Getting Your Kid Out the Door In the Morning
The Key to Boosting Your Child’s Health & IQ: YOUR TIME
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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
32 [ WOMEN & RELATIONSHIPS ]
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
[ EVENTS ]
Bribes, Rewards, and Praise: Am I inadvertently Raising a Master Manipulator?
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
[ FAMILY FINANCES ]
Ways to Save for College
22 September Calendar
Labor Day Weekend Fun
Are You a Risk to Your Child’s Success?
18 4 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
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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! www.facebook.com/ activefamilymag. As always, we wish you all the patience, love and understanding to conquer the school year ahead! Tracie Brown Vollgraf Editor email@example.com
6 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ ACTIVE FAMILY ]
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[ 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: www.micheleborba.com 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
8 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ 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.
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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!
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SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 9
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
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
10 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
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
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
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
SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 11
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
Park Guide MARTINEZ
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
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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
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SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 13
[ PARENTING ]
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, TIME.com, MSN.com, 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
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[ 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.
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[ PARENTING ]
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. www.betsybrownbraun.com
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.
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[ 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!
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Here are some tips for dealing with Whyyyyy?
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
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
Labor Day Weekend Fun Alameda County SEPTEMBER 6
34th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration Livermore Valley Wine County Livermore 12:00pm – 5:00pm www.lvwine.org
SEPTEMBER 7 Labor Day Open House Crab Cove Visitor Center Alameda 10:00am – 4:00pm www.ebparks.org
20 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
Labor Day Picnic Alameda Point Park Alameda 11:30 am – 4:30pm www.calaborfed.org
[ SEASONAL FUN ] SEPTEMBER 5 & 6 Bacon Festival of America Plaza de Cesar Chavez San Jose 12:00pm – 7:00pm www.baconfestival2014.sched.org 45th Annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival Broadway Avenue Millbrae 10:00am – 5:00pm www.millbrae.miramarevents.com
SEPTEMBER 5 - 7 Contra Costa SEPTEMBER 5 Clayton Derby & Car Show Downtown Clayton 7:00am – 1:00pm www.claytonderbycarshow.org
SEPTEMBER 5 - 7 Playland Not-At-The-Beach San Pablo Ave El Cerrito 10:00am – 5:00pm www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org
SEPTEMBER 7 Labor Day BBQ Water Front Park Martinez 11:00am – 3:00pm www.cademregion2.com
Gilroy Gardens Labor Day BBQ South County Picnic Grove Gilroy 12:00pm – 2:00pm www.gilroygardens.org Sausalito Art Festival Marinship Park Sausalito 10:00am – 7:00pm www.sausalitoartfestival.org
SEPTEMBER 6 Farallon Islands Sail Sausalito Yacht Harbor Sausalito 7:30am – 4:30pm www.schoonerfredab.com
Art and Antique Faire Railroad Ave Danville 9:00am – 3:00pm www.danville.ca.gov
Worth the Drive SEPTEMBER 4 Pre-Labor Day Breakfast San Francisco Labor Council San Francisco 8:00am – 10:00am www.sflaborcouncil.org
SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 21
[ WOMEN & RELATIONSHIPS ]
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:// www.huffingtonpost.com/ divorce/ and write about dating, divorce, parenting a teenager, and life in search of the next shoe sale at my blog roundandroundrosie.com. 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.
22 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ 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
[ EVENTS ]
September Alameda County SEPTEMBER 1 & 2 LEGO Mini Model Build The Lego Store Pleasanton 5:00pm – 6:00pm www.stores.lego.com
SEPTEMBER 2 1st Wednesday Street Party Main Street Pleasanton 6:00pm – 9:00pm www.pleasantondowntown.net
SEPTEMBER 3 Sing – Along Cinema Ferry Lawn Oakland 7:30pm www.jacklondonsquare.com
SEPTEMBER 3, 10, 17, & 24 Summer Thursdays Valley Children’s Museum Dublin 4:00m – 8:00pm www.valleychildrensmuseum.org
SEPTEMBER 4 Pajama Night Café Art Dublin Dublin 6:30 – 9:30 www.ceramic-cafeart.com Zoovie Night Oakland Zoo Oakland 6:00pm – 9:00pm www.oaklandzoo.org
SEPTEMBER 4, 11, 18 & 25
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to our weekly email blast for more events!
