Active Family June 2017

Page 1

JUNE 2017


KIDS IN THE KITCHEN: The Benefits of Cooking with Children






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Volume 4 / Issue 41

[ PARENTING ] 10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents


Directions for Handling a Toxic Relationship




Father’s Day Gift Guide


Dads, Your Tween Girls Need You


5 Simple Ways You Can Turn Around a Bad Mood Fast


Fathering Is Interactive

22 [ MARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIPS ] How Men Handle Stress Differently




Celebrate Dad! Father’s Day Event Guide


June Calendar




Breweries & Taprooms [ CHILDREN & EDUCATION ] Around the Bay Kids in the Kitchen: The Benefits of Cooking with Children



Weekend Getaway Monterey & Carmel-by-the-Sea

Summer Camp Guide





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Local Life & Style for the East Bay Area Publisher/Editor

Marketing Assistant Interns

Contributing Authors

Tracie Brown Vollgraf

Jaida Sinclair

Advertising Sales Director

Fashion Editor

Kathy Brillheart

Rachel Fawkes

Advertising Sales Managers


Mary Oakes

Teresa Agnew Craft

Dr. Laura Markham Katie Hurley, LCSW Betsy Brown Braun Amy Morin The Growing Room Elizabeth Kang Dr. Christine Carter Dr. Gail Gross

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Editor’s Note June is a time for celebration! First, we welcome summer and that in itself is a time to celebrate! No more homework, school projects, packing lunches and getting up early to rush out the door! Secondly it’s time to celebrate Dad! Turn to page 10 for a plethora of fabulous gift ideas for the special guy in your family. Perhaps a date-night is in order so Pops can sit back and relax with a cold one? Be sure to check out the Brewery and Taproom Around the Bay Guide on page 32! Summer is always the perfect time for travel, and after reading the Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea feature on page 26, you’ll want to pack up the car, grab the kids and head down the highway! With all the fabulous restaurants, wineries, shops, hotels and, of course, the amazing beaches, Monterey and Carmel offer an idyllic getaway only two hours from home. Enjoy your June! Tracie Brown Vollgraf Editor




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Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where she offers a free daily inspiration email to parents.

10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents by Dr. Laura Markham “I’m stressed, we’re rushing, and before I know it, I’m yelling. When I see the look on his face, I feel awful. He was just being a kid. And I was just stressed out.” –Dana As every parent learns, you can’t be a good mom or dad when you’re stressed out, no matter how positive your intentions. It’s true that modern life creates a ton of stress, but it’s also true that what stresses out one person may just roll off the back of another. So stress is partly what happens to us, but mostly our reaction to it. Each of us has a responsibility as a parent to manage our own stress. After all, do you want your kids to have the best of you -- or what’s left of you? A three pronged approach works best: • Pare down the stressors in your life. • Keep your cup full so that you have more internal resources to deal with the curve balls that life inevitably throws at you. • Retrain your attitude so you notice as you slip into stress-mode and can make the choice to shift gears. Here are ten stress-busting strategies that draw on all three ideas, that you can use starting today. 1. Pay attention to breathing, calmly and deeply, as often as you remember, all day long. Remembering to breathe may sound simple, but it will change your life. Late for an appointment? Breathe. Kids just dump their toys in the toilet? Breathe. Taking deep breaths so you get more oxygen actually reduces the stress hormones circulating in your body. Noticing your breath is like using a pause button. It brings you back into the


[ PARENTING ] moment, so you have a choice. Do you really want to get hijacked by the stress and end up yelling at your kid, or could you choose a better way to handle things? Put post-its up all over your house and in your car to remind you, and when you see one, take 3 deep breaths. The practice will make it more effective when you have one of those inevitable stress-inducing moments. 2. Pare down your schedule. Much of the stress we feel comes from routinely over-scheduling. But that’s a choice we make. We think it’s helpful to squeeze more in, but it always costs us. Kids thrive on connection, so when we get too busy to just hang out and connect with them, they act out. Prioritize your kids and your relationship. Then drop anything else you can. Your house can stay a mess a little longer. Serve scrambled eggs and raw carrots for dinner. (Yes, that is nutritionally fine.) Your children need you in a good mood much more than they need you to cook. 3. Sleep. Sleep is an essential stress buster. Your body uses your sleep time to heal and restore a better biochemical balance. This is hard, because sleep often feels out of our control. But you can get more sleep, even if it means going to bed when the kids do. Just do it. Even a few days a week of this discipline will shift your mood. 4. Move. Exercise is the best stress reducer there is, after deep breathing and getting enough sleep. Twenty minutes of sweat inducing activity every day will cut cortisol levels and put you in a good mood. What more incentive do you need? Turn on the music and get your kids dancing with you! (Want more ideas? See Box.) 5. Cut your kid some slack. You don’t need to stress about every little misstep from your child. The fact that Michael clobbered his playmate or Jillian smeared poop on the wall doesn’t mean they’ll be psychopaths. Most childish behavior is developmentally appropriate. This is your baby, showing you in the best way he can that he needs your love and understanding. Most acting out can be cured by your reconnecting with your child and getting some real laughter going between you, which heals both your stress. On those days when you’re ready to tear your hair out, remember that moment when you first held your child in your arms, and how lucky you felt. You’re still that lucky, and you can still feel that way. It’s a choice. 6. Postpone anything but love. What about those times when you really do need to intervene to set a limit with

your child? Go ahead. But first, remind yourself that it’s not an emergency. You don’t have to teach your child a lesson this very moment. In fact, all you have to do right now is keep everyone safe and return yourself to Calm. Anything you need to say to your child, you will say better once you’re calm and able to re-connect with love. This eliminates the stress of feeling so pressured and powerless in that moment to say the right thing to your child (or, in most cases, to come up with the right threat!) It also prevents saying things you’re sorry for later, so it makes you a more effective parent. 7. Give up your perfectionism. Sure, life is messy, but is that any reason to postpone love and happiness? You’re more than enough, just the way you are. There are no perfect people, and there are no perfect parents. Trying to be perfect is a huge source of stress. It tightens a vise around your heart. Loving yourself – really feeling your love for yourself, even though you aren’t perfect – may be the single most important thing you can do to de-stress and help your child thrive. Practice positive self-talk. Find ways to nurture yourself. If you simply must evaluate yourself as a parent, never judge yourself by your child’s behavior, but by your reaction to it. Only love today. 8. Count your blessings and cultivate optimism. Every time you start to feel negative, find as many things as you can to be grateful for, and really feel that gratitude. Research shows this practice reduces stress and improves health and happiness. 9. Find support. Parenting is the hardest job there is. We ALL need support, someone we can vent to who won’t judge us or try to fix us. If you need more of that kind of support in your life, find other parents with whom you feel comfortable and start building new friendships. Listen to parenting audios that soothe and inspire you. Find yourself a parenting coach with whom you can check in occasionally. Even the simple act of writing in a journal has been proven to be an effective way of supporting ourselves and coming to peace with things that bother us. 10. Find spirit in your life. This can mean a higher power, but it doesn’t have to. Just step away from the distractions and find the quiet that inspires you to connect with your deepest wisdom. For some of us, it’s as simple as a walk in the woods or gazing at the stars. Your kids benefit from quiet time in nature too. We all need to reconnect regularly with the miracles that make life worth living. JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 9



