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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

January 4, 2018
It's junco time!

We have much to learn from the chickadees

Chopped Junior

Christine: Lightning Creates Antimatter

Ask Nicole: "Small changes, big differences"
Fun Events!
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  It's junco time!

(0 January 2018) JuncoOnGround.jpgAt last, a little rain, and it looks like more will come.

In my recent travels I was privileged to stay for a while with a friend whose backyard bird feeder attracted cardinals, tufted titmice, downy woodpeckers, juncos and chickadees. Each type of bird had their own distinct "bird feeder rules," especially the chickadees.

Around here at this time of year it's easy to attract lively little ground feeder juncos with millet. They are lots of fun to watch. Bird watching is a great way to help children to slow down a little and practice observing, a worthy and useful skill in life. Check out the weekend events at local parks for guided birding events or the Santa Cruz Bird Club.

Niclole offers hope in our parenting journey. "Over the years, we've met many people who have taken small steps to reduce the stress of parenting, and in the process, have rediscovered the joy of raising their children."

Please recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always the many fun events! Check the online calendar.

Enjoy the weekend with family!  Parmalee


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  We have much to learn from the chickadees

(0 January 2018) Chickadee.jpg"This is BirdNote!

Whether Mountain Chickadees in the Rockies, Black-caps in New England, or Chestnut-backs in the Northwest, chickadees are always worth watching at your feeder. If you've laid out a fine feast of sunflower seeds, you'll see them come in, quickly grab a seed, and fly away. If you watch carefully, you'll see one land nearby, open the seed, and eat the juicy and nutritious kernel within. 

Now keep watching that chickadee. It may return immediately, but it's more likely to wait its turn. When a whole flock of chickadees moves into your yard, it looks as if they form a living conveyer belt. One chickadee after another, flies to the feeder and then leaves with a seed. 

(0 January 2018) chickadees3-on-a-snowy-day-peg-runyan.jpgWhen they find a concentrated supply of food, such as a tray of sunflower seeds, the birds are better off taking their turns than all coming in at once and squabbling over the seeds. Nature seems to prefer order to chaos.  And we have much to learn from the chickadees."


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  Chopped Junior

How An Episode Of "Chopped Junior' Changed The Way I Parent

by Janine Duff, Scary Mommy

"I walked into our den to find my daughter watching a show on the Food Network called "Chopped Junior." I sat down to join her and, for the next 20 minutes, I stared at the screen, stunned, as I watched kids the same age as my daughter work their way around a kitchen better than most adults I know.

(0 January 2018) ChoppedJunior.jpgThese kids expertly chopped using razor sharp knives. They sauteed. They boiled. They pan-seared. One kid made a roux. What the hell even is a roux??

I sat there wondering how in the world kids so young could be so skilled and knowledgeable in the kitchen. And then I had an epiphany. It was so simple. They could do all of those things because somewhere along the line, somebody told them "YES." Read the entire blog>>>


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  Christine: Lightning Creates Antimatter

(0 January 2018) Lightning8_-_NOAA.jpgLightning fascinates people. It is beautiful and extremely dangerous. Scientists have been studying lightning for hundreds of years, and  we still don't know much about what happens at the moment of the strike. Some researchers from Japan have published a recent paper that opens a fascinating window of the physics of the strike.

These researchers attempted to track the energy of the strike and what happens at the atomic level. It is wonderful. First of all, we already knew that lightning emits gamma rays. The scientists set up gamma ray detectors (using money they collected from a crowd funding site) in a high lightning area of Japan and waited to see what they found.

The scientists found three gamma ray bursts for every lightning strike. The first burst came from the  lightning itself. The second burst came from the lightning reacting with nitrogen in the atmosphere and knocking out a neutron from the nucleus. The glow came from the absorption of the neutron by other particles. The third gamma ray burst came from the unstable nitrogen atoms which released positrons (antimatter). When positrons encounter electrons they annihilate each other and create a gamma ray.

Every time you see a lightning bolt you are seeing local antimatter. It doesn't last long, but this means that antimatter is continuously being created on our earth. This is big enough news that the paper was published in one of the most prestigious journals - Nature. Sources>>

Christine Cokey is a local mom and scientist who enjoy s researching "the latest." She takes often-difficult material and makes it easy for us to understand it. You will find her writing at her blog site.


