Page 1


Getting Your Kid Out the Door In the Morning

The Key to Boosting Your Child’s Health & IQ: YOUR TIME


Face Face--Lift Customized Mini Mini--Lift Thread Lift Brow Brow--Lift Eyelid Eyelid--Lift Skin Resurfacing Nasal Surgery

Excellence in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery of the Face, Breast and Body  Safety, Fully Accredited Surgery Center  Natural Results  Speedy Recovery  Kind and Caring Surgical Team

Dr. Stompro

Dr. Cheng

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

Ultrasonic Liposculpture Tummy Tuck Mommy Makeover Breast Augmentation

View our Before and After Gallery Online:

Breast Lift Breast Reduction

(925) 736-0401

Botox & Dysport

Offices in Danville, Tracy, Livermore and Hayward.

Juvederm, Restylane & Perlane Voluma Fraxel Laser

“Customized Mini Mini--Lift”

Physician Grade Facials

A minimally invasive procedure for facial

Hydra Hydra--Facial

Actual Patient

rejuvenation. Improves contour from the cheeks to the neckline in a natural and subtle way.

in our Full Service Medispa Botox, Juvederm, Dysport, Restylane, Perlane, Voluma.

*New Patient Only.

Look as good as you feel with a Customized Mini Mini--Lift! * Minimal Downtime



*Significantly lower cost than traditional Face Lift

* No General Anesthesia * In office procedure in fully Certified Facility


A toddler may insist on doing things all by herself.


Infants – Private Pre-K

You go, girl! CALL FOR A TOUR. Primrose School of Pleasanton

7110 Koll Center Pkwy | Pleasanton, CA 94566 925.600.7746 | Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools and The Leader in Educational Child Care are trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2014 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail. License #013421388, #013421389

Volume 2 / Issue 20

The Key to Boosting Your Child’s Health and IQ: Your Time

[ PARENTING ] 6 Tips to Help Back to School Jitters


8 Knowing Where Your People Are

Birthday Party Guide


Ask a UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Expert

7 Habits to Make You Happier During Your Divorce



The Trouble With “Whyyyyyyyyyyy?”

Getting Your Kid Out the Door In the Morning





Bribes, Rewards, and Praise: Am I inadvertently Raising a Master Manipulator?



Park Guide

Ways to Save for College


22 September Calendar



Labor Day Weekend Fun


Are You a Risk to Your Child’s Success?





science+sports sports

Sports Performance Lecture Series 2015 FREE AND OPEN TO: • Athletes age 9 to 25 and parents • Youth sports coaches • Athletic trainers • Athletic directors MORE INFO/RSVP: Walnut Creek (925) 979-3420 Oakland (510) 428-3558

MORE INFO/RSVP: Walnut Creek (925) 979-3420 Oakland (510) 428-3558

Sports Medicine Center For Young Athletes

Sports Performance Lecture & Hands-on Workshop Schedule 2015 ACL


ACL INJURIES AND PREVENTION IN YOUTH SPORTS Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 7-8 p.m. Lecture & Hands-On Workshop Walnut Creek Campus

SPORTS NUTRITION: FUELING THE FURNACE Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 7-8 p.m. Lecture Walnut Creek Campus



WINTER SPORTS CONDITIONING (SKIING/SNOWBOARDING) Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus Lecture & Hands-On Workshop







































Walnut Creek Campus 2401 Shadelands Dr., Suite 180, Walnut Creek (925) 979-3420












52ND ST.


San Ramon Campus 2303 Camino Ramon, Suite 175 San Ramon (925) 979-3450


53RD ST.


Oakland Campus Outpatient Center Auditorium 744 52nd St., Oakland (510) 428-3558


Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes Locations


BASKETBALL INJURY PREVENTION 101 Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 7-8 p.m. Lecture & Hands-On Workshop Oakland Campus

Walnut Creek

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


Contributing Authors

Tracie Brown Vollgraf

Teresa Agnew Craft

Advertising Sales Managers

Ad Design/Production

April Gentry

Lara Mays

Anastasia Gavalas Betsy Brown Braun Brian Damiani Dr. Gail Gross Dr. Laura Markham Dr. Michele Borba Rachel Macy Stafford Robin Stephens Rosemond Perdue Cranner

Style Editor Jeneffer Jones Punjani

Marketing Assistant Interns Jaida Sinclair Kaitlin Gallagher

Active Family is published by TAG Marketing Group Mailing Address | P.O. Box 5158, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Advertising Inquiries | 925.789.0709 Email Address |

Editor’s Note As the season begins to change and we buckle down for a new school year, I am mentally preparing myself for the onslaught of homework, activities, field trips, sports and volunteer assignments! My biggest struggle as a parent is to stay “present” and remind myself that the years will fly by and I will be left wondering where my babies went. I know it is much easier said than done, so I often refer to the HandsFree Mama, Rachel Macy Stafford. Not only are we honored to have Rachel as a contributing writer for Active Family Magazine but we are thrilled to announce the release of her second and much anticipated book, ‘Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More’. Whenever you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and about to blow your lid, reach for the book and Rachel will help put it all in perspective! To order your book go to Amazon and also be sure to follow us on Facebook for a chance to win your copy! activefamilymag. As always, we wish you all the patience, love and understanding to conquer the school year ahead! Tracie Brown Vollgraf Editor



IT’S EASY TO FIND DOCTOR RIGHT With Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation and Palo Alto Medical Foundation, you have easy access to top-quality care for your kids right in your neighborhood. Our team of dedicated health care providers is committed to providing your kids with excellent medical services at our care centers in Albany, Antioch, Berkeley, Brentwood, Castro Valley, Dublin, Fremont, Oakland, Orinda, and Richmond. It’s another way we plus you.

1 (800) 4-SUTTER

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 7

[ PARENTING ] Dr. Michele Borba is an internationally recognized expert and author on children, teens, parenting, bullying and moral development. She is an NBC contributor appearing over 100 times on the TODAY show and is the regular parenting expert on Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers. Her work has been featured on Dr. Phil, Dateline, The View, The Doctors, Fox News, The Early Show and CNN and well as in Newsweek,People, Good Housekeeping, Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Post, The New York Times and The Globe and Mail. She was an MSNBC contributor to two televised “Education Nation” specials. Dr. Borba is the awardwinning author of 22 parenting and educational books translated into 14 languages. Titles include: Don’t Give Me That Attitude!, Parents Do Make A Difference, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, and Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me!, No More Misbehavin’, Building Moral Intelligence (cited by Publishers’ Weekly as “Among the most noteworthy of 2001”), and Esteem Builders used by 1.5 million students worldwide. She writes as the parenting expert for Dr. Oz’s website, as well a daily column for her blog, Dr. Borba’s Reality Check: Twitter: @micheleborba

6 Tips to Help Ease Back-To-School Jitters by Dr. Michele Borba You’ve bought the school supplies, sharpened the pencils and packed the lunches, but have you prepared your children for dealing with back-toschool jitters? Many kids experience a surge in anxiety as they meet their new teachers, see their new classroom and settle in a new routine. Though parents can’t be there to solve every problem and ease every worry there are things to help your child feel more secure and make those goodbye’s go smoother and less stressful. Here are several solutions from the book, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries. 1. Peruse the new surroundings Visit to the school so he can view his new surroundings and find those key places like his classroom, playground, school office, cafeteria, water fountain, lockers, and restroom. Keep in mind that a large campus can be intimidatingespecially if your child has multiple classes in different locations. If possible obtain a map of the school (go online) and print out his class schedule. Then help him walk that campus until he feels secure. Just don’t over hype the tour (“What a gorgeous campus! You’re going to be soooooo happy here!”) You don’t want to build up expectations too much so as to disappoint him if things fall short of your build-up. 2. Check out those school rules and handbook together The more your child is aware of the school rules and rituals the more comfortable he’ll be when he arrives. See if the school has a website or stop by the school or district office and ask for school handbook. Then review it with your child. Find out the dress code, bell schedule, names of the principal and teachers, mascot, motto, and even mission statement. Many schools even have websites that give online tours. 3. Make one acquaintance Knowing just one classmate can minimize first day jitters so if possible help


[ PARENTING ] your kid meet at least one peer. These two don’t have to become soul mates –just acquaintances! Do a little sleuthing at playgrounds and parks near the school to see if you can find a child who will be the same classroom, grade, or school. Ask parents, coaches, or check in at the local Boys and Girls Clubs. If your child takes a bus ask neighbors for the name and address of a kid on the same route. If you can find a car pool with even one kid it will help your child feel more secure to go with someone instead of alone. Make sure your child knows the name of at least one adult to go to (the nurse, secretary, principal, teacher) for help or assurance. 4. Rehearse social scenarios Set up pretend scenarios and role-play specific social problems, like how to meet someone, start up a conversation, ask if you can play in a game, or ask for help from a teacher. Kids learn social skills best if you show and not tell them what to do so practice one new skill at a time until your child feels comfortable. Anticipate concerns (“What if I can’t find the bus?” “How do I tell the teacher I have to go to the bathroom?” “How do I ask if I can play with them?”), then develop answers that appease your child.

Dr. Ozzie Jafarnia

DDS, Board Certified

Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Noyan Aynechi DDS, Board Certified

Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry

5. Point him to the “first thing” Not knowing what to do or where to go upon arriving at a new scene increases anxiety. So offer “first thing” suggestions. For a young child it may be pointing her towards an activity she enjoys—like a puzzle or blocks. An older kid can go to the basketball courts that he enjoys or meet up with that acquaintance he meet at the park. 6. Be cool, consistent …and then leave A kid’s anxiety increases if you make too big of a deal about leaving or draw it out. So stay calm and show confidence in your child. A matter-of-fact goodbye “See you soon” is better than long-drawn out ones. Wearing an inexpensive watch marked with the exact time with a watercolor pen you’ll return can help. The key is to establish a consistent pattern of goodbyes that build your child’s confidence so she realizes she can make it through the time apart. All the best for a great school year!

Nothing is more beautiful than your child’s smile!