GRAND TRUNK HAMMOCKS | Dad will fall asleep under the stars or can relax reading a book under the sun in Grand Trunk’s durable parachute nylon hammocks. They easily hang anywhere with trunk straps that are safe for the environment (no stabbing trees necessary!) These hammocks are thoroughly enjoyed by surfers, mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, bird-watchers, fishermen/ women, people who love to lounge, people who love gorgeous views, sunset gazers, and anyone who enjoys a nice breeze while napping. Their versatility makes them great for any occasion at any location., $74.99


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VESSEL | Perfect for dad to protect his laptop during his daily commute or hold his essential gear on his next adventure. Featuring a polished and practical design and handmade with the highest quality materials, these bags are essential when you are on the move. Vessel’s signature backpack features a main laptop sleeve compartment, a spacious interior and adjustable bottom compartment with waterproof zippers. Their hidden side zip pockets are an added cool perk., $195

GREEN GOO’S OUTDOORS TRAVEL PACK Perfect to bring to all outdoor activities: backpacking, biking, climbing, camping, skiing, rafting, and gardening and more., $24.95

PERFECTSHAKER | Dad is your first real superhero, so show him his superpowers with PerfectShaker! Whether it’s a morning smoothie or post-workout protein shake, PerfectShaker will keep dad healthy and energized to conquer each day. With its unique ActionRod technology, no need to worry about clumps or lumps in your mixes – achieve a beautifully blended drink each and every time! Plus he’ll love that you think of him as your personal superhero!!, $16.95 JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 11



SENSOGLOVE | SensoGlove, a high-quality cabretta leather golf glove with a unique difference: it’s the first and only golf glove with a built-in computer that constantly reads your grip pressure. Using small, highly responsive sensors, the SensoGlove provides audio and visual feedback about your exact grip pressure on the club., $89.00 SCOREART | ScoreArt provides quality ready-to-hang wall art from your favorite teams, whether a fan of baseball, soccer, basketball and more., price varies.

HYDROFLASK ADVENTURE BUNDLE Refreshing hydration: all day, every day. Bundled together to make the perfect gift, for you or for someone else. From weekends in the woods to braving the commute, every day can be an adventure made better with refreshment at your side. Two 32 oz Wide Mouth bottles each with two versatile lid combinations means no matter where you go or what you’re doing, you’ll have 24 hours of ice-cold. , $99.80 12 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2017

CORNHOLE | This Top of The Line Best Dad Stained Cornhole Set comes in your choice of 4 stains (ebony, rosewood, chestnut or maple) and a set of 8 cornhole bags of your choice., $134.99


FFTOB | They may not wear capes, but our fire crews are our superheroes each and every day, whether they’re putting out fires, on a rescue mission or helping out in the community. They are dedicated to protecting the public. FFTOB- The Original Firefighter Turnout Bags®turns fire gear into fashion. The super-durable purses, backpacks, totes and duffel bags are made out of recycled firefighter turnout coats and pants., $145

2IN1 MFI CABLE | The perfect fit for any Lightening or Micro USB charger, the 2in1 MFI Cable from Yatra, is compatible with any iPhone or Android device. Each fast charging and intuitive cable is surrounded by aluminum, woven, steel, and a nylon braided jacket, giving it its durable and rugged reputation. Each cable is offered with a three year warranty., $19.99

POWER BLADE | Sleek and high-end, the Power Blade combines beauty, elegance, and balance. Made it adapt to virtually all devices, the world’s slimmest Power Bank is able to safely and simultaneously charge two devices. The Power Blade is the ultimate power solution designed to fit neatly into your bag, binder, or backpack. Charge your way through your day! $89.99


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GIFT GUIDE AQUATUNE | Whether looking for a speaker to relax with by the pool with or on a rugged adventure, Yatra’s Aquatune series speakers will have Dad singing along to his favorite tunes during every occasion. Yatra’s Bluetooth technology allows their crystal clear playback to be heard for up to 10 hours. Aquatune’s unique design and portable size makes it easy to enjoy your tunes no matter where life takes you. $34.99-$89.99

THE KELVIN 36 | 36 Tools, 1 Gadget. A clever gift Dad will love this Father’s Day, $49.99



WEBER iGRILL 2 | Weber’s Bluetooth-enabled digital thermometer is the right gift for dad’s looking to improve their grilling skills. The iGrill 2 takes the guesswork out of grilling by delivering alerts and data directly to users smart phones., $99.99 WEBER GENESIS II E-210 | Designed to fit on a small patio or balcony, the Genesis® II E-210 gas grill, equipped with the exclusive GS4 grilling system, is the perfect excuse for a night-in with your favorite someone., $599.00

AGING DISGRACEFULLY | This Father’s Day, give him a book he won’t be able to put down! Recruiting guru Danny Cahill was a success by any measure. The fit and healthy 40-something had the career, the wealth, the recognition and the relationship. But Cahill found himself unravelling his life thread by thread as his 50th birthday approached until a serious gym injury stopped his selfdestructive free fall and forced him to face some truths. Cahill takes on the emotionally tricky territory of a memoir and charges into deep water in Aging Disgracefully (Greenleaf Book Group Press, May 2, 2017). Just some of the topics covered: adultery, divorce, depression, aging, dating in mid-life., $16.25



Katie Hurley, LCSW, is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and author of The Happy Kid Handbook. Her work can be found on EverydayFamily, Momtastic,, Yahoo Parenting, PBS Parents and The Huffington Post. Katie writes the parenting blog, Practical Parenting. Katie splits her time between Los Angeles and the Connecticut coast with her rock and roll husband and their two happy children.

Dads, Your Tween Girls Need You by Katie Hurley, LCSW A nine-year-old girl sits in my office, spinning on my desk chair. She’s avoiding a question that hangs in the air, hoping to find a distraction. It wasn’t a particularly challenging question, but she doesn’t know how to answer it. Finally, our eyes meet. After a deep breath, she spits it out. She wants more than anything to spend time with her dad on the weekends, just the two of them. But he always spends the weekends playing sports with her brother. She doesn’t like sports very much. She likes baking, drawing, fairies, reading, looking for interesting leaves around the park, and a long list of other fun things, but she doesn’t care much for throwing a ball or doing anything that involves a ball. At nine, she’s decided that this makes her unlikable in her dad’s eyes. She knows he loves her, he is her dad, but she doesn’t think he likes her. So she watches from afar while her bother gets the “fun” time with dad week after


[ SEASONAL FUN ] week. She’s too afraid to speak up because she’s fairly certain that she’s right, and she doesn’t think she handle that kind of truth. For the record, she wasn’t right. I’ve worked with many tween girls over the years, and one thing that comes up over and over again is the subtle shift in the father-daughter relationship that sometimes occurs during the tween years. When girls are little, adults go on an on about the “daddy daughter bond” that’s so very adorable. “Adults swoon when little girls announce their intentions to one day marry their dads. Then those little girls begin to grow and separate, and the relationship shifts.” A strong father-daughter bond can be a lifesaver during the tween and teen years. Growing up is complicated, and girls need stable relationships rooted in unconditional love and support. But it’s not enough to simply express unconditional love; you have to show it with your actions. You have to make time to build that bond by being present and taking an active interest in your daughter. Dads, you’re up to bat. With you in her corner, your girl will feel confident. Resilience will emerge and healthy risk taking will increase. With you by her side, your daughter will stand up to fear and reach for her goals. A lot of dads ask me how to do that. What’s the secret trick to building that bond? The trick is… there is no trick. But bonding with your daughter is easier than you might think. Invite her to run errands. Sounds boring, right? Wrong. When you ask your daughter to join you for even the most mundane errands, you show her that you enjoy her company. You send the message that you want to spend time with her as much as possible. So go ahead and invite her to Home Depot this weekend and watch her face light up with adventure (after the obligatory eye roll, of course.) Ask her for help. Parents are always trying to help kids, but the truth is that kids would rather help their parents and showcase

