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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

March 1, 2018
Santa Cruz Love Story

Steve: The Consequences of Consequences

Ask Nicole: Promoting Self-Discipline in Teens

How to Help Children Born into Poverty

Diversity Mural Grand Celebration

Fun Events!
continued Steve: The Consequences of Consequences
continued... Ask Nicole: Promoting Self-Discipline in Teens
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  Santa Cruz Love Story

(0 February 2018) Angelica_FreeRangeChildren.jpgHer name is Angelica Glass and she walks the streets of Santa Cruz County taking photos of every street. "After today's walk in the summit area (where I made the acquaintance of two amazingly loud donkeys), I've completed 86% of the streets/roads in Santa Cruz County (3,469 of the approximately 4,100). The more I walk, the more in love I fall with this remarkable place." I envy her! You? Meet Angelica Glass today, March 1, at the downtown library at 6:30pm. Her photos are exquisite. See Santa Cruz a whole new way.

Good people are seeking solutions and have been for all of our country's history. Never in the history of the world has a country done so well for so many of its citizens while also helping people living in less fortunate systems. Now we are struggling to find areas of common ground regarding our children's safety. Solutions are going to vary depending on local and state cultures. I admire those who genuinely look at all facets of each other's positions and take at least one small step toward consensus.  

Recently the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted to establish a "Thrive by Three Fund" to help fund effective programs serving very young, impoverished children (prenatal through age three) in Santa Cruz County The Board Directed CAO Susan Mauriello to dedicate $350,000 for the Thrive by Three Fund in next year's budget. We look forward to finding out how and where these funds will be spent.

We families and businesses must live within our budgets or face consequences. Federal and state governments don't live with the same constraints. California has a notorious reputation for fiscal irresponsibility, so it made me laugh to read this line "California is one of 33 states that doesn't require a financial literacy curriculum in kindergarten through 12th grade." Read the article "Bite of Reality" about a budgeting class for senior high students put on by a private organization, Bay Federal Credit Union. Way to go! Ahem, City of Santa Cruz seeking a tax increase: try budgeting!?

(2 Buttons) Oval_OhTheDrama.jpgPlease 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!

Take some weekend walks in a new location with the family!  Parmalee

Photo by Angelica Glass

 

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  Steve: The Consequences of Consequences

What are Consequences?

by Steve Spitalny

Recently I have heard adults saying, "I don't punish my child. I give consequences." When I ask what is meant by that, I hear "If they don't do what I tell them, they don't get the ice cream I said we would get,' or "they don't get to go to the park,' or, or, or...

Let's start off with some clarity and honesty here - "consequences' is another way to say "punishment.'continue reading>>>>

 

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  Ask Nicole: Promoting Self-Discipline in Teens

Promoting Self-Discipline in Teens

By Nicole M. Young, MSW

My oldest child is about to turn 18. Soon, he'll leave our home and continue his own journey into adulthood. I can hardly believe it. When he was younger, he ran barefoot to the bus stop every morning - even in the winter - holding his socks and shoes because he'd lost track of time and was in danger of missing the bus. Every Morning. He debated with us over every family rule or request we made of him, pointing out the faults in our logic. It was exhausting. But now he's a young man who works part-time while maintaining good grades, compromises with his sister when doing chores, and runs errands for his tired mom. He even leaves the house wearing socks and shoes on his feet. I can hardly believe it.

This monthly column provides tips for anyone who's raising 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, please email me at triplep@first5scc.org.

Dear Nicole, I'm frustrated with my 16-year old son. He constantly argues with me about the rules and says he's almost an adult. He tells me to stop treating him like a kid but then does impulsive, immature things. I told him I'll treat him like an adult when he starts acting like one, which made him mad. What should I do? - Luis  Read Nicoles's suggestions>>>

 

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  How to Help Children Born into Poverty

Groundbreaking Study on How to Help Children Born into Poverty

by Jenny Anderson

Children born into poverty start at a big disadvantage. To thrive, they need food, shelter, and health care. But a growing body of evidence shows there are other ways to help close the vast gap in development between poor kids and their wealthier peers-singing, talking, and playing with them.

If this sounds obvious or inconsequential, it's not. Dealing with the stress of poverty makes it hard for many parents to establish critical bonds with their babies-bonds that lay the foundations for learning, emotional regulation, and relationships. Poor parents are "focused on survival and illness and food and health care," says Sally Grantham-McGregor, an emeritus professor of international child health at University College London and University of the West Indies. "There's no time to play with children-it seems frivolous."