Welcome to Danville Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics! ! Our office is committed to providing excellent preventative care for children in a warm, positive, and compassionate environment. We specialize in comprehensive dental care for children of all ages with an emphasis on prevention and health. As your child grows, we are able to provide comprehensive orthodontic care for children and teens. This is to help create and maintain a healthy smile into adulthood. We will do so by providing excellent treatment at the right time for the right reason with integrity, honesty and a caring heart.

Your child’s smile is our top priority. We are committed to making it the happiest, healthiest and straightest smile possible. After all, nothing is more beautiful than your child's smile! 4145 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Ste. 203, Danville

Dr. Reem Stephanos DDS, MS

925-837-7745 •

Specialist in Orthodontics



Park Guide Alameda County

Kolb Park 8020 Bristol Rd Features fitness equipment, play equipment, tennis courts, softball diamonds and walkways/trails

ALAMEDA Franklin Park 1432 San Antonio Ave Nice playground with swings, sandbox and good structures for kids young and old


Adventure Playground 162 University Ave Climbing, zip line, hammer, saw or paint!

Bruno Canziani Park 5799 Charlotte Ave Features two play areas, one for bigger kids, plenty of grass to run around on and basketball courts

Tilden Regional Park 2501 Grizzly Peak Blvd Lake, farm, Merry-Go-Round and hiking

Lester J. Knott Park 655 N. Mines Rd. Large grass area and great for toddlers


DUBLIN Alamo Creek Park 7601 Shady Creek Road Features basketball courts, picnic tables, play equipment and large open spaces to run and play Bray Commons 3300 Finnian Way Features walkways/trails, picnic tables, basketball courts and play equipment

Devany Square 4405 Chancery Lane Features child play area, walkways/trails and picnic tables Dolan Park 11651 Padre Way Features fitness equipment, basketball courts, picnic tables and play equipment Emerald Glen Park 4201 Central Pkwy Features a sand area, jungle gym, and a large open grass area


Sycamore Grove Park 1051 Wetmore Rd Stroller and kid-bike friendly trails and nature walks

PIEDMONT Beach Playfield Linda Ave between Grand Ave and Lake Ave Tennis courts, soccer fields, little tots play structure and sand area Piedmont Park 711 Highland Ave Fountain, nice play structure for kids and Japanese Tea House



Park Guide

Amador Valley Park 4301Black Ave Features two play structures, slides, and large grassy field to run, play or fly kites

Contra Costa County ALAMO

Livorna Park Livorna Rd at Miranda Ave. Great sand area but no shade, basketball and volley ball areas

BRENTWOOD Blue Goose Park 1765 Adams Lane Bathrooms, picnic area, rock wall but has very little shade

Mission Hills Park Junipero Street & Independence Street Great for children of all ages, BIG Slide, and good walking/bike riding paths Muirwood Community Park 4701 Muirwood Dr. Lots of shade and great for toddlers and picnics Val Vista Community Park 6701 Payne Dr. Great for big kids, rock climbing and outdoor roller hockey rink

Brentwood City Park 790 2nd St Splash pad, two jungle gyms, picnic tables and plenty of shade

Osage Station Park 816 Brookside Dr. Open space to run, clean bathrooms, and climbing structures Sycamore Valley Park 2101 Holbrook Dr. Climbing structures, slides and small sand box

LAFAYETTE Lafayette Reservoir 3849 Mount Diablo Blvd Rolling grass hills, lots of shade and lake area

DANVILLE Hap Magee Ranch Park 1025 La Gonda Way Lots of shade, child play area and dog friendly Oak Hill Park 3005 Stone Valley Rd. Great for toddlers and duck feeding in the pond but no shade

Lafayette Community Park 480 St. Marys Rd Features lots of shade, toddler play area, big kid area and rock climbing





Holiday Highlands Park 660 Fig Tree Ln Features separate play structures for older and younger children, BBQ pits, grassy fields and places to ride bikes

Pleasant Hill Park 147 Gregory Lane Open grass area, paved path for scooters or skating along with a toddler area

Ranking Park 100 Buckley St. Swimming pool, clean, great for kids

Boon Acres 9716 Davona Dr. Great for picnics, lots of shade and dog friendly

MORAGA Moraga Commons Park 1149 Moraga Rd. 9-hold disc golf course, bocce ball, horseshoe pits, basketball, volleyball, Skate Park and playground Rancho Laguna Park 2101 Camino Pablo New play structure and swing set with fully fenced in kids play area

ORINDA Orinda Community Center Park 26 Orinda Way Tennis courts, kid-friendly, sandbox, jungle gym and swings


Central Park 12501 Alcosta Blvd Large open grass area and large play structures Fire Truck Park 2070 Arlington Way Quiet, fire truck play structure but no bathrooms Piccadilly Square Park 2503 Piccadilly Cir. Play structures, basketball courts, little shade available

WALNUT CREEK Castle Rock Regional Recreation 1700 Castle Rock Rd. Good hiking trails, wildlife, and good for children


Civic Park 1301 Civic Dr. Great for toddlers and rock climbing Heather Farm Park 301 N San Carlos Dr. Large open area, small climbing wall and swimming pool close by Larkey Park Buena Vista & First Ave Great for kids, large open area, picnics and BBQ pits

Predict earthquakes.

At Stratford School, we believe every child can achieve great things. We nurture this belief through a safe environment, an engaging curriculum, and a passionate team of experienced educators. With a Stratford education, it’s entirely possible that your child will be the one who discovers a better way to predict earthquakes.

Brilliant minds thrive here.

Enroll now for fall 2015







Accrediting Commission for Schools










Preschool State License Numbers: 073402482, 013417816, 013420588, 434404890, 434408056, 434407977, 434404336, 434406722, 434408877, 384001837, 434410807, 434410816, 073406680, 013420939, 414004014.



Knowing Where Your People Are by Rachel Macy Stafford Rachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education and ten years of experience working with parents and children. In December 2010, this life-long writer felt compelled to share her journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters by creating the blog “Hands Free Mama.” Using her skills as a writer, teacher, and encourager, Rachel provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, USA Today,,, The Huffington Post, and Reader’s Digest. Her blog currently averages one million visitors a month. Rachel’s new book, HANDS FREE MAMA, is a New York Times Bestseller.

“But I’ll kneel down, Wait for now And I’ll kneel down, Know my ground And I will wait, I will wait for you.” –Mumford & Sons At the beginning of any school year, there are always quite a few student information sheets to fill out. But when I came to the pink sheet in my second grader’s folder, I was forced to pause. What are your child’s fears? What calms your child when upset? As my pen sat suspended above the blank lines, I let my mind wander into dark territories. What situations would upset my child at school? I knew. Intruders and tornadoes. Thankfully she’d only experienced one of them first-hand, and the tornado did not have a direct hit. But it was close enough to forever alter her perception of storms and the fragility of life. Thankfully, I knew exactly what would bring comfort to my child if either of these situations arose. She would want to know where her sister was in the building. She would want to know that I was coming for her just as soon as I possibly could. In other words: tell her where her people are. I called my daughters to the kitchen. I told them about the pink sheet, as well as


[ PARENTING ] the emergency evacuation form provided by the school. At their new school the emergency procedures were different from their previous school. I let the girls know that anytime it was necessary to vacate the building, they would be taken to different safe places—one to the middle school and one to the high school with their respective classes. The girls talked about a few of the drills they’d practiced in the past and remembered how some classmates slept in their classrooms during an ice storm last year. I reminded them that in the event of an emergency, I might not be allowed to come right away, but I would eventually get to them any way I could. My younger daughter giggled as she typically does when she is scared or nervous. My older daughter nodded casually, although her big brown eyes gave away her true feelings about this topic. “Even if I am not with you, know for certain that I am waiting for you and praying for you,” I said clutching each of their arms as if to brand that assurance into their skin like a tattoo. I’d learned the importance of Knowing Where Your People Are early in my parenting journey. My husband and I were staying in a high-rise condo with several members of our extended family when the fire alarm began screaming in the middle of night. My husband and I bolted from our bed looking to retrieve the children who were four-years-old and eleven-months-old at the time. My husband quickly gathered my older daughter in his arms. He stopped me from going to the baby’s room. “Let’s go!” he urged. “Where’s my baby! Where’s my baby!” I screamed hysterically. For some reason, he did not tell me specifics, only that she was okay and we must get down the stairs. Those were the most agonizing twenty-two flights of stairs I’d ever descended. My heart nearly beat right out my chest in anticipation of finding my baby waiting for me at the bottom. When I saw her in the arms of a family member, my knees went weak. Her little hands reached for me desperately. For the first time ever, I saw what fear looked like on my child’s little face. She had been wondering where I was. My daughter buried her face into my neck and her body instantly relaxed. In that moment, I realized a person could overcome the most adverse situations simply by knowing where his or her loved ones were. The walls

could be coming down, the winds could sound like a freight train, the situation could be growing worse by the second, but there was great comfort in Knowing Where Your People Are. This understanding has come in quite handy over the past few months. Ever since our move to a new state this summer, fear has not been a stranger in our home. Facing many “firsts” and not knowing anyone caused my older daughter to get very concerned about the Ebola virus. As we talked about it for several nights in a row, I noted her questions centered around what would happen if Daddy got it. Or what would happen if I got it. My assurances focused on the safety precautions that would keep the people she loved safe and healthy. My younger daughter was very anxious on the day of her first swim team practice. Before we left the locker room, her hands trembled and her eyes filled with tears. This was not the beloved YMCA where she had a family of coaches that loved her. She wanted to go back to the old team, she told me repeatedly. I assured her that first times are always the hardest. I told her I would be sitting on the bench watching and silently cheering on her bravery. Upon her entry into the water, her goggles flew off. The cold water took her breath away. There were more kids in her lane than she was used to. I could see the fear grip her, and she began to cry. Her coach bent down, speaking calmly and encouragingly. He adjusted her goggles and off she swam. But each time she came to the end of the lane, her eyes met mine. Your people are right here, my face would say. My daughter has proceeded to get four more practices under her belt and the tears have completely subsided. But even now, she still looks for me each time she comes to the end of the lane. One afternoon, at school dismissal time, a severe storm popped up. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning. The school notified parents that the children would not be released until the weather subsided. My chest tightened. I worried about how my children would react to this situation, especially my younger daughter due to her intense fear of storms. I immediately prayed that my children would feel comforted by their teachers, and they would be kept safe from harm. An hour and a half later, the storm passed, and we were all united. SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 15

[ PARENTING ] “Were you okay?” I asked my younger daughter as she squeezed my mid-section until I could barely breathe. “We were in ‘tuck and duck’ position forever,” she said exhaustedly. “It was like hard exercise!” After a slight pause, she squeezed me again. “But I wasn’t sacred, Mama. I knew that my sister was in the next hall and you were at home praying.” My friends, the world can be scary. Both the world we see on television each night and the one that meets us each morning whether we’re ready or not. There are firsts we must get through … there are hurtful people that intimidate and bully … there are tough situations with no easy answers … there are hardships and heavy burdens … there are pains within us that cannot even be described. It is not uncommon for our loved ones to lay their fears before us and we just don’t even know what to do with them. It can be excruciating to send the people we love off to school … into the pool … off to college … into battle … or into territories unknown when all we want to do is hug them to our chest and never let them go.