Rockin’ Fridays Rockin’ Jump Dublin 9:00pm – 11:00pm www.dublin.rockinjump.com Open Gym Edge Gymnastics Training Center Dublin 7:00pm – 8:30pm www.edge-gymnastics.com
24 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
SEPTEMBER 18 - 20
150th Scottish Highland Gathering & Games Alameda County Fairgrounds Pleasanton 8:00am – 6:30pm www.thescottishgames.com
Pleasanton Harvest Festival Alameda County Fairgrounds Pleasanton 10:00am – 6:00pm www.harvestfestival.com
Free Guided Walking Tours Jack London Square Waterfront Oakland 10:00am www.jacklondonsquare.com
SEPTEMBER 5, 12, 19, & 26 Sizzling Saturdays Main Street Pleasanton 6:00pm – 9:00pm www.pleasantondowntown.net
SEPTEMBER 6 Free First Sunday Oakland Museum Oakland 10:00am – 6:00pm www.museumca.org
SEPTEMBER 7 LABOR DAY
SEPTEMBER 8 – 30 Drop-In Hours at Play Well 5737 Valley Ave Pleasanton 12:00pm – 7:00pm www.play-well.org
SEPTEMBER 12 Children’s Fair 4444 East Ave. Livermore 10:00am – 4:00pm www.larpd.org
SEPTEMBER 18 Creating Hope for Chimpanzees Oakland Zoo Oakland 6:30 – 9:00pm www.oaklandzoo.org
Eat Real Jack London Square Oakland Various Times www.eatrealfest.com
SEPTEMBER 19 Art on the Green Livermore Valley Plaza Livermore 2:00pm – 5:00pm www.livermoreartassociation.org Super Saturdays Valley Children’s Museum Dublin 11:00am – 3:00pm www.valleychildrensmuseum.org
SEPTEMBER 20 Oakland on Two Wheels Oakland Museum Oakland 10:00am www.museumca.org Sunday Baby Bounce Fremont Main Library Fremont 3:30pm – 4:15pm www.aclibrary.org
SEPTEMBER 22 Restaurant & Shoppe Walk Downtown Pleasanton Pleasanton 6:00pm – 9:00pm www.pleasantondowntown.net
SEPTEMBER 25 Free Harbor Tours USS Potomac Oakland 3:00pm – 7:00pm www.portofoakland.com
[ EVENTS ]
September SEPTEMBER 26
Parents Night Off Oakland Zoo Oakland 5:30pm – 10:00pm www.oaklandzoo.org
Family Campout Emerald Glen Park Dublin 3:00pm – 10:00am www.ci.dublin.ca.us
Danville d’Elegance Downtown Danville Danville 11:00am – 4:00pm www.danville.ca.gov
7th Annual Walk 4 Education American Swim Academy Livermore 9:00am – 12:00pm www.americanswim.wix.com/lvef
11th Annual Orinda Classic Car Show 63 Orinda Way Orinda 10:00am – 3:00pm www.orindaassociation.org
SEPTEMBER 24 – 27
Contra Costa SEPTEMBER 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Off the Grid Walnut Creek Downtown Walnut Creek 5:00pm – 9:00pm www.walnutcreekdowntown.com
Mount Diablo Astronomical Society Clayton Library Clayton 7:00pm – 9:00pm www.ccclib.org
Build a Football Toss Game Home Depot San Ramon 9:00am – 12:00pm www.homedepot.com
Free Friday Lindsay Wildlife Experience Walnut Creek 10:00am – 5:00pm www.lindsaywildlife.org
First Thursday Shop Local Downtown Hartz Ave Danville 10:00am – 7:00pm www.danville.ca.gov
Walnut Festival Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek Various Times www.thewalnutfestival.org/walnutfestival.html
Out of Area SEPTEMBER 27 Swim Across America Little Marina Green San Francisco 12:00am www.swimacrossamerica.org
All Aboard the Diablo Valley Lines Larkey Park Walnut Creek 11:00am – 6:00pm www.wcmrs.org
LABOR DAY Art and Antique Faire Railroad Ave Danville 9:00am – 3:00pm www.danville.ca.gov
SEPTEMBER 10 Free Movie Night Orinda Theatre Orinda 7:00pm www.lamorindatheatres.com
Walnut Festival Twilight Parade Downtown Walnut Creek Walnut Creek 6:00pm www.thewalnutfestival.org/walnutfestival.html
SEPTEMBER 19 – 20 Lafayette Art & Wine Festival Downtown Lafayette Lafayette Various Times www.lafayettefestival.com
SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 25
[ PARENTING ]
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.
26 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ 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
[ PARENTING ]
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, MSN.com, 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
28 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ 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
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
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OUR MISSION is to provide dream room makeovers to children with life-threatening illnesses. Our
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ROOMS OF HOPE
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
SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 31
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
Birthday Party Guide Alameda County: BERKELEY Berkeley City Ballet 1800 Dwight Way 510.841.8913 www.berkeleycityballet.org Dance Out Loud 2800 Park St. 510.301.5073 www.dancingloud.wordpress.com Kids ‘N’ Clay Pottery Studio 809 Allston Way 510.845.0982 www.kidsnclay.com Lawrence Hall of Science 1 Centennial Dr. 510.642.5132 www.lawrencehallofscience.org Habitot Children’s Museum 2065 Kittredge St. 510.647.1111 www.habitot.org Studio Grow 1235 10th St. 510.526.9888 www.studiogrow.com
CASTRO VALLEY Castro Valley Bowl 3501 Village Dr. 510.538.8100 www.castrovillagebowl.net
DUBLIN Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl 6750 Regional St. 925.828.7550 www.earlanthonysdublinbowl.com East Bay SPCA 4651 Gleason Dr. 925.479.9670 www.eastbayspca.org Iceland Dublin 7212 San Ramon Rd. 925.829.4444 www.dubliniceland.com Rockin’ Jump 5875 Arnold Rd 925.828.7676 www.dublin.rockinjump.com
32 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
Café Art 7197 Village Pkwy #B 925.829.7778 www.ceramic-cafeart.com
Parti Palooza 6253 Southfront Rd. 925.245.9913 www.partipalooza.com
Zone Laser Tag 7102 Dublin Blvd. 925.230-2923 http://zonelazer-px.rtrk.com
Springtime Tumbling & Trampoline 5715 Southfront Rd. 925.456.0110 www.tumblingandtrampoline.com
FREMONT Aqua Adventure 40500 Paeso Padre Pkwy 510.494.4426 www.goaquaadventure.com
Umigo Racing 6538 Patterson Pass Rd. 925.373.7223 www.umigoracing.com
City Beach 4020 Technology Pl. 510.651.2500 www.citybeach.com
Century Theaters at Pacific Commons 43917 Pacific Commons Blvd. 510.651.2859 www.cinemark.com
Chabot Space & Science Center 1000 Skyline Blvd. 510.336.7300 www.chabotspace.org Children’s Fairyland 699 Bellevue Ave. 510.452.2259 www.fairyland.org
Boomers! 2400 Kitty Hawk Rd. 925.447.7275 www.boomersparks.com
Glitter and Razz 5951 College Ave. 510.654.7166 www.gogirlsblog.com
Café Art 1971 Second St. 925.373.0222 www.cafeart-livermore.com
Oakland Zoo 9777 Golf Links Rd. 510.632.9525 www.oaklandzoo.org
California Gymnastics Academy 180 Wright Brothers Ave. 925.245.0331
Fire Stations 4 Hire 480 Preston Ct. 925.290.7550 www.firestations4hire.com Granada Bowl 1620 Railroad Ave. 925.447.5600 www.granadabowl.com Horizons East Equestrian Center 5111 Doolan Rd. 925.960.9696 www.showstables.com
Dolores Bengston Aquatic Center 4455 Black Ave. 925.931.3420 www.cityofpleasantonca.gov Build-A-Bear Workshop 1 Stoneridgemall Rd. 925.398.2281 www.buildabear.com ClubSport 7090 Johnson Dr. 925.463.2822 www.clubsports.com Gymboree Play & Music 5460 Sunol Blvd. #9 925.249.0006 www.gymboreeclasses.com
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
Birthday Party Guide High Touch High Tech of the Bay Area 1807 Santa Rita Rd. 408.982.6710 www.sciencemadefunsfba.net Play-Well Pleasanton 5737 Valley Ave. #B 925.484.1547 www.play-well.org
Delta Bowl 3300 Delta Fair Blvd 925.757.5424 www.deltabowl.net
Diablo Rock Gym 1220 Diamond Way #140 925.602.1000
Paradise Skate Roller Rink 1201 W. 10th St. 925.779.0200 www.paradiseskate.com
Diablo Valley Bowl 1500 Monument Blvd. 925.671.0913 www.dvbowl.com
Encore Gymnastics 999 Bancroft Rd. 925.932.1033 www.encoregym.com
Pump It Up 530 Boudler Ct. #100 925.600.9663 www.pumpitupparty.com
Black Diamond Kids Center 2015 Elkins Way 925.516.6619
Super Franks 5341 Owens Ct. 925.271.5880 www.superfranks.com
Bricks 4 Kidz 3150 Balfour Rd., Suite C 925.684.4082 www.bricks4kidz.com
West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy 1056 Serpentine Ln., Suite A 925.846.1010 www.wcoga.com
Chuck E. Cheese’s 6061 Lone Tree Way 925.240.8405 www.chuckecheese.com
Color Me Mine 310 Main St suite B 925.251-0202 www.pleasanton.colormemine.com
Contra Costa County: ALAMO
Harvest Park Bowl 5000 Balfour Rd. 925.516.1221 www.harvestparkbowl.com Little Miss Everything 220 Oak St. 925.513.4700 www.littlemisseverything.com
