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April 2021

Camp Fair!

Family Hikes 6 steps to fun

Pandemic Burnout 7 ways to cope

Camp Queries What to ask

Now online




Starts April 1

ual Fair


Runs April–June More camps added weekly! Enter Here! Find Your Perfect Camp!

Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

April 2021

Every Issue

10 Features 10 Camp Questions Nine queries to help you find the right program.

12 Disaster-Proof Family Hikes Find out the keys to a successful adventure.

14 Pandemic Burnout We know you’re so over it. Here’s how to cope.


Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Meatball Magic


Bits and Pieces Celebrate Earth Day Music for Spring Romance New-Mom 411


Come to Our Virtual Camp Fair Easter in a Vineyard A Virtual Sleepover for Brownies

22 Calendar of Events 26 Humor Break A Bath Beats the News

16 Money for Munchkins Use allowances to teach kids about cash.

18 Tear-Free Shots?


Yes, they may be possible. Follow these tips.


20 Get the Grrs Out Help kids manage big feelings.

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April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com


Celebrate National Credit Union Youth Month. April 1-April 30



(ages 12 & under)

(ages 13-17)

Download and color an official Reddy the Redwood coloring sheet. Get yours at redwoodcu.org/youthmonth.

Tell us about your financial dreams. Write a song, create a short story, make a video–you choose.

Winners will receive $100

Winners will receive $250

Visit redwoodcu.org/youthmonth to upload your submission.

Dear Reader


f it’s all getting old—parenting while working at home, convincing the kids to wear masks, counting the feet between you and the person ahead of you at the grocery store—you Sharon Gowan are not alone. Read Publisher/Editor Sharon@family-life.us “Pandemic Burnout” (page 14) for tips on how to cope and keep up your stamina through these hard times. One positive piece of news: COVID-19 vaccination rates are going up. In general, vaccinations are major screaming events for kids. But dad Tanni Haas says they don’t have to be. Read his “Tear-Free Shots?” (page 18) for ways to help children manage the pain and anxiety of being “poked.” If shots are like spinach to kids, then camp is definitely dessert. Children thrive when they get a chance to try out creative activities and make new friends. Despite COVID-19, many camps are up and running—they’re just offering

modified programs. Find out about what is available in our area at Family Life ’s Virtual Camp Fair. You can see it April– June at sonomafamilylife.com. (Find out more on pages 2 and 9.) Camps often feature lots of time outdoors. But you don’t have to wait for a program to start to enjoy nature, especially not in beautiful Sonoma County. Family hikes are a wonderful way to breathe fresh air and enjoy each other’s company. But sometimes it’s hard to get kids excited about hitting the trail. Never fear. Pam Moore, author of “Disaster-Proof Family Hikes” (page 12), has got you covered. Read her secrets for turning walks with little ones into fun adventures. Then check out the website of Sonoma County Regional Parks for places to explore: parks.sonomacounty. ca.gov. May our green spring renew your spirits and bring you joy.

Registration for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (Kinder Bridge) for 2021-22 School Year Begins February 9 & 10

Call 542-6272 to sign up

A limited number of interdistrict transfer requests for 2020-21 will be accepted Yulupa Primary School Preschool–Third Grade 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272

Strawberry Intermediate School Fourth–Sixth Grade 2311 Horseshoe Drive, Santa Rosa 707 526-4433

Patricia Ramos patty@family-life.us

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher renee@family-life.us Warren Kaufman warren@family-life.us

Features Editor Melissa Chianta melissa@family-life.us

Production Manager Donna Bogener production@family-life.us

Contributing Writers

Bennett Valley Union School District

California Distinguished Schools

Office Manager

Consistently high student academic achievement at both schools

America’s Test Kitchen Sandra Gordon Jessica Guerrieri Tanni Haas Pam Moore Louison Nielman Patrick Quinn

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office P.O. Box 351 Philo, CA 95466 (707) 586-9562

Your child’s joy of learning is nurtured with our: • Excellent Teachers • Reduced Class Size (K–3) • Kinder Bridge Transitional Kindergarten • Extended Day Kindergarten (8:30-1:25) • Fully Staffed Libraries and Technology Labs • Visual and Performing Arts Programs YMCA provides on-site child care

• Band, Percussion and Chorus (4th–6th) • Boys’ and Girls’ Interscholastic Basketball (4th–6th) • Emphasis on Environmental Stewardship • Gifted and Talented Education (4th–6th)

Call to reserve tours: Yulupa 4/14 Strawberry by reservation only: 526-4433 Registration Packets available Jan. 4. Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2021 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two-year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2021.

