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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

March 2, 2017
What problem do YOU want to solve?

When the Mudslide Is Personal

Five Books Guaranteed to Make Kids Love Science

Hummingbird Days at the UCSC Arboretum

Places to Go!
Ask Nicole: Get Support to Stay Afloat continued
Click to view our Business Directory
  What problem do YOU want to solve?

(0 Mar 2017) VotesforWomenBadge.jpgLadies and Gentlemen: We women have had the right to vote since 1920. In the United States women and men joined together to give women equal voting rights in all states with the Nineteenth Amendment, ratified in 1920. Early suffragettes saw a problem and took care of it with a great variety of approaches toward the solution. On March 13, 1913 women marched in Washington DC for the cause of women's suffrage. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we can freely express our concerns!

Forgive me for not recalling the source of this way to engage children in future thinking. Instead of asking a child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" try "What problems would you like to solve when you grow up?" Then I thought of bringing it closer to home by asking, "What problem do you see around the house (or community or nation) that you would like to solve today?" Identifying a problem can lead to a good discussion of possible solutions. Children often come up with unique answers which cut through adult preconceptions. As I'm writing this I'm asking myself "What problem will I find a solution for today or work toward?"

(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 rain-free weekend,  Parmalee


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  When the Mudslide Is Personal

Ask Nicole: Get Support to Stay Afloat
by Nicole M. Young, MSW

This has been the wettest winter in a long time. After a multi-year drought, the torrential rain is a welcome relief -until it isn't. Mudslides, floods, fallen trees, power outages, closed roads and destroyed buildings turned everyday life upside down. The stormy weather won't last forever and someday the chaos will be a distant memory, but right now it's hard to (0 Mar 2017) Mudslide.jpgsee past the rain. I imagine this is what life feels like for people who are faced with challenge after challenge - unemployment or unlivable wages, eviction or foreclosure, chronic hunger, family conflict or violence, health problems, fear of deportation, substance abuse, mental illness. Adding parenting struggles to an already difficult situation can become the storm that triggers what feels like a personal mudslide, with an overwhelming mess to clean up.

If this sounds familiar, keep reading this monthly column to get proven, practical tips for raising children>>>>>


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  Five Books Guaranteed to Make Kids Love Science

These kids' books spark science curiosity with playful illustrations and facts to match.

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Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space, by Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman

Every child deserves to learn moon facts from a space-cat wearing a tiny fedora. Written by physicist Dominic Walliman, with pictures by award-winning illustrator Ben Newman, Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space explains everything kids need to know about our universe and how we explore it. Ever wonder how rockets work, how spacesuits evolved, or just how big Earth is compared to our neighboring planets? Professor Astro Cat breaks it down with clever diagrams and ingenious comparisons. (If Earth were a cherry tomato, Mercury would be a peppercorn and Jupiter, a watermelon!) Best of all, like any good scientist, Walliman doesn't claim to have all the answers. Sections on the future of space travel and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life leave the mysteries of deep space open for future scientists to unravel.

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Shackleton's Journey, by William Grill

Ernest Shackleton once wrote, "I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all." That passion for adventure comes to life in Shackleton's Journey, William Grill's beautiful picture book about the explorer's failed attempt to cross Antarctica. Grill's colored pencil drawings are lively and charming, with an attention to detail. Elaborate visual lists immortalize every one of Shakleton's 69 sled dogs and detail each piece of equipment packed on board the explorer's ship, Endurance. Meanwhile, vast seascapes convey Antarctic loneliness and the peril of an ice-packed sea.

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Animalium (Welcome to the Museum), by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

For the kid who lingers over the cases of taxidermied animals at the natural history museum, Animalium is the ticket. Consider this oversized encyclopedia a museum visit between two covers. Katie Scott and Jenny Broom divide the animal kingdom into "galleries," arranged in evolutionary order from sea sponges to mammals. Some showcase animal families; others explore habitats or zero in on a single species. Scott's full-page pen and ink spreads have the timeless elegance of a John James Audubon print, and Broom's prose moves nimbly between broad facts to curious details. Take, for example, the book's account of frog metamorphosis. The illustrations carefully record the stages from spawn to adult, while this tidbit-Darwin's frogs nurture their young in their mouths-is memorable enough to stick with readers long after their tour.

