A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
Kindergarten - this September or next?
"Developmentally, the difference between a child who just turned five and one who turned five a year ago is quite massive. The near-six year old has 20 percent more life experience than the just-turned-five-year-old." Fatherly 's research on when to send your child to kindergarten offers some data for consideration.

Thinking about when your child should begin kindergarten? September 2020 or September 2021? Parents ponder "What is best for my child?" Local schools are very accommodating, offering Transitional Kindergartens, Pre-Kindergartens, an extra year in preschool, kindergarten in nature, language immersion preschools and kindergartens, homeschooling, and "regular" kindergartens -non-academic, gently academic and more academic. Start here: California Kindergarten Eligibility Requirements. Visit schools. Talk with trusted educators. We parents know our children. In Santa Cruz we have the flexibility to choose the best fit for our children.

About coronavirus: Certainly if you turn on the tv or radio you will be exposed to the breathless, hyped latest on coronavirus. If you find this irritating, even frightening, get the facts from CDC.

Nicole talks about what kids need and our role in meeting their needs. This newsletter is full with opportunities to share with the family. Enjoy!!

Have a great weekend, perhaps a rain walk will entice you outside! Parmalee
Ask Nicole
Kids Need Opportunities, Skills & Recognition
 
G’day from Australia, the “birthplace” of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program! I’m here for the Helping Families Change Conference for Triple P researchers and practitioners, where I had the opportunity to present about our local and statewide efforts to obtain governmental recognition of Positive Parenting Awareness Month in January. It was thrilling to share our story with an international audience and hear how they were inspired by our creative, collective efforts to elevate the importance of positive parenting in Santa Cruz County and across California.
 
In turn, I’ve been inspired by several messages that have been emphasized throughout the conference by Professor Matt Sanders (creator of Triple P), researchers, and parent educators from around the world:

* The first 1,000 days (3 years) of life are a critical period in a child’s development…and every subsequent 1,000 days are also important.
* The quality of parenting and family relationships are crucial in every stage of a person’s life—even through adulthood. Positive parenting helps achieve multiple goals—including good physical, mental, behavioral, and financial health—and the benefits of positive parenting are passed on to each generation.
* Children and youth are more likely to adopt healthy social and emotional behaviors when they have strong relationships with parents and other caring adults who communicate healthy beliefs and clear expectations.

To create those strong relationships, children and youth need:
1.       Opportunities to actively participate in and feel a sense of belonging in their families, schools, and communities.
2.       Skills that will help them navigate school, relationships, work, and life.
3.       Recognition and praise for their efforts, improvements, and accomplishments.

We can all find moments to provide children and youth with opportunities, skills, and recognition, whether we’re a parent, teacher, neighbor, elected official, or just a caring community member.
 
So this month, instead of answering a specific question, I’m offering a few positive parenting tips that anyone can use to provide opportunities, skills, and recognition for children and youth.
Positive Parenting Tips

Talk with children and teens about things they’re interested in. This shows you value their thoughts, opinions, and feelings—even when they’re different from yours—which is essential to building a strong relationship based on trust. Having everyday casual conversations also helps children and youth develop important language skills, including the ability to listen, ask questions, learn new words, and express themselves.
 
Provide engaging activities that help children connect with other people, animals, and the environment. This could be anything from going to the park to enrolling children in preschool or recreational activities, to volunteering at an animal shelter, or participating in an environmental clean-up day. Safe, interesting activities keep children occupied (which can prevent challenging behaviors), and provide opportunities for children to practice communicating their thoughts and needs, cooperating with others, and showing compassion for other people and living things.
 
Create teachable moments. Encourage children and youth to be curious and ask questions, then use incidental teaching to involve them in the learning process. Ask if they have an opinion or think they can answer their own questions. Encourage them to share their thoughts, even if they don’t know the exact answer. This sends the message that we all learn by trial and error, and that it’s often more important to be curious, thoughtful, and open-minded than to be right.
 
Give meaningful, descriptive praise. It’s true that praise can become ineffective when it’s overused, too general, or given half-heartedly. But in Triple P, descriptive praise is a way for parents to acknowledge and encourage children’s efforts, improvements, and accomplishments. When it’s specific and genuine, descriptive praise helps builds children’s skills and confidence as they learn how to be active, engaged, cooperative members of their families, peer groups, schools, and communities.
 
Final Thoughts: Raising children to become confident, capable, independent adults is one of the most important and rewarding, but often most undervalued, jobs in our society. And yet, as Matt Sanders says, “The future wellbeing of our communities depends on how well we raise our children.” While that might sound like a daunting responsibility, just remember there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, and no one should have to do this job alone. Just like children, all dads, moms, stepparents, grandparents, foster parents, and other caregivers need opportunities, skills, and recognition to develop their parenting “muscle.” 
 
