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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

May 7, 2015
Happy Mother's Day

Steve: What's the Big Deal About Imitation?

Swimming and Pickling
Ask Nicole: Using Rewards as a Teaching Tool

Christine: Geology That Makes Earthquakes Worse

Featured Event
Paint A Picture at Wilder Ranch
Ask Nicole continued
Click to view our Business Directory
  Happy Mother's Day

(AAA_Feb 2015) MothersDay_Daisies3.jpgThe thousands of emails that land in SPAM, and which still need to be combed for the one that should have made it to the inbox, and ads on the radio have lately contained a barrage of "Buy this for Mother's Day".   As a daughter, mother and grandmother the "gifts" most precious to me are the ones from the heart, not only on Mother's Day yet not daily, but just spontaneously, occasionally: one flower, "I love you", hand made cards, "let's visit".  Little kindnesses over a lifetime are the most treasured of all gifts. 

Surely there is both joy and heartache in being a mother.  I've been blessed with mostly joy and for that I'm grateful, but there are moms out there who've experienced great heartache.  I'm going to reach out to a few I know and let them know I love them. 

This weekend there's a "paint-in" at Wilder Ranch.  It would be so great to see some of the children's art from this event. Please send us a photo.

The Weekend   ~ Parenting Support  ~  Parks  Museums 

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter and for sending many new families our way. Please, drop us a line anytime and recommend us to a friend

Happy Mother's Day! Have a great weekend with family and friends, Parmalee

 

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  Steve: What's the Big Deal About Imitation?

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An excerpt from Steve's new book!

For the young child, imitation is the primary learning modality. So many elements of our human-ness are developed in the early years and they are developed through a process of imitation. Among these learned skills are walking, speaking, and methods for dealing with stress and challenges. Humans only learn to walk and speak by copying other human beings! And we develop our habits of dealing with challenging situations and our communication habits, by copying. These habits are firmly entrenched by age three or earlier.

(AAA_Feb 2015) Steve_ConsciousParenting.jpgA key neurological element involved in imitation is mirror neurons. These neurons 'fire'  both when a child acts and when the child observes an action performed by another. It is the same with any age - mirror neurons are engaged when we receive through our senses information (sights, sounds, etc.) about what someone else is doing. They stimulate "motor' neurons as if we were doing the moving or speaking. Mirror neurons are important for understanding the actions of other people, and for learning new skills by imitation.

With human beings, imitation is of much greater significance than other creatures of the earth. A newborn horse will stand up within the first hour after its birth, can trot and canter within hours, and most can gallop by the next day, even if you remove all other horses from the foal's environment. The foal will also "speak" like a horse without other horses around to imitate.

A human being will never learn to stand, walk or speak like a human unless there are human walkers and speakers to imitate. These three human capacities of walking, speaking and thinking are developed by imitation and are founded on each other...

It is crucial to understand the role of imitation in learning for the young child. When we grasp the implications of this fact, we have to look at ourselves to see if we say and do what we want the children to imitate. Since the primary learning modality for the young child is imitation, what we do and say, and who we are as adults standing before them is of the utmost importance. 

Steve Spitalny is an early childhood consultant and writer and offers lectures, workshops and mentoring around the world. Teachers and parents alike rave about their experiences and want him back for more! You can learn more about him at: Chamakanda.com

 

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  Swimming and Pickling

(AAA_Feb 2015) seahorse2015LOGOnocity.jpgFREE swim lessons Make a Splash Partner Program
5/09 from 1pm - 3pm
6 months and Up
Entry into pool by invitation of instructor only. NOT an open swim event.

(AAA_Feb 2015) Seahorse_RyanHannah.jpgSeahorse Swim School is a proud local partner with the national child-focused water safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation, Make a Splash. We aim to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Make a Splash partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim.

Location: Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd, Aptos Map
Phone: (831) 476-7946 •website Aptos


(AAA_Feb 2015) KelpCollecting.jpgKelp Pickling Class

Learn all about kelp foraging and pickling
with Adventure Sports Unlimited Adventure Travel
10 years old and up
$45 - $80
May 8, 7pm Planning
& May 10th all day Collecting and Pickling  

Kelp pickling is a wonderful endeavor for the whole family. Since early times, home canners have enjoyed the art of pickling foods, one of the oldest known methods of preserving food. The Chinese were fermenting vegetables as early as the third century B.C and the Romans were pickling by the first century A.D. Pickling even followed the colonist to America and now picked kelp is coming to Santa Cruz!