“Because I sat on the stoop as he went off to elementary school and was there waiting for him when he came home, my son thought I was there all day waiting.” I cried happy tears knowing a little boy went off to school each day thinking his mother loved him so much that she waited for his return. I felt so thankful that one day, when this boy was grown, he told his mom this story and she shared it with others so we could all remember this: Do not underestimate the power of Knowing Where Your People Are. Do not underestimate the comfort that comes from knowing someone is waiting for you. When our people are safe, we feel safe. When our people believe in us, we are more likely to believe in ourselves. So keep cheering from the bleachers … keep waiting on the front steps … keep waving as that bus pulls away … keep bowing your head in quiet reverence. Your mere

But next time that happens, I want you to remember this beautiful comment left by a reader of my blog:

existence, whether in presence or in thought, is enough to make a fearful heart believe it’s all going to be okay.

“Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” –Linus Pauling CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS Still Enrolling All Grades! Call us today to schedule a Campus Tour! Preschool - 12th Grade | 7500 Inspiration Drive | Dublin, CA 94568 | Contact Daly Johnson | Director of Admissions | (925) 560-6262 or


Kids LoveShelby Us, J. Smith, DDS,Us MS, PC Parents Trust Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics

Kids Love Us, Parents Trust Us Over the past 20 years, Dr. Shelby has developed the reputation for being one of the most successful dentists in treating fearful and special needs children. Her gentle and low-key approach has helped thousands of kids have a great experience. Working with their parents, Dr. Shelby and her staff have been successful treating many children who otherwise might have been sedated. In addition, Dr. Shelby has a degree in Orthodontics so as her patients grow, the transition into braces is more comfortable. Seeing the smiles on the faces of her patients as they grow from tiny tots to confident teens is one of the great joys of her life.

Call Today for your Appointment 925.755.5115 Meet Pollyanna... The World’s Smallest Dental Professional

2213 Buchanan Road, Suite 112 Antioch, California 94509 SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 17


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.

The Trouble With “Whyyyyyyyyyyy?” by Betsy Brown Braun You tell your child it’s time for bed. Instead of the pitter patter of feet running up the stairs, you get “Whyyyyyyy?” All parents have heard it. The funny thing is, you know your child isn’t really looking for an answer. “Well, dear, your body needs sleep in order for the all the cells to grow…” certainly isn’t what your son is expecting to hear. To the child, Whyyyyy? can serve many different purposes, the least common of which is actually finding out information. Why? is most often a form of protest. It‘s your child’s way of saying that he doesn’t like what you’ve just said or what is happening. The synonym for Whyyyy? in this case is Wrong answer! And what he is hoping to hear is, “Okay, never mind, you don’t really have to go to bed.” Sometimes Whyyy? is a stalling technique. It buys the child time before he has to comply with whatever is being asked of him. Why? can be a means of holding your attention. You know, when your child repeats Why? in response to every answer you give, and then you realize you’re being duped? This form of Why? is often typical of 2.5 to 3.5 year old children, who are genuinely curious and look to you as the knower of everything. At first it is kind of cute, watching your toddler’s curiosity grow. Then you realize he has discovered the key to keeping your attention. Not so cute, as he drives you nuts.


[ PARENTING ] And of course, there are those times when your child actually does seek information. Those are the good Whys?, the ones we welcome as opportunities to learn and grow. Those Whys? have a beginning and an end.

your request. “It’s time for bed now. This is not a debate.” 4. Stay on target. No comments on what he wants or on his attempts to derail you. 5. You can acknowledge his feelings. “I know you don’t

Whyyyy? as a form of protest does not require an answer.

want to go to bed, but it IS bedtime.

So, why is it that parents commonly take the bait? (And

6. Withstand the barrage of negativity about you, about

that was a real Why?) It is faulty thinking that reasoning

you being the meanest mommy in the world, about

with your child is going to work. True, once in a very long

how much he hates you, about his wanting to live in

while, it might work. But not often. I know we all think

another family, and simply say, “Regardless of how you

our children are gifted. Regardless, reasoning with your

feel about me, it is bedtime.”

child, gifted or not, doesn’t work because your child’s need to have his way trumps his desire to be reasonable. And even if the child might actually see the logic in your reasoning, in his world his desire outweighs yours. He doesn’t actually care about the reason. He wants what he wants. Period. Parents often work over time attempting to get their child to see things their way. They think that they actually

7. Mind your anger. Stay level and calm. Your anger will only serve to fuel his battle. Remember, the warrior wants what he wants, and that includes most of all, winning. 8. Despite your exhaustion over hearing his complaints, excuses, and arguments, you must not give in, thinking it would just be easier. It will, in fact, be worse the next time. 9. “Well, just this once” is never a good answer. It will backfire for sure.

can convince the child that they are right and to give up what the child is wanting. Or they think that if they give enough reasons they will hit on just the right one. That cookie that you really want right now will ruin your appetite and you won’t be hungry for dinner. The only possible response from the child? No, it won’t!

Celma’s Housecleaning Service

Here are some tips for dealing with Whyyyyy?

(925) 826-6397

1. To the overly inquisitive three year old with his repetitive Why?, it is okay not to answer. “I am all done answering your questions for now” works. Ignore the next 100 Whys? They will stop. 2. Do not take the bait when your older child protests your direction or response to a request. Do not even attempt to answer a Whyyyy? by reasoning. Your chances of reeling your child back in from the dark side are slim and none, regardless of how reasonable your answer.

Offering meticulous & affordable housecleaning for busy families! References Available!

3. In response to Whyyy? calmly and confidently restate SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 19


Labor Day Weekend Fun Alameda County SEPTEMBER 6

34th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration Livermore Valley Wine County Livermore 12:00pm – 5:00pm

SEPTEMBER 7 Labor Day Open House Crab Cove Visitor Center Alameda 10:00am – 4:00pm


Labor Day Picnic Alameda Point Park Alameda 11:30 am – 4:30pm

[ SEASONAL FUN ] SEPTEMBER 5 & 6 Bacon Festival of America Plaza de Cesar Chavez San Jose 12:00pm – 7:00pm 45th Annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival Broadway Avenue Millbrae 10:00am – 5:00pm

SEPTEMBER 5 - 7 Contra Costa SEPTEMBER 5 Clayton Derby & Car Show Downtown Clayton 7:00am – 1:00pm

SEPTEMBER 5 - 7 Playland Not-At-The-Beach San Pablo Ave El Cerrito 10:00am – 5:00pm

SEPTEMBER 7 Labor Day BBQ Water Front Park Martinez 11:00am – 3:00pm

Gilroy Gardens Labor Day BBQ South County Picnic Grove Gilroy 12:00pm – 2:00pm Sausalito Art Festival Marinship Park Sausalito 10:00am – 7:00pm

SEPTEMBER 6 Farallon Islands Sail Sausalito Yacht Harbor Sausalito 7:30am – 4:30pm

Art and Antique Faire Railroad Ave Danville 9:00am – 3:00pm

Worth the Drive SEPTEMBER 4 Pre-Labor Day Breakfast San Francisco Labor Council San Francisco 8:00am – 10:00am



I’m Rosemond, a divorced mom with the best teen daughter on the entire planet. OK, I might be a wee bit biased on that point. In my past life I was an entertainment executive in Hollywood. Don’t get too excited. It sounds way more exciting than it was. Now I blog about divorce for http:// divorce/ and write about dating, divorce, parenting a teenager, and life in search of the next shoe sale at my blog I’ve been featured on BlogHer, Divorced Moms, and Blunt Moms. When I’m not stuck in traffic or obsessing about my hair, I write.

7 Habits to Make You Happier During Your Divorce by Rosemond Perdue Cranner Finding a way to be happy in the middle of a divorce isn’t easy. It’s something that you have to consciously work for. Here are some habits that have really helped me be an overall happier person during my divorce. Try one or two and see if they help ease some of your divorce stress and help you find a sunnier outlook. 1. Find other people who are going through a divorce. Find a friend who’s in the middle of divorce too. Find a community online. You will feel much less like a freak when you hear someone else’s tales of woe. And you’ll have someone to text or contact for support to ask “is this normal” when no one else can relate to your divorce drama. 2. Don’t stalk your ex on social media. It’s 2 am and you can’t sleep. It’s easy to try to figure out where he’s been by his Facebook page, but that’s not doing anything but feeding your irrational belief that his life is working out so much better than yours. Which makes you feel like a complete lonely loser. Put your ipad away and go to sleep! Or develop an unhealthy binge watching habit (Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Homeland). Whatever late night online habit you develop, it won’t be as detrimental to your well being as Facebook stalking your ex late at night.