707 542-2201 • Visit us at www.bvusd.org 6 SonomaFamilyLife

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

Cooking with Kids

Meatball Magic

Make a One-Pot Meal

By America’s Test Kitchen


oldly flavored turkey meatballs cook up perfectly juicy and tender nestled in a skillet of creamy coconut rice. We packed the meatballs with cilantro, scallions, and ginger for fresh brightness and then added chili-garlic sauce and fish sauce for heat and savory depth. We bound the mixture together and kept the meatballs moist with an egg and some panko bread crumbs. After browning the meatballs, we sautéed red bell pepper in the leftover fat, and then we added rice and cooked it until it was translucent around the edges (a step that added nutty flavor and prevented future clumping). To cook the rice, we swapped out one-third of the water for coconut milk—just enough for a noticeable coconut sweetness but not so much that the finished dish was stodgy. The meatballs and rice finished cooking together in the covered skillet, and we rounded out the meal with the addition of thawed frozen peas. We finished the dish with more fresh herbs, a squeeze of lime, and some chopped peanuts for a welcome crunch. Be sure to use ground turkey, not ground turkey breast (also labeled 99 percent fat-free), in this recipe. We like the flavor of jasmine rice here, though any long-grain white rice will work.

Reprinted from The Complete One Pot (2020) with permission from America’s Test Kitchen, americastestkitchen.com.


Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Rice, Bell Peppers, and Peas Total Time: 1½ hours • 1 pound ground turkey • ½ cup panko bread crumbs • 6 scallions, sliced thin, divided • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided • 1 large egg, lightly beaten • 2 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce, plus extra for serving • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, divided • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger • 1 teaspoon table salt, divided • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick strips (2 cups) • 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed • 1½ cups water • 2/3 cup canned coconut milk • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed • ¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped coarse • Lime wedges 1. Using your hands, mix turkey, panko, two-thirds of scallions, ¼ cup cilantro, egg, chili-garlic sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, ginger, and ½ teaspoon salt in bowl until thoroughly

April 2021

combined. Using wet hands, pinch off and roll 2-tablespoon-size pieces of mixture into balls and arrange on large plate (you should have about 20 meatballs); refrigerate for 15 minutes. 2. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Brown meatballs on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes; return to plate. 3. Add bell peppers to fat left in skillet and cook until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until edges of rice begin to turn translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in water, coconut milk, remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Return meatballs to skillet and add any accumulated juices. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. 4. Remove skillet from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Gently stir peas into rice and let sit until heated through, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with peanuts, remaining one-third of scallions, and remaining ¼ cup cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and extra chili-garlic sauce. Serves: 4 SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Celebrate Earth Day


ince 1970, Earth Day has been raising awareness about environmental issues. This year, there are two local versions of the event, one drive-thru and one in-person. The city of Santa Rosa will host the former on April 22, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Families can drive to the Place to Play Community Park in Santa Rosa and receive free Kids’ Eco-Exploration Guides containing eco-friendly activities and reusable items. Adults will receive WaterSmart Toolkits that include flow bags, dye tabs, and additional water-saving resources. (Participants will stay in their cars while items are placed in the trunks of their vehicles.) Meanwhile, on April 24 Sonoma County Parks will host Love Your Mother: Clean Your Creek at Maxwell Farms Regional Park. Socially distanced participants will help clean up litter and debris at the park in two sessions: 9–11 a.m. and 10 a.m.–noon. Sign up for either session at tinyurl.com/44y848ad. Masks are required at all events. ¶

Music for Spring Romance


llen Taaffe Zwilich made history in 1983 when she became the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Hear her work at the Santa Rosa Symphony’s (SRS) spring concert, which will feature Zwilich’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra, along with the work of Caroline Shaw, Arturo Márquez, and Tchaikovsky. See the prerecorded performance on April 25 at 3 p.m. via the SRS YouTube page. Subscribe at tinyurl.com/b8r62azk. For more information, go to srsymphony.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Ways-to-Watch. ¶

New-Mom 411


he first weeks and months of parenting a newborn can be difficult in the best of times. Add in a pandemic, and the isolation and uncertainty can make mothers feel especially vulnerable. For those needing some extra assistance, the Child Parent Institute in Santa Rosa has created a Mothers and Babies Support Group. The free ten-week, therapist-facilitated online group aims to help new moms and pregnant women connect with each other while they learn about parenting, bonding, and the emotions that come with new motherhood. Sessions will be held on Fridays, April 9–June 11, 9:30–11 a.m. Register at tinyurl.com/u2798nyx or calparents.org. ¶

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April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

Virtual Camp Fair Come to Our Virtual Camp Fair


oes your child want to learn how to speak Spanish? Explore coding? Take up drawing? Summer camps offer instruction in these and other areas. And it’s not too early to start looking for the best program for your child. Check out Sonoma Family Life ’s Virtual Camp Fair for options. Click on a virtual “booth,” and instantly learn more about any program that piques your interest. Check it out at sonomafamilylife.com. ¶