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  Ask Nicole: "Small changes, big differences"

(012 Dec 2017) NicoleYoung2.jpgAsk Nicole: The Many Faces of Positive Parenting

Nicole M. Young, MSW

There's a Chinese proverb, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." It makes me think of the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program motto, "Small changes, big differences."  Together, both quotes provide a helpful reminder that in this lifelong journey called "parenting," the greatest growth and change often comes from taking one small step at a time. Raising children is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Many parents stumble, take short-cuts, or want to give up during their parenting journey. But with support and encouragement, we keep taking small steps and get closer to our goal of raising happy, healthy, thriving children.

This January marks the sixth annual Positive Parenting Awareness Month in Santa Cruz County. It's a time to reflect on the importance of positive parenting and encourage families to use local resources, such as the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program. Over the years, we've met many people who have taken small steps to reduce the stress of parenting, and in the process, have rediscovered the joy of raising their children. These are just a few of the many faces of positive parenting that we're celebrating this month.*

Juana, a single mother, found that a few positive parenting strategies made a world of difference. "My children were out of control, and I had no one to help me. I didn't know what to do. I was actually afraid of my kids. They never listened to me...and they yelled and threw toys at me whenever I said "no' to them. I felt like a complete failure. When I learned the positive parenting strategy, Descriptive Praise, I thought my kids would just ignore me, but it was a miracle! They began to respond to the praise...and I noticed the kids started to repeat the behaviors I had praised. Now, the yelling has stopped at home, and I feel like we are all happier. I wish someone had told me about these parenting strategies when I first had my kids."

Victor, a single father, had been afraid to discipline his 6-year old daughter out of fear that she would think he didn't love her. After learning about the difference between discipline and punishment, Victor understood that assertive discipline is one of the five principles of positive parenting. "That was important because it helped me understand that discipline can be nurturing, and to not be afraid to set limits. After learning positive parenting strategies, my life has completely changed. My daughter listens to me now, and I feel we have a better relationship. I can take her to the store, the park, and to visit friends. The simple parenting strategies really helped us."

Stephanie and Luke, the parents of a child with special needs, used positive parenting strategies to reduce their child's tantrums, which had become more extreme and violent. Stephanie and Luke learned that the tantrums were related to their child's frustration over not being able to speak, so they taught their child other ways to express his feelings and needs. Now their son plays cooperatively with other children and is able to follow directions. Stephanie and Luke realized that making small changes made a big difference, and they are more confident as parents.

William, a divorced father of four teenagers, was required to take co-parenting classes. At first, William had little confidence in himself as a parent. As he participated in a positive parenting program specifically for divorced or separated parents, he learned how to recognize and cope with his own emotions about the divorce, reduce conflict over co-parenting issues with his former partner, and balance work, family and play time. William learned simple parenting strategies that helped him anticipate and handle any challenging teen behaviors and involve his teens in problem-solving. At the end of the program, William's relationships with his teen children were healthier, stronger and mutually respectful, and his parenting confidence had soared.

Final Thoughts: I continue to be inspired by the strength, courage and persistence of all the parents who value their children and themselves enough to reach out for support. During Positive Parenting Awareness Month - and every day throughout the year - take a moment to acknowledge the small steps you're taking to be a positive parent. It may seem like progress is slow or nonexistent, but one day you will look back and be amazed at the distance you've traveled.

If you have a question or idea for future columns, please email me at

* All names have been changed

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 14 and 17, who also manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, the world's leading positive parenting program. To find a Triple P parenting class or practitioner, visit, or contact First 5 Santa Cruz County at 465-2217.