[ PARENTING ] their skills. Especially tween girls. When you ask your daughter to help with your weekend projects, you show her that you believe she’s strong and capable. You also communicate that you trust her with important stuff. That’s huge for young girls. Hand over the hammer and watch your girl thrive! Read to her. One mistake I see over and over again is that the minute kids can read independently, parents step away from reading together. Getting lost in a good book together is a great way to bond with your daughter and gives you something to look forward to together. Break out the Harry Potter, cuddle up, and grab some hot chocolate… reading with dad is a great way to spend some muchneeded downtime! Get outside! Some girls love to throw a football while others would rather go for a hike. Time spent outside is good for the body and the soul. Build a giant leaf pile together, make a snowman, walk along the beach in search of shells, or just kick a ball around the yard. The best way to get to know your daughter is to spend time with her. Listen (Really, listen.) I can’t tell you how many girls sit on my couch and complain about distracted listening. They don’t use those words exactly, but they describe fighting Smartphones for attention. Your girl wants to tell you her stories, her hopes, her ideas, and her dreams. She wants to tell you about the gross thing that happened at school and how it felt when she finally mastered that dance move. She wants to show you her art and tell you about her softball team. She wants to share her whole world with you, but she doesn’t want to do it when you’re staring at your phone. The single best thing you can do for your daughter is make the time to listen. Put away your distractions and listen to your daughter. If you don’t, she might stop talking. Show up. Take an interest in her interests. Learn something new from her. Ask her tons of questions to show that you’re interested and that you want to be a part of her world. And, please, show up. If she has an event at school, JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 17

[ PARENTING ] be there. If she has a game or performance on the weekend, be there. If she asks you take her to an art

Adventures in Learning Early Childhood Center

museum, make it happen.

Yes, there are times when we can’t be in two places at once. Our children know that. But there are also times when we need to create balance and show up for our girls. Please, I’m begging you; make that happen as often as possible.

“Your daughters don’t need grand gestures and expensive gifts to feel connected to you; they simply need you.”

As someone who spent most of my tween years playing H.O.R.S.E. in the driveway with my dad I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that relationship instilled a confidence in me that I still carry with me to this very day. And all you really have to do is show up.


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Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., is a nationally recognized family and child development expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times and USA Today. ABC, CBS and KHOU, Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Dr. Gross’ soon-to-be second book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, teaches parents how to enhance a child’s learning potential through various developmental stages. Two additional books are slated to follow, including The Only Way Out Is Through, a Jungian approach to navigating life’s transitions including grieving, and Defining Moments, which recounts the defining moments of celebrity guests as shared with Dr. Gross during interviews on PBS’ “Let’s Talk.”


How Men Handle Stress Differently by Dr. Gail Gross

If you’ve ever been frustrated with the way the opposite sex reacts to a problem you have shared with them, it helps to know there are innate differences in the way men and women handle stress differently. Stress then, stress now To understand these differences, we have to first examine the initial purpose of stress. Whatever benefit stress may once have offered has mostly disappeared. Primitive man relied on his body’s system to gear up for flight or fight. When he was threatened, his adrenal system started pumping furiously, and he used every bit of the magical substance to save his hide. But today anxieties are different: Modern man deals mostly with emotional stresses instead of physical ones, though his body cannot discern the difference. Modern social protocol makes it inappropriate for us to fight or run away from worrisome circumstances. So while the adrenal system keeps on pumping for our lives, our minds instruct us to keep cool.

[ MARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIPS ] Hormonal differences

repress and compartmentalize their feelings of stress in

Three stress hormones are involved in the flight or fight

an effort to attain an extrinsic object. Hence, the self-

syndrome: cortisol, epinephrine, and oxytocin. Cortisol

management and self-maintenance demand is different

and epinephrine lower immunities and raise blood

for men and women.

pressure. Oxytocin softens the reaction of cortisol and epinephrine by relaxing the emotions. Men release less

Women nurture and reach out to others when confronted

oxytocin than women, and therefore have a stronger

by stress. They seek support and talk-therapy to lower

reaction from both cortisol and epinephrine.

their anxiety and find a solution or answer to their problems. By processing emotionally what has occurred,

Because of the increase of oxytocin and the

women share the stress of their predicament.

reproductive hormones, such as estrogen, women are tenderized to nurture and reach out to others in an effort to both protect themselves and their young. Women are about relationships. In fact, their self-esteem and identity are both dependent upon their feelings of adequacy in relationships. Men, on the other hand, are problem solvers. They compartmentalize and repress their emotions to either fight or run away. Males are invested in performance and competition. They instinctively don’t pick up many social cues and innately view eye contact as a challenge. So when your male companion says, “I didn’t know you were angry,” even though you didn’t look at him all day because you were upset with him, he may be telling the truth. Recent studies of brain scans show why men find it more difficult to read women’s emotions. Another example of this difference: A little boy will have a play date with another child, wondering all along if his toys are better and if he can win. Meanwhile, a little girl will give another child her favorite doll in the hopes that

Men seek escape when confronted by stress. They compartmentalize and repress their feelings in an effort to get away from their dilemma. They change the subject through diversions, such as sports and clubs. They do not, however, emote or discuss their feelings, but rather hit that tennis or golf ball, competitively. Working through stress together Stress management can be taught to both men and women, and more importantly, they can practice it together. Inner work, such as meditation and yoga, are effective in managing stress. Exercise, diet, and a normal sleep regimen are also effective in reducing stress. The key is to understand the difference between how partners react to stress. This helps us not take everything personally, but rather understand each other, and by so doing, we can better understand ourselves. Being authentic and aware of our demands and

she will just be her friend.

limitations can help us to recognize, acknowledge, and

Men let competitors’ accomplishments and employer’s

such as yes and no can manage demands and self-

alleviate the stress in our lives — just as using simple words

ambitions establish demand ranges, inhibiting self-

maintenance. For it is not stress itself that is destructive,

attention and directing it towards winning. Thus, for a

but the way we respond to it. The famous philosopher

woman, the worst stress is a threat to her relationships,

William James said, “We carry within us that for which we

and for a man, it is the inability to perform, compete, and

search outside.”

achieve. In our modern world, we are offered a beguiling Women will often sacrifice their own needs for the

assortment of quick cures and get sidetracked from the

needs of others. Their self-esteem is so wrapped up

inward pursuit of peace, health, love, and beauty. This

in relationships that a woman may let others’ needs

is a world where migraines, frustration and stress are the

determine her stress limits, while ignoring her own needs.

order of the day. Coping with stress and learning how

Therefore, women get caught up in the dilemma of over-

to self-manage, with our partner, can reverse illness,

demand and insufficient self-maintenance, while men

premature aging and heal the spirit. JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 21


Betsy Brown Braun, best selling author of Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents (HarperCollins) and You’re Not The Boss Of Me: Brat proofing Your Four To Twelve Year Old (HarperCollins), is a child development and behavior specialist, parent educator, multiple birth parenting consultant, and founder of Parenting Pathways®, Inc. Her parenting expertise has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Real Simple, American Baby, Cookie, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, In Style, Parenting, Parents, Pregnancy and Newborn, Twins, Woman’s Day, and, Working Mother, Colorado Parent Magazine, Ohio Valley Parent Magazine among other publications. She has shared her expertise on the Today Show multiple times. Other television appearances have included Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray, The Early Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Fox & Friends, Hallmark’s Home and Family, KCBS, KNBC, and Fox News LA. She contributes to KNX news radio on child development, and has been a guest on countless radio programs nationwide, including NPR.