A Virtual Sleepover for Brownies


or Girl Scouts, getting badges is now a virtual experience. And the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa is helping out with the process. The museum’s Art and Adventure Brownie Virtual Sleepover will help Brownies attain their Letter boxer badge. At the two-day Zoom event, participants will learn to make their own stamps and letterboxes, make and solve puzzles, and learn to draw Snoopy. There will even be a sing-along. A badge will be mailed after the event. Art and Adventure, which is for girls in grades 2–3 and adult chaperones, will be held on April 17, 4–7 p.m., and April 18, 9–10:30 a.m. Tickets are $35. Register at tinyurl.com/2ck84x6c or go to schulzmuseum.org/learn/ calendar-of-events. ¶

Easter in a Vineyard


hat’s at a Sonoma County Easter celebration? Jellybeans and wine, of course. At least those will be the main ingredients of the Easter celebration at West Wines in Healdsburg. Grown-ups can taste wine and cheese while kids can feast on jellybean-and-juice pairings. There will also be a self-guided quiz-walk through the vineyard, featuring wine questions for adults and nature-related questions for kids. The event will be held on April 3 and 4 at 11 a.m. Tickets are $30 for each adult and available at westwines.com. ¶ www.sonomafamilylife.com

April 2021

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3. Does the camp have a philosophy? The answer to this question can help you get a sense of the camp’s overall mission. Traditional summer camps can provide the opportunity to build friendships, foster a sense of independence, develop social skills, try new things, and learn how to fail in a safe and structured environment. “Our philosophy is we provide campers a noncompetitive environment with which they

Camp Questions 9 Essential Summer-Program Queries By Sandra Gordon


s more Californians become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, camps are working out how to hold in-person, virtual, and hybrid programs. Come to our Virtual Camp Fair at sonomafamilylife.com to research camps. And then, when you’ve found your favorites, ask these questions.

1. What will my child do there? Many camps will say they offer something for everyone—from basketball, theater activities, music, sports, horseback riding, archery, robotics, rock climbing, arts and crafts, or water sports. Still, to narrow your camp selection, determine the camp’s main activities. At camp director Sam Doescher’s program, for example, “you might love archery, but if you hate the water, you might not have the best 10 SonomaFamilyLife

time because you’re in the water every day learning to fish, water ski, knee board, wake board, or sail. Archery is just a small portion of our program,” Doescher says. 2. Is the camp accredited? American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation signals that a camp has met or exceeds all state camp requirements. ACA accreditation requires documented background checks, and certifications.

If you have a picky eater, be sure the camp has plenty of mealtime options. can grow and enjoy their camp experience,” Doescher says. 4. Does the camp have many returning campers? A decent retention rate—of at least 50 percent—signals that campers are satisfied enough to want to come back. Ideally, the camper retention rate should be 60–70 percent, Doescher says. Ask about returning counselors, too. Again, a decent camp counselor retention rate should be 50 percent or greater. 5. What qualifications do the counselors have? At the best camps, “all counselors should have to undergo a background check, be vetted through the national sex offender database, and have been trained to report any sort of sexual abuse,” Doescher says. From a water safety perspective, at least 75 percent of the staff should be certified to be lifeguards and to perform CPR. Ideally,

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

senior counselors should be high school graduates and above; head counselors should be graduating college seniors, college graduates, or graduate students. 6. How does the camp handle meals? If you have a picky eater, be sure the camp has plenty of mealtime options, as in buffet-style meals, a variety of food stations, or cereal availability. If food allergies are a concern, ask about the camp’s food allergy policy and practices, such as how far the PB&J station is from the nut-free table in the camp cafeteria. For food in general, review the camp’s sample online menus and check out the camp’s food philosophy. Some camps will

feature only fresh ingredients, from-scratch cooking, or “healthy” foods. At other camps, not so much. 7. What happens if my child gets sick or injured? Ideally, a nurse should be onsite from early morning until bedtime, then on-call

Ideally, the camper retention rate should be 60–70 percent. through the night, with counselors trained to dispense medications and first aid. 8. Will my child be allowed to bring a phone? The answer to that can vary depending on the

Join us for our


camp’s policy. It’s up to you to decide how off the grid you’d like your child to be. At some camps, no electronics are allowed, including in camper cabins. At other camps, campers can use computers at the facility but not their phones. 9. What does this camp offer others don’t? Many camps now offer trendy features, such as a GaGa pit, a water mat, an indoor arcade, and robotics classes. But innovative camps will offer something extra special—a signature activity that campers will hopefully come to associate with the camp years later. At Doescher’s camp, it’s learning to roll logs in water. ¶ Sandra Gordon is an award-winning freelance writer.




Get out of the house and come to a safe and friendly place to have fun! Discounts available: early bird, siblings and multiple sessions

Learn more at: www.FunMusicLessons.com 707-664-0123 • info@ FunMusicLessons.com 8500 Gravenstein Hwy Suite A, Cotati www.sonomafamilylife.com

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PLUS YEAR-ROUND ART, MUSIC & DANCE CLASSES CALL FOR A FREE TRIAL TODAY: 707-575-6858 www.artandsoulschool.com • info@artandsoulmusic.com 9064 Brooks Rd. S Windsor April 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 11

tell you to remember the snacks. On a hike, don’t worry about packing anything healthy. The trees, the dirt, and the fresh air are healthy enough to offset all the gummy bears, fruit snacks, and Capri Suns you need to keep your kids motivated to walk a few more steps.