[ WOMEN & RELATIONSHIPS ] 3. Have a story ready. Have a short to the point explanation already worked out for why you are divorcing. People will ask you “but why are you divorcing, you seemed so happy!” Decide beforehand what you are going to say so you won’t just burst into tears and carry on. At a PTA meeting not long after we separated, another parent asked me why we were divorcing. Twenty minutes later as I was sputtering with mascara running down my face, I could not stop myself. I learned. Have a tidy answer already planned out. “We have come to a mutual decision to divorce. Our marriage wasn’t working. We think it’s best for both of us.” If this person wants to know more, they can buy you lunch to get the rest of the story. 4. Have another story ready for your kids. Your kids will ask you so many times, in so many ways. Have a different, age appropriate answer ready for them. If it’s possible, collaborate with your ex to make sure you are both telling the kids the same story. 5. Keep a journal. Write stuff down. I bought those cheap school composition notebooks and scrawled every crazy (and

sometimes surprisingly intelligent) thought that I had. Keep them! When you are feeling discouraged, read some of your past entries. Wow. You’ll be amazed to see how far you’ve come, how much you’ve learned and how truly, incredibly strong you are! (I recently read some entries from last year, and what I was going through then. It was good evidence of how far I’ve come.) 6. Have at least one of these items in your kitchen at all times. 1) Sugar 2) Chocolate 3) Microwave Popcorn 4) Liquor (This tip is pretty self explanatory.) 7. Do something kinda crazy (for you). If everyone says that “Maria hates to dance.” Prove them wrong. Do something completely out of character. Dance. Speak up. Learn what it feels like to rewrite that narrow definition of who you are. Because who you are is changing. You can be anyone you want this time.

925-866-3020 SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 23


September Alameda County SEPTEMBER 1 & 2 LEGO Mini Model Build The Lego Store Pleasanton 5:00pm – 6:00pm

SEPTEMBER 2 1st Wednesday Street Party Main Street Pleasanton 6:00pm – 9:00pm

SEPTEMBER 3 Sing – Along Cinema Ferry Lawn Oakland 7:30pm

SEPTEMBER 3, 10, 17, & 24 Summer Thursdays Valley Children’s Museum Dublin 4:00m – 8:00pm

SEPTEMBER 4 Pajama Night Café Art Dublin Dublin 6:30 – 9:30 Zoovie Night Oakland Zoo Oakland 6:00pm – 9:00pm

SEPTEMBER 4, 11, 18 & 25

Email to subscribe to our weekly email blast for more events!

Rockin’ Fridays Rockin’ Jump Dublin 9:00pm – 11:00pm Open Gym Edge Gymnastics Training Center Dublin 7:00pm – 8:30pm




150th Scottish Highland Gathering & Games Alameda County Fairgrounds Pleasanton 8:00am – 6:30pm

Pleasanton Harvest Festival Alameda County Fairgrounds Pleasanton 10:00am – 6:00pm

Free Guided Walking Tours Jack London Square Waterfront Oakland 10:00am

SEPTEMBER 5, 12, 19, & 26 Sizzling Saturdays Main Street Pleasanton 6:00pm – 9:00pm

SEPTEMBER 6 Free First Sunday Oakland Museum Oakland 10:00am – 6:00pm


SEPTEMBER 8 – 30 Drop-In Hours at Play Well 5737 Valley Ave Pleasanton 12:00pm – 7:00pm

SEPTEMBER 12 Children’s Fair 4444 East Ave. Livermore 10:00am – 4:00pm

SEPTEMBER 18 Creating Hope for Chimpanzees Oakland Zoo Oakland 6:30 – 9:00pm

Eat Real Jack London Square Oakland Various Times

SEPTEMBER 19 Art on the Green Livermore Valley Plaza Livermore 2:00pm – 5:00pm Super Saturdays Valley Children’s Museum Dublin 11:00am – 3:00pm

SEPTEMBER 20 Oakland on Two Wheels Oakland Museum Oakland 10:00am Sunday Baby Bounce Fremont Main Library Fremont 3:30pm – 4:15pm

SEPTEMBER 22 Restaurant & Shoppe Walk Downtown Pleasanton Pleasanton 6:00pm – 9:00pm

SEPTEMBER 25 Free Harbor Tours USS Potomac Oakland 3:00pm – 7:00pm


September SEPTEMBER 26



Parents Night Off Oakland Zoo Oakland 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Family Campout Emerald Glen Park Dublin 3:00pm – 10:00am

Danville d’Elegance Downtown Danville Danville 11:00am – 4:00pm

7th Annual Walk 4 Education American Swim Academy Livermore 9:00am – 12:00pm

11th Annual Orinda Classic Car Show 63 Orinda Way Orinda 10:00am – 3:00pm


Contra Costa SEPTEMBER 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29


Off the Grid Walnut Creek Downtown Walnut Creek 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Mount Diablo Astronomical Society Clayton Library Clayton 7:00pm – 9:00pm



Build a Football Toss Game Home Depot San Ramon 9:00am – 12:00pm

Free Friday Lindsay Wildlife Experience Walnut Creek 10:00am – 5:00pm

First Thursday Shop Local Downtown Hartz Ave Danville 10:00am – 7:00pm



Walnut Festival Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek Various Times

Out of Area SEPTEMBER 27 Swim Across America Little Marina Green San Francisco 12:00am

All Aboard the Diablo Valley Lines Larkey Park Walnut Creek 11:00am – 6:00pm

LABOR DAY Art and Antique Faire Railroad Ave Danville 9:00am – 3:00pm

SEPTEMBER 10 Free Movie Night Orinda Theatre Orinda 7:00pm

Walnut Festival Twilight Parade Downtown Walnut Creek Walnut Creek 6:00pm

SEPTEMBER 19 – 20 Lafayette Art & Wine Festival Downtown Lafayette Lafayette Various Times



Robin Stephens of The Growing Room Academy holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on early childhood/adolescent development, family systems, and socio-cultural perspectives of the family. As a Certified Simplicity Parenting Coach©, Robin provides personal family coaching and facilitates parenting workshops for schools and parent organizations. She also is involved in youth advocacy organizations providing support for LGBTQ youth and their families.

Bribes, Rewards, and Praise: Am I inadvertently raising a Master Manipulator? by Robin Stephens We have all been there — that last minute dash to the grocery store with multiple kids in tow — and then it happens: the proverbial, albeit desperate, offer of a candy bar merely for safe and semi-embarrassing passage out of the public arena with our unruly band of progeny. At these moments you might wonder who really is in charge here? Have you just offered a temporary bribe to your children to behave or have they blackmailed you into a payoff before they will behave? Episodes like these can leave a parent feeling played and powerless. Rewards in the form of a bribe may result in temporary obedience, but at what cost? It buys some time at the moment, but our efforts to control our child’s behavior through offering bribes could be seen as manipulative as the child who has become the skilled negotiator. In short, we are teaching our kids to be master manipulators. Clearly, bribery backfires. Kids will call upon this strategy often, learning that acting-out equates to parental suffering and parental suffering equates to — chocolate.


[ PARENTING ] Is there ever an instance where offering a reward for a

If, as a parent, you are seeking a positive way to

desired behavior is appropriate?

occasionally bestow an external reward upon your child, there is a formula. Rewards in terms of affection,

Rewards versus Bribery (Is there a difference?)

strategic recognition, and thoughtful planning, in

So, what is the difference between giving a bribe for

addition to an external reward, can be a productive

good behavior versus rewarding it? A general rule of

way to reinforce appropriate behavior. For an extrinsic

thumb is to view bribery as something that occurs under

reward to be effective these intrinsic components

duress. It is a knee-jerk reaction and an undeserved

should be present. Recently there have been studies

response to a child in the throes of bad behavior. It

warning against the dangers of praising kids too much.

happens quickly and the decision to reward is both

Rather than praise the child’s potential, praise the effort.

frantic and frenetic in nature. It is an effort to change

Acknowledging a child’s effort in exercising restraint in

behavior on the spot.

the restaurant takes the form of a literal pat on the back

Conversely, the effective use of rewards is premeditated.

or a hug: a genuine show of affection. This strategy,

In fact, it is conscientiously planned. You are

in addition to a task-appropriate external reward can

compensating your child for good behavior, not

prove effective. A task-appropriate reward for desired

because you are being manipulated or extorted, but

restaurant behavior might be a family night out to enjoy

because they have exhibited model behavior. You have

a favorite pizza. The added reward in terms of affection

effectively removed negotiation tools on both sides.

and social connectedness can allow a parent to bestow an occasional external reward as they see fit. Rewards

Is Rewarding Ever a Good Idea?

should also be random and unexpected to be effective.

The idea of reward to facilitate desired outcome arrived

The above example could reflect this concept by going

on the scene in behavioral science circles via rats

out for pizza on a day not usually designated for outings.

running mazes for cheese and the salivations of Pavlov’s

Also, of great importance is the development of a list

dogs. It was an exciting notion that this behavioral

of rewards that is the currency that your child values.

modification theory could be applied to humans.

Ideally, your child can even be involved in the list-making

Now, however, most child development professionals

process. The key point: unlike the unplanned extorted

view offering external rewards to children as a means

reward at the market, these rewards are preplanned with

to erode intrinsic motivation: something behavioral

clear behavioral expectations.

psychologists were not too concerned about with their rat subjects. Studies suggest that intrinsic interest in a

Bribe Avoiding Strategies

task, the sense that something is worth doing for its own

Bribes are parent’s easiest way out. It is easier to turn

sake, diminishes when reward is involved. The activity

on the Disney Channel to curtail pandemonium than

becomes less enjoyable in its own right when it is done

to play undercover detective to determine why one

for gain. Rewards can lead to an attributional shift

sibling’s favorite toy is suddenly missing. Taking the time

where the child will only perform a task for the reward.

to discover underlying causes of behavior in the moment

Rewards can also result in an addiction-type of effect for

serves to do just the opposite of a bribe: it provides long-

children where rewards like stickers and candy become

term impact with the opportunity for learning.