Fathering Is Interactive by Betsy Brown Braun On a recent Saturday morning, my husband and I found ourselves at the local park, right in the middle of Little League play offs. Déjà vu! It was thrilling to relive our now grown kids’ baseball days in the park—cheers echoing across the field, coaches calling out plays, dust from the infield coating our faces, the ecstasy of the hit, the agony of the dropped fly ball. The commissioner of Little League, 25 years in the role, inhaled the moment with us. It’s changed in so many ways, he then lamented. The parents today bring a whole different mentality to the game. It’s all about winning. Yet they don’t have any idea how kids learn the game. The time comes for their kid to play little league, and they take him to the batting cage to learn how. It was my husband who explained what Bob meant. The days of tossing a ball around in the backyard–child with over-sized mitt, Dad with his crusty, beaten up, childhood mitt–are fading. Instead, it is falsely believed that with just a few visits to the batting cage, voila, a baseball player is born. But learning to play baseball is interactive. It’s not about a boy, a bat, and a machine. And it happens over time. There is so much more to baseball than baseball. Where is the most important piece, the father-son part?

[ PARENTING ] Remember the movie “Field of Dreams?” Ray Kinsella

reversing the roles and your child teaching you? There

(played by Kevin Costner) builds a baseball diamond

are endless possibilities to consider before outsourcing

in his cornfield and eventually comes to terms with his

the task.

relationship with his deceased father via playing catch. Playing catch is both a vehicle and a metaphor for the

I teach a seminar about fathering called “Big Hat, No

father-son relationship. There’s a whole lot of back and

Cattle.” You get the drift: it takes more than wearing a

forth, catches and misses. But for sure it is about a father

cowboy hat to be a cowboy. Being a father means more

and son interacting, learning and growing together.

than providing the sperm. Father is a noun and should be a very active verb. It is a commitment to actively

Last week at a parenting group, a mom shared her horror

raising your child, participating in his life, and it cannot

upon learning that parents actually hire “professionals”

be outsourced. Whether you are loving, teaching,

to teach a child to ride a bike. Yes, it’s true. The business

experiencing, reprimanding, or enjoying, fathering is

of people like the Bicycle Whisperer in Santa Monica,

interactive. In playing baseball, guitar, or in myriad other

California is booming because parents today claim they

activities, it is the togetherness that counts.

don’t have the time or say they lack the skills. Really? Whether the child is two or twenty he thrives on his day to These days so much of parenting is being outsourced.

day experiences with his dad, and it enhances Dad’s life,

You can hire someone to comb the nits out of your child’s

too. Have a look at this video of a father-son team that

lice filled hair. (Eewww!) You can even hire someone to

creatively epitomizes my point.

choose and set up your Christmas tree–one of the great, shared, family holiday rituals. Doesn’t this imply that parents are giving up on the scope of their job? Children need their fathers and mothers fully engaged, beyond

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the nighttime kisses and hugs. In the activities being relegated to “professionals” or batting cages, there are lost opportunities for emotional engagement.

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Parents will argue: But what if the parent doesn’t know how to do the activity? What if I’m not good at it? Just like your child may not know how to do an activity, neither might you know how to teach or even to play, it is true. But there is more than the sport or activity that is

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at stake. It is the shared learning experience, the shared emotions, and the life lessons about people that give flavor and depth to the experience.

No father is good

at all things. What a great message that is for your child. In fact, the message of not being good, or of learning and of trying may be the most important of all. What

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about learning and practicing together? What about JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 23


June Alameda County JUNE 2 $5 First Fridays Chabot Space & Science Center Oakland 6pm – 10pm htm

JUNE 2 – 30 Dancing Under the Stars Jack London Square Oakland 8:30pm – 10pm

JUNE 3 & 4 Bay Area Book Festival Downtown Berkeley Berkeley Times Vary Giant Car Show Alameda County Fair Pleasanton Times Vary events_calendar/index.php

JUNE 4 Butterfly & Bird Festival Coyote Hills Regional Park Fremont 10am – 3:30pm


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Concerts at the Cove Crab Cove Alameda 4:30pm – 7:30pm

JUNE 10 - 25 Rockridge Ice Cream Tour 5925 College Avenue Oakland Times Vary tours/ice-cream-tour



Contra Costa County JUNE 2

MG Car Show Danville Livery Danville 10am – 3pm

Preschool Performance Series Village Theatre and Art Gallery Danville 10am

Art + Play Sunday Bedford Gallery Walnut Creek 12pm – 5pm

Kidz Bop Kids Tour Concord Pavilion Concord 7pm



Free First Tuesday Bedford Gallery Walnut Creek 12pm – 5pm

9th Annual Lobster Feed McGrail Vineyards Livermore 6pm – 10pm


The 108th Annual Cherry Festival Downtown San Leandro San Leandro 10am – 6pm


Movies Under the Stars: Sing Tice Valley Park Walnut Creek 7pm – 10pm

JUNE 3 - 4 Art & Wine Festival Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek Times Vary

JUNE 4 9th Annual Hook & Ladder Run Wente Vineyards Livermore 8am – 5pm

First Wednesdays Cypress Street Walnut Creek 5pm – 8pm Hungarian Festival Civic Park Walnut Creek 11am – 5pm

JUNE 12- 16 Robotics Camp Vision Tech Camps Danville 9am – 4pm

JUNE 12- 16 Java Coding Camp Vision Tech Camps Danville 9am – 4pm

JUNE 13 Sunset Yoga and Wine McGrail Vineyards Livermore 6:30pm – 8:30pm


June JUNE 18

JUNE 10 - 11


Sesame Street Live San Jose Theaters San Jose Times Vary

June 19- 23 Minecraft Game Design Camp Vision Tech Camps Danville 9am – 4pm

JUNE 24 Paella Party McGrail Vineyards Livermore 6pm – 9pm Winery Grill & Chill Cedar Mountain Winery Livermore 6pm – 9pm

JUNE 13 Mommy & Me and Daddies, Too Santana Row Park San Jose 10am – 12pm

JUNE 23 - 24 Toy Story San Jose Theaters San Jose Times Vary

JUNE 25 Mustang Ponies & Snakes Car Show Danville Livery Danville 10am – 3pm

Out of Area JUNE 3 Stem Superhero Series Bay Area Discovery Museum Sausalito 9am – 5pm

JUNE 3 - 4 Art & Wine Festival Murphy Avenue Downtown Sunnyvale 10am – 6pm

JUNE 10 Spring into Summer Parade San Mateo County Fair San Mateo 10am



Just a two-hour drive delivers us East Bay locals to two of the most picturesque seaside towns in the country — how lucky are we? In this month’s travel feature, we’ll suggest a cozy kidfriendly hotel, three delicious local restaurants and a few fun activities in Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. We first checked in at the newly renovated Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa, which sits right on the water, offering panoramic views of Monterey Bay. The location of this 4-star seaside hotel can’t be beat, as it’s walking distance to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row. Monterey Plaza Hotel will finish its entire renovation this summer, with added new furnishings, bedding, wallpaper, bathtubs, ect. to every room, in addition to adding four new luxury suites on the property. The rooftop deck is a wonderful romantic spot to snuggle with a loved one while watching the tide at sunset. But if you happen to come with kidsin-tow, the hotel offers cute and comfortable accommodations for little ones. Our room included an adorable kids’ teepee, complimentary gift bag with sand toys for the beach, and a (requested) portable mattress bed for children to sleep or play on, as well. 26 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2017