Timing is everything. If your kids are like mine, they’re up and ready to rock before the crack of dawn. In that case, head out first thing. If your kids are not morning people…I’m

Disaster-Proof Family Hikes 6 Simple Steps for Keeping Kids Engaged By Pam Moore


family “hike” might look more like a meandering walk on a dirt path. But that doesn’t mean exploring the trails with your little ones can’t be enjoyable. Before you lace up your kids’ hiking boots this spring, keep the following tips in mind.


Keep expectations low. Be real about what you expect to accomplish. It’s much better to set the bar low and be pleasantly surprised than to be disappointed when expectations aren’t met. Forget about reaching a specific landmark or hitting a certain mileage. Focus instead on the intangibles, like whether your kids are having fun

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Stop to smell the flowers. Pause to hug a tree. and want to return to the trail next weekend.


Fuel up. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of mistaking a hunger-induced tantrum for an exorcism, I probably don’t have to

If your child wants to squat down for a while to study a rock, let her. jealous. If you’ve taken the kids to a swim lesson in the morning, a birthday party over lunch, and your hike is scheduled just before dinner, consider rescheduling. A tired, overstimulated kid is not a kid you want to take on the trail.


Sun protection. The last thing you want is painful sunburn overshadowing a kid’s memory of a family hike. It may be shady where you’re going, but according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, while shade offers some sun protection, UVB light can still penetrate it. Also, be wary of being out during peak exposure hours (10 a.m.–4 p.m.), which increases the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.


Lead by example. If your child isn’t excited to hike, it’s worth pausing to ask yourself how you feel about

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

hiking. Do you wish you could go back to your pre-kids era, charge up a challenging trail, and finish the day at a brewery, without so much as a glance at the kids’ menu? (We all feel this way sometimes.) For better or for worse, kids have a way of picking up on our vibes. As you pack your backpack, toss your negativity along with the old granola bar wrappers and used tissues you’ll inevitably find tucked at the bottom.


Have fun. Stop to smell the flowers. (My daughter insists that every flower she sniffs smells like roses. I don’t have the heart to tell her otherwise.)

Be real about what you expect to accomplish. Pause to hug a tree. If your child wants to squat down for a while to study a rock, let her. Or create a contest. Who can be the first to spot a bird? Have the whole family hunt for things that are round, or search for green or smooth items. Fun is what keeps kids—and grown-ups— engaged and wanting to come back for more. Hiking can be an experience the whole family can enjoy together, as you long as you plan ahead and manage your expectations. Then again, you can do everything right and your perfectly planned outing could still fall apart. That, my friends, is called parenting. ¶ This article was originally published on Parent Co. Get Pam Moore’s free guide to Crushing Impostor Syndrome at pam-moore.com.


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April 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 13

is no time for social engagement. However, it’s absolutely crucial to your mental health to connect with friends. Research shows that connecting with friends triggers the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Friends listen, provide helpful feedback, or commiserate

Remember, you’re not alone—most parents are struggling.

Pandemic Burnout 7 Coping Techniques for Parents By Patrick Quinn


e’ve been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year now, and for many, life under lockdown is taking its toll. This is especially true for parents. Here are several tips for reducing pandemic parenting burnout.

1. Attend to the three pillars of physical wellness: nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Not making time for self-care increases the risk of burnout. Experts agree that getting consistent, high-quality sleep improves virtually all aspects of health, which is why it is even more worthy of our attention during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, not only is regular daily activity good for physical health, but it can also improve emotional well-being. 14 SonomaFamilyLife

Stretched for time? Mini-workouts (google “seven-minute workout apps”) and short walks are convenient ways to make exercise a daily habit. Last but not least, eating healthy foods will do wonders for your mood and energy level, far more than feasting on chocolate, chips, and other “comfort” foods. 2. Connect with other parents and friends. This is something that often goes by the wayside because, as parents, we feel like there

about the challenges of parenting during a pandemic. Friends normalize our experience and help us feel less alone. While social distancing rules may make it difficult to get together in person, FaceTime, Zoom, or even an old-fashioned phone call can still help. 3. Build into your routine micro-moments for your own self-inquiry. When we’re constantly caring for others, it’s difficult to even identify or be aware of what we’re feeling. Meditation may be overwhelming right now, but even 10 minutes of silence can help us connect with ourselves. A stream of consciousness free-write is a great way to excavate thoughts that are clouding our ability to take action or find clarity. If that’s too daunting, try a journal prompt, such as “I’m going to forgive myself for…” or “I am inspired daily by…” 4. Cut yourself some slack. You deserve it now more than ever. Remember, you’re not alone— most parents are struggling, and unfortunately, that’s to be expected given the circumstances. It’s not your fault. Try not to be hard on yourself for every slip-up, missed deadline, pile

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

of laundry, or whatever else feels like a “failure” right now.

will lift your mood and effectively help you be more present with others.

cards to first responders and those hospitalized with COVID-19.