“gateway rewards” for bigger and better. Once the reward is expected, the effect is reduced: they want

Ultimately, you are the expert on your own family! When,

more. “Please, sir, can I have less?” said no child —ever.

where, how, and why to reward is one of the privileges

Rewards can lead to a false sense of entitlement for a

and prerogatives of parenthood. While it is likely that

child; however, even with the aforementioned negative

the toy isle in the market or the Dr.’s office waiting room

outcomes, some child development specialists believe

are likely to solicit some unwelcome responses from time

that rewards can be an effective way to reinforce

to time, with a little strategic planning, affection, and

appropriate behavior in a restricted context.

understanding, positive behavior can be its own reward. Then, your chosen extrinsic rewards can reflect the values

Conscientious Planning and Affection: Adding Intrinsic

of your family — and make child extortion a distant

Value to Extrinsic Reward

memory. SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 27


Anastasia is a parent coach, awardwinning author, internationally recognized speaker, Huffington Post blogger, and mother of five. With over two decades of real life experience, Anastasia’s proven success is based on balance and results. She teaches parents how to create healthier lives and find the happiness they desire. She shares innovative strategies and new perspectives that put an end to uncertainty and stress and, lead her clients to success. Her Wing It™ philosophy helps modern day families build strong foundations, rebalance their lives, and launch happy, independent children. Anastasia is the author of the award-winning book, Leadership Through the Eyes of Children, and WING IT: 6 Simple Steps to Succeed as a Modern Day Parent. She is the founder of the WING IT Project, a non-profit that funds educational opportunities for children locally and globally, and co-creator of Hamptons Wellness Week. She provides private parent coaching as well as speaking at small or large gatherings about making modern parenthood easier and rebalancing family life in today’s world. Anastasia has also been featured in multiple media outlets such as TLC Network, The New York Times, ABC Family Television, The Huffington Post, Well + Good, Hamptons Magazine, NBC Television, KIWI Magazine, Parenting, ZLiving Television,, Sheknows, Parents Magazine, ivillage, Live It Up Show, News 12 Long Island, eHow, San Diego Family, Metro Family, and Everyday Family.

Are You a Risk to Your Child’s Success? by Anastasia Gavalas What is it that today’s parents really want? Let’s start with the declaration of deserving it all; to be happy, raise smart kids, find their passion, have good relationships, and be financially independent. But, more often than not parents are being caught up in a roller coaster of fear-based competitions to be the perfect parent. The alarming speed of daily life, constant chatter, and bombardment of stimulation, technology, and global turmoil exemplifies the need for parents to recognize the extreme impact today’s disconnect has on raising children. We allow ourselves to get absorbed by elevated levels of fear and distractions that result in the prevalent sacrifice of human connection. If ever there was a moment in time that called for rising above life’s chaos and instability, that moment is now. We desperately need to bring back some sense and sensibility to the parenting arena. The recent menagerie of flawed approaches, whether tigerish or hovering, controlling or carefree, all overlook the most essential aspects of parenting consciousness and meaningful relationships between parent and child. Parents who have the courage to strike a balance within their lives set their kids up for success. Others will have to work hard at clearing the onslaught of busyness that influences daily life in order to reconnect and have a chance at success. This


[ PARENTING ] includes creating space and time to have courageous

the need to do it all, have it all, post it all, and gauge

conversations. Communication needs to be fair and

personal success by what others notice, rather than

balanced, as do expectations. Although it’s easy to

genuine experiences with the people who are right in

get caught up in the noise and distraction of modern-

front of us.

day life, we as parents have the opportunity to choose between bringing clarity or adding noise to life each

Modern day distractions generate experiences on

day. When parenting practices are simple and balanced

a superficial level. The more connected the world

without being drenched in fear-based notions, children

has become, the more disengaged people are on a

exceed expectations.

personal level. It takes courage to sever from the prolific habits that have led us to the gross disconnect currently

The current culture of the world exhibits consequences

in society. Today’s disengaged families are everywhere

of disengaged philosophies and imbalanced practices.

from ball fields to dinner tables, from urban life to the

During these times of global unrest and uncertainty, we

suburbs, to good old ‘reality’ TV that represents families

must return to truth and sensibility. Restoring balance

filled with outrageous drama. Parents are bombarded

begins as an internal shift and needs to be practiced

with fake personas and addicted to keeping up. It is

every single day to foster a responsive and successful

as though we’re duplicating a high school mentality

progression. Finding balance helps individuals identify

of needing to be part of the crowd, but the crowd

their feelings, make confident choices, and remain

has grown and the world has shrunk with the growth

present. Stress in the modern world will continue to

of technology. We’ve forgotten the most important

accelerate; but the better we utilize the time we

focus should be on real family life and not just the

share with children will determine how well they grow.

peripheral. That’s the central accomplishment parents

Remaining thoroughly modern and brilliantly balanced

need to concentrate on. Parents who live consciously,

in parenthood is possible. There just need to be some

authentically, respectfully, and open-mindedly will

shifts in perspectives. The hurried pace and superficial

organically ignite their children’s physiological potential.

connections thrust upon us will need serious reflection and a new level of consciousness in order for families to

Everyone benefits from parents being balanced. The

not only to survive, but thrive.

simple effort of trying to reach balance, in the various aspects of life, helps your true self emerge and provides

Like never before, parents are caught up in intense

an opportunity to see your children for who they are.

self-satisfying battles of perfection displayed as the

Family focused lifestyles do not warrant constant

window dressing in virtual profiles. The hunger for “likes”

updates on our social media feed. Re-configuring

and engagement on electronic devices trumps real-

these unproductive patterns will lessen stress and help

life living. Our craving for approval is now deeper than

parents live with more clarity and purpose. Raising a

ever as technology tracks our every move, but the

family is not meant to keep us from enjoying life, but

images often portrayed are slated. Individuals chronicle

rather to experience what really matters and, essentially

perfect parenting with forced, snapped, edited, and

accelerate personal happiness. Consider that parenting

posted selfies, children’s accomplishments, and chef-

doesn’t have to be the hardest job on earth. That it

like meals in anticipation of gaining approval. Worth

can actually be fun. Parents make it hard by striving

is based on the amount of “likes” received on their

towards perfection, fearing the unpredictable, stressing

Instagram or Facebook posts rather than what is actually

out unnecessarily, and resisting what is right in front

happening in front of them. This fierce emergence of

of them. They are the ones responsible for the energy

super-happy, camera-ready, one-sided personas, and

they bring into the family. Those able to release the grip

lifestyles perpetuate more disconnect, imbalance, and

on perfection naturally create the desired space and

an unbearable level of insecurity. This, will no doubt,

energy to move passed challenges and enjoy life.

produce a generation of children who lack self-esteem and continually crave outside approval. We must

The energy expelled on pretending to have it all

acknowledge this sense of urgency to incessantly be

together deprives children and parents of the depth

connected to the external world in order to live happily;

of relationships and true happiness. The longer today’s SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 29

[ PARENTING ] parents keep up this pageantry, the more they’ll get

back in the driver’s seat and engage with their children

tangled up in instability and chaos. Continuing this

in a collaborative, well-balanced way. They need to

pattern makes children more susceptible to respond to

rise above this tide of insecurity and set proportionate

negative influences as they grow. Nourishing real-life

examples because children learn from what they see

connections and having more faith in the individual process eases the intensity of external powers and helps us live presently. Life as we know it is moving at lightening speed and children are quicker, smarter, and far more intuitive than ever before. Children have an inner sense of when parents are floundering in the chaos or striving for alignment. Balance brings clarity and the opportunity

and experience, not by what they’re told. Children who bare witness to parents constantly engrossed in their smartphones will lack self-awareness and the ability to form healthy relationships, which is really what life is all about. They will not acquire the ability to distinguish truth from fiction, balance from imbalance, simulated

for individuals to take back their life. We often hear that

and real life, and whole-hearted success. When children

parents are so busy and just need more time. With lack

witness parents who work to realign their physical,

of time comes the incapability to be kind, patient, or

emotional, spiritual, and intellectual progress they will

flexible, all of which children need to grow and develop

learn to do so themselves. They will know to look inwards

in a healthy way. A slowing down of the constant

instead of outside for approval and contentment, and

spinning that causes a loss in reality will help parenting. A

will reach true fulfillment in doing so. Parents need to

process that is unhurried promotes more responsiveness

wake up and remove themselves from the intensity of

rather than reactiveness which organically cultivates a deeper resistance from fear. There is no such thing as perfect parenting. The good news is that it’s not about perfectionism; it’s about progression, which is something everyone can embrace.

reaching for forged connections. The effort to get real helps us experience authentic happiness, raise smart kids, find our passion, develop good relationships, and be independent, which ultimately launches children to success.

Learning from the not-so perfect moments will get parents closer to the life they imagined. Slowing down rather than trying to cover up reality or keep up with others helps individuals recognize how perfect their child is for them. That child is the one person who will split their

Diablo Hills Country School Toddlers (18 mos) School-Age Care

 Pre-School  Summer Camp

parent wide open, force them to expand, and unmask their true self in a way that no other relationship will do. Parents who live intuitively recognize the path that’s right for them as opposed to the confusion that comes forth when they mimic someone else’s life or try to fit an image. True success lies in the letting go of the pressure to be perfect, continually striving to stay balanced, and courageously connecting more with the children you are raising. Remaining conscious of what being a parent really means and how it affects the deeper happiness we seek will allow us to create experiences that help to raise healthy, well-balanced, productive children for today’s world. It’s a balance; a buoyant blend of guiding and allowing that will propel children to not only succeed but, soar. Regardless of the diversity of our lives and experiences it remains obvious that parents simply want to be better-balanced parents. Today’s world dictates the urgency for parents to get 30 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015

Locally Owned and Family Run Since 1981 Danville Campus

1453 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Danville, CA 94526 (925) 820-8523

San Ramon Campus 50 Creekside Drive San Ramon, CA 94583 (925) 831--1210


rq u pe e cta du cul ar E C

Rooms of Hosts:

David and Deborah Cabral


1278 Lozano Court Ruby Hill - Pleasanton


ven i ng

o u of C leu olor r

Saturday, September 26, 2015 5:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Event Tickets:


$1,100/table of 10 prior to 8/26/15 Mistress of Ceremonies:

Jessica Aguirre

Join us for an evening under the stars with delectable food and libations, silent/live auctions, dancing and magical surprises! TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS VISIT:

Rooms of

Creating Spaces That Matter....CC

OUR MISSION is to provide dream room makeovers to children with life-threatening illnesses. Our

purpose is to surround these children with love and create the space of their dreams, may it be their bedroom, playroom or other refuge from all they must endure at the hospital. We are about bringing


their say in daily activities, including going to school or having playdates because of their depressed immune systems and need for medical attention. This gift goes on well beyond their amazing reveal of their dream space. Along with a Rooms of Hope Project Manager and Interior Designer, comes construction specialists including licensed contractors and electricians, as well as muralists, artisans, painters, seamstresses and dedicated volunteers with one focus: BRINGING HOPE AND JOY WHILE CREATING SPACES THAT MATTER! Thank you to all who make this happen: individuals, local companies, national corporations, community and faith organizations, and foundations. To learn more, please visit



Birthday Party Guide Alameda County: BERKELEY Berkeley City Ballet 1800 Dwight Way 510.841.8913 Dance Out Loud 2800 Park St. 510.301.5073 Kids ‘N’ Clay Pottery Studio 809 Allston Way 510.845.0982 Lawrence Hall of Science 1 Centennial Dr. 510.642.5132 Habitot Children’s Museum 2065 Kittredge St. 510.647.1111 Studio Grow 1235 10th St. 510.526.9888

CASTRO VALLEY Castro Valley Bowl 3501 Village Dr. 510.538.8100

DUBLIN Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl 6750 Regional St. 925.828.7550 East Bay SPCA 4651 Gleason Dr. 925.479.9670 Iceland Dublin 7212 San Ramon Rd. 925.829.4444 Rockin’ Jump 5875 Arnold Rd 925.828.7676


Café Art 7197 Village Pkwy #B 925.829.7778

Parti Palooza 6253 Southfront Rd. 925.245.9913

Zone Laser Tag 7102 Dublin Blvd. 925.230-2923

Springtime Tumbling & Trampoline 5715 Southfront Rd. 925.456.0110

FREMONT Aqua Adventure 40500 Paeso Padre Pkwy 510.494.4426

Umigo Racing 6538 Patterson Pass Rd. 925.373.7223

City Beach 4020 Technology Pl. 510.651.2500


Century Theaters at Pacific Commons 43917 Pacific Commons Blvd. 510.651.2859


Chabot Space & Science Center 1000 Skyline Blvd. 510.336.7300 Children’s Fairyland 699 Bellevue Ave. 510.452.2259

Boomers! 2400 Kitty Hawk Rd. 925.447.7275

Glitter and Razz 5951 College Ave. 510.654.7166

Café Art 1971 Second St. 925.373.0222

Oakland Zoo 9777 Golf Links Rd. 510.632.9525

California Gymnastics Academy 180 Wright Brothers Ave. 925.245.0331


Fire Stations 4 Hire 480 Preston Ct. 925.290.7550 Granada Bowl 1620 Railroad Ave. 925.447.5600 Horizons East Equestrian Center 5111 Doolan Rd. 925.960.9696

Dolores Bengston Aquatic Center 4455 Black Ave. 925.931.3420 Build-A-Bear Workshop 1 Stoneridgemall Rd. 925.398.2281 ClubSport 7090 Johnson Dr. 925.463.2822 Gymboree Play & Music 5460 Sunol Blvd. #9 925.249.0006


Birthday Party Guide High Touch High Tech of the Bay Area 1807 Santa Rita Rd. 408.982.6710 Play-Well Pleasanton 5737 Valley Ave. #B 925.484.1547

Delta Bowl 3300 Delta Fair Blvd 925.757.5424

Diablo Rock Gym 1220 Diamond Way #140 925.602.1000

Paradise Skate Roller Rink 1201 W. 10th St. 925.779.0200

Diablo Valley Bowl 1500 Monument Blvd. 925.671.0913


Encore Gymnastics 999 Bancroft Rd. 925.932.1033

Pump It Up 530 Boudler Ct. #100 925.600.9663

Black Diamond Kids Center 2015 Elkins Way 925.516.6619

Super Franks 5341 Owens Ct. 925.271.5880

Bricks 4 Kidz 3150 Balfour Rd., Suite C 925.684.4082

West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy 1056 Serpentine Ln., Suite A 925.846.1010

Chuck E. Cheese’s 6061 Lone Tree Way 925.240.8405

Color Me Mine 310 Main St suite B 925.251-0202

Contra Costa County: ALAMO

Harvest Park Bowl 5000 Balfour Rd. 925.516.1221 Little Miss Everything 220 Oak St. 925.513.4700

The Best Bead Party 1323 Roundhill Rd 925.818.8062

The Little Gym of Brentwood 3850 Balfour Rd. Suite K 925.634.0034

Color Bundles 220A Alamo Plaza 925.727.3137

Twin Tiger Academy of Self Defense 700 Harvest Park Dr., Suite K 925.513.7591

ANTIOCH Antioch Water Park 4701 Lone Tree Way 925.776.3070

Tumble Time Bus Brentwood, CA 925.392.3215

Antioch Indoor Sports Center 1210 Sunset Dr. 925.778.6363

CONCORD Chuck E. Cheese’s 1611 Willow Pass Road 925.689.2808

Ghost Golf 4383 Clayton Rd 925.521.1913 Gymboree 238 Sunvalley Mall 925.687.3789 Jungle Fun & Adventure 1975 Diamond Blvd. 925.687.4386 Mad Science of Mt. Diablo 1341 Galaxy Way 925.687.1900 Pixieland Amusement Park 2740 East Olivera Rd. 925.689.8841 Pump It Up 1301 Franquette Ave. 925.681.1060 Q-Zar 2295 Willow Pass Rd. 925.521.9663 Sky High Sports 1631 Challenge Dr. 925.682.5867 UFC Gym 1975 Diamond Blvd. 925.265.8130



Birthday Party Guide Kids N’ Dance 3369 Mt. Diablo Blvd 925.284.7388 Kindergym Lafayette Recreation Center 500 Saint Mary’s Rd. 925.284.2232 SewNow! 3534 Golden Gate Way 925.283.7396 Sienna Ranch 3232 Deer Hill Rd. 925.283.6311

Waterworld California 1950 Waterworld Pkwy 925.609.1364

DANVILLE Danville Bowl 200 Boone Ct. 925.837.7272 Next Step Dance Studio Inc. 109 Town and Country Dr. #A 925.831.0777 Studio Grow 3612 Blackhawk Plaza Cir 925.648.7529

LAFAYETTE Andrea’s Musical Adventures 3103 Diablo View Rd. 925.280.7364 Color Me Mine 3541 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 925.299.2615 Indoor Sports Party Lafayette Recreation Center 500 Saint Mary’s Rd. 925.284.19668


Sherman Swim School 1075 Carol Ln. 925.283.2100 The Art Room 50 Lafayette Cir. 925.299.1515

MORAGA Luna Gymnastics 594 Moraga Rd. 925.376.2363 Oakley Pump It Up 5351 Nerloy Rd. 925.978.1420

PLEASANT HILL Irvin Deutcher Family YMCA 350 Civic Dr. 925.687.8900 San Ramon Golden Skate Family Center 2701 Hooper Dr. 925.820.2525 Gymboree Play and Music Center 2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd #110 925.866.8315

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center 180 Market Pl. 925.244.1171 San Ramon Sports 2411 Old Crow Canyon Rd. 925.831.9050

WALNUT CREEK Adventure Day Camp 975 N. San Carlos Dr. 925.937.6500 Lindsay Wildlife Museum 1931 1st Ave. 925.935.1978 My Gym Children’s Fitness Center 2256 Oak Grove Rd 925.952.9791


Explore the organic smorgasbord! Organic Produce Made-from-Scratch Hot Bar with Organic Veggies


ORGANIC goodness at

New Leaf

Fresh, Organic Juices and Smoothies

3550 Bernal Ave., Pleasanton (925) 621-7660 • Open Daily 8am-9pm



your next purchase of $25 or more Not valid with any other discount. One coupon per customer. Coupon must be present at time of purchase. Not redeemable for cash value. Void if duplicated. Enter 12 digits Valid at Pleasanton location only. Expires 10/4/15.


004444444043 New Leaf • 3550 Bernal Ave., Pleasanton


[[ EVENTS PARENTING ] ] 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.”

The Key to Boosting Your Child’s Health and IQ: Your Time by Dr. Gail Gross It’s 7:00 p.m. at the end of another busy day. Between long hours at work, commuting time, shuttling your kids between activities, figuring out dinner, and helping with homework, you’re one very tired parent. You know you need to spend some “quality time” with your children, but you can’t imagine where you will find an extra hour in your day or how you will summon the energy to do so. But what if you knew that carving out some time with your kids could actually boost their IQ by up to 20 percent? And, that “quality time” isn’t necessarily what society is trying to guilt you into thinking it is? In today’s busy world, it’s easy for parents to feel overloaded with the responsibilities of work and parenting. As children get older and become more involved with activities and friends, you may find yourself scrambling to find any semblance of what you believe is “quality time” with your children. 36 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015

[ PARENTING ] Yet, quality time doesn’t have to be as planned out and stressful as you think, and the key for optimal health, growth, and even a potential big boost in your child’s IQ is simply your involvement. You are the key As parents, you are the number one most effective source of stress relief in your child’s life, and that time spent together as a family has a profound impact on your child’s academics. Since the 1980’s, I’ve been studying the effects of parental involvement in school performance and children’s stress levels, and my research shows that academic and social performance in 3 – 17 year olds skyrockets with just small increments of focused time with parents.

a beautiful day, take a walk around the block with your child. Sit on the couch together and read – it doesn’t have to be for a set amount of time or a certain amount of pages. Now here is part that can be tricky for many parents today: the important thing is for you to keep your focus on your child and the single activity at hand. That means turning your phone off and keeping it off, not doing the bills while your child is coloring, and not watching television while your child is reading. I know that finding time, even just a few minutes, is easier said than done for modern families. Balancing work, school, and extra curricular schedules is one set of

What does this mean? It means that you can relinquish the stress that you put upon yourself to turn every single moment with your child into a big “learning” experience production. What you teach your children by simply being with them –being fully present in your time with them – is a valuable lesson that keeps on giving. It means that if you find an opening in your busy afternoon and it’s

challenges; creating mental space for a positive, unstressful experience is another. As busy adults, we have two modes: fast and stop. If parents can hit stop and find just a few minutes to go slowly with their children during these learning windows, the benefits on learning are well worth it.


