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Kids in Crisis
Trick-or-Treat New, safe drive-thrus
COVID-19 vs. Flu How they differ
Fact or Fiction? Scientific literacy
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Every Issue 6
Bits and Pieces What’s in a Knight’s Closet?
Tap into Great Pumpkin Magic Trunk-or-Treating Gets a Makeover
See Local Live Music Online Make a Mess Birth a Foodie
10 Trial by Fire Expert advice for kids in crisis.
12 COVID-19 vs. Flu How to tell them apart.
14 Dental Care in a Pandemic Shifts make safety a priority.
16 Colors of the World How to talk about race with kids.
18 Science Says… Help kids figure out fact from fiction.
20 Toddler Talk
Get a Free Flu Vaccine & Emergency Kit
24 Calendar of Events Find safe trunk-or-treats and drive-thrus.
26 Crafting with Kids A Crafty Halloween
28 Humor Break No More Potty Training
29 Cooking with Kids Veggie Gold
Creative ways to teach words.
22 Love Your Pets
9 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife
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etween the pandemic and wildfires, it has not been an easy year for local families. Kids, especially, need Sharon Gowan help coping, and Publisher/Editor local psychiatrist Sharon@family-life.us Anish Shah is here to help. Read his “Trial by Fire” (page 10) for advice on how to make sure little ones feel safe. COVID-19 continues to make all of us feel on edge, with many wondering how to celebrate Halloween. Local groups are working with county health departments to put on safe celebrations like drive-thru trick-or-treating and socially distanced pumpkin picking. Look in our Bits and Pieces section (pages 8 and 9) and in our Calendar of Events (page 24) for details. Besides these events, there is
also plenty of fun to be had at home. Check out “A Crafty Halloween” (page 26) for creative projects, and a great recipe for pumpkin pancakes. This season of sweets can be hard on teeth. And, in this time of COVID, many are afraid to even step foot in a dentist’s office. Our interview with Petaluma Dental Group offers insight into procedures local dental care providers are implementing in order to ensure patient safety. See “Dental Care in a Pandemic” (page 14) to learn more. Whatever your concerns are, try to make room for laughter. The humor piece “No More Potty Training” (page 28) may be just the ticket. Have a safe and delightful Halloween!
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Bits & Pieces
What’s in a Knight’s Closet?
mong the skills one may need for the new millennium, knowing how to put on armor is probably not one of them. But the archaic nature of the task makes it all the more fun to learn, especially for teens interested in medieval history. They can check out the Living History Live Facebook video “High Medieval Armor featuring the Turnip of Terror” to learn how to fashion chain mail to their chests and why putting on armor isn’t an easy one-person job. Find the video at tinyurl.com/y6jedhkf or go to facebook. com/livinghistorylive/ and click on the Videos tab. ¶
Trunk-or-Treating Gets a Makeover
Tap into Great Pumpkin Magic
atching the Peanuts 1966 animated television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a Halloween ritual for many families. And the Charles M. Schulz Museum
adds to the Great Pumpkin magic with art classes that teach kids how to draw some of the show’s main characters: Charlie Brown in his bed-sheet ghost costume, Lucy in her witch’s hat and mask, and Snoopy as the WW1 Flying Ace. For more than 15 years, class instructor Robert Pope has specialized in bringing many characters to the comic book page, including Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, Batman, and others; and he has contributed to several of the new Peanuts comic books. The How to Draw Peanuts Halloween event will meet via Zoom on October 29, 4–5 p.m., and costs $15. Register at tinyurl.com/y3cfwuhr or by calling 284-1272. ¶ 8 MendoLakeFamilyLife
alloween is not dead. At least not at the Moose Lodge in Clearlake Oaks. The nonprofit is instituting COVID-19 safety protocols—social distancing, hand sanitizing, and masking—to make sure that its annual trunk-or-treat and haunted house go on. The free trunk-or-treat will be held in the Lodge parking lot on October 31 from 5 p.m. until the treats run out. Expect some creative goodie-distribution techniques, such as candy sliding down a big PVC pipe into waiting cupped hands, or volunteers distributing treats with tongs. At the haunted house, only small numbers of masked individuals will be allowed in at any one time. The haunt will be held on October 23–24 and 30–31, 6:30–9 p.m.; admission is $3 per person. ¶
October 2020 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
See Local Live Music Online
he pandemic has hurt the live music scene. But the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park isn’t giving up, holding concerts online for the duration. Check out Jiji’s acoustic guitar performance on October 11 at 3 p.m.; Las Cafeteras genre-bending son jarocho -based music on October 15 at 7 p.m.; and Invoke’s fiddling on October 24 at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, on October 22 at 7 p.m., Michael Mwenso, of Mwenso & the Shakes, will hold a talk on racism in music, as part of his Black Music Series. Tickets for all these events are $10 and available at gmc.sonoma.edu. ¶
Make a Mess
ibrarians may seem to be a generally quiet, orderly lot. But they still know how to make loud messes. Take the staff of Mendocino County libraries. Every week they put down the books, pick up scissors and rulers, and hold Make It. Own It. Work It., an online workshop for DIY home, garden, and wardrobe projects. Check it out on Tuesdays, 2:30–3 p.m., via Facebook live video: facebook.com/willitslibrary. ¶
Birth a Foodie
s kids mature, they may show an interest (we hope) in learning how to cook for themselves. But what to make? Virtual Foodie Finds for Teens gives them plenty of options. The live Instagram class, which happens every Thursday at 4 p.m., teaches kids how to make a different savory or sweet dish every week. Sponsored by the Ukiah Library and aimed at ages 12–18, the free classes are accessible via @ thehideoutteens_ mendolibrary. Find out more at mendolibrary.org. ¶
Get a Free Flu Vaccine & Emergency Kit
or anyone who has ever wanted to take a spin on Lake County Fairgrounds’ racetrack, now is your chance. Just attend the Heroes of Health and Safety Fair. At the COVID-friendly version of this annual event, car-bound participants will cruise around the track to receive drive-thru services, including flu vaccines, emergency preparedness go-bags, and SafeRX Narcan training and Narcan kits. The free fair will be held on October 10, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. See tinyurl.com/y2seuehv for more info. ¶
Be affectionate and allow for emotional expression. Affection can be exceptionally comforting to children experiencing trauma. And giving them space to express their feelings is essential. Younger children can often best express their feelings through non-verbal activities, such as drawing or painting. These activities are not only excellent ways to
Trial by Fire How to Help Kids Cope with Crisis
By Anish Shah
etween the pandemic and wildfires, this year has been extremely difficult for local families. Children are especially vulnerable to experiencing stress and anxiety during these trying times. They may demonstrate behavior more typical of younger children, have nightmares, and lag behind in schoolwork. Some may become more irritable in dealing with adults and their friends, while others may experience loneliness and become withdrawn. No matter what symptoms your children are manifesting, here are ways to help them cope.