5. Practice realistic self-care. Taking a spa day is not realistic self-care for busy parents, let alone during a pandemic. But thankfully, realistic self-care can be as simple as taking five minutes alone on the patio to practice some yoga and breathing exercises, taking an extra-long shower or bath, enjoying a special glass of wine once the kids have gone to bed, or reading a few pages of your chosen book before bed, to name a few. If you are like most parents, when you sit down to take a break, a task or chore will pop into your head. If you don’t let those thoughts distract you, and you let yourself just be for five minutes, you’ll soon notice how these little breaks throughout the day or week

6. Connect with purpose and practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude for small things and focusing on values-based goals, even when you cannot control your surroundings, builds resilience. What are the

7. Seek professional help if needed. If you feel like you could benefit from talking to a mental health professional, you probably could. Telehealth options are available right now, so you won’t even have to leave your house to consult a medical professional. Several therapists associated with the Redwood Empire Association of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists offer a limited number of free sessions to those affected by pandemic crises. See recamft.org/ page-1861338.

It’s absolutely crucial to your mental health to connect with friends. techniques you use to feel better about circumstances that are out of your control? Maybe it’s starting a prayer journal with your kiddos, or writing down five things you’re thankful for at the beginning or end of every day, or writing thank-you/get-well-soon

A father of three school-age children and a former educator, Patrick Quinn is a parenting expert at Brainly, the world’s largest online learning and homework help community.

50 Ursuline Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 707.546.6470

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April 2021

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Money for Munchkins Dos and Don’ts of Giving an Allowance By Tanni Haas


pril is Financial Literacy Month, a great occasion to consider how you can use an allowance to teach kids important money management skills. What are the most important dos and don’ts when it comes to giving your kids an allowance?

Communicate clear expectations for spending, saving, and giving. Experts agree that if you want to teach your kids about the value of money and also encourage them to become caring human beings, then require them to divide the allowance into three parts: spending, saving, and giving. “This is an excellent way to expose them to the three most important things they can do with their money,” says personal finance expert Brad Munson, “and it’s a lesson that can last a lifetime.” 16 SonomaFamilyLife

Come to a mutual agreement about how much money they are allowed to spend and how much they are supposed to save. Then find a charity that they truly care about. Susan Borowski, a contributing writer to the Money Crashers website, says that having kids “choose the charity of their choice will make them more likely to set aside the money. Just like we give to charities that matter to us, children also need to give to a charity that matters to them, or they won’t be motivated to do it.”

Use the allowance to inspire regular conversations about money management. Kimberly Palmer, the author of the book Smart Mom, Rich Mom (AMACOM, 2016), says to “worry less about how much [money] you give” kids and more about using the allowance as “a chance to talk to your children about money.” Personal finance expert Neale Godfrey, the author of more than two dozen books on financial literacy, agrees: “Talking to your kids

Require them to divide the allowance into three parts: spending, saving, and giving. about allowance and money is just as important as giving it.” Godfrey and Palmer are right: Research shows that the more kids discuss money management with their parents, the better they become at managing their own finances as adults. Be consistent, but regularly review your allowance policies. Only change allowance policies if you have very good reasons to do so, like if you simply can’t afford the current amount or your kids are not spending it in the agreed-upon ways. As child psychologist Mary Kelly Blakeslee, PhD, says, “[N]othing bothers kids more than unfairness. If you change the rules without a good reason, you’re reneging on a contract. While children need to learn that life isn’t always fair, you can still respect your children’s feelings by explaining why you have to decrease their allowance or postpone payment, and by letting them know you can understand their annoyance or disappointment.” Munson agrees:

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

Consistency “builds trust, reduces bargaining, and encourages planning for the future.” Don’t use the allowance as punishment or reward. An allowance, says Munson, “is supposed to develop greater trust and better communication and cooperation, so using it as an unexpected disciplinary tool will just make you look cruel and arbitrary in the eyes of your children (no matter how much they might seem to deserve it). Find another way to make your point while living up to the original bargain.” Financial planner Nevin Martell agrees: Using money “as a yo-yo–‘I don’t like this or I don’t like that, so I’m going to cut your allowance’–is not going to help them form a healthy relationship with money.”


Similarly, don’t use the allowance to reward your kids for unrelated accomplishments. “Giving your kids money as a reward,” says certified financial planner Joseph Hogue, “establishes the mentality that you only need to do things if you’re getting paid.” Instead, suggests Hogue, “let

Tying the allowance to chores is wrong for several reasons. them pick the family outing for the week or just tell them how proud you are of their accomplishment.” Don’t tie the allowance to the performance of regular household chores. Tying the allowance to chores is wrong for

April 2021

several reasons: 1) It defeats the very idea that being part of a family entails that one has certain responsibilities; 2) it encourages kids to bargain every time you ask them to do something around the house; and 3) kids may stop doing their chores once they feel they have enough money. Experts say to only offer your kids extra money for tasks you otherwise would have paid someone else to do like, say, mowing the lawn or painting the house. Godfrey suggests that parents carefully distinguish between what he calls “citizen-of-the-household chores,” for which they shouldn’t get paid, and “work-for-pay chores,” for which it makes sense to give them some extra money. ¶ Tanni Haas, PhD, is a college communications professor.

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about what the experience is going to be like. Promising them that shots won’t hurt at all may backfire. “If you say it won’t hurt, and then it does,” says pediatrician Amy Stockhausen, MD, “they’re always going to question whether you’re really being honest.” Research shows that when parents say, “don’t worry,” kids become even more

Tear-Free Shots? Yes, It’s Possible with These Tips By Tanni Haas


et’s face it: Few kids enjoy going to the pediatrician, especially if they’re scheduled to get shots. But shots are a fact of life whether kids are getting vaccinated at annual wellness check-ups, or they’re getting seasonal flu shots or the COVID-19 vaccine. So, it’s best to get your kids comfortable with them sooner rather than later. What can parents do to make trips to the pediatrician, if not a favorite, then at least a tear-free experience? Here’s what the experts suggest.

Give your kids advance warning. Kids don’t like surprises unless you’re offering them a favorite treat, so let them know in advance that shots are on the horizon. “Like so many things in parenting,” says pediatrician Wendy Swanson, MD, “knowing what to expect is essential for your child.” Don’t give your kids 18 SonomaFamilyLife

too much time to dwell on the shots because this will only make them more anxious—a couple of days is enough. “The waiting and anticipation of shots,” says Swanson, “is far worse for kids than the actual injection.” Be honest with them. Be honest when you talk to your kids

Be honest when you talk to your kids about what the experience is going to be like. anxious because they get the sense that there really is something to worry about. Instead of telling your kids that it’ll be pain-free, tell them, as primary care doctor Maureen Boyd, MD, puts it, “[that] it probably will hurt a bit, but it’ll only hurt for a moment.” Explain why vaccines are important. Using words they will understand, tell kids why they need to get their shots. Let them know that shots prevent sickness. Pediatrician Melissa Arca, MD, suggests saying that shots keep kids “healthy just like eating healthy foods, getting daily exercise, and getting enough sleep do.” Similarly, Sophia Mirviss, MD, another pediatrician, suggests telling kids that shots keep them “healthy and strong, like eating vegetables or brushing their teeth.” Stay calm and collected. Once you get to the pediatrician’s office, be calm. Experts agree that your kids’ behavior will mirror yours. “If you act or feel nervous,” Swanson

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

says, “your child may pick up on this.” But, if you remain calm, your kids will, too. If they’re young, have them sit on your lap and hold their hands while they’re getting their shots. It’ll help relax both of you. Try to distract them. Experts suggest playing fun games like “I Spy,” singing together, telling them

Kids don’t like surprises unless you’re offering them a favorite treat.

Celebrating YEARS

a story, reminiscing about a favorite place that you’ve been together, or talking about an exciting thing that you’ve planned to do later in the day. Praise and reward them. Once the visit is over, pediatrician Laura Marusinec, MD, suggests giving kids lots of positive feedback. This will “make your child feel better about getting shots in the future,” she says. She suggests telling your kids that you’re proud of their bravery; say that bravery means doing the right thing even if it’s scary, and that they did the right thing by getting the shots. Experts also suggest that you reward them for their good behavior. You can take them on a trip to the park, go to the zoo, see a movie together, give them a favorite treat, or let them choose what you’re all going to have for dinner that evening. As Arca puts it (only partly tongue-in-cheek): “getting shots is no fun for anyone and ice cream really does make everything better.” ¶ Tanni Haas, PhD, is a college communications professor.


YEARS as the #1 resource for local families

magazine • web • email • events April 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 19

Get the Grrs Out



Help Kids Manage Anger

By Louison Nielman


nger in children is often noisy and challenging. Since their brains are still developing, they can’t yet control their emotions, so they resort to more primal reactions such as screaming, kicking, and throwing tantrums. However, kids can learn how to restore their sense of calm—by describing their anger, measuring it, and finding their own ways of expressing it. Anger often masks unmet needs, so encouraging your child to talk about it can help you find solutions together. When your child feels listened to and understood, their relationship to you becomes more harmonious. This is especially significant because children can sometimes blame themselves for getting angry and might even be afraid of no longer being loved. Making space for our emotions destigmatizes them and allows us and others to better understand these feelings. The reverse—blocking difficult emotions—comes at a high price, ultimately harming our

20 SonomaFamilyLife

1. Stand with your feet flat on the ground. Relax your shoulders and arms. Imagine the wind blowing.

2. Sway your arms, like the branches of a tree in the wind.

3. It’s stormy! Sway your arms faster and faster. Your body swivels a bit, but your feet remain rooted to the ground.

4. The wind calms. Gradually slow down, until you’re still and peaceful.


Bailey is discovering how to shift from a state of agitation to calm while always feeling safe. She remains anchored.