Start with a Free 3-Day Family Pass* Pleasanton: Fremont: San Jose: Valley Vista: Walnut Creek:

925/271-5475 510/226-1210 408/571-6474 925/478-7339 925/478-7320

*Restrictions apply. Must be a local resident and first-time guest 21 years or older to receive a free family pass. One per household. ID is required. Expires 9/30/15.



Ask a UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Expert by Dr. Gabriela Bronson-Castain Q: When tragic events occur that hit close to home, how much do you tell your children? A: Everyone wants to be able to protect their children, but we also want to try to be honest with our children within their developmental age of understanding. Younger children will not have as clear an understanding of events as an older child - say, 8-12 years old. They will have a very different understanding of traumatic events when they occur. What parents should do is provide them with information that is not overwhelming. Parents should communicate information that is honest and basic. But not more information than is developmentally appropriate. Q: How many details should you share about a tragedy or crime? A: Children do have an understanding that tragic things can happen. We don’t want to avoid talking about these events entirely, but we also don’t need to go into a lot of detail about the circumstances. If there is a crime involving the death of a child, I would not tell a preschool child about any of the specific details, but I might let them know that a child had died. Children 6-8 years old can handle a little more. No matter what the age, when talking about a crime which has occurred, parents should focus on their child’s feelings. Their child could be feeling anxiety, sadness, or fear.

Dr. Gabriela Bronson-Castain, Clinical Director, Emergency Psychological Services, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

Q: Should parents prepare before having these conversations with children? A: As with any important conversation, you should rehearse what you are going to say with someone or at least in your head. Parents may want to sit down and have these conversations by themselves first. It’s important for parents to recognize how they are feeling about an event, so they don’t project their own anxiety or fear onto their children. You want to be clear and talk to children about the ways they can stay safe - talk about how to stay safe physically and way you want them to feel emotionally. Parents might also talk to their children about what to do when something negative feels like it’s going to happen. What kind of impact does social media and other media have on children when tragic events occur? A: Older children are often on their phones, so they can gather information easily. It’s definitely better when information about tragic events comes from parents rather than coming from these media sources. Parents have the capacity to have these conversations with their children, and it’s much better to have this information coming from them. By talking about tragic events with their children, parents provide a space for their children to talk about their feelings. Q: How do parents communicate information about tragedies, especially involving children, without making their own children afraid for themselves? A: It’s important for parents to learn how to help children understand their own intuition and their own ability to trust in themselves. We don’t want them to be scared, but children also need to be able to say when they don’t feel comfortable. We really appreciate when children are polite and thoughtful, but we also need to help them identify when a situation doesn’t feel right anymore. Children surprise us with their intuitive state - their level of emotional maturity. It’s about being able to encourage them to speak to that intution early on.




25% discount off Pl acement fees for Active Family readers!

After School Childcare Because after school care isn’t an after thought. Your child’s day isn’t over when the school bell rings. Our after school nannies are active role models for active children. We’ll fit your family’s schedule, interests and lifestyle.


phone 925.550.6738 web SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 39

[ FAMILY FINANCES ] Brian Damiani is a Certified Financial Planner® and the Owner and Principal of Wealth Management Associates, an independent financial services company. Wealth Management Associates serves over 300 families with comprehensive financial planning services on an ongoing basis. In addition, they also work with over 500 clients through other means including: financial planning, retirement planning, asset management, estate planning, and insurance analysis. In 2008 Transamerica Financial Advisors, Brian’s broker/dealer honored Brian as a member of the coveted Pinnacle Club which recognizes the firm’s top advisors nationwide as well as the Circle of Honor Society, a charitable foundation. In addition, Brian currently ranks in the top 15 advisors out of the 1400 Transamerica Financial advisors nationwide. A 1996 graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Brian earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Brian and his wife, Kate reside in Pleasanton with their three daughters, Julia, Emily and Lauren. In his spare time Brian enjoys coaching his daughters soccer team and skiing. In addition he is an active volunteer and past President of the Pleasanton North Rotary. Currently, he is acting President of the Pleasanton RAGE Girls Soccer Club which serves 1500 girls and families.

Ways to Save for College Comparing & contrasting the potential of some popular vehicles by Brian Damiani How expensive will college be tomorrow? The Department of Education projects that by 2030, the tuition cost of obtaining a four-year degree at a public university will surpass $200,000. Staggering? Indeed, but college is plenty expensive already. In 2012, tuition averaged $15,100 a year at public colleges and $32,900 a year at private colleges.1 A Sallie Mae study finds that today’s students, on average, can only pay for 24% of their college expenses. It is little wonder that student loan debt exceeds credit card debt today.1 How can you start saving to meet those costs today? With interest rates being what they are, don’t look to a garden-variety savings account. Even if current interest rates soon ascend to 2% or 3%, you would be at a disadvantage even if the bank account was large as tuition costs are climbing more significantly than inflation. The message is pretty clear: to meet college costs, you need either a prepaid


[ FAMILY FINANCES ] tuition plan or a savings vehicle that taps into the power of equity investing. Let’s look at some options.

If the market does well, you can harness the power of equity investing through these plans and potentially make a big dent in college costs.2

Prepaid 529 plans. Offered by states and public colleges, these plans let you buy tomorrow’s tuition with today’s dollars. You purchase X dollars of tuition today, and that is guaranteed to pay for an equivalent amount of tuition in the future.

There are two caveats about 529 plans. Should you elect to withdraw money from a 529 plan and use it for nonapproved purposes, that money will be taxed by the IRS as regular income – and you will pay a penalty equal to 10% of the withdrawal amount. 529 balances can also

You can do this in two different ways. Some of these prepaid plans are unit plans, in which you pay for X number of college credits or units now with a promise that the same amount of credits will be covered in the future. In other words, you’re locking in tuition at current rates. As an example, let’s say a year of college at Hypothetical State University requires 36 units. Mom and Dad use a unit plan to pay $7,500 for those 36 units now for their 6-year-old daughter. In turn, the plan promises to pay whatever those 36 units cost when she starts her first semester at Hypothetical State 12 years from now, even though it might be much more.2 The other prepaid 529 plan variant is the contract plan, or guaranteed interest plan. In these prepaid plans, you make a lump sum contribution (or arrange recurring contributions), essentially buying X number of years of tuition. In turn, the plan guarantees to cover this predetermined amount of tuition expenses in the future.2 Usually, beneficiaries of prepaid tuition plans must be residents of the state offering the plan, or prospective students of the college offering the plan. In the wake of the recession, some of these plans are not accepting new investors as some states are worried about underfunding.2,3 529 college savings plans. These state savings plans allow you to invest to build college savings rather than simply prepay them. Plan contributions are typically allocated among different investment classes; the plan’s earnings grow without being taxed. The withdrawals aren’t taxed by the IRS either, as long they pay for qualified education expenses.2

negatively affect a student’s chances for need-based financial aid. In a given school year, that eligibility can be reduced by up 5.64% of your college savings.3 Coverdell ESAs. Originally called Education IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts offer families some added flexibility: the withdrawals may be used to pay for elementary and secondary school expenses, not just college costs. These are tax-deferred investment accounts, like 529 savings plans. Unfortunately, the current annual contribution limit for a Coverdell is $2,000. Any remaining account balance must generally be withdrawn within 30 days after the beneficiary’s 30th birthday, with the earnings portion of the balance being taxable.3,4,5 Roth IRAs. Yes, it is possible to use a Roth IRA as a college savings vehicle. While the IRA’s earnings will be taxed, withdrawals used to pay for qualified college expenses will not be taxed and will face no IRS penalty. Additionally, if your son or daughter doesn’t go to college or comes into some kind of windfall that pays for everything, you end up with a retirement account. While Roth IRA balances don’t whittle away at a student’s chances to get need-based financial aid, the withdrawal amounts do come under the category of untaxed income on the FAFSA.3 Would a trust be worth the expense? Rarely, families set up tax-advantaged trusts for the purpose of college savings. In the classic model, the family is incredibly wealthy and the kids are “trust-fund babies” bound for elite and very expensive schools. Unless you have many children or your family is looking at potentially exorbitant college costs, a trust is probably overdoing it. The college savings vehicles mentioned above may help you save

You can contribute up to six-figure sums to these 529 plans – there’s a lifetime contribution limit that varies per state. Most of them are open to out-of-state residents.

for education expenses just as effectively, all without the administrative bother associated with trusts and the costs of trust creation. SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 41

[ ACTIVE FAMILY ] Adventures in Learning Early Childhood Center



Coaching for the beginner and competitive show rider. CALL NOW FOR MORE INFO:


............................................. Ask for:

Samantha Lazone & Barbara EnDean

Serving students 2 - 6 years Full and part time programs

5111 Dolan Rd, Livermore CA 94551

3200 Hopyard Road | Pleasanton web. tel. 925.462.7123

An Environment for Discovery and Learning for Children For the love of learning since 1972

Come learn about Fountainhead's various programs at our Open Houses Danville Campus: 939 El Pintado Road Wednesday, January 28th 5:30pm-7:30pm Pleasant Hill Campus: 490 Golf Club Road Monday, January 12th 5:00pm-7:00pm Orinda Campus: 30 Santa Maria Way Friday, January 16th 5:00pm-7:00pm

Dublin Campus: 6665 Amador Plaza Road Wednesday, January 21st 6:00pm-8:00pm Pre-K/K Information Night Wednesday, February 4th 5:30pm Livermore Campus: 949 Central Avenue Saturday, January 31st 10:00am-12:00pm

Open Enrollment begins March 2015! Call us today 925-820-1343

Visit us on the web at


For children ages 18 months – Kindergarten



Birthday Parties! For ages 1-6 years.

 Choos e Your Theme !