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Infographics: Human Body, by Peter Grundy and Simon Rogers

For every gross or awe-inspiring fact about the human body you'll find in Infographics: Human Body, designer Peter Grundy has a stylishly minimalist infographic to match. Take, for example, the image exploring the body as a "factory." Grundy's blocky human icon sports a pencil leg (we each contain enough carbon to make 900 pencils), a cannon firing from its backend (humans produce one liter of gas every day), and a cleaver hovering above an itchy pet (humans contain enough sulphur to kill a dog's fleas.) With bold colors, simple shapes, and subtle humor, Infographics explains complex bodily processes in kid-size pieces.

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The Worm, by Elise Gravel 

Elise Gravel's The Worm is the second book in her Disgusting Critter series, which introduces kids to the charms of such squirm-inducers as head lice, flies, rats, slugs, and spiders. In this installment, Gravel covers basics like worm anatomy and diet with simple text and bold, hand-lettered typography. But it's the earthworm protagonist, sporting a beret and greeting readers with a worldly "Énchanté!", that helps make the book so entertaining. It has a witty quip for every wormy fact (at one point, the hermaphrodite exclaims "You look ravishing today, dear!" to its tail). But even the book's more aesthetically challenged creatures-tapeworms, I'm looking at you-can't help but woo with their cute dot-eyes and expressive mouths. The Worm is gross, silly, and informative-the perfect combo for maximum kid appeal.


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  Hummingbird Days at the UCSC Arboretum

Hummingbird Days at the UCSC Arboretum
Nature Inspired Fun for the Whole Family
Saturday 3/4, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Admission Fees: $10 Public, $5 Members, Free to UCSC Students and Children under 12

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Hummingbird Day is the central coast's premier family-oriented educational event celebrating one of nature's vibrant aerial acrobats, the Hummingbird.

Hummingbirds just can't resist the temptation of such a plentiful supply of nectar at the Arboretum. During the event, nature lovers of all ages will see and learn about these amazing birds and the gardens that host and support them. Guests will have plenty of opportunities to watch and hear hummingbird courtship shenanigans as well as participate in a variety of activities focused on these amazing creatures.

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Morning Bird Walk and Talk with Todd Newberry
Talk on Landscaping for Hummingbirds with Martin Quigley

Special activities for kids -
 Children 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
*  Take-home Craft making: mobiles, masks, watercolors, necklaces, and Seed Balls to attract hummingbirds at home.
*  Children's bird walks/play
*  Face painting

Special activities for all ages:
* Lectures and Workshops on everything from Gardening for the Birds to Photographing the Fastest Birds in the World.
Expert led Garden Tours and Beginning Birder Tours.
* Scavenge for souvenirs, gifts, and acquire the perfect plant for the perfect place at Norrie's Gift and Garden Shop.
* Delight in an assortment of beverages and delicious healthy food available for purchase. Make it for breakfast and lunch!

Arboretum at UCSC, High St. and Western Drive , Santa Cruz 


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  Places to Go!

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Chartwell School 1-12, Open House 3/7


Gateway School K-8, School Day Tour 3/9


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Campus Tour 3/15


Tara Redwood School, Elementary, Campus Tour 3/22

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On March 3, 1913, 5,000 women marched in Washington to support the right of women to vote.

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This button is on display with "The National Woman Suffrage Parade, 1913" at the National Museum of American History in Washington.