Mindful Kids Activity Book 11-5-20.indd 29

well-being. Here is an activity from my book, The Mindful Kids Activity Book: 60 Playful Projects, Games, and Exercises to Make Friends with Your Feelings (Bala Kids, 2021) that will help children discover a technique for, first, expressing anger in a healthy way and, second, ultimately returning to a calm state.

Reprinted from The Mindful Kids Activity Book: 60 Playful Projects,

Lie down and listen to an audiobook or a story read to you by your favorite grown-up.

11/4/20 5:25 PM

Games, and Exercises to Make Friends with Your Feelings (Bala Kids, 2021) with permission from Bala Kids, an imprint of Shambhala, shambhala.com/ bala-kids.

Louison Nielman is a clinical psychologist who specializes in counseling children and teens. She is an advocate for therapeutic forms of mediation, such as storytelling, puppetry, and playful relaxation therapy.

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com


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Drive-thru to pick-up your FREE . . . • Kid’s Eco-Exploration Guide • WaterSmart Toolkit To prevent the spread of COVID-19, this is a drive-thru only event. Participants must remain in vehicle at all times. Masks required.



April 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 21

April Thursday 1 My Name Is…Johnny Cash. The story of the life of Johnny Cash, told through his words & songs in a virtual theatrical performance. April 1–11. Streaming on-demand. $18. Tickets: 6thstreetplayhouse.com. FREE Regional Parks Facebook Live. Short science spiels on Sonoma

County parks, including Q&A. Apr. 1 (2:30 p.m.): Why Are There Cattle in Our Parks? Apr. 8 (2:30 p.m.): The Rich Biodiversity of Doran

Calendar of Events Regional Park’s Marsh. Apr. 8 (2 p.m.): La Rica Biodiversidad del Pantano del parque Regional Doran (en español). Apr. 15 (2:30 p.m.): Firs, Oaks & Fire. Apr. 22 (2:30 p.m.): Flourishing Flowers. facebook.com/ sonomacountyregionalparks.

Winery. 23355 Millerick Rd., Sonoma. larsonfamilywinery.com/reservations.

Tuesday 6 FREE Virtual Pride Club for Teens. Teens discuss books & other

media that showcase queer voices & experiences. Ages 13–18. Sponsored by the Sonoma County Library. Tuesdays. 4–5 p.m. Registration required: events. sonomalibrary.org/event/4746250. Contact: teenpride@sonomalibrary.org.

Sunday 4 Easter Brunch at the Barn. The Easter Bunny will be safely bouncing around. $35–$60 per person. Brunch: 10 a.m.–noon. Larson Family

FREE Parenting and Coping with Stress. Child Parent Institute hosts a

4-week class that aims to help parents devise ways to decrease stress. April 6–27. Tuesdays. 6–7:30 p.m. Register (before Apr. 5): tinyurl.com/rtjxt64e.

Wednesday 7 FREE Mind of a Scientist (Virtual Field Trips). Through Zoom meetings,

grades 7–12 interact with scientists & engineers doing live presentations from their labs or the field. Breakout groups follow presentations. 12:30–2 p.m. Info: rabbott@sonomalibrary.org.


B Mî `ƒ


22 SonomaFamilyLife

FREE Child Parent Institute Mothers & Babies Support Group.

Ten-week online group for pregnant & new moms. Learn about parenting & bonding & get assistance, from a therapist, with the emotions that come along with motherhood. Fridays. 9:30–11 a.m. Register: calparents.org. Info: 284-1500.

MOVE-IN SPECIAL CALL FOR DETAILS 6001 Commerce Blvd. Rohnert Park

Friday 9

Saturday 10 FREE Sonoma Clean Power E-Bike Workshop. Learn specific rules

EXPRESSWAY SELF STORAGE Mention this ad for:

50% off for the first 12 months

for e-bikes; test handling skills on mini-obstacle course; learn how

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

to signal & navigate traffic (on a short neighborhood ride). Wear masks, bring helmets. COVID-safety protocols followed. Apr. 10 & 17: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Registration required: tinyurl.com/y3y6tkwv.

on health & wellness. Sponsored by 4Cs of Sonoma County & others. 6–7:30 p.m. Register: tinyurl. com/3v2pnm60.

Robert Ferguson Observatory.