Give them time and attention. Let children know that you are there for them. This is especially important during the first few months following a disaster like a wildfire. Some children may regress into earlier behaviors, such 10 MendoLakeFamilyLife
as bed-wetting or wanting a bottle, while older children may not want to be alone. Children younger than eight may also blame themselves for the event. It essential to tell them it is not their fault and assuage any feelings of guilt they may harbor.
Affection can be exceptionally comforting to children experiencing trauma. relieve stress but also allow them to engage in social activities with other children and adults. For older children, just talking about how they feel about the wildfires may decrease anxiety and confusion. Assure your children that you are always available to help them manage their emotional problems. Restore a sense of order. Maintain regular schedules for meals, play, and bedtime. Reduce news viewing. For both children and adults alike, excess information about the wildfires can trigger traumatizing memories and, therefore, should be kept to a minimum. Expect separation anxiety. Damage to home and community can threaten childrenâ€™s sense of safety and normalcy, and, in younger children especially, may trigger separation anxiety. Expect behaviors such as excessive clinging, crying, screaming, and
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mendo lake fear of the dark. Helping children communicate their fears and telling them you will always be there for them will help them cope. Resume classroom routines. Reading, working on projects, and participation in social, school, and community-rebuilding activities can help reduce children’s stress.
Excess information about the wildfires should be kept to a minimum. Attend to sleep issues. Some children may have difficulty falling asleep after going through a disaster. Stuffed animals, soft blankets, and flashlights by their beds can help. Also try spending more time with them before they go to sleep and perhaps reading to them before bed. Empower them. Combat children’s feelings of helplessness by writing thank-you letters to first responders and other people who have helped. Such an activity can help restore a sense of hope and control over the situation. ¶ Dr. Anish Shah, M.D., founded Siyan Clinical Research in 2016 in Santa Rosa. He specializes in a wide range of mood disorders, including depression, ADHD, PTSD, substance abuse, and schizophrenia. In 2019, he launched Project Hope (hopemat.org), aimed at reducing opioid dependence in Northern California, including Marin, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino Counties. For more information or to request help, contact the clinic at 206-7268 (ext. 1). Find more details about Siyan Clinical Corporation at SiyanClinical.com.
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Lowering your chances of getting flu is even more important during the pandemic, when an already-weak immune system or flu complications could make you or your loved ones more vulnerable to COVID-19. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot by the end of October. Have I been exposed to anyone who tested positive? Testing is available to diagnose COVID-19 and flu. If you had
COVID-19 vs. Flu How to Tell the Difference Between the Two
ith businesses and workplaces returning to a “new normal,” you may not have as much control over your COVID-19 exposure risks as you did during quarantine. However, even though a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available, getting the flu vaccine is one thing you can do to take control of your health and reduce the chances that you will become ill during the upcoming flu season.
COVID-19 and flu symptoms are similar, so it may be difficult to tell which virus you have. Here are questions to ask yourself to determine whether COVID-19 or flu caused your symptoms, as well as some advice on what you should do if you become ill. What are my symptoms? Many symptoms of COVID-19 and flu overlap. Common symptoms of both illnesses include: fever, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain or aches, headache, and vomiting or 12 MendoLakeFamilyLife
diarrhea (more common among kids). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one symptom of COVID-19 that’s not usually present with flu is a new loss of taste or smell. Did I get a flu shot? CDC research estimates that the flu vaccine usually reduces the risk of getting the flu by 4–60 percent. Getting the flu shot doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get the flu, but it does decrease your chances of infection and could prevent complications if you do get sick.