Spanish Immersion Classes & Camps  Engaging curriculum uses music, art & games

 

 Experienced, dynamic teachers  Ages toddlers to teens   Small class sizes

 

No Clean Up!

r Join us fo g, in ll te s tor y mes a g , rt a , music UN F f & TONS o l! o ñ a sp - in e

Party Suppli es Availa ble!

Personalize your party with fun themes. A Gymboree Play Leader will guide all the fun. Enjoy absolutely no clean up and

Mention ACTIVE FAMILY and receive a FREE first time trial class!

receive a special gift for your child! • 925-962-9177 Lafayette • Pleasanton • And schools all over the Bay Area

NOW ENROLLING FOR FALL 2015 The Growing Room Academy Enrichment Center For Students, Families and the Community Our unique classroom style curriculum is hands on and project based, so every minute of enrichment augments regular school learning. Join us every day or just for the classes you are interested in.

Private Lessons Tutoring Birthday Parties Classes & Workshops Academics Language & Culture Arts & Music Movement



Getting Your Kid Out the Door In the Morning by Dr. Laura Markham “Now that school is back in session and I need to get both kids out the door and myself to work, I’m always running late. No matter how early I get up and get everything prepared the night before, my 4 yr. old is sooo slow and 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.

it is a nightmare…No matter how I phrase the request, “Let’s get our clothes on so we can get something to eat, who can do this faster let’s race, or who wants to be a cheetah or a turtle, do you want to do it or me, pick between these two shirts, etc…he will take the opposite position or just start whining or collapse to the floor…refusing to move, making it virtually impossible for me to help him get dressed which I have to do or else it would take another half hour…He is also very stubborn and will remove all his clothes because he didn’t do it himself…He will say, “I don’t want to get up or pee” even though I know he needs to do these things and he is so slow that I find myself losing it… All the time, I’ve got my 17 mo. old on my hip crying to get downstairs to eat…I want all of us to have as full of a bucket as we can; not a depleted one as is the case by the time we get to school and work.” —Kristina


[ PARENTING ] Sound familiar?

on routinely getting to work fifteen minutes earlier than you’re due. Half the time, you won’t make it but you also

The bad news is, even working as hard as Kristina is

won’t lose your temper at your kids because you won’t

-- offering choices, making it into a game, preparing

actually be late. The other half of the time, you’ll have

the night before -- is no guarantee that things will go

a more relaxed start to your work day so you’ll be more

smoothly. Those things help enormously, but sometimes

effective at work.

the needs of kids and adults simply clash. 4. Prepare the night before. What does a four year old need in the morning? Well,

Backpacks, brief cases, lunches made, clothes laid out,

everyone is different, but most of us need some time to

coffee pot prepared, breakfast planned. Involve kids the

make the transition from sleep into busy activity; most

night before too, so they choose their clothing and find

kids balk at feeling pushed. Most four year olds need

that toy car.

to “do it myself.” Most four year olds want to make their own decision about when their body needs to pee. And

5. Make sure you get five minutes of relaxed snuggle

I’ve never met a four year old who understands why

time with each child as they wake up.

that meeting Mom has to get to is more important than

I know, it sounds impossible. But if everything else is

whether he can find his toy car.

already done, you can relax for five minutes. That time connecting with your child will transform your morning.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if all parents could have flextime,

You fill your child’s cup before the day starts, and you

so there’s more time in the morning for small humans to

re-connect after the separation of the night, which gives

have a more humane start to their day? But that’s not

your child the motivation to cooperate instead of fight

possible for many families.

with you. This is the best way to prevent morning whining and resistance.

So what’s the answer? Re-frame your idea of the morning routine. What if your main job was to connect

6. Use routines to make transitions easier.

emotionally? That way, your child would have a

Kids find transitions hard and the morning is full of

genuinely “full cup.” Not only would he be more ready

transitions. So if getting her out of bed is a challenge,

to cooperate with you, he’d be more able to rise to the

end your morning snuggle by holding hands as you

developmental challenges of his day. How?

go downstairs together, and make that a meaningful connection time for your kid, during which you both

1. Get everyone to bed as early as possible.

come up with something you’re grateful for, or something

If you have to wake your kids in the morning, they aren’t

you’re looking forward to today. (Naturally, yours will

getting enough sleep. Every hour of sleep less than they

relate to your child.)

need sets them back a year in access to brain function, meaning they act a year younger.

7. Realize that kids need your help to move through the routine.

2. Get yourself to bed earlier.

If your goal is to give your child a good start to his day,

If you have to use an alarm, you aren’t getting enough

then you need to see your job as helping him move

sleep. (Sorry.) The morning routine requires infinite

through the morning routine happily, not just barking

creativity and energy from parents. Your kids depend

orders. That might mean you bring his clothes downstairs

on you to start your own day with a “full cup.” There’s no

with you and he gets dressed next to you while you’re

way to stay patient when you’re exhausted.

feeding the baby so you can acknowledge him: “I notice you picked your blue shirt again. You like that shirt....

3. Build in extra time.

You’re working so hard on figuring out which shoe goes

Get up earlier than your kids so you’re dressed and

on which foot...Today you’re humming while you get

emotionally centered before you interact with them. Plan

dressed.” Remember, getting dressed is your priority, not SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 45

[ PARENTING ] his. Your presence is what motivates him. He’s borrowing

him in fantasy what he can’t have in reality. You may

your “executive functioning” to keep himself on track.

learn something about how to make things work better. Almost certainly, you’ll see more understanding and

8. Keep the routine as simple as possible.

cooperation from your kid on Monday. At the very least,

So, for instance, you may want to rethink breakfast. I

the laughter will defuse the tension.

know, you want to serve your child a hot breakfast at the table. Me too. But I have one kid who just wasn’t ready to eat as soon as she got up, so there were times when she regularly ate a sandwich in the car. No less healthy, more peaceful -- a better start to the day. Worried about brushing teeth? I handed her a

11. Ruthlessly prioritize. If both parents are working full time while children are small, there is simply no way to do anything “extra” during the week. This is the only way you can go to bed early enough to stay in a good mood in the morning.

toothbrush and sippy cup of water after her sandwich.

And your child depends on your good mood to regulate

No toothpaste in the mornings for a few months. If you

her own moods. Don’t worry, these years don’t last

consider that too much of a compromise, you’ll need

forever. You’re laying a wonderful foundation for her to

to find a solution that works for you, but my point is that

take more and more charge of her own morning routine.

there are no rules. Why can’t they sleep in the tee-shirt

Modern life puts pressures on kids and parents that

and leggings they’ll wear to school? Why can’t you just

undermine our connection to our kids. But we need that

put her hair in a ponytail instead of brushing it, or let her

connection to smooth the speed bumps of life. Our kids

sleep with it in a braid?

need it, not only to cooperate, but to thrive. Luckily, when

9. Give Choices. No one likes to be pushed around. Does he want to brush

we make connection our priority, everything else gets a little bit easier.

his teeth standing on the stool at the kitchen sink while you’re getting the baby out of the high chair, or upstairs in the bathroom? Does she want to put her shoes on first, or her jacket on first? Cede control whenever you can.

Before and after School Care For students entering TK to 5th grade in PUSD

You may think he should use the bathroom as soon as he gets out of bed, but he wants to be in charge of his own body. As long as he’s not wetting his pants, you can probably let him make that decision for himself. 10. Play it out. Sometime on the weekend, grab a mom and baby stuffed animal. Have them act out the morning routine. Have the little one resist, whine, collapse. Have the mom “lose it” (but don’t scare your child by overdoing it. Have the mom be a funny, incompetent bumbler.) Your child will be fascinated. Then, hand your kid the “mom” and play out the scenario again, with you being the kid. Make it funny so you can both giggle and let off tension. Make sure to include scenarios in which the kid goes to school in his pjs, or the mom goes to work in her pjs, or the kid has to yell at the mom to hurry up and get ready, or the mom says “Who cares about that meeting? Let’s tell the boss it’s more important to find your toy car!” Give 46 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015

Program includes:  Meals and snacks  Drop off and pick up from school  Classes such as Karate, Spanish, SPARK PE, Art and Science  Homework support  Open teacher work days and most vacations  Drop off and pick up from most schools

3200 Hopyard Road | Pleasanton | tel. 925.462.7123



Education is a Lifelong Commitment

Discover Quarry Lane

NOW ENROLLING Learn more at:

Join Our Open House Every Wednesday 8:30 am - 12:00 pm Infant, Toddler, Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Academic-Based Curriculum Nurturing, Safe Learning Environment Passionate, Experienced Educators PLEASANTON WEST CAMPUS Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten 4444B Black Ave., Pleasanton, CA


Full and Half Day Schedules Handwriting Without Tears Computer, Spanish, Music, P.E., and Library Two Preschool Campuses in Pleasanton

PLEASANTON EAST CAMPUS Infant through Pre-Kindergarten 3750 Boulder St., Pleasanton, CA


SEPTEMBER CA Licenses: 013411303, 013411304, 013411305, 013417681

2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 47


solutions for

ADD/ ADHD Did you know there are non-drug based options to help your child: • Improve focus and attention • Reduce impulsivity • Improve reading rate, comprehension and accuracy • Improve listening skills • Learn how to filter out distractions

Research has proven that attention and focus are skills that can be taught, and that the brain can learn these skills. And furthermore, once mastered these results are sustained and do not deteriorate with time. Our techniques have been proven in hundreds of clinics, universities and research facilities worldwide over the past 30 years, and have long-term sustained results – without the negative side-effects like those often seen in children who have been medicated. These safe, non-invasive and fun techniques help retrain your child’s brain so it is able to focus, learn and thrive.

We specialize in solutions for the symptoms of: • • • • • • • •

ADD/ADHD Learning Disorders/Dyslexia Auditory Processing Anxiety Depression Autism and Aspergers Brain Injury PTSD

Call us today. You will see measurable results – guaranteed!

925.837.1100 San Ramon 408.740.3100 Los Gatos The State of California has determined that these treatments are alternative or supplemental to medications, and as such, providers are not doctors.

Profile for Active Family Magazine

Active Family September 2015  

Active Family September 2015  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded