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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

March 16, 2017
Joy of the Irish

Steve: It's Up to You

A Fun Place to be a Docent!

Articles About ADHD Which Caught Our Attention

Places to Go!
Click to view our Business Directory
  Joy of the Irish

(0 Mar 2017) StPatricksDayMessages2.jpgHappy St. Patrick's Day!  It's the most popular "country of origin" celebration in the US and apparently quite popular world over.  The Irish have emigrated from Ireland in large numbers.  In the United States St. Patrick's Day has evolved from a religious honoring of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland, into a light hearted, fun day celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish. Wear green so you won't get pinched! Look for parades, green food and drink, little leprechauns and clover. Adopt the joy of the Irish!

(0 Mar 2017) Emigrants_Leave_Ireland_by_Henry_Doyle_1868.jpg"The phenomenon of migration from Ireland is recorded since early Medieval times, but it is only possible to quantify it from around 1700: since then between 9 and 10 million people born in Ireland have emigrated. This is more than the population of Ireland at its historical peak in the 1840s of 8.5 million. The poorest of them went to Great Britain, especially Liverpool; those who could afford it went further, including almost 5 million to the United States.

After 1840, emigration from Ireland became a massive, relentless, and efficiently managed national enterprise.In 1890 40% of Irish-born people were living abroad. By the 21st century, an estimated 80 million people worldwide claimed some Irish descent, which includes more than 36 million Americans who claim Irish as their primary ethnicity." Wikipedia

I know an adult who is a victim of parental abuse like the kind Steve discusses.  He can maintain normalcy for about five days before something sets him off and full reptilian brain takes over. When this happens he's insufferable and his family is miserable.  I hope he gets help.  Please read Steve's powerful essay. If you or someone you know needs help, perhaps invite them to attend a parenting workshop with you.

(2 Buttons) Button_FunParks.jpgBefore taking off for a guided hike in one of our state parks check for postponements at That's My Park and/or CA State Parks, also check Santa Cruz County Road Closures.

(2 Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease 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 green weekend,  Parmalee


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  Steve: It's Up to You

(0 Mar 2017) SteveSpitalny3.jpgI often say "It is not about the child, it's about the parent, or teacher.' The reason is neurology.

When we are young, we develop strategies for getting our needs met. These strategies offer us some amount of feelings of safety, satisfaction or connection, and we fall back on these strategies because they work (to some degree). Strategies that we use over and over again become our habits, our reaction patterns. When stress rises up for us, when people don't do what we want, we react. These reactions have become conditioned, patterned responses in our behavior and our neurology. From my previous posts, you can understand when I say that these habits, these reaction patterns, live in an interaction between our Reptilian Brain and our Limbic System.

Now what if it is a young child that isn't doing what we want? First of all our reaction pattern kicks in, usually to "attack' the child in some way. When we use shame as a weapon, when we blame the child or the like, we are attacking. That is what it feels like. When we punish the child in any and various ways, it is attacking.

Additionally we are using our power over the child to get what we want. We have more physical size and strength, as well as more connection to our own "self.' We become a "bully' toward our child. And in doing so, we are damaging the connection between us and our child.

The child reacts to this danger from the depths of his brain stem, the Reptile Brain, to alleviate the threat. Guess what? Learning is a function of the Limbic System. We want the child to "learn' not to do something, but we create an impossible to learn-from situation. All he can do is protect himself, usually by retreating or freezing. The part of the brain that does learning is not active.

Our child loves us, and love is based on trust; trust in safety and connection. When we use attack reactions to get what we want, the child experiences a lack of safety and a lack of connection. When you do your reaction habit, you are not home. Your habit is in charge. Your prefrontal cortex is not in play - just your Reptile and Limbic systems.

So the child feels the love, and also feels the potential for danger, for non-safety. The love has become conditional on behavior. So the child withdraws a little each time in the face of the danger you present. Of course we want our children to learn. Unfortunately what they are learning is our reaction techniques. They imitate us. 