COVID-19 has a longer incubation period than flu. close contact with someone who had a positive test for one of these viruses, it increases your chances of contracting the same illness. How long did it take for symptoms to develop after exposure? COVID-19 has a longer incubation period than flu. Flu symptoms typically develop one to four days after infection, while COVID-19 symptoms can develop anywhere from two to 14 days after infection. This information could be helpful if you have a known exposure to someone who tested positive for one of these illnesses. What should I do if I get sick? If you come down with symptoms and aren’t sure whether they are caused by COVID-19 or flu, the first thing you should do is quarantine yourself. Stay home and avoid contact with other members of your household. If you’re concerned about your symptoms or if you are at high risk of complications from COVID-19 or flu,
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means staying at least six feet away from non-household members when in public. Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
you should contact your health-care clinician. If you have emergency symptoms—such as difficulty breathing, chest pressure, confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, or blue lips or face—call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. What can I do to protect my family and reduce the risk of possible exposure to COVID-19 and flu? Just as COVID-19 and flu have similar symptoms, the same prevention measures apply for both viruses. Limit possible exposure to COVID-19 and flu. The best way to reduce the risk of getting a contagious disease is to limit possible exposure to it. Limit group gatherings and practice social distancing, which
One symptom of COVID-19 that’s not usually present with flu is a new loss of taste or smell. Practice proper hygiene. We know COVID-19 and flu both primarily spread from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, so it’s important that we all practice proper hygiene: • Cover your coughs and sneezes with the bend of your arm.
• Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds at a time. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth) with your hands. • When greeting people, avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing. • Regularly clean often-touched surfaces with disinfectant. Wear a facemask in public. Masks curtail the spread of not only COVID-19, but also flu. Avoid masks with a valve because these only offer protection for those wearing the mask and not others. ¶ Content provided by Nuvance Health, nuvancehealth.org.
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Patients and the staff wear PPE (personal protection equipment) and social distancing protocols have been instituted. In addition, the lobby has been cleared of magazines, pillows, and beverages. The air and surfaces of our dental rooms are disinfected using electrolyzed hypochlorous acid, an all-natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic solution (hypochlorousacid.com). Patients are treated in private, individual
Dental Care in a Pandemic Safety at the Dentist’s Office I
n a pandemic, the idea of getting your teeth cleaned can be scary. Knowing what to expect can help.
Family Life: How has COVID-19 changed your protocols for families? Petaluma Dental Group: Dr. Yolanda Mangrum, owner of the Petaluma Dental Group, has co-created a company with Fred Joyal called Best Patient Safety (bestpatientsafety.com) that goes above and beyond regulatory COVID-19 requirements. There are enhanced protections and tele-dentistry available. FL: What can patients expect at your office? PDG: We now have a virtual front office. Once patients arrive in the 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife
The air and surfaces of our dental rooms are disinfected using electrolyzed hypochlorous acid. parking lot, they remain in their cars and a staff member comes and gets them. The staff can process all record requests, insurance claims, and financials while the patient is in the car. Staff also ask patients COVID-19–related screening questions. Patients are required to wash their hands and their temperature is taken upon entry.
Patients remain in their cars and a staff member comes and gets them. treatment rooms using technology that makes it possible to reduce the amount of time a patient spends in the dental chair and the number of visits it takes to complete treatment. Sometimes in-office treatment is not necessary, in which case we use tele-dentistry. This allows patients to connect with their dentists through their laptops, tablets, or smart phones. FL: Is there any additional information you would like to add? PDG: If you want to stay healthy, you need to take care of your teeth and gums. Recent research suggests that gum disease is linked to other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and some pregnancy complications. It is thought that the bacteria that causes gum disease may enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the heart and blood vessels. Find out more about the Petaluma Dental Group at petalumadental.com.
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attend a diverse school, consider enrolling her or him in after-school or weekend activities, such as sports leagues, that are diverse. Choose books and toys that include persons of different races and ethnicities.
Colors of the World
10 Tips for Talking to Kids about Race
t can be tricky to discuss race with kids. Two nonprofits, EmbraceRace and MomsRising, created the following set of tips to help parents navigate the process.
1. Start early. By 6 months of age, babies are noticing racial differences; by age 4, children have begun to show signs of racial bias. Let your child know that it’s perfectly okay to notice skin color and talk about race. Start talking about what racial differences mean and don’t mean. 2. Encourage questions. Encourage your child to ask questions, share observations and experiences, and be respectfully curious about race. Expose your child to different cultural opportunities—photographs, 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife
Make race talks with your child routine. films, books, or cultural events, for examples—and discuss their experiences. You don’t have to be an expert on race to talk with your child. Be honest about what you don’t know, and work with your child to find accurate information. 3. Be mindful. You are a role model to your child. What you say is important, but what you do—the diversity of your friendship circle, for example—is likely to have a bigger impact. If your child doesn’t
4. Face and know your own bias. We’re less likely to pass on the biases we identify and work to overcome. Give your child an example of a bias, racial or otherwise, that you hold or have held. Share with your child things you do to confront and overcome that bias. 5. Know and love who you are. Talk about the histories and experiences of the racial, ethnic, and cultural groups you and your
Be honest with your child, in age-appropriate ways, about bigotry and oppression. family identify with. Talk about their contributions and acknowledge the less flattering parts of those histories as well. Tell stories about the challenges your extended family has faced and overcome. 6. Develop racial cultural literacy. Study and talk about the histories and experiences of groups we call African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and whites, among others. Be sure your child understands that every racial and ethnic group includes people who believe different things and behave in different ways. 7. Be honest. Be honest with your child, in age-appropriate
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ways, about bigotry and oppression. Children are amazing at noticing patterns, including racial patterns, such as, for example, who lives in their neighborhood versus their friends’ neighborhoods. Help
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You don’t have to be an expert on race to talk with your child. them make sense of those patterns, recognizing that discussing bigotry and oppression may be a part of your explanation. Be sure your child knows that the struggle for racial fairness is still happening and that your family can take part in that struggle. 8. Tell stories. Tell stories about people, including women, children, and young adults, who are fighting racism. 9. Be active. Don’t be a “bystander” on race. Help your child understand ways to bring about change. 10. Plan for a marathon, not a sprint. It’s okay to say, “I’m not sure” or “Let’s come back to that later, okay?” But then do come back to it. Make race talks with your child routine. Race is a topic you should plan to revisit again and again in many different ways over time. ¶ EmbraceRace (embracerace.org) is a multiracial community dedicated to sharing and developing best practices for raising and caring for kids in the context of race. MomsRising (momsrising.org) is a multicultural organization working to increase family economic security and end discrimination against women and mothers.
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• “Pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and apply conclusions from such arguments appropriately.” How to Raise Scientifically Literate Children Here are some ways that you can instill a sense of inquisitiveness and scientific literacy in your children.
Science Says… Cultivate Curiosity About How Things Work By Sandi Schwartz
n today’s “fake news” culture, figuring out what’s true can take extra effort. Teaching kids scientific literacy can help them figure out fact from fiction—an especially important skill in the COVID-19 era.
What Is Scientific Literacy? According to the National Academies’ publication National Science Education Standards, scientific literacy is “the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.” National Science Education Standards says a scientifically literate person has the capacity to: • “Ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences.”
• “Describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena.” • “Read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions.” • “Identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed.” • “Evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and the methods used to generate it.”
Read From a very young age, read books about science to your children to encourage their curiosity and broaden their knowledge base. As they get older, encourage them to read
Sign up your kids for extracurricular science and technology classes or a virtual or in-person summer camp. about science topics that interest them, such as dinosaurs, outer space, climate, or computers. Check out the National Science Teaching Association’s (nsta.org) book recommendations, subscribe to magazines like National Geographic Kids, and find websites geared toward science education for children. Watch Seek out children’s television programming and videos that focus on science. When they were younger, my children loved watching PBS’ Sid the Science Kid, which is all about the scientific discovery process. (Watch it for free at pbskids.org.) Now that my son is older, he enjoys watching Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, which uses experiments to test scenes from books or movies. I love this show because it really teaches the value of not believing everything we see. Instead it teaches viewers to test
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ideas using the scientific method. Its final season was in 2018, but you can stream it via Hulu, YouTube TV, and other video on-demand services. Visit Take your children on virtual tours of awe-inspiring places, such as museums, planetariums, botanical gardens, aquariums, nature centers, and zoos. To begin to get ideas, read Interesting Engineering’s “11 Science and Tech Museums You Can Tour Virtually” for ideas (interesting engineering.com) and “10 Zoos Across the World Offering Virtual Tours” (literock969.com/zoo-virtual-tours). Also check out online virtual science classes and demos available via katethechemist.com, calacademy. org, and cmosc.org. And, for real, live field trips, visit places like local national parks and local beaches. (During COVID-19, stick to parks and beaches in your county.) During these activities, encourage your children to ask questions about what they observe and enjoy a back-and-forth discussion. Experiment When it comes time for birthdays and holidays, be sure to add some science kits to your
children’s wish lists. My children have always enjoyed playing with science experiment kits. They have built their own model volcano, hooked up electric circuits to make things spin or buzz, and learned about measuring and chemical reactions using everyday products. If kits aren’t appealing, set up your own experiments. They can be as simple as filling up the kitchen sink with water and figuring out what
have been wonderful opportunities for him to learn in depth about science topics that especially interest him. Create By incorporating simple, science-based activities into your children’s daily lives, you can inspire their interest in and love for science. Spend time together in the kitchen baking and explaining how measuring works and why baked goods rise in the oven. Plant a family garden and appreciate learning about nature; enjoy the food you grow. When your children need to take medicine, explain how important it is to follow the directions on the bottle and how chemicals affect us.
From a very young age, read books about science to your children. items sink or float. Be sure to ask your children to predict what will happen before doing the test and, after it, ask why they thought the particular result happened. Attend Sign up your kids for extracurricular science and technology classes or a virtual or in-person summer camp. A few summers ago my son enjoyed a week at a technology-oriented camp and now he is taking coding classes online. These
As you can see, there are endless opportunities to bring science to the forefront of your children’s lives. And when you learn together, you make the experience incredibly meaningful. Most of all, it’s fun! ¶ Sandi Schwartz is a freelance writer and mother of two. You can find her at happysciencemom.com. Get her free course on raising happy, balanced kids at bit. ly/2i53TDV.
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another until a complete outfit is created. Spoiler alert: This game leaves no room for meltdowns because your little one makes all the decisions — even on your turn. When it’s your turn to choose, make a show of not being sure which is the better choice (get as dramatic as you like) and ask your toddler to help you pick something.
Toddler Talk Build Your Child’s Language Skills
By Tinita O. Kearney
ike many families impacted by the COVID-19 quarantines, I have found myself bound to my home alongside a high-energy toddler, struggling to find ways to keep her 2-year-old brain entertained (while also maintaining my own sanity). As many of us are finding out first-hand, homeschool life is not an easy one and finding ways to occupy our children’s time with fun, meaningful activities can be a difficult task. The learning has to go on, however, and one way to ensure that your child remains ready for the expectations of school is to work on his or her language and communication skills. This happens to be right up my alley since I am a speech-language pathologist. I am happy to offer a couple of the ways that I’ve put my skills to work each day with my own little one. Tag Team Dressing You’re probably already familiar with the growing independence of your toddler. Encourage this important development and also build expressive language skills by getting your toddler 20 MendoLakeFamilyLife
involved in the dressing process each morning. Activity: Play “I Choose, You Choose,” where your child gets to select one clothing item that they would like to wear for the day, and you select
Language Booster: Use sentencestarters to encourage your child to use more complete sentences during this activity (e.g., Caregiver: “I choose…” or “I want to wear…” or “My choice is…”). Also, try giving your child one “silly” option (e.g., a thick sweater as a choice in the middle of summer) and encourage your child to tell you why
Categorizing is a great way to grow vocabulary and to teach basic concepts. it’s a silly choice (e.g., Parent: “Is this sweater a good choice? No, it’s silly! It’s too hot outside! Tell daddy why this is silly.”). This exercise helps your little one to grow her or his critical thinking skills while also working on her or his ability to form more complex sentences. Tips & Tricks: Present your child with only two or three clothing item choices at a time to avoid spending two hours on this activity. Match It Up! Categorizing is a great way to grow vocabulary and to teach basic concepts (words that we use to indicate location [in/out], descriptions [little/big], feelings [happy/sad], time [always/never], or number [more/less]). It is easiest to teach categorization
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skills using physical items that your child is familiar with, such as toys, clothing items, familiar foods, common household items, or school items. The goal of this activity is to work on building your child’s ability to categorize items by their attributes (e.g., an item’s color, shape, size, use/ function). Activity: Start by picking an attribute that you want to focus on. I like to start with colors, so let’s use this as an example. Gather two or three items around the house that are the same color (red, for example) then hunt for two or three additional items that are a different color (e.g., blue) and finally, two or three more items that are another color (e.g., green). Place all the items together on the floor, pick one up, and ask your child to find another item in the pile that is the same color. Each time your child finds a “match,” he or she gets a point; collect five points and win! Language Booster: To teach new vocabulary, label and describe each item as your child selects it (e.g., “Yes, this magnet is red!”) and basic concepts (e.g., “This magnet is big and shiny.”). Tips & Tricks: Before starting this activity, allow your child to select a toy, game, or snack that they would like to receive as a reward for “winning.” Use this as a motivator during gameplay to keep them working hard. ¶ Dr. Tinita O. Kearney, Ph.D., CCC-SLP/L, is a speech-language pathologist who loves to empower families to be their child’s very best advocate and resource. Check out her newest children’s book series at lolakoala.com and subscribe to get bi-weekly communication tips and tricks.
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will handle which pet chores. While tots and preschoolers shouldn’t feed or walk new pets alone, your child may enjoy selecting toys, gently brushing the pet’s coat, or playing with the pet (under close caregiver supervision, of course). Another must: Take your pet to the veterinarian for a routine health examination and necessary vaccinations. While you’re there, make plans to spay or neuter. The
Love Your Pets Help Kids and Furry Friends Cohabitate
By Malia Jacobson
f your child’s first friend has four legs, here’s good news: Per a recent study in Pediatrics, kids living in homes with dogs get fewer respiratory infections than those in pet-free homes. A new study in PLOS One found that babies who lived with cats or dogs had fewer allergies later in life. And living with a pet can help curious little ones begin to develop empathy and kindness toward others. New research shows that kids even prefer their pets to their siblings. Here’s what to know to help kids and pets live together peacefully, from birth through the teen years. Early Years (Ages 0–5)
Pet Prep Your child may begin asking for a new pet during preschool, but that doesn’t mean he or she is ready to begin caring for one. If your family decides to take the pet plunge with a small child in the home, a smooth transition to pet ownership will involve plenty of preparation. 22 MendoLakeFamilyLife
Begin with a picture book about adding a new pet to the family, such as Lola Gets a Cat by Anna McQuinn (Charlesbridge, 2018) or Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie (Candlewick, 2019). Talk about safety guidelines—young children should not be alone with pets, particularly fragile young puppies or kittens—and who
Teach children to observe and respect a dog’s cues. Humane Society reports that sterilized pets are healthier, calmer, and less likely to bite—making them better companions for little humans. Elementary Years (Ages 6–12) Behavior Basics By grade school, kids may be ready for a larger role in walking, training, and feeding the family pet. Animals pay attention to the people who feed them, so when kids are old enough, it’s a good idea to get them involved, says certified dog trainer Wynona Karbo. “When a young child feeds a pet, keep the pet out of the area if possible—using a baby gate if necessary—so the animal doesn’t jump on the child during feeding and create negative habits.” If your new pet is a dog, teach kids vital safety guidelines to avoid bites. There are 4.7 million dog bites every year in the United States and about half the kids bitten are younger than 14. “Far too many children (and plenty of adults!) get away with
October 2020 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
completely unacceptable behavior toward dogs,” says dog trainer Brad Howell. “Pulling ears, climbing and jumping on, or any invasion of space isn’t a position a lot of dogs want to be in, even if they don’t always give a clear sign they are annoyed. When dogs do show teeth, growl, or even nip, we need to take a step back and examine what triggered the behavior.” Teach children to observe and respect a dog’s cues, and they’ll be safer not only around your family dog, but any other dog they meet.
pet. Teens are old enough to walk and feed a pet independently, participate in training, even pick up pet food and ferry the animal to the vet or groomer’s. (Just know that you might end up with full custody of the pet once your child heads off to college.)
