualized, consumer-driven media that places value on looks and materialism, rather than heart-centered connection.

Though television can introduce many problems, it also holds great possibility and promise for teaching children to be kind, perhaps best personified by the work of Fred Rogers. A new documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor, chronicles his life's work; for over thirty years, in his beloved television program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Fred and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children in a simple, direct fashion, while modelling kindness, creativity, and compassion.  Mr. Rogers' career presented a coherent, loving view about how we should best speak to children about important matters and how television could be used as a positive force in our society.

(0 A January 2019) Book_HowToRaiseKindKids.jpgAlthough we can see kindness in action, it is much more than a behavior; it is an inner attitude and a concern for another's happiness that motivates those actions.  Though there may not be a comparable show on television today for our children (though some shows like Wonder Pets and Octonauts contain elements), in his 2018 book How To Raise Kind Kids, Thomas Lickona gives six concrete suggestions for how families can raise kind kids:

1.    Make character a top priority in your family.

2.    Show your children you love them through affirmation and affection, together time, and meaningful communication.

3.    Exercise your authority wisely: be authoritative, not authoritarian or permissive.

4.    Give your kids a voice and responsibility in the family.

5.    Extend compassion beyond the family, and give your children the experience of helping non-family members.

6.    Foster a noble vision of life -- a belief in something bigger than themselves, and the desire to use their gifts to make a positive difference in the world.

Lickona's book covers many other essential topics in raising children to be kind, including virtues and respect, discipline, family meetings, getting control of screens, developing good habits. There's also a chapter that speaks directly to Mr. Roger's career, which is how to talk about things that matter.

As partners in parenting and child-rearing, teachers and schools also play a critical role in helping children learn to be kind, compassion and inclusive. Children have moral lives from the very beginning, with the innate capacity for kindness as well as cruelty; schools are experimental laboratories where children have the opportunity to make mistakes, recover and do the repair work essential to their healthy moral development. Schools that contribute to the development of kindness will regularly teach children to be courteous and caring; they will have a coordinated approach to teaching character, emotional intelligence, and social-emotional learning; they will integrate cooperative learning into their instructional practices, because interdependency is as important as autonomy; and they will find appropriate ways to listen to and include student voices. As Lickona writes,

"If your children can be in a kind, respectful, character-building school environment for the many hours they're not with you, then what you're doing at home will be honored and supported. That will be a blessing for your children and for you."

Feeling happy because we've made someone else happy is the essence of kindness. And it would make me very happy to have you join us at a free screening and conversation of Won't You be My Neighbor on Tuesday, February 5th at 6:00pm. Childcare is free, and will be provided by the After School Staff at Gateway School. Let's raise the children of Santa Cruz to value kindness in thought and action.

 

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  Great Backyard Bird Count

(0 A January 2019) BirdCount_StellarsJay.jpgJoin Us for the Next Count, February 15-18, 2019. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Create a free GBBC account if you have never participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count or any other Cornell Lab citizen-science project, or have not participated in the GBBC since 2013. If you already created an account for the GBBC in the past, or if you're already registered with eBird or another Cornell Lab citizen-science project, you can use your existing user name and password.

(0 A January 2019) BirdCount_CAQuail.jpg2. Count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the GBBC. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like-one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day, for each new location, or for the same location if you counted at a different time of day. Estimate the number of individuals of each species you saw during your count period.

3. Enter your results on the GBBC website by clicking the "Submit Observations" tab on the home page. You may also download the free eBird Mobile app to enter data on a mobile device. If you already participate in the eBird citizen-science project, please use eBird to submit your sightings during the GBBC. Your checklists will count toward the GBBC.

 

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  Ask Nicole: Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

by Nicole M. Young, MSW

My family loves food. Our activities revolve around where and what we plan to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks in between. We try to eat healthy foods more often than not, but we have our guilty pleasures - the foods we love and shouldn't eat too much of but end up (0 A January 2019) Cheese.jpgoverdoing it anyway. Mine is cheese. Most of the time it's not an issue, but when my kids were on a recent break from school, we all spent more time eating, looking at screens, and lounging around. It was fun while it lasted, but now that we're back to our regular routines, we've had to press the reset button on our eating and exercise habits. It's less fun than eating cheese all day, but I have to remind myself that healthy habits help lead to a longer life (and more opportunities to eat cheese). 

Dear Nicole, Our pediatrician suggested making some changes so that my 5-year old daughter can be a healthy weight for her age. It will be hard to try the doctor's suggestions, like not buying sugary drinks (my daughter loves juice!), encouraging more physical activity, and limiting screen time to one hour per day. I'm expecting a huge battle. Do you have any suggestions?  Reina

Dear Reina, Teaching children about healthy eating and active living can feel hard, especially if kids prefer or are used to certain foods, loose rules about screen time, and inactivity. At times, it can seem easiest to just give in - "One soda won't hurt" - or give up - "I'd rather deal with too much screen time than deal with tantrums." And it's not always realistic for families to completely eliminate certain foods, drinks, or activities from their lives. But there's a benefit to teaching children how to make healthy choices so that they learn to take care of their own health as they grow older. Here are some tips to try:

(0 A January 2019) VegFruit3.jpgTry new things as a family. Your daughter may be more willing to try new foods, drinks, or activities if you're doing it together. It can also be a great way to spend quality time together. For example, try going on walks or playing active games to encourage more physical activity. An active game can be as mellow as bouncing a ball back-and-forth, or something more physically demanding, like dancing, playing tag, or playing a sport. Start with something she's interested in and make it fun. This will increase the chances she'll want to do more of it.