  Fun Events!
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Kirby School 6-12, Shadow Day 1/8

Mount Madonna School Pre-K-12, Art and Play in the Pre and K 1/11


Santa Cruz Waldorf Pre-8, A Walk Through the Grades 1/18


Gateway School K-8, K-8 Interactive Open House 1/20


Santa Cruz Waldorf Pre-8, Morning In the Kindergarten 1/20




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How to cultivate courage, curiosity and resilience in your child


Meet Daniel Siegel


~ ~ ~ ~

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A story of a girl on the autism spectrum, and the dog she loves


Meet Ann Martin


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January 12-14

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Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) Parent Group
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  Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) Parent Group
Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) Parent Group
Date: Every Su from 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Details: A forum for parents of gifted learners to share experiences and information.
City: Seaside view all details >>
Curious Contraptions
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  Curious Contraptions
Date: Every day (Nov 16-Jan 28) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: All
Details: A temporary exhibition of the charming, often hilarious mechanical sculptures known as automata
Special Instructions: Pier 15, which is on the Embarcadero at Green Street
City: San Francisco view all details >>
"This Is Hunger" Free National Exhibit: A Must-See Experience
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  "This Is Hunger" Free National Exhibit: A Must-See Experience
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Date: Every day (Jan 7-Jan 10)
Ages: Recommended age: 12+
Details: Come on a compelling journey, one that draws you into the lives of everyday Americans - and deepens your awareness about who str
City: Saratoga Phone: (408) 257-3333 view all details >>
Sunday Seaside Crafts
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  Sunday Seaside Crafts
Seymour Marine Discovery Center (at Long Marine Lab)
Date: Every Su from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: Kids and up
Details: Join us with your small fry every Sunday for hands-on fun!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-3800 view all details >>
Internet Skills
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  Internet Skills
Library Central
Date: Every Th (Jan 4-Jan 25) from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Ages: Adult
Details: Visit the library for an adventure in learning -
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 427-7717 view all details >>
Stepping Stones Triple P Workshop: Supporting Your Partner
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  Stepping Stones Triple P Workshop: Supporting Your Partner
Triple P, Positive Parenting Program
Date: 01/16/2018 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Details: How to take care of your relationship with your partner and create a positive family life; and Tools to help partners support ea
City: Capitola Phone: (831) 466-5700 view all details >>
Birding Walk, Elkhorn Slough
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  Birding Walk, Elkhorn Slough
Elkhorn Slough
Date: The 1st Sa of every month at 8:30am
Details: Go on a guided bird hunt, begin or add to your list of sitings
Special Instructions: Meet in the parking lot behind Whole Enchilada
City: Watsonville Phone: (831) 728-2822 view all details >>
Ranch Tours
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  Ranch Tours
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: Every Su and Sa at 1:00pm
Ages: All
Details: History comes alive at Wilder Ranch State Park on the weekends
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.426-0505 view all details >>
The quilts are back!
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  The quilts are back!
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Date: Every day (Dec 11-Apr 15)
Details: Beautiful quilts on exhibit!
City: Pacific Grove Phone: 831-648-5716 view all details >>
Elephant Seal Walks
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  Elephant Seal Walks
State Park Ano Nuevo
Date: Every day (Oct 20-Mar 31)
Ages: All: (Lots of walking)
Details: 3 mile hike over sand and sloping terrain to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31
City: Pescadero Phone: (650) 879-2025 view all details >>
Cabinet of Curiosities Exhibition
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  Cabinet of Curiosities Exhibition
San Lorenzo Valley Museum
Date: Every Su, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa (Dec 15-Jan 28) from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: An exhibition of the strange, weird, unusual, fantastic, and FUN objects we collect in our life's adventures.
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8382 view all details >>
Free Demo: Tombow Ink with Anouk Johanna
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  Free Demo: Tombow Ink with Anouk Johanna
Palace Art & Office Supply
Date: 01/10/2018 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Details: Two hour informative as well as hands-on demo where you will be able to try out these fabulous Tombow pens yourself
City: Capitola Phone: (831) 464-2700 view all details >>
Teen Kitchen Project / MLK Day of Service
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  Teen Kitchen Project / MLK Day of Service
Open Farm Tours
Date: 01/15/2018 from 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Details: Vlunteer to work along with their staff to help prepare meals for the following day.
City: Soquel Phone: 831-316-4540, x 707 view all details >>
click to view website
Chamber of Commerce Capitola-Soquel
Date: Every day (Dec 15-Jan 7)
Details: Ice skate by the sea!!
City: Capitola Village view all details >>
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