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Veterans Dinner
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  Veterans Dinner
SLV Museum
Date: 11/11/2017 at 6:00pm
Details: Date: November 11, 2017, 6pm Click Here To  Buy Tickets   Join
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8382 view all details >>
Finding Solutions
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  Finding Solutions
view all details >>
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 >>
Free First Friday
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  Free First Friday
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Date: Every day from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Enjoy our intertidal touch pool, large-screen microscope, and geology exhibit and "dig pit".
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-6115 view all details >>
 Monet: The Early Years
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  Monet: The Early Years
Legion of Honor Museum
Date: Every day (Feb 25-May 29)
Details: This exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Monet's mastery before Impressionism, and includes paintings
City: San Francisco Phone: (415) 750-3600 view all details >>
Exploring Amazing Australian Plants
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  Exploring Amazing Australian Plants
Arboretum at UCSC
Date: 03/21/2018 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Details: Join us to learn a bit about Australia, and revel in the beauty and diversity of it's amazing flora.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 427-2998 view all details >>
Free 2 Be a Kid
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  Free 2 Be a Kid
Live Oak Grange
Date: The 1st Sa of every month from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Details: Bring what you can. Take what you need.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
History of Fishing Monterey Bay
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  History of Fishing Monterey Bay
Monterey Wharf
Date: 03/04/2017 from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: Adults and Children 10+
Details: The History of Fishing for Sardines, Abalone, Calamari, Salmon, Crab and More on the Monterey Bay."
City: Monterey Phone: 831-521-3304 view all details >>
Boys & Girls Clubs First Friday: Regional Arts Celebration
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  Boys & Girls Clubs First Friday: Regional Arts Celebration
Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz
Date: 03/03/2017 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Boys & Girls Clubs of America Pacific Region
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
  Ask Nicole: Get Support to Stay Afloat continued

Dear Nicole, Both of my kids are getting into trouble at school. My daughter (15) is failing two classes and skipping school. My son (8) gets sent to the principal's office almost every day because he can't sit still and talks back. Staff at both schools suggested I attend parenting classes. It feels like they're blaming or judging me for my kids' behaviors. I said "OK," but I really wanted to say, "Are you kidding me?" I'm a single parent working full-time while going to school. I barely make enough for rent and food, and I'm constantly arguing with my ex-partner over child support. I know my kids' behaviors need to change, but a parenting class is the last thing I have time for or want to do. What else can I do? - Sarah

Dear Sarah, Thank you for your question. I'm sure other parents and caregivers feel the same way. It's common for kids to have difficulties at home and school at different points in their lives. Sometimes it's related to changing hormones, and all you can do is show empathy and teach them coping skills like deep breathing. Other times, challenging behaviors may be signs of a learning disability, emotional distress, problems with peers, substance abuse or other physical or mental health issues. Addressing problematic behaviors often becomes a dreaded task that families put off until a crisis erupts that can't be ignored. Here are a few ideas to try before reaching a crisis point:

Start small. My favorite Triple P parenting program motto is "Small changes, big differences." Addressing behavioral concerns can seem impossible if there's pressure to change everything at once, and many parents are tempted to give up before they even start. Just remember that taking one step at a time to rebuild family relationships or re-establish limits and expectations leads to small changes that eventually create bigger and lasting changes.

Start a conversation. Set aside time to talk with each child about school. Although it may seem easiest to just tell them what to do, that could shut down the conversation before it's begun. Instead, ask open-ended questions to find out what they think and feel about school - things they like and dislike, what's going well and what's difficult. Use a calm tone of voice that shows you're genuinely curious about their answers, and listen without giving your opinion. This will help you identify possible explanations for your children's difficulties at school and increase the chance they'll be honest with you. Acknowledge and validate their emotions, even if you don't agree or think they're overreacting. The more they feel heard, the greater the chance they will stay engaged when you discuss possible solutions.

Keep the lines of communication open with school staff. Schools can be a significant support for students and families. Ask the teachers what they've noticed about your children's behaviors, learning styles and progress. Ask school administrators what other support services are available. Your children may prefer to talk to school counselors or other trusted staff. If that happens, take it as a good sign your children are doing their part to make small changes.

FINAL THOUGHTS: When family life is hectic, a few practical parenting tips can be like a life preserver that helps you stay afloat. Remember that starting small is better than not starting at all. It's true that small changes make big differences.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 13 and 16, 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

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