The Best Bead Party 1323 Roundhill Rd 925.818.8062 www.thebestbeadparty.com
The Little Gym of Brentwood 3850 Balfour Rd. Suite K 925.634.0034 www.thelittlegym.com
Color Bundles 220A Alamo Plaza 925.727.3137 www.colorbundles.com
Twin Tiger Academy of Self Defense 700 Harvest Park Dr., Suite K 925.513.7591 www.twintigersacademy.com
ANTIOCH Antioch Water Park 4701 Lone Tree Way 925.776.3070 www.ci.antioch.ca.us
Tumble Time Bus Brentwood, CA 925.392.3215 www.tumbletimefun.com
Antioch Indoor Sports Center 1210 Sunset Dr. 925.778.6363 www.aiscsports.com
CONCORD Chuck E. Cheese’s 1611 Willow Pass Road 925.689.2808 www.chuckecheese.com
Ghost Golf 4383 Clayton Rd 925.521.1913 www.ghostgolfconcord.com Gymboree 238 Sunvalley Mall 925.687.3789 www.gymboree.com Jungle Fun & Adventure 1975 Diamond Blvd. 925.687.4386 www.thejunglefun.com Mad Science of Mt. Diablo 1341 Galaxy Way 925.687.1900 www.mtdiablo.madscience.org Pixieland Amusement Park 2740 East Olivera Rd. 925.689.8841 www.pixieland.com Pump It Up 1301 Franquette Ave. 925.681.1060 www.pumpitupparty.com Q-Zar 2295 Willow Pass Rd. 925.521.9663 www.q-zar.com Sky High Sports 1631 Challenge Dr. 925.682.5867 www.jumpskyhigh.com UFC Gym 1975 Diamond Blvd. 925.265.8130 www.ufcgym.com
SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 33
[ SEASONAL FUN ]
Birthday Party Guide Kids N’ Dance 3369 Mt. Diablo Blvd 925.284.7388 www.kidsndance.com Kindergym Lafayette Recreation Center 500 Saint Mary’s Rd. 925.284.2232 www.ci.lafayette.ca.us SewNow! 3534 Golden Gate Way 925.283.7396 www.sewnow.com Sienna Ranch 3232 Deer Hill Rd. 925.283.6311 www.siennaranch.net
Waterworld California 1950 Waterworld Pkwy 925.609.1364 www.waterworldcalifornia.com
DANVILLE Danville Bowl 200 Boone Ct. 925.837.7272 www.danvillebowl.com Next Step Dance Studio Inc. 109 Town and Country Dr. #A 925.831.0777 www.nextstepdance.com Studio Grow 3612 Blackhawk Plaza Cir 925.648.7529 www.studiogrow.com
LAFAYETTE Andrea’s Musical Adventures 3103 Diablo View Rd. 925.280.7364 www.musicwithandrea.com Color Me Mine 3541 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 925.299.2615 www.lafayette.colormemine.com Indoor Sports Party Lafayette Recreation Center 500 Saint Mary’s Rd. 925.284.19668 www.lovelafayette.org
34 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
Sherman Swim School 1075 Carol Ln. 925.283.2100 www.shermanswim.com The Art Room 50 Lafayette Cir. 925.299.1515 www.theart-room.com
MORAGA Luna Gymnastics 594 Moraga Rd. 925.376.2363 www.lunagymnastics.com Oakley Pump It Up 5351 Nerloy Rd. 925.978.1420 www.pumpitupparty.com
PLEASANT HILL Irvin Deutcher Family YMCA 350 Civic Dr. 925.687.8900 www.ymca-cba.org San Ramon Golden Skate Family Center 2701 Hooper Dr. 925.820.2525 www.thegoldenskate.com Gymboree Play and Music Center 2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd #110 925.866.8315 www.gymboreeclasses.com
My Gym Children’s Fitness Center 180 Market Pl. 925.244.1171 www.mygym.com San Ramon Sports 2411 Old Crow Canyon Rd. 925.831.9050 www.sanramonsports.com
WALNUT CREEK Adventure Day Camp 975 N. San Carlos Dr. 925.937.6500 www.adventuredaycamp.com Lindsay Wildlife Museum 1931 1st Ave. 925.935.1978 www.wildlife-museum.org My Gym Children’s Fitness Center 2256 Oak Grove Rd 925.952.9791 www.mygym.com
[ ACTIVE FAMILY ]
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SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 35
[[ 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.” www.drgailgross.com
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.
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SEPTEMBER 2015 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 37
[ PARENTING ]
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.
38 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ ACTIVE FAMILY ]
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[ 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
40 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ 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
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[ PARENTING ]
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 AhaParenting.com, 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
44 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | SEPTEMBER 2015
[ 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 | www.ailpleasanton.com tel. 925.462.7123
[ ACTIVE FAMILY ]
Education is a Lifelong Commitment
Discover Quarry Lane
NOW ENROLLING Learn more at: www.QuarryLane.org/Preschool
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
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