What a great way to be one with our kelp forest and get a reward in the form of a delicious treat. We will pick a beach noted for a variety of succulent sea vegetables. Here we will search in tide pools and by boogie board. We will then return to Adventure Sports to pickle as only a family group can do -the pool will be open for fun.

(AAA_Feb 2015) KelpPickling2.jpgWe start with a Friday evening of planning followed by a Sunday morning of collecting and pickling. 10-17 year olds are encouraged to attend and must have an adult/guardian take the class with them and be able to boogie board in the ocean. An ocean-only fishing license is required for collecting.

Location: 303 Potrero St #15, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 458-3648 •website

  Ask Nicole: Using Rewards as a Teaching Tool

By Nicole M. Young, MSW

(AAA_Feb 2015) RewardChart.jpgAs a parent I know that sometimes we need to look for ways to motivate our children to do things like follow directions, get along with others, be more independent or do well in school. While we want to see a change in behavior, we also don't want to beg, use bribes, or spend money on expensive items every time we want our child to do the right thing. Many of us often hear conflicting advice: "rewards are necessary to motivate children" or "rewards prevent children from developing internal motivation and responsibility." It's confusing when those two viewpoints are presented as mutually exclusive. I've learned over the years that neither of those extremes is entirely true, but both contain valid points.

This monthly column provides tips for anyone who is helping raise 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,

My mom and I disagree about rewarding kids for good behavior. She thinks behavior charts and rewards are just a form of bribery, and that kids become dependent on getting rewards or people's approval instead of learning to "do the right thing." I use rewards with my young kids (4 and 6), and they seem fine. In fact, it seems to help them want to do better on their own. Who is right?  -       Sandra

Dear Sandra,

You're both right. It's true that incentives can be overused or misused, to the point where they become ineffective. However, rewards are also a useful part of the "parenting toolkit," and in reality, are a part of everyday life. For example, I like getting a paycheck for working. Sometimes I need that external reward to motivate me when I'd rather be doing anything but work. At the same time, I like the satisfaction that comes from using my skills and abilities to make a positive difference. This internal reward keeps me motivated to do my best.

When used effectively, rewards and incentives can be useful tools that help children develop new skills, as well as their "internal compass" - the motivation, self-discipline and independence that will guide their behaviors and choices throughout life. Try these tips...continued>>>>

 

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  Christine: Geology That Makes Earthquakes Worse

(ABC_Feb 2015) Earthquake_Nepal_USGSWorld2.jpgEarthquakes are a fact of life in many parts of the world. Very few locations are completely quake-free. However the rocks underlying an area may be key to how disastrous a large quake can be.

What exactly is an earthquake? The ground under our feet is moving. Some can move freely (some islands) and some parts are pushing against other parts that are either trying to move in a different direction or even the opposite direction. An earthquake fault is a spot where different plates are moving differently. Some faults are known and many we find when a quake hits. Stress builds up as these pieces push against each other. Stress is a form of potential energy. At some point this stored energy grows larger than the amount it takes to move so the land slips and we get an earthquake. 
...Continued>>>>>>

Chistine is a local mom and scientist who makes science easy to understand.  You can find her blog here.

 

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  Featured Event

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May

in the Parks

A-Z Camps

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School Corner

Santa Cruz Waldorf PreK-8, Waldorf Alive! A Walk Through the Grades 5/6 & 20

 

Central, SV & Aptos Libraries Grades 5-8, Hands on Build Your Future 3/5 - 5/20

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12, Campus Tour 5/19

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf PreK-8, Mornings in the Kindergarten 5/15

 

Santa Cruz Montessori Pre-8, Open Visits M-F

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MANGA MADNESS

for TEENS!

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Free Comics

Free Food

Raffle Prizes

May 7, 4-6pm


Watsonville Public Library

768-3407

Big Basin

Mothers Day Walk

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FREE

ACTIVITIES

 

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 Paint A Picture at Wilder Ranch

Every Picture Tells a Story

State Park Wilder Ranch
Artistically tell your story about Wilder Ranch!
Date: 05/09/2015 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Admission Fees: $10 parking fee

Artistically tell your story about Wilder Ranch! The public is invited to participate in an art day event to experience Wilder Ranch. Make it a day of family fun and tell your story of Wilder Ranch by painting, coloring, sketching or photographing the nature, farm animals or historic buildings.

(AAA_Feb 2015) WilderRanchsandracherk.jpgLocal artists will be stationed at different points of interest around the cultural preserve to offer demonstrations, techniques and advice to participants. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own art materials or they can use basic art supplies provided by the ranch, donations accepted. Participants may opt to enter their finished story picture into the "Every Picture Tells a Story" at Wilder Ranch State Park Art Show, to be held at Wilder Ranch's Life on the Ranch Day on Saturday, Aug. 8.