We recommend sneaking away to the indulgent on-

these days, so make sure to stop at a few in the area. We

site spa, which was named by Travel & Leisure as one of

like to keep a well-stocked goody/activity bag to keep

the top 25 Spas in Northern California. After a relaxing

kids occupied and quiet during those times.

massage, rejuvenating facial, or luxurious body wrap, guests can unwind on the outdoor sundeck to enjoy the

We had the pleasure of visiting two tasting rooms in

cozy fireplace, or soak in a whirlpool tub, complete with

nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea, (about a 20 minute drive

gorgeous views, of course.

from Monterey.) Albatross Ridge is a longtime family owned winery known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

When the inevitable craving for fresh seafood calls,

The generous pours included in our tastings were served

you certainly won’t have to go far. Schooners Coastal

by personable, knowledgable and relaxed staff. The $12

Kitchen & Bar is located right inside the hotel, and

tasting fee is waived with the purchase of two bottles of

offers an extensive array of seafood, shellfish and

wine. Open daily from 1 p.m. Located on Mission Street

contemporary cuisine, with a huge emphasis on

between Ocean & 7th,

sustainability. We admired the commitment the restaurant has on maintaining a menu featuring

Paraiso Vineyards by Smith Family Wines is a quaint

sustainable seafood. The classics — raw oysters, steamed

and charming pinterest-worthy tasting room where $15

mussels, clam chowder, cioppino — are always favorites

buys you generous tastings of everything from riesling

at Schooners, but we also

and chardonnay, to port. Located right in the heart

appreciated some of the more contemporary dishes on the menu, such as the charred octopus appetizer, kale & kelp salad, and wild caught seared ahi. Nonseafood eaters will enjoy the numerous pasta, salad and steak offerings. When traveling, we never miss a chance to imbibe in the local delicacies, and traveling with kids usually doesn’t stop us from enjoying local wineries. Many wineries and tasting rooms in Northern California are very accommodating (or at least tolerant) of children JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 27


of downtown Carmel, on the corner of Ocean Ave

tiramisu. True to Carmel standards, the charming, lush

between Lincoln & Monte Verde St. Open daily from 1

patio provides a lovely and relaxing setting for lunch.

p.m. to 7 p.m. (Closed Wednesdays)

Located on Dolores St between 7th and Ocean Ave.

For lunch, we stopped into Little Napoli for a delicious,

If you work up an appetite after some leisurely shopping,

rustic Italian meal that was satisfying to everyone’s

beach-combing and site-seeing in the area, make sure

palate. Don’t miss their famous family recipe garlic bread

to stop by Grasing’s Coastal Cuisine for one last meal in

and crispy arancini risotto lollipop appetizers. Kids will

Carmel. Chef Kurt Grasing opened the restaurant in 1998

enjoy their own personal, child-size pizza or pasta from

to rave reviews, and it was voted “Best New Restaurant”

the extensive childrens’ menu, and adults will love the

and “Best Chef” by the readers of ‘Adventure in Dining

panini sandwiches and soup & salad lunch options, or

Magazine.’ Grasing’s continues to enjoy accolades

perfectly al-dente pastas and seasonal specialities on

and enthusiastic reviews for its seasonal, simplistic menu

the dinner menu. A freshly made cannoli is the perfect

featuring fresh, high quality ingredients and a thoughtful,

finish to the meal, as is the light and fluffy house-made

extensive wine list. Expect steakhouse favorites like filet mignon, veal chops, and creamed spinach, along with coastal cuisine such as fresh abalone and shellfish paella. The charming, pet-friendly patio makes for an elegant, yet laid-back atmosphere. We loved the twinkling patio lights and soft candlelight that created an intimate, magical vibe. Back in Monterey, guests of the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa can take a complimentary Land Rover shuttle, or borrowed bike, to explore the town. Adults and children alike can spend an entire day admiring tropical fish and waddling penguins at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. At nearby Cannery Row, shopping and dining options will occupy you for the remainder of your stay. With so much to see and do in Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, you’ll wish your weekend was a few days longer. Luckily, your drive home should be a breeze.



Q&A WITH CHEF KURT GRASING Q: Our readers love to eat! Tell me why they should visit your restaurant. A: Great food in a comfortable setting Q: If they had to choose one thing on the menu, anything, what would you recommend? A: Lots of favorites/ onion tart is great as well as the Paella. Q: What’s the greatest compliment you’ve ever received as a chef? A: When a couple came for 7 days in a row on their vacation here when Julia Child said she had never seen a combination of fennel, plums and port for a dish I made for her. Q: Does your restaurant do any philanthropic work? A: Yes, we donate to many great causes on the Central Coast. We’ve been very fortunate, lots of people support us and we have a chance to give back. Q: Why Carmel? A: Great place to raise a family. Q: When did you know you wanted to be a chef? A: Started watching Julia Child at 13 or 14, so I think at 17 or 18. Q: Where did you train? A: Lots of great places and great people. Clift hotelSan Francisco, Narsais Restaurant-Kensington, CA. Pierre hotel-New York. LeGavroche-London, TroiqrosRoanne France. Q: What chef do you admire most and why? A: Julia Child. She loved great food in unpretentious style. Q: If you had one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? A: Roast Chicken. Q: Favorite kitchen gadget or equipment A: French Knife. Q: Which is your favorite cuisine? A: French/Northern Italian. JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 29


Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, psychology instructor, and speaker. Her book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do is on sale now. She’s frequently quoted in national media outlets. She also writes for Forbes and For more visit *This article originally appeared in

5 Simple Ways You Can Turn Around a Bad Mood Fast by Amy Morin As a therapist who talks and writes about mental strength, I often hear people say things like, “I can’t control my emotions.” Occasionally, readers will even make comments like, “You shouldn’t try to control your emotions. It’s not good for you.” But it appears that people who make that assumption are confusing emotion regulation with suppression—and they’re not the same thing. Just because you wake up grumpy doesn’t mean you have to stay in a bad mood. And just because you’re nervous about something doesn’t mean you can’t calm yourself down. Regulating your emotions is about choosing to take charge of how you feel. That doesn’t mean you should force yourself to be happy all the time—in fact, research shows that forcing yourself to feel happy all the time backfires. But it does mean that you can make choices to boost your mood when you’re down or calm yourself when you’re upset. Here are five skills that can help change how you feel:


[ WOMEN’S HEALTH ] 1. Distraction

you look at the bigger picture. Think about the present

The more you think upsetting thoughts, the worse you’ll

from your future self. Imagine how much today’s concern

feel. So rather than rehash that mean thing your spouse

will matter one, five, or 10 years from today. Whether

said, or worry about that stressful meeting tomorrow,

you’re upset that you didn’t get a promotion, or nervous

distract yourself with an activity: Listen to music, go for a

about a life decision you need to make, you may realize

walk, or do whatever you can to change the channel in

that those things might not matter much far down the

your brain.

road. Studies show that gaining proper perspective helps you stay calm, even in tough situations.