But playing with babies turns out to be anything but frivolous. Grantham-McGregor and her colleagues have spent more than 40 years pioneering research which showed just how much supporting mothers in the earliest days of a child's life can directly benefit that child. In the 1970s, Grantham-McGregor and Christine Powell, from the University of the West Indies, began a research project aimed at helping young children from poor backgrounds and their moms in Kingston, Jamaica. They designed programs that sent doctors and nurses to visit mothers every week in their homes for two years, bringing toys and books that would help parents become better teachers to their babies and to increase stimulation and play. Continue>>>>

 

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  Diversity Mural Grand Celebration

(0 February 2018) DiversityCenterLOGO.jpgDiversity Mural Grand Celebration
Saturday, March 3, 1-3pm
Louden Nelson Center, Santa Cruz


A new public mural, "Unify, Decolonize, Thrive" has joined our vibrant community and we invite you all to celebrate with us for a ceremonious ribbon cutting and reception. This youth-inspired art, designed by local muralists Emmanuel Garcia and Oliver Whitcroft, represents the past, present, and future of marginalized people - transitioning from a challenging history to a hopeful and thriving future where everyone is included and valued.

Event will include:

  • Inspiring guest speakers
  • Screening of mural time-lapse video
  • Ceremonial rainbow ribbon cutting
  • Reception with food and drinks

"This mural symbolizes our struggle, our resilience and it is absolutely necessary that the next generation learns from this and creates a better brighter future right here in Santa Cruz County" - Andrea Flores-Morgado, Age 16, Watsonville

 

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  Fun Events!
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Gateway School K-8, School Day Tour 3/6

 

Mount Madonna School Pre-K-12, Campus Tour Day 3/14

 

ALL SCHOOL EVENTS

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Arboretum Garden Free Day
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  Arboretum Garden Free Day
Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz
Date: The 1st Sa of every month at 11:00am
Details: A tranquil place to see plants from around the world plus quail, bunnies...
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.427.2998 view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Love Story
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  Santa Cruz Love Story
Date:
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Santa Cruz Love Story
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  Santa Cruz Love Story
Date:
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Santa Cruz Love Story
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  Santa Cruz Love Story
Date:
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A Raisin in the Sun
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  A Raisin in the Sun
UCSC Theater Arts
Date: Every day (Mar 2-Mar 11)
Details: A Raisin in the Sun takes a courageous look into how the "American Dream" excluded and marginalized African-Americans in our soc
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Robo Sumo
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  Robo Sumo
Library Garfield Park
Date: Every Tues from 3:30pm to 5:30pm
Ages: 7 to 18
Details: Build and compete with Sumo wrestling robots
Special Instructions: Pre-registration required
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
GAMBLE - A Mountain Bike Film
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  GAMBLE - A Mountain Bike Film
Rio Theater
Date: 05/03/2018 at 7:00pm
Details: ...talented and charismatic riders outside of the tape, on tracks tailored for madness...
Special Instructions: Registration required
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Concert Two: 500th Birthday Celebration - Medici Codex
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  Concert Two: 500th Birthday Celebration - Medici Codex
Santa Cruz Baroque Festival
Date: 03/03/2018 at 7:30pm
Ages: All
Details: You will hear voices leaping in and out of one another, a big, moving sound, performed by four separate ensembles who have come
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-2159 view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Love Story
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  Santa Cruz Love Story
Date:
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Salamander Saturday
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  Salamander Saturday
State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: 03/03/2018 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Celebrate our amphibian friends that make their way from beneath rocks and under logs to the creeks, wetlands and puddles
Special Instructions: 18 miles north of SC on Hwy 1
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 427-2288 view all details >>
     
West Side Story
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  West Side Story
San Lorenzo Valley High School
Date: Every day (Apr 26-May 6)
Ages: 13-14
Details: Classic with elaborate dance numbers and emotionally-charged songs
City: Felton view all details >>
     
Women by Women Film Series
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  Women by Women Film Series
Watsonville Film Series
Date: The 2nd Th of every month (Mar 8-Jun 14) at 7:00pm
Details: Join us for a series of powerful films by and about women!
City: Watsonville view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Love Story
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  Santa Cruz Love Story
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Santa Cruz Love Story
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  Santa Cruz Love Story
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  continued Steve: The Consequences of Consequences

When you take away something from the child based on behavior, that is a form of punishment. The ancient principle is: Someone does something "wrong' and therefore must receive punishment so they don't do it again. Punishment takes many forms but all are based on this principle of retribution. 

1. When you have the attitude a child did something "bad' and "wrong,' even if you don't speak a word to the child, it is punishment.
2. When you scold a child and use words like "shouldn't have,' "bad,' "wrong,' and "not appropriate,' it is punishment.
3. When you withhold something a child wants based on the child's not doing what you want, it is punishment.
4. When you put a child on "time out' it is punishment.
5. When you hit a child it is punishment

Okay, often adults observe young children behave in ways the adult does not like, and the adult wants the child to act or speak differently. This is a given, it will happen. I think the adult goes astray when any of the above 5 types of punishment are taken up. And I'll tell you why.