Event is free; parking $10. Gift shop and food items available for purchase. All proceeds benefit the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and Wilder Ranch. Call 831.426.0505 for more information.

Painting by Sandra Cherk

Location: 2 miles North of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz

Happy Mother's Day
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  Happy Mother's Day
Date:
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Happy Mother's Day
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  Happy Mother's Day
Date:
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Mother's Day Weekend Art & Gift Show
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  Mother's Day Weekend Art & Gift Show
Gault Elementary School
Date: 05/09/2015 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: ALL
Details: Mother's Day Weekend Art & Gift Show
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Second Saturday on the Farm
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  Second Saturday on the Farm
Ag History Project
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Join us for demonstrations using antique farm equipment, crafts, farm animals, wooden cow milking, water pumps, learning to driv
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-728-5898 view all details >>
     
Spring Fiesta
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  Spring Fiesta
Green Acres Elementary School
Date: 05/08/2015 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Details: Don't miss out on outrageous family fun
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Happy Mother's Day
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Pottery & Glass Seconds Sale
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  Pottery & Glass Seconds Sale
Cabrillo College
Date: 05/01/2016 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Details: Over 50 professional potters, glass artists, jewelers and other craftspeople from California's central coast sell seconds, exper
City: Aptos view all details >>
     
The Fratello Marionettes presents Peter and the Wolf
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  The Fratello Marionettes presents Peter and the Wolf
Montalvo Arts Center
Date: 05/09/2015 at 11:00am
Ages: For Pre-K - 5th grade
Details: Designed for both children and their parents, Montalvo's Family
Special Instructions: 11 A.M. and 1 P.M
City: Saratoga Phone: (408) 961-5858 view all details >>
     
31st Annual Mother's Day Run / Walk for Shelter
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  31st Annual Mother's Day Run / Walk for Shelter
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services
Date: 05/10/2015 from 7:00am to 11:00am
Ages: all ages
Details: 31st Annual Mother's Day Run/Walk for Shelter
City: Watsonville Phone: (831) 728-5649 view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Arts & Technology Festival
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  Santa Cruz Arts & Technology Festival
Santa Cruz Arts & Technology Festival
Date: 05/09/2015 from 10:00am to 9:00pm
Details: Arts & tech tango together towards a healthier, more sustainable community.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Happy Mother's Day
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  Happy Mother's Day
Date:
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Happy Mother's Day
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Happy Mother's Day
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  Ask Nicole continued

Identify a specific skill, habit or behavior that your child is working on. It might be a behavior that you'd like to see more (sharing) or less (hitting), or a skill that your child is developing - e.g. tying shoes, staying in bed at night or getting ready for school. Picking just one skill or behavior to work on at a time will help it feel achievable to your child and lead to greater success.

Set a specific, realistic goal. Keep the goal simple and reasonable for your child's age and abilities, especially if it's the first time your child will be working on it. Involve your children in setting the goal whenever possible so they are more invested in the change. Make the goal progressively harder to reach as your child becomes more skilled or the new behavior becomes a habit.

Create a list of rewards or incentives that interest your child. Involve your child in selecting a reward for meeting the goal. Get creative - an extra story at bedtime, a sleepover with a friend, or picking the movie the family watches. Decide whether material rewards such as toys, food, video games or clothing are suitable and feasible in your family. If they are, try to find healthy options and use them sparingly or for harder-to-achieve goals.

Give descriptive praise and encouragement. Use descriptive praise to show your child you're noticing efforts and progress. Praise that is specific and genuine is often rewarding enough to encourage your child to do more of the same behavior.

Phase out the reward once your child has mastered the new skill or behavior. Continue giving descriptive praise. If needed, repeat the process of setting a goal, identifying a reward and encouraging your child's efforts.   

Remember that it's your child's choice to work toward the reward or not. Rewards become ineffective if they are disguised threats or nagging - "You're not going to earn your reward if you keep this up." Once you've set the goal with your child and agreed on the reward to be earned, help your child figure out how to meet that goal and provide encouragement.

Final Thoughts: Whether and how to use rewards is a decision that each family must make based on what feels right for them. When used effectively, rewards can be a powerful tool for giving feedback and encouragement that make the process of learning a new skill or behavior rewarding in and of itself.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 11 and 15, 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. For more information, including classes and one-on-one meetings to help parents handle everyday parenting challenges, visit http://triplep.first5scc.org, www.facebook.com/triplepscc 

 

 

 

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