This monthly article provides tips for families 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 .
 
Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 16 and 19, 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 , www.facebook.com/triplepscc .

Art & Play in the PreK, Mount Madonna School, 3/11, 9:30am, Details

Shadow Day for Students , Kirby School 6-12, Mondays, Details

"Shadow-A-Ram" for a Day, Good Shepherd Catholic, Wednesdays, Details

School Day Tour, Gateway School, 4/14, 9-10am, Details

AFE Info Evenings , Independent Home Study School Program K-12, Branciforte Small School Campus, 3/26, 6:30-8pm, Details

March Free First Friday, MAH, 3/6, 10am-9pm, Explore three floors of exhibitions for free. Enjoy live music in Abbott Square. Drop-in to the craft activity in the museum. Details

Alice’s Garden Party , The Puppetry Institute of Santa Cruz, 3/7, 3-5pm, Terra’s Puppet Playhouse, 1855 41st Ave, Capitola, Details
 
Salamander Saturday , Rancho del Oso Nature & History Center, Saturday, 3/7, 12- 4pm, Details

Spring forward! Daylight Saving Time Starts Sunday, 3/8, 3am

Full Moon Walk , Quail Hollow Ranch, 3/9, 9-11PM, FREE at Quail Hollow Ranch, Details
 
8th Annual Watsonville Film Festival! 3/12, Details
Top Dog Film Festival , Rio Theatre Friday, $15, 3/13, 7- 9:30pm, Details

It's High Time for Tea and Fashion! Seascape Beach Resort, Sun, 3/15. 11:30am, Aptos, Details
 

Saint Pittie's Day 2020, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, 3/14, On Saturday from 12pm-3pm the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter will be hosting free Pittie Portraits for pit bull and pit bull mixes (limit of two dogs per family & no group photos). For more information, check out our Event pages! Say hello to our awesome partners Woofpack831! Details
 
8th Annual Watsonville Film Festival! 3/12, Details
Luck O’ the Castro , Castro Adobe State Historic Park, 3/7, 11am. - 3pm, Luck comes and goes, but good choices have preserved the Castro Adobe for more than 170 years. Come for a fun, almost-spring day at the Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe to learn about the fortunes of this historic hacienda and the family that once called it home, plus an unexpected connection to Irish history in the New World through Saint Patrick's Battalion! 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville, Details
Sheep to Shawl: Fiber and Maker's Faire, Live Earth Farm, 3/21, Join the fun! Bring the family to participate in the art of bringing wool from the sheep to the shawl, including every step in between. Experts, local businesses and organizations will guide us through all of the hands-on steps to turn sheep’s wool into clothing, toys and accessories. Shearing, Scouring (washing), Carding (combing), Dyeing, Spinning, Needle & Wet Felting, Knitting, Crocheting, & Weaving. Enjoy drinks and food from local businesses, booths demonstrating sustainable crafts, and face painting at our zero-waste event! 1275 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville, Details
Positive Discipline for the Classroom 
March 7th and 8th from 8:30am-4:30pm at the Watsonville Community Hospital 75 Nielson Street Watsonville, Details

All Together Now! P arent/child playgroup every Wed., 9am-11am, Live Oak Community Resources (LOCR), for parents and kiddos 0-4yrs, $3-$7 suggested donation. Details
Movies, Music and Art!
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JOIN our annual celebration of film & community in the heart of Watsonville! The 8th ANNUAL WATSONVILLE FILM FESTIVAL will present:

• 20 great films, including multiple Monterey Bay Premieres! Q&A's with Award-winning directors and up-and-coming talents from Mexico, L.A., the Bay Area & Watsonville!

• Free Talks on filmmaking by two amazing women directors.

• WFF is collaborating with Pájaro Valley Arts to present an art exhibit in conjunction with the Festival.
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW AT: watsonvillefilmfest.org
90th Annual Statewide CA Landscapes Exhibition, Santa Cruz Art League,
Fri, 2/28 – Sun, 4/12,
Reception: March 6, First Friday 6–8pm
For almost nine decades, the Santa Cruz Art League’s Statewide Landscape Exhibition has showcased the work of artists across the Golden State who depict California’s foothills, mountains, seashores, and deserts of the interior and coastal regions.
Landscape by Sue Holmes
More Events
Yin Yoga, Scotts Valley Library, 2 nd & 4 th Saturdays 10am, until Apr 5, Details

Code Combat, Downtown Library, Wednesdays, 2pm, until May 20, Details
 
Display of wonderful, picture books for children of all ages! -- topics of Chinese culture, families, and historical events ! All month, 10am, Aptos Library Branch, 7695 Soquel Drive, Details

Calling all Poets! A poetry contest for young adults (14-20) and adults (21+), Watsonville Library,  Details  
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