Studies show that distraction is the most effective way to deal with intense distress. If you’re sitting in the dentist’s

5. Situation Modification

office waiting to undergo a root canal, distract yourself

If changing the way you think about a situation doesn’t

with a magazine or text a friend about an unrelated

seem like a viable option, change the environment.

topic. And try to find something to occupy your mind

An environmental change may involve a major

during the root canal, too—distraction can be effective

modification, such as changing jobs or moving to a new

in reducing physical pain.

city. But studies show it doesn’t need to be a drastic change in order to be effective: Deciding to sit next to

2. Reappraisal

a more positive co-worker instead of a negative one

Changing the way you look at a situation changes the

or choosing to go for a walk during your lunch break

way you feel. Telling yourself that your overly talkative

instead of eating at your desk might be all you need to

friend is just in need of emotional support or reminding

boost your mood.

yourself that a co-worker’s annoying questions stem from his desire to do his best can help you stay calm. Cognitive reappraisal is one of the quickest ways to shift your emotions. Research shows that changing the way you think about a situation changes your body’s physiological response. Your heart is less likely to race so fast when you’re angry, and your palms might not sweat as much when you’re nervous, which can be a key to keeping intense emotions at bay.

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3. Humor Laughter creates changes in your brain and gives you an immediate positive boost in mood. A good sense of humor has been linked to everything from improved physical health to a better social life. Whether you crack a joke or your friend says something funny, good-natured humor is key to managing your emotions. Studies show, however, that mean-spirited humor is much less effective in changing your emotional state. 4. Temporal Distancing

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Breweries & Taprooms Around the Bay Alameda County Drakes Barrel House 1933 Davis St., Building 177 | San Leandro The Barrel House is Drake’s on-site brewery taproom and retail store, a no-frills, warehouse-style tasting room. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, and up to 24 different Drake’s beers on tap, including all of their regular styles, some on nitro and cask, hard to find seasonals and specialties, and more. Children are welcome in DBH if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, and they stay with that parent or guardian at all times. Well-behaved dogs are allowed on the patio if they stay close to your table. Field Work Brewing Company 1160 Sixth St. | Berkeley Fieldwork Brewing Company is a craft brewery founded in Berkeley with a focus on exceptional, honest beermaking. Beers are available on tap in any of their taprooms, and most are available in 32 and 64oz growlers and 32oz Crowlers™.

unexplored taste buds. For those of you who prefer wine, they have 4 wine taps that rotate a variety of whites & red. A number of both California boutique as well as the favorites are sold by the bottle. Kids are welcome too!

Contra Costa County Danville Brewing Company 200 Railroad Ave. | Danville The Maita family has been in the beer business since shortly after prohibition; distributing and working with some of the best breweries in the world. When a great spot became available in historic downtown Danville they thought, perfect location for a brewery! Their head brewer, Matt Sager is a UC Davis Master Brewers program graduate and has been an award winning brewer for 20 years. From great beer, food and company Danville Brewing Company is sure to not disappoint. Walnut Creek Tap Room 2700 Mitchell Dr. | Walnut Creek

McKay’s Taphouse & Beer Garden 252 Main St. | Pleasanton

Calicraft brews beer with a sense of place. They take unexpected, California-grown ingredients, like starthistle honey, Cluster hops, and anise hyssop, and use them as their point of inspiration. Calicraft likes to think of their beer as the best of California, in a bottle. And as true Californians, they push the boundaries of style, taste, and even the definition of beer.

McKay’s offers 16 taps that feature handcrafted micro brews designed for all beer lovers, geeks, and the

The Fourth Bore 2 Theate Square #134 | Orinda


[ SEASONAL FUN ] Anchor Beer Garden 3rd St. | San Francisco Enjoy a family and dog-friendly space open for lunch, dinner or simply for enjoying a few pints with friends. Exclusive Anchor Beer Garden brews are available by the pint, flight, or pitcher. Serving as an extension of the Anchor Brewing Taproom, they sell a variety of Anchor apparel plus growlers and 6-packs to go. With four big TVs it’s also the perfect outdoor destination for watching your favorite sports team. Russian River Brewing Company 725 4th St. | Santa Rosa The Fourth Bore features 28 rotating taps, high quality food, artisan cocktails and 8 large TV’s to watch sports and other events. Conveniently located 100 yards from Orinda BART, The Fourth Bore additionally offers outdoor seating with heaters and fire pits, an event deck, catering services and a not to mention a variety of beer/food related programs.

Out of Area 1776 IBA- Local Brewing Company 69 Bluxome St. | San Francisco

Located in Downtown Santa Rosa, Russian River Brewing Company is known for their strong Indian pale ales and sour beers. Experience a lively and homey feel supplying specialty pizza, pub grub and California-style ales. Bear Republic Brewery 345 Healdsburg Ave. | Healdsburg

With over a dozen Local brews on tap there are lots of beer to choose from. Try their digital curator to customize the perfect set of beers to match your style. Use the sliders to select bitterness intensity, alcohol content and complexity – then save your profiles for your next visit.

Great beer and food go hand-in-hand. Visit the pub for traditional pub fare with a twist, including signature burgers, salads and specialty items. The beers pair nicely with each of their items and are often used as an ingredient. Enjoy the locally produced artisan cheeses and charcuterie plates carefully crafted with unique ingredients. A relaxed, casual dining experience is what you should expect on your visit. Bear Republic Brewery pub is a fun, unique departure from your tour of wine-country.

CellarMaker Brewing Company 1150 Howard St. | San Francisco

Marin Brewing Co. 1809 Larkspur Landing | Larkspur

Cellarmaker is a local San Francisco brewery producing beers in small batches one beer at a time. It is their goal to keep your taste buds intrigued by constantly producing different flavors. Since hoppy beers are the go-to for most people there are generally 3-5 hop-driven beers on tap in the tasting room most of the time. Aside from hoppy beers, there is a well-balanced tap list; a little bit of something for everyone.

On any given day Marin Brewing Company can be found filled with an abundance of hikers, bikers, walkers and Marin County residents enjoying an afternoon of sunshine and delicious beer indoors or out. Their classic pub dishes include Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash as well as tasty wood fired pizzas, juicy burgers, fresh salads and savory sandwiches. With its easy access to the Larkspur ferry, MBC is not only one of the best Marin County hotspots, but also a destination for the entire San Francisco Bay Area.

Almanac Beer Taproom 2704 24th St. | San Francisco Enjoy the Mission sun in Almanac Taprooms year-round outdoor beer garden! They offer an extensive selection of fresh and barrel-aged beers, including a constant rotation of 15 Almanac beers on tap, draft wine and cider, special “taproom only” releases, a wide range of Almanac bottled offerings and vintage selections for on and off-site consumption.