Revisit the family rules. Meet as a family and create a few simple rules to help you make these lifestyle changes. For example, talk about how much screen time is considered healthy for kids her age, and let her know that part of your job as a parent is to help her be as healthy as possible. Introduce the new rule or limit you're setting and involve your daughter in deciding how she wants to use her daily screen time. This can help by giving her control over a limited set of choices while adjusting to the new rule.

Start with small, realistic steps. If it seems impossible to make immediate or drastic changes, identify a goal to work toward and start with small steps. For example, if you're trying to have your daughter drink water, milk or other non-sugary drink instead of juice, start by gradually reducing the amount of juice you give your daughter each time, while offering water throughout the day. Or, if you're trying to limit screen time to one hour per day, try reducing the amount of screen time by 5 minutes the first day or week (depending on how quickly you want to reach your goal), then 10 minutes the next day or week, then 15 minutes, etc.

Acknowledge positive changes. Give descriptive praise when your daughter follows the new rules or tries new things. This lets her know you notice and appreciate her efforts and encourages her to continue.

(0 A January 2019) Nicole2019.jpgFinal Thoughts: Teaching children to make healthy choices isn't always easy, especially when it requires us (the adults) to change our own habits, too. Making lifestyle changes as a family, one step at a time, can make it feel easier and benefits everyone.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 15 and 18, 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. To find a Triple P parenting class or practitioner, visit http://triplep.first5scc.org. Ask Nicole: triplep@first5scc.org.

 

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  Fun Events!
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FEBRUARY

CALENDAR

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Kirby School 6-12, Shadow Days are Mondays

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12, Campus Tour 2/28

 

Gateway School K-8, Open House 2/2

The Top 100 Children's Books on Goodreads

for Independent Readers through the Middle Grades

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"  When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.

The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary's only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. One day, with the help of two unexpected companions, she discovers a way in. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?...."

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Arboretum Garden Free Day
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  Arboretum Garden Free Day
Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz
Date: The 1st Tues of every month from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Details: A tranquil place to see plants from around the world plus quail, bunnies...
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-502-2998 view all details >>
     
Great Backyard Bird Count
click to view website
  Great Backyard Bird Count
Audubon Society
Date: Every day (Feb 15-Feb 18) from 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Details: Be a bird counter... for just 15minutes
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
     
Children's Planetarium Show
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  Children's Planetarium Show
Hartnell Planetarium
Date: Every Fri (Mar 22-May 17) at 5:30pm
Details: Star programs for children
City: Salinas Phone: (831) 755-6979 view all details >>
     
Kid's Tool Workshop
click to view website
  Kid's Tool Workshop
Home Depot
Date: The 1st Sa of every month from 9:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: 5-12
Details: Free kids workshops teach do-it-yourself skills and tool safety
City: Capitola or Watsonville view all details >>
     
Pruning!
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  Pruning!
Live Oak Grange
Date: Every Wed from 11:30pm to 12:30pm
Details: Come learn and practice the fundamentals of winter fruit pruning
Special Instructions: All are welcome!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Navigating the Teen Years
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  Navigating the Teen Years
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Date: Every Th (Jan 31-Mar 28) from 6:30am to 8:30pm
Ages: Adults
Details: Provides parents with all the concepts and tools needed to implement Positive Discipline in the home/family setting
Special Instructions: Call 831-476-7284 x107 for group rates and scholarships
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 476-7284 view all details >>
     
Storytelling Night
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  Storytelling Night
State Park Mission
Date: 02/01/2019 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Winter is for everyone! Stories, fire, hot chocolate. Tales of adventure, mystery, and comedy!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 425-5849 view all details >>
     
California State Parks Backpacking Adventures
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  California State Parks Backpacking Adventures
State Parks Backpacking
Date: 03/31/2019 from 8:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: 18+ and 13-17 with parent
Details: Registration for Summer 2019 opens Friday, February 1 at 9am
Phone: (831) 429-1840 view all details >>
     
Land of the Jaguars: Wild Wetlands of South America
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  Land of the Jaguars: Wild Wetlands of South America
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Date: 02/02/2019
Ages: Recommended for ages 12 & older
Details: A New Presentation by Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
Special Instructions: Please note that there are two shows, 3 PM and 7 PM.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-3800 view all details >>
     
Watsonville World Wetlands Day 2019
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  Watsonville World Wetlands Day 2019
Watsonville Wetlands
Date: 02/02/2019 from 9:30am to 12:00pm
Details: Tree planting, educational activities, music and free food. STUDENTS can receive community hours for participating in this event
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-345-1226 view all details >>
     
Family First Saturday Concerts
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  Family First Saturday Concerts
Tandy Beale and Co
Date: 02/02/2019 at 11:00am
Ages: All
Details: Tandy Beal and Company celebrates Black History Month with the fourth concert in the ArtSmart Family First Saturday Concert Seri
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Makers' Market
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  Santa Cruz Makers' Market
Santa Cruz Mountain Makers Market
Date: The 1st Su of every month from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Over 40 local artists and crafters hosting a beautiful variety of handmade goods + Live music all day
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Storytelling Night
click to view website
  Storytelling Night
State Park Mission
Date: 02/01/2019 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Winter is for everyone! Stories, fire, hot chocolate. Tales of adventure, mystery, and comedy!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 425-5849 view all details >>
     
     
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