What sort of example do you want to be?  Do you want to create an environment of unconditional love for your child?

It is up to you.  You have a prefrontal cortex. Use it, and make yourself worthy of imitation. 

Overcome your reaction patterns and be present to creating solutions in the moment.

Explore the world of the young child with our local Stephen Spitalny, teacher, early childhood consultant and writer. Steve offers lectures, workshops and mentoring around the world.  


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  A Fun Place to be a Docent!

(0 Mar 2017) CarmelMissionBench.jpgThe children were a little restless listening to a docent talking about the history of Mission Monterey, so we went outside and found a bench in a lovely garden.  Along came another docent who said to the children, " Pretend you live on a ranch in the country. Today, you rode in a wagon behind horses to visit the mission.  What were you wearing? What did you see on your way? Did you meet other children when you got here?" I could tell they were awed by the images she inspired and found themselves transported back in time.  That was a great docent!

You too could be an inspiring docent at Castro Adobe State Park.

(0 Mar 2017) CastroAdobe_Volunteer-Training.jpgAssist with class visits, private tours and special events as a docent at Castro Adobe State Historic Park. This involves sharing the stories of the families who made the Castro Adobe home, preparing tortillas and hot chocolate in the restored cocina, leading games and craft activities, event set-up and take-down, and more. Volunteer opportunities are flexible and come up at least monthly.

This docent training, April 8th - 10am-2pm, is a great way to get involved at the Castro Adobe. Prospective docents should fill out this application: ( in advance of the training. The training will include lunch.

(0 Mar 2017) CastroAdobewithPeople.jpg"The Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe is one of the grandest of all adobe buildings representing the Mexican Rancho Period of California history (1821-1848). The Rancho period began as Mexico first gained its independence from Spain and ended when California became part of the United States. Mission lands were secularized during this period and families such as the Castros were granted large swaths of land to build on and use for ranching.

Located near Watsonville, this two-story adobe hacienda features a spacious fandango room on the second floor and an original cocina, one of the very few remaining original rancho cocinas in California. The original carreta (cart or wagon) road to the adobe is still in use, providing a tangible link to the history of the site." Read more>>>


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  Articles About ADHD Which Caught Our Attention

If you read all these articles you will discover a wide variety of facts, theories and opinions.  To meet with locals who are ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or are living with children with ADHD, we recommend visiting one of the SPIN (Special Parents Information Network) support meetings.

Texas School Triples Recess Time, Solves Attention Deficit Disorder 

"According to Today,  the Eagle Mountain Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, has been giving kindergarten and first-grade students two 15-minute recess breaks every morning and two 15-minute breaks every afternoon to go play outside. At first teachers were worried about losing the classroom time and being able to cover all the material they needed with what was left, but now that the experiment has been going on for about five months, teachers say the kids are actually learning more because they're better able to focus in class and pay attention without fidgeting." Read more>>>

A moving short film explores what it's really like to live with ADHD. "Do you know what it's actually like to have an attention disorder?

We've all heard the stereotypes. Symptoms of learning disabilities and attention disorders are often dismissed as laziness, too much energy, a result of bad parenting - or worse, that it's all in the head. There are even those who think it's completely and utterly made up.

But one Swedish filmmaker is shining a light on these often-misunderstood conditions. His moving four-minute silent film, "Bokstavsbarn" (or "Falling Letters"), gives viewers a glimpse into the life of a kid that struggles with attention issues." Read and watch>>>

30 People With Autism Describe What It's Really Like

While I live a pretty normal life I have a lot of issues with sensory sensitivity. Like loud noises, bright lights, certain food tastes, smells and standing in crowds of people. These things make me feel a bit stressed out resulting in various issues like headaches and digestive problems.