[ CHILDREN & EDUCATION ] The Growing Room Academy offers Chess Club for grades 1-5. (Academy members only). For more information about how to become an Academy member and how to register your child please visit: locations/the-academy

Kids in the Kitchen: The Benefits of Cooking with Children by The Growing Room Conscientious parents are always on the lookout for ways to better teach, communicate, and connect with their children. Parents of younger children are seeking ways to promote academic as well as social learning. Parents of teenagers strive to keep healthy channels of communication open while instilling values intrinsic to their family traditions. The family kitchen is the epicenter of these noble ambitions! Cooking with your kids, both young and old, has wonderful benefits. It’s true that including the kids in cooking meals requires time, patience, (especially after a harried work day) and some extra cleanup. Is the effort worth it? Child and family experts across many educational disciplines say, “Yes”. They believe the time invested is well worth the effort and that parents and children will reap both short and long term benefits. Why cooking is important for Children Recent studies indicate that nutritional knowledge alone is insufficient to educate children about the importance of healthy eating. Studies show that children studying nutrition with food preparation in science class is more effective than classes without. The tactile experiential learning or hands-on activities involving the handling of food and equipment during mealtime food preparation is paramount in providing children a thorough learning experience. Children learn by touching, tasting, seeing, feeling, and listening. During cooking, all of the senses are engaged. This multisensory engagement is what makes experiences memorable. (How many of our fond memories are 34 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2017

[ CHILDREN & EDUCATION ] tied to the smell of freshly baked bread or that one dish that only grandma could make?) Health-Nutritional Benefits Cooking together provides a relaxed way to discuss nutrition. Working side-by-side in the kitchen affords the perfect opportunity for discussions about food choices and the impact those choices have on the body and the environment. Experts say the single best thing we can do for our family’s health is to cook at home. The preparation of broiled fish provides the opportunity to speak of the importance of fatty acids. Variation and color on the plate gives way to conversations about the importance of “eating the rainbow” and why it is good for our health. The more educated children are about food, the more likely they will appreciate your suggestions to eat something healthy. Children are more likely to eat what they make. The mealtime battles regarding the willingness to try new and healthy foods may well become a thing of the past. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates that children engaged in tactile experiences, such as handling foods, have less food neophobia (food fear) and greater acceptance of eating a variety of foods. When kids help in the kitchen, cooking creates a sense of ownership that shifts their perception and relationship with food. Studies also have found that children participating in culinary classes eat more fruits and vegetables upon completing the course. So, children who cook become children who taste and often times eat! Children develop a mature palate. Exposure to scratch cooking at home helps kids develop a taste for fresh, healthy ingredients. The earlier a child is exposed and becomes accustomed to wholesome ingredients, the less likely they will acquire a taste for calorie-laden and nutritionally-void processed foods. They will begin to skip less healthy processed snack food as they learn to prepare their own food. Children become informed consumers. Teaching children to cook not only educates them about nutrition, it also teaches them to make smarter food choices and take greater care in planning their meals. Meals prepared from scratch usually contain more nutrients, fewer calories, chemicals and sweeteners than prepackaged foods and restaurant meals (and are cheaper

to prepare). Children who have made bread realize that good bread doesn’t need sugar. They will recognize that a list of ingredients a mile long (and are hard to pronounce) have no business being consumed. You may find they even begin to police your shopping! As children experience fresh ingredients and become aware of the cost of food, they will begin to scrutinize their food choices outside the home more carefully. Social-Emotional Benefits Preparing meals together means quality time as a family. Time spent cooking with children when they are young offers a relaxed opportunity to communicate. It is an investment that will pay off as children grow; time chatting and cooking in the kitchen together becomes even more important as they reach the adolescent and teenage years. Communication doesn’t start when a child reaches 17. Family habits established during the early years will carry through to the young adult years. A healthy love of cooking and experience in the kitchen is an essential life skill that will lead to success when children move from home, live independently, or find themselves in relationships with shared responsibilities. Spending time in the kitchen gives children confidence. Children who cook at home feel a sense of accomplishment. There is nothing that evokes a warm response like the expression of a child proudly serving their food to friends and family! Kids thrive on feeling accomplished and cooking is a perfect conduit. Cooking is an ideal way to boost self-worth and teach responsibility. The feeling of contributing to the well being of their family is a great source of pride for children and teenagers. Parents get many opportunities to bond with children through parental praise, acceptance, and the show of support— all of which are associated with lowering the likelihood of high risks behaviors. What Else do Children Learn from Cooking? A kitchen is literally learning lab. Cooking can be looked upon as science experiences that children can eat. When cooking, children observe changes in food ingredients. They learn about actions and consequences. They learn about temperature, floating, melting, freezing and (sometimes) burning. They learn and practice math skills through fractions, measuring, doubling recipes and contemplating quantities. JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 35

[ CHILDREN & EDUCATION ] Following recipes encourages self-direction and independence. It also promotes problem solving and creativity. In terms of physical development, cooking and food preparation also contributes toward small muscle control and eye-hand coordination. Science, counting, fractions, weighing, sequencing, measuring, language, fine motor skills, reading, problem solving, and social engagement are all being practiced during those magical moments in the kitchen.

Eat dinner together regularly. Kids are more likely to sit down to a meal that they have helped prepare. This can go a long way towards family time during an era of excessive outside demands on tween and teenage schedules. Involving your kids in the kitchen is a big stepping-stone towards getting them to appreciate family meals. Family meals can be a struggle and many families work hard to even have one daily meal together. Again, start by maximizing weekend opportunities for family time to eat together.

Lastly, cultivating a welcoming and open-minded approach to food can also translate to adults who approach life, new tastes, attitudes, and most importantly, other cultures in the same manner—it is an attitude that can carry children beyond the family kitchen while also teaching them to respect their family traditions and heritage.

Involve children in meal planning and shopping. Knowing that Tuesdays are “Dad’s Famous Taco Day” or that Thursdays are “Chef’s Choice” will get children excited about dinner time and food preparation. Allowing children to be involved with food shopping is also a way to encourage participation when back at home.

How to Start Cooking with Your Kids Pressed for time in the morning? Start cooking breakfast with your kids on the weekends, during the summer months, or on school holidays (It is the thing that family traditions are made of!)

Cooking with kids can be the gift that keeps on giving. It inspires in them what we as adults know—food nourishes our bodies, provides comfort, and symbolizes love and security. What greater gift can parents give to their children as they step into their place in the world?

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Dads and Jazz

Father’s Day BikeAbout

Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate 2pm – 6pm

San Francisco Zoo 8:30am – 11am

Father’s Day is a perfect occasion to have loads of fun with your Dad and to let him know how much you appreciate and care... Celebrate your Father’s big day with an experience he’s sure to remember! Enjoy live musical, food, games, contest, raffles, gifts, and more!

The dad in your life will love this special Father’s Day outing! Spend your Sunday morning on a leisurely hour-and-a halflong, docent-led cycling tour through the Zoo, and finish up with relaxing continental breakfast. Bring the whole family along for the fun! Dads will enjoy being in the Zoo ahead of the crowds and watching the animals start their day. Registration includes parking and Zoo admission.



Father’s Day Picnic on the Patio with Live Music

Father’s Day Camp Night

McGrail Vineyards and Winery 12pm – 4:30pm What does your Dad want on his special day of celebration! To spend time with loved ones, while sipping on Cabernet, enjoying lunch, and listening to live acoustic music! Pack a picnic, buy a bottle of wine, and sit on the patio to enjoy live music and breath-taking views. The front lawn is open seating and complimentary.


Gilroy Gardens Sat. 4pm – Sun. 3pm Spend time with Dad outdoors with this perfect-for-even-yourlittle-ones camping experience. Camp overnight on Saturday then enjoy the fun, excitement and learning that you can only get at Gilroy Gardens. Package includes three meals and park admission!


JUNE 18 Off the Grid Picnic in the Presidio San Francisco Presidio 11am – 4pm Unfold your blanket for Father’s Day and enjoy live music and free games. Over 25 food trucks will be in attendance, offering up tasty food cart nibbles. Kids get free stickers and temp animals tats. There are yoga classes and cool staff-led, naturebased arts and crafts activities featuring materials found at the Presidio, too.

Father’s Day Beer Brunch San Francisco 11:30am – 2:00pm Gather the whole family for Hornblower’s Father’s Day Beer Brunch Cruise! This once-a-year favorite, treats fathers to an enticing buffet and free-flowing beer and a keepsake pint glass! Relax with your family as you enjoy live entertainment and pass by the breathtaking San Francisco Bay views. There is no better way to show Dad how much you appreciate him than with this unforgettable cruise.