Teen Years (Ages 13–18)
What’s the right pet for your family? Your local climate, favorite pastimes, and activity level should factor into your choice, says Howell. Families who travel often or spend long stretches away from home may want
Teen’s Best Friend Whether you’re ready to add another animal to the family or your older child wants his or her own bundle of fur, the teen years can be a great time to adopt a
to consider a cat instead of a dog. Those with a passion for sailing or watersports might be good candidates for a dog breed that enjoys water; if you or your teen wants to hike or run with your pet, choose an active dog that can handle exertion. If your teen’s heart is set on a dog or a puppy, plan to commit hours to training, socialization, and exercise. And don’t overlook an older dog or cat as a companion for a busy teen, says Howell. “Sweet, lazy old pets are the most underrated and overlooked!” ¶
Don’t overlook an older dog or cat as a companion for a busy teen.
Malia Jacobson is an award-winning health and parenting journalist and mom of three. Her latest book is Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades.
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Calendar of Events All Hail the Hefty Gourd!
ho has the biggest pumpkin in the land? The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off aims to find out. On October 16, 4–6:30 p.m., champion gardeners will bring their largest specimens to an area behind the Civic Center in Ukiah. The event will not have in-person spectators this year but the Ukiah Recreation Department Facebook page will feature live posts of each entry. Growers interested in entering a pumpkin may register at tinyurl.com/y2denroy. It costs $10 to enter; the top ten winners will receive prize money and the chance to showcase their winning gourds in front of the Civic Center. For more information, see facebook. com/UkiahRec or cityofukiah.com/recreation.
Thursday 1 FREE Virtual Circle Times with First 5 Lake County. Ages birth–5 yrs. Tuesdays & Thursdays. English: 10 a.m. Spanish: 10:30 p.m. Interested families can sign up by emailing early email@example.com. Info: esnorcal.org/early-intervention. Gratis. Grupo de juegos infantiles en línea. Edades desde el nacimiento hasta los 5 años. Martes y jueves. Inglés: 10 a.m. Español: 10:30 p.m. Las familias interesadas pueden inscribirse enviando un correo electrónico a early interventionreferrals@esnorcal. org. Información: esnorcal.org/ early-intervention. FREE Storytime in the Park.
Participants must register & receive a confirmation before being allowed to attend. Only 10 families are allowed at each program. Everyone older than 2 must wear masks. Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays: 10:15–11:15 a.m. Library Park. 200 Park St., Lakeport. Registration required: tinyurl.com/ y6d6t2rt. FREE Basics of Financial Aid.
Online presentation about financing 24 MendoLakeFamilyLife
college. Hosted by Fort Bragg Library. Oct. 1: 6 p.m. Oct. 10: 11 a.m. Visit facebook.com/events/403419487304758 for a complete list of topics & Zoom meeting ID & password. FREE Anderson Marsh Nature Walk.
Walking, jogging, hiking & biking (one-way trails). Six-feet distance & masks required. Picnics & parties not allowed. Pack out all trash. Tours cancelled. Open daily. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Anderson Ranch Pkwy., Lower Lake. andersonmarsh.org. Fall Online Art Classes for Kids. Classes in manga, fine art & cartooning led by professional instructors. Ages 7 & older. $10–$15/ class. Classes meet via Zoom. Advance registration required. Visit schulzmuseum.org/classes-camps for class schedule, fees & registration. FREE Just Between Friends Children’s & Maternity Consignment Sales Event. The
largest of its kind in Northern CA. Clothes, toys, games, shoes, baby gear, strollers, furniture & more. Bring large bags. Masks required. Free except for 10 a.m. on Oct. 1, when early-bird tickets are $5.
Oct. 1 public sale: 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m. (High-risk shoppers: 9 a.m. Early bird, $5: 10 a.m.) Oct. 2 public sale: 10 a.m.–7 p.m. (High risk: 9 a.m.) Oct. 3 public sale: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 4* public sale: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. *50% off items. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. Tickets (required): northbay.jbfsale.com. Halloween Contests. Enter one or both of the following: Best Decorated Pumpkin (submission due Oct. 19) or Best Decorated Yard (submission due Oct. 24). $5 entry for each. Presented by Lions & Leos clubs. Registration: fortbragglionsclub.org/events.html. FREE Happy Bookers Book Club. Participants share their book
recommendations in this online group. 2–2:30 p.m. To register for the online Zoom meetings, contact Lisa at Redbud Library: 994-5115. Find more events at the Lake County Library Facebook page.
Friday 2 FREE Nicole’s Test Kitchen: Craft Edition. Craft demos via Facebook
October 2020 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
live video. Ages 12–18. Presented by Willits Library. Fridays. 2:30–3 p.m. facebook.com/willitslibrary.
the entire event. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport. support.lakecochamber.com.
401 Martin St., Lakeport. facebook. com/events/344317653363957.
Monday 26 Halloween Circus Camp in
FREE First Fiddlers’ Jam. Limited
FREE Hendy Woods State Park.
Mendocino. Limited enrollment
to the first 100 people who arrive. Offering untouched burgers, hot dogs & root beer floats. Raffle. Bring folding chair for spacing & masks. Noon–2 p.m. Ely Barn. 9921 Soda Bay Rd. (Hwy. 128), Kelseyville. elystagestop.org.
Second Sunday of each month free admission for local residents only: Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, Navarro, Comptche & Elk. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Hendy Woods State Park. 18599 Philo Greenwood Rd., Philo. Hendy Woods State Park. 8599 Greenwood Rd., Philo. kozt.com.
workshop in aerial arts, tight-wire & acrobatics. Held under the big top tent. Beginning to advanced students, ages 9–15. $300/session. Session 1: Oct. 26–28, 1:30–5 p.m. Session 2: Oct. 29–31, 1:30–5 p.m. Comprehensive COVID safety protocols followed. Friendship Park. 998 School St., Mendocino. flynncreekcircus.com/ halloween-circus-camp.
Skunk Train Pumpkin Express. Ride Skunk Train to a pumpkin patch & pick a pumpkin. $10.95–$52.95. Departing from Fort Bragg & Willits. Masks & social distancing mandatory. Sundays thru Oct. 25. Fort Bragg: 100 W. Laurel St. Willits: 299 E. Commercial St. skunktrain.com.
Friday 9 Rebel Junk Vintage Market. Wood signs, jewelry, candles, garden art, antiques, farmhouse decor & more. Admission: $5–$8. Ages 12 & younger: free. Parking: $10. Oct. 9: 5:30–9 p.m. Oct. 10: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds Event Center. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. No tickets sold at door, advance tickets required: tickettailor.com/all-tickets/ rebeljunkmarket/ref/website_widget.
Saturday 10 FREE Heroes of Health & Safety Fair. Drive-through services: flu vaccines, emergency preparedness go-bags, SafeRX Narcan training & Narcan kits & disaster preparedness for pets. County COVID-19 regulations followed. Participants will be required to remain in their cars for
Friday 16 Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. $10 per
entry. Entries must be received 4–6:30 p.m. Top 10 winners will receive prize money & their pumpkins displayed in front of the Civic Center. Pumpkins will be weighed behind the Civic Center in Ukiah; use the 411 W. Clay St. entrance. Sign up: tinyurl.com/ y2denroy. Also see cityofukiah.com/ pumpkinfest-2020.
Friday 23 Haunted Lodge. $3 per person;
tickets sold at door. COVID-19 safety measures implemented. Presented by the Moose Lodge #2284. Oct. 23–24 & 30–31. 6:30–9 p.m. Moose Lodge. 15910 Moose Lodge Ln., Clearlake Oaks. moose2284.org.
Saturday 31 FREE Drive-Thru Trunk-or-Treat.
Participants must be masked to go to drive-thru. 4–7 p.m. Citrus Fairgrounds. 1 Citrus Fair Dr., Cloverdale. (Enter on N. Washington St.) Check other Halloween events & contests: cloverdalechamber.com/ halloween-sign-up. FREE Moose Lodge Trunk-or-Treat.
Masking, hand sanitizing & social distancing. 5 p.m.–until treats are gone. Moose Lodge. 15910 Moose Lodge Ln., Clearlake Oaks. moose2284.org. FREE Trick-or-Treat Drive-Up.
Dress up & pick up a special treat. Not-so-scary version: 5–6:30 p.m. Very scary version: 7–8:30 p.m. Fort Bragg Lions Hall. 430 E. Redwood Ave., Fort Bragg. fort-bragg-lions-club.square.site.
Haunted Lake County Martin Street Drive-Thru. $20
per car. Broadcasting event on the radio at Lake County Community Radio, KPFZ 88.1 FM. Oct. 23–24 & 30– 31. 5–10 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. October 2020
Crafting with Kids Seasonal Snacks Floating Faces Core and peel an apple then cut it in half. Lay one half on the table and use a paring knife to create facial features. Repeat these steps until you have enough apple halves for each family member. Place apples in cider punch bowl. When the cider is labeled, give each person a floating face.
A Crafty Halloween Make Your Own COVID-Friendly Fun
By Denise Morrison Yearian
his year, making crafts and snacks is a great, safe way to get into the spooky spirit.
Crop of Crafts Jack-o-Lantern Pots Buy various-sized terracotta pots and turn them upside down so the drainage hole is facing up. On yellow construction paper, draw and cut out two eyes, a nose, and a toothy grin—the wackier the better. Apply Mod Podge with a paintbrush under and over the facial features, and then attach them to the pot. Place a short, wide stick out of the hole to resemble a pumpkin stem. Pumpkin Noisemakers Paint black a 12- by 1/2-inch dowel rod; let dry. Trace and cut out two leaves using 26 MendoLakeFamilyLife
green craft foam then cut a small slit in the center of each leaf. Use a black permanent marker to draw a face onto the bottom side of an orange paper plate. Line up the face plate with a second orange plate, rims together and bottoms facing out. Use a hole-punch to create holes 1-inch apart around the perimeter of both plates. Place dried beans and small jingle bells between the two plates. Also put the dowel between the plates, moving a short end of the stick above the facial features to represent the pumpkin stem and a long end below for the handle. Sew plates together by lacing yarn through the holes. Push leaf slits through the short end of the dowel rods and secure with a glue gun.
Itsy-Bitsy Caramel Apples Cut lollipop sticks in half. Use a melon baller to scoop little balls out of medium-sized apples, making sure each ball has a section of the apple peel. Push a lollipop stick into the peel of each apple ball. Blot apples dry with a paper towel. Melt a 14-ounce package of caramel candies with 2 tablespoons of water. Have children dip and swirl their apple balls in caramel then roll in crushed Oreo cookies, nuts, sprinkles, nonpareils, or mini-chocolate chips. Place on waxed paper to cool for 15 minutes. Pumpkin Pancakes Mix dry ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside. Separate two eggs. Mix yolks with ½ cup of plain pumpkin puree, 1 cup milk, and 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until fluffy then fold into the batter. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto a greased griddle; flip when bubbles form on top. Kids can make jack-o-lantern faces using raisins, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, and whipped cream. Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and six grandchildren.