While we're on the subject. Certain non-autistic people have the misconception that those of us on the spectrum would "lack empathy." That is simply not true. We often have a hard time to "read" people, but we certainly do not lack human empathy. That needed to be said. Read more>>>

Almost No Children In France Are Medicated For ADHD: Here's How They Define & Treat It

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as of 2011. However, if you ask the American Psychiatric Association (APA), they maintain that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007.

Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing the ADHD epidemic in the U.S., convincing parents and doctors that ADHD is a common problem amongst children and one that should be medicated. However, many countries disagree with the American stance on ADHD, so much so that they have entirely different structures for defining, diagnosing, and treating it. For example...Continue>>>>


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  Places to Go!

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WPENS, Preschool, Open House 3/20


Tara Redwood School, Elementary, Campus Tour 3/22

Pacific Collegiate 9-12, Spring Awakening Concerts 3/16-26


Mount Madonna Pre-12, Celebrating the Cultures of America 3/30

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Santa Cruz County Road Closures

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(0 Mar 2017) MonetSailing.jpg Think You Know Monet?

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Waddell Valley Watercolor Workshop Series
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  Waddell Valley Watercolor Workshop Series
State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: The 3rd Sa of every month (Feb 18-May 20) at 10:00am
Details: A four-day watercolor workshop series for beginner and intermediate artists.
Special Instructions: Meets at the Rancho del Oso Nature and
City: Davenport Phone: (831) 427-2288 view all details >>
It's Up to You
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  It's Up to You
view all details >>
2017 Open Houses Castro Adobe
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  2017 Open Houses Castro Adobe
State Park Castro Adobe
Date: Every day (Mar 18-Dec 30) from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Special Instructions: Old Adobe Road, off of Larkin Valley Road
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-335-6318 view all details >>
 For the Love of Coffee - Talk and Tasting
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  For the Love of Coffee - Talk and Tasting
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Date: 09/23/2017 from 9:00am to 11:00am
Ages: Campers currently enrolled in 3r
Details: A rich story behind making a flavorful, healing, organic cup of hot coffee
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-6115 view all details >>
St. Pat's Day Festival of Irish Music and Culture
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  St. Pat's Day Festival of Irish Music and Culture
Community Music School
Date: 03/18/2017 from 1:00pm to 4:30pm
Ages: all
Details: Irish Music and Culture Festival
City: Aptos Phone: (831) 426-9155 view all details >>
Beginner's Genealogy Workshop
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  Beginner's Genealogy Workshop
Library Central
Date: 03/18/2017 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Details: Learn family research basics
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831)420-5794 view all details >>
New Mommy Musical Meet-UP
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  New Mommy Musical Meet-UP
Musical Me, Inc. Offers Music Together
Date: The 3rd Tues of every month from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Ages: birth - 12months
Details: Join us every 3rd Tuesday for our "New Mommy Musical Meet-Up"!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 438-3514 view all details >>
Kids Yoga (ages 3-5 yrs.)
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  Kids Yoga (ages 3-5 yrs.)
Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery
Date: Every Tues (Feb 21-Mar 28) at 9:30am
Ages: 2-12
Details: A creative mix of yoga, music, art, literature, non-competitive games, and appreciation of nature.
City: Capitola Phone: (888) 424-8035 view all details >>
Sheep to Shawl
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  Sheep to Shawl
Live Earth Farm
Date: 03/18/2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Details: Hands on demonstrations of every part of the process of making wool into clothing and art
City: Watsonville Phone: (831) 763-2448 view all details >>
Watershed Work Day: Moore Creek Restoration
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  Watershed Work Day: Moore Creek Restoration
Friends of the Santa Cruz State Parks
Date: 03/19/2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Volunteer at Moore Creek at Natural Bridges State Beach
Special Instructions: Natural Bridges State Beach is at 2531 W. Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. Parking is $10 and supports the park. Please RSVP by email ( or phone (831-429-1840 x 110).
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 429-1840 view all details >>
It's Up to You
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  It's Up to You
view all details >>
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