Family Fishing Day Stafford Lake Park 9am -11am Celebrate Dad at Stafford Lake Park to try to reel in the biggest fish in the lake. This event is ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring a fishing pole. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary.

World Music Day Palo Alto 3pm – 7:30pm Take dad on a trip around the world without leaving the Peninsula! Check out musical acts and performers from across genres and around the world at the 8th Annual Palo Alto World Music Day. University Avenue and King Plaza are filled with the sounds of jazz, blues, classical, pop, rock, klezmer, Greek, Balkan, Indian, World Music, choral, dance, and more. This is a fun and unique family event not to be missed!



Directions for Handling a Toxic Relationship by Christine Carter, Ph.D. When a relationship is causing you stress and suffering, follow these five steps to find more peace. Last week, I had lunch with a friend. As we were walking out, she mentioned that she had to see someone who hadn’t always been kind to her, a relationship that caused her more stress and suffering than anything else. She’d been avoiding the meeting, but now it looked inevitable.

Christine Carter, Ph.D.*, is a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is the author of “RAISING HAPPINESS: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents.” She teaches online happiness classes that help parents bring more joy into their own lives and the lives of their children, and she writes an award-winning blog for *Greater Good* (

“She just makes me so anxious,” she said, gritting her teeth. I’ve been there myself. Lots of times. Seriously toxic relationships call for us to cut off contact altogether; others, though also toxic, seem impossible to avoid. Perhaps you have a constantly criticizing mother-in-law, or a neighbor who seems emotionally stuck in seventh grade. Maybe it’s a boss who belittles you when he’s stressed—or someone who is so under your skin you hold entire conversations with them in your head. If you, too, have struggled with a toxic relationship, I hope this little instruction manual will help you. 1. Accept that you are in a difficult situation, dealing with a very difficult relationship. Your choices her are are fairly limited, and, strangely, acceptance is always the best choice. You can judge and criticize the other person, but that will probably make you feel tense and lonely. Alternately, you could nurse your anxiety and despair that you’ll never be able to get along with them, which will make you feel stressed and sad. You can definitely deny their existence or pretend that they aren’t bothering you. You can block their texts and emails, and avoid every situation where they’ll turn up. These are all tactics of resistance, and they won’t protect you. Ironically, these tactics will allow the other person to further embed themselves into your psyche. What does work is to accept that your relationship with them is super hard, and also that you are trying to make it less hard. This gentle acceptance does not mean that you are resigned to a life of misery, or that the situation will never get better. Maybe it will—and maybe it won’t. Accepting the reality of a difficult relationship allows us to soften. And this softening will open the door to your own compassion and wisdom. Trust me: You are going to need those things.


[ MARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIPS ] 2. The other person will probably tell you that you are the

Even if it is embarrassing or it leaves people hanging.

cause of all their bad feelings. This is not true. You are not responsible for their emotions.

5. Have mercy.

You never have been, and you never will be. Don’t

Anne Lamott defines mercy as radical kindness bolstered

take responsibility for their suffering; if you do, they will

by forgiveness, and it allows us to alter a communication

never have the opportunity to take responsibility for

dynamic, even when we are interacting with someone


mired in anger or fear or jealousy. We do this by offering them a gift from our heart. You probably won’t be able

3. Tell the truth.

to get rid of your negative thoughts about them, and you

When you lie (perhaps to avoid upsetting them), you

won’t be able to change them, but you can make an

become complicit in the creation and maintenance of

effort to be a loving person. Can you buy them a cup of

their reality, which is poisonous to you. For example, they

coffee? Can you hold space for their suffering? Can you

might ask you if you forgot to invite them to a party. You

send a loving-kindness meditation their way?

can easily say yes, that it was a mistake that they didn’t get the Evite, and did they check their spam folder?

Forgiveness takes this kindness to a whole new level. I used to think I couldn’t really forgive someone who’d hurt

But lying is very stressful for human beings, maybe the

me until they’d asked for forgiveness, preferably in the

most stressful thing. Lie detectors detect not lies, but the

form of a moving and remorseful apology letter.

subconscious stress and fear that lying causes. This will not make the relationship less toxic.

But I’ve learned that to heal ourselves we must forgive whether or not we’re asked for forgiveness, and whether

So, instead, tell the truth. Be sure to tell them your truth

or not the person is still hurting us. When we do, we feel

instead of your judgment, or what you imagine to be true

happier and more peaceful. This means that you might

for other people. Don’t say “I didn’t invite you because it

need to forgive the other person at the end of every

would stress Mom out too much to have you there” or “I

day—or, on bad days, every hour. Forgiveness is an

didn’t invite you because you are a manipulative drama

ongoing practice, not a one-time deal.

queen who will find some way to make the evening about you.”

When we find ways to show mercy to even the person who has cost us sleep and love and even our well-being,

Instead, tell them your truth: “When you are in my home, I

something miraculous happens. “When we manage a

feel jittery and nervous, and I can’t relax, so I didn’t invite

flash of mercy for someone we don’t like, especially a

you to the party. I’m sorry that I’ve hurt your feelings.”

truly awful person, including ourselves,” Anne Lamott

It takes courage to tell the truth, because often it makes

writes, “we experience a great spiritual moment, a new

people angry. But they will probably be mad at you

point of view that can make us gasp.”

anyway, no matter what you do. They almost certainly won’t like the new, truth-telling you—and that will make

Here’s the real miracle: Our mercy boomerangs back

them likely to avoid you in the future. This might be a

to us. When we show radical kindness, forgiveness, and

good thing.

acceptance—and when we tell the truth in even the most difficult relationship—we start to show ourselves

4. If you feel angry or afraid, bring your attention to your

those things. We realize that we can love and forgive

breath and do not speak (or write) to the person until you

and accept even the most terrible aspects of our own

feel calm.

being, even if it is only for a moment. We start to show

It’s normal to want to defend yourself, but remember

ourselves the truth, and this makes us feel free.

that anger and anxiety weaken you. Trust that soothing yourself is the only effective thing you can do right now.

And, in my experience, this makes all we have suffered

If you need to excuse yourself, go ahead and step out.

worth it. JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 41



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Preschool State License Numbers: 073402482, 013417816, 013420588, 434404890, 434408056, 434407977, 434404336, 434406722, 434408877, 384001837, 434410807, 434410816, 073406680, 013420939, 414004014, 434413440. © 2017 Stratford Schools, Inc. All Rights Reserved.









The curiosity to reach. The courage to grasp.






ZOOCAMP ZooCamp is an exciting week of animal adventure, nature discovery, and fun for children (pre-K through high school).

Camps run mid-June through mid-August.


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Registration opens mid-March!

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Calling all Campers! The Taylor Family Foundation’s Mission is to preserve the wellness and enhance the quality of life for children in Northern California living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities and youth at-risk through unique therapeutic experiences and support.


Tiny Smiles Family Picnic July 15 • For children who have Congenital Heart Diseases and their families • Contact Rick to reserve your spot:

5555 Arroyo Road Livermore, CA 94550 t: 925.455.5118 |





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Sickle Cell Camp August 8-10 • For children with Sickle Cell anemia and their siblings • Contact Wanda to reserve your spot:

NephCure Family Picnic September 17 • For children with Nephrotic Syndrome or FSGS and their families

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JUNE 2017 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 47 CA Licenses: 013411303, 013411304, 013411305, 013417681