When we use any form of punishment, we are teaching the young child to punish others when he doesn't get what he wants. Young children learn by imitating our example.

When we use any of the forms of punishment, the child experiences it as an attack. We are a danger for the child in those moments. When someone experiences danger, the ancient part of the brain, the survival system AKA the Reptile Brain, takes over. Learning does not take place in this part of our neurology. This is the irony; we want the child to learn to do something different, and yet we force the child to use a part of the neurology that does not learn. Learning takes place in the more advanced parts of the brain, particularly the Limbic System.

The young child wants what he wants, just like you and me. He tries to get what he wants and needs by various strategies. Repeated use of those strategies becomes the child's habit. Why? Because those strategies are discovered to be successful. The strategies are successful in relation to us, their adults!

Let's reframe this. Instead of thinking the child is "bad and "wrong' and that what he did he "shouldn't have' because it is "not appropriate,' try to look at what he did as a strategy and these strategies often become habit. Then we can try to offer different habits that are more in line with what we want.

Truly, we use those judgmental words when something happens that we don't like. That is the central truth of the situation. I don't like hitting, I don't like food to be thrown, I don't like the dog's ear to be pulled (the dog doesn't like it either), and so on. Let's bring to the child's attention something that is the truth of the situation - do I like what just happened?

Then we can try to offer a different action for the child to imitate. With our actions and words. Over and over for days in a row until the child begins to try out the new strategy we have offered. There is no sense getting frustrated or impatient because it has taken many days and still no change, Changing habits takes time (for us too).

Local Stephen Spitalny, is an early childhood consultant and writer. He offers lectures, workshops and mentoring around the world. Steve was a kindergarten teacher at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School for 24 years and a former board member of WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America)

What are the consequences of consequences?

1. Damage to your connection with your child. It is hard to trust and feel safe with sometimes dangerous Y...O...U.
2. Your child adopting the technique of punishing to get what he wants. Imitation is how the young child learns.
3. Perpetuating the Blaming/Fault-finding/Shaming system that permeates our world. Imitation is how the young child learns. When we understand the actual consequences of our own, we can begin to reframe the way we think and offer the young child a new behavior in the modality in which they can best learn. We offer the example for imitation based on the understanding that the child is simply attempting to fulfill wants and needs.

Local Stephen Spitalny is an early childhood consultant and writer. He offers lectures, workshops and mentoring around the world. Steve was a kindergarten teacher at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School for 24 years. You can learn more about Steve at Chamakanda.com

  continued... Ask Nicole: Promoting Self-Discipline in Teens

Dear Luis, Teens often want fewer limits and greater freedom, but their brains are still learning how to think and act like adults. As frustrating as it is, keep creating opportunities for your teen to learn how to follow rules, make decisions, and take responsibility for his choices. These are essential skills for developing self-discipline, which he'll need throughout life. Here are some tips:

Show him you care. Check in with your son every day and show interest in areas of his life that are unrelated to rules or responsibilities - send a short text, leave a note on his bed, eat a meal together, watch his favorite movie, or attend an activity he's interested in. This kind of quality time is one of the best ways to maintain a strong relationship and prevent problems.

Revisit the family rules. Talk with your son and create a few agreements you can both live with. Try letting him suggest some rules first to show you're willing to hear his ideas. If he suggests unrealistic rules (i.e. no parental limits), then let him know your basic expectations, such as: help with chores, go to school, keep you informed about his plans, and come home on time. If he's resistant to rules in general, keep asking and talking with him about what's realistic and reasonable to expect. Once you reach agreement, have your son write down the rules or say them out loud to make sure you both understand what they mean.

Agree on rewards. Ask your son to identify possible rewards that will serve as motivation for him to follow the family rules, especially when he's faced with temptation or peer pressure. Many times, the most effective rewards are free - like getting to go out with friends the next time he asks, having a later curfew, or having a chore-free day.

Talk about the impact of his choices. Ultimately, it's up to your son to decide whether to follow the family rules. Let him know that when he chooses to follow the rules, you'll gain more confidence that he's developed the self-discipline and responsibility that goes along with greater independence. Explain that if he chooses to ignore the rules, there will be a logical consequence to help him understand the impact of that choice. For example, if he comes home past his agreed-upon curfew, a logical consequence might be that he stays home the next time he's invited out.

Acknowledge his efforts and improvements. Let your son know you notice and appreciate his efforts to follow the agreements and make responsible choices. Be specific and genuine so your son knows what behaviors and choices you're encouraging him to continue. "I noticed you came home on time last night, even though you wanted to stay out later. That was a mature decision."

Final Thoughts: Maintaining open communication, setting reasonable limits, and teaching teens to accept responsibility for their choices is one of the most important jobs parents and caregivers have. It's often a thankless job until you realize your child is ready to leave home - and has the skills to thrive.

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. 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.

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