October 2020 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
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Experts Fear More Teen Suicides During Pandemic
• Coastnorth end of Fairgrounds Fort Bragg - Lincoln St. PO Box 966 Ukiah 95482
uicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens. And as young adults face the many unknowns of returning to school during a pandemic, experts fear the worse. Renowned pediatrician and author of Raising Global Teens, Anisha Abraham, MD, MPH, offers the following tips for helping adolescents cope with this unprecedented time. • Teach self-acceptance. When teens compare themselves to others, remind them that no one is perfect. Everyone is “uneven,” meaning they excel in some areas but not others, and that is okay. • Support time management. Encourage teens to set goals, prioritize tasks, break large assignments into smaller steps, work for designated time periods, take breaks, and use a reminder system for deadlines. • Help them unwind. Make sure teens take time to fill their “anti-stress toolbox” with healthy ways to unwind. This could be as simple as talking to trusted friends or watching a funny show. • Encourage mind and body care. Ensure teens are getting adequate sleep, eating well, and exercising, all of which help to regulate mood and energy levels. • Talk about the tough stuff. Have important conversations with teens about challenging topics, such as pubertal changes, sexting, vaping, and planning for the future. • Know the signs of depression and suicide. Understand warning signs, which include: mood swings, withdrawal, poor sleeping or appetite, trouble with memory and concentration, talking or writing about suicide, and giving away belongings.
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• Get help. If you suspect that a teenager is suicidal, take immediate action! For 24-hour suicide prevention and support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information. Raising Global Teens will be available from Summertime Publishing beginning on October 1, 2020.
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Humor Break of beef jerky or applesauce pouches if not; a change of clothes for each kid; and a pinecone someone asked me to hold for a minute. What difference do a couple of diapers and some wipes make?
No More Potty The Plus Side Training of Diapers By Pam Moore
’ve told my toddler I’ll buy her whatever kind of underwear she wants when she uses the toilet. I’ve put her on the potty and promised her a vigorous rendition of The Potty Dance, if she eeks out just a few drops. Meanwhile, she has yet to demonstrate any real interest in potty training. And that’s fine with me. Here’s why: 1. I avoid potty talk. My older child, who is now 5, started using the toilet at 2 years old. Over the past three years, I have given hours of my life to the discussion of her bathroom needs: Do you have to go? Are you sure you don’t have to go? Can you hold it till we get home? Do you want me to come in the restroom with you or wait outside? I’m okay with limiting this line of 28 MendoLakeFamilyLife
conversation to one family member at a time. 2. Grocery shopping is less complicated. Between lamenting my lack of a CDL when maneuvering the car cart, and hating the sound of my own voice saying “No” (no marshmallows; no sugar cereal, no, not even the one with Dora on the box; no getting out of the moving cart), I lack the reserves to manage two children’s urgent bathroom needs. 3. I’m already carrying a mom bag. Gone are the days when I dashed out with my phone, keys, lip balm, and wallet shoved in my coat pocket. In my bag, you’ll find all that, plus Tic Tacs (a handy, if sugary, bribe); baggies of sliced apples, if I’m on my game, or a bag
4. I’m lazy. I masquerade as laid back and efficient when I am, in fact, uptight (I want my house clean!) and lazy (I don’t want to actually clean it!). These qualities don’t lend themselves to diving headfirst into the labor-intensive, messy endeavor of potty training. 5. I avoid the power struggle. I don’t remember what it’s like to be 2 years old, but I’m guessing it’s pretty disempowering. You’re at eye level with a typical adult’s mid-thigh. You can be scooped up and carried to an undisclosed location without notice or consent. You’re at the mercy of grown-ups 99 percent of the time. I don’t see the point of adding toilet use to the long list of things you can’t control. 6. I get to baby my baby. My toddler is my second and most likely my last child, which makes her my baby forever. I realize it will be just a couple of blinks before I’m putting her on the school bus with her big sister. Diaper changes give me a chance to kiss the velvet skin of her little potbelly, to squeeze her scrumptious thighs, to marvel at her unlined, chubby feet. Also, there’s nothing quite like the sound of her high pitched giggle when I tickle the back of her knee. ¶ This article was originally published on Motherly. Find Pam Moore at pam-moore.com.
October 2020 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Cooking with Kids
Veggie Gold Cauliflower Gets Dressed for Fall By Momma Chef
ou will love the simplicity of this cauliflower dish. With just a few ingredients, it is a great last-minute side dish and has a beautiful presentation. Kids love how boring white cauliflower changes color seemingly magically. I like to sprinkle it with fresh, chopped flat-leaf parsley right before serving. ¶
This article originally appeared on MommaChef.com. It has been reprinted here with permission.
Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, is a mother of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). On her blog, MommaChef.com, find more of her recipes, all of which require no more than six ingredients and six minutes of prep time.
Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients • 1/3 cup olive oil • 2 tbsp. lemon juice • 1 tsp. salt • 1 tsp. turmeric • 1 tbsp. sugar • 2-lb. bag cauliflower florets Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 450°F. 2. Pour olive oil, lemon juice, salt, turmeric, and sugar into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and shake all ingredients to mix. 3. Add the cauliflower florets, seal the bag again, and shake one more time to coat the cauliflower. 4. Spread cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet or large disposable pan. 5. Roast for 15 minutes. Serves: 8
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