FREE Dino Light by Corbian Visual Arts & Dance. Virtual performance

Night Sky Trails is the observatory’s version of a Star Party without telescopes. Laser-guided tour of the constellations. Small groups with individual RFO docents. $5. 17 & younger: free. 2 sessions: 8–9 p.m. & 9–10 p.m. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood. Reservations required: rfo.simpletix.com.

Thursday 15 Love Requited (eventually): Songs of Romantic Steps & Misteps.

Livestream performance by Katie Watts Whitaker with musical accompaniment from Robert Hazelrigg. Presented by the Raven Theater. $20. April 15–17: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: showtix4u.com/events/17219.

Friday 16 FREE Vitality Parent Café. Every

third Friday of the month. Focusing

Saturday 17 blends puppetry, technology & dance. April 17–18. Register: lutherburbankcenter.org/event/ dino-light. Art & Adventure Brownie Virtual Sleepover. Brownies earn Letter

boxer badge. Learn to design stamp and letterbox, make & solve puzzles & draw Snoopy. Badge will be mailed after the event. Via Zoom. For girls in grades 2–3. $35. Apr. 17: 4–7 p.m. & Apr. 18: 9–10:30 a.m. Register: schulzmuseum.org/learn/ calendar-of-events. Virtual Art of Dessert. Fundraiser

for the Luther Burbank Center. Virtual live auction with auctioneer Greg Quiroga, silent auction & more. Food & dessert options for purchase. 5:30 p.m. Registration required: lutherburbankcenter.org/event/ art-of-dessert-2021.

Thursday 22 FREE Earth Day 2021: Restore Our Earth—Family Scavenger Hunt at Laguna Uplands. 3:30–6:30 p.m.

(Register for a timeslot.) Laguna Uplands Preserve. 6700 Palm Ave., Sebastopol. Pre-registration required: tinyurl.com/yt9ev8tj. FREE Just Between Friends Kids’ & Maternity Consignment Sales Event. The largest of its kind in the

North Bay. Clothes, toys, games, shoes, baby gear, strollers, furniture & more. Free admission & parking. COVID-19 guidelines followed. Priority entry for ticket holders. Apr. 22: 2–7 p.m. Apr. 23: 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Apr. 24 & 25: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. Tickets: northbay.jbfsale.com. FREE Celebrate Earth Day with Us!

Kids’ Eco-Exploration Guides will be filled with eco-friendly activities, reusable items & more. Adults receive free WaterSmart Toolkits: flow bags, dye tabs & water-saving resources. Drive-thru event only. Masks required. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. A Place to Play Community Park. 2375



While Y Camp may look a bit different again this Summer due to COVID health protocols ….. many things will remain the SAME !  Non-stop Adventure & FUN  Physical Activity & Outdoor Recreation  Arts & Crafts and STEM Activities  Opportunity to make friends  Peace of mind for working parents Multiple Camp Locations


1111 College Avenue, SR 545-9622  www.scfymca.org www.sonomafamilylife.com

April 2021

CONTACT US for more info ycampinfo@scfymca.org

SonomaFamilyLife 23



W. 3rd St., Santa Rosa. srcity.org/2139/ Earth-Day-OnStage.

Friday 23 Alexander Valley Film Festival.

September 2020

Virtual screening of indie films. Some drive-in films. Passes: $19–$139. Runs thru May 2. Tickets: avfilmsociety.org/ alexander-valley-film-festival.

Saturday 24 FREE Love Your Mother–Clean Your Creek. Help remove litter &

Autism Aid

Routines work

Virtual Nana Kids connect

Find a Tutor Tips for success

Moms-to-Be Local COVID-19 advice


SIGN UP HERE 24 SonomaFamilyLife

other debris from Sonoma Creek. 2 sessions: 9–11 a.m. & 10 a.m.–noon. 2 locations: Larson Park. 329 DeChene Ave., Sonoma. Maxwell Farms Regional Park. 100 Verano Ave., Sonoma. Registration required: tinyurl.com/48zbxurt. Info: parks. sonomacounty.ca.gov. FREE Sidewalk Spring Plant Sale. Varieties of tomatoes, other

veggies, herbs, flowers, succulents, perennials available for purchase. Benefits local students. Outdoor sale. Masks required. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. 8995 Graton Rd., Graton. sebastopol.org/ community-calendar.

Sunday 25 FREE Santa Rosa Symphony@Home Concert. Featuring the music of

legendary composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. The concert will stream on the Symphony’s YouTube channel. 3 p.m. srsymphony.org/events-tickets/ srs-home.

Thursday 29 How to Draw Linus. Zoom class led by professional cartoonist Robert Pope. $10–$15. 4–5 p.m. Registration required: schulzmuseum.org/learn/ calendar-of-events.

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com




Buy Gowan’s Award-Winning Ciders


Humor Break Suzy: I usually don’t wear clothes, unless I take a bath with my brother, then I wear my bathing suit.

The author’s husband and child

A Bath Beats the News Lessons Learned from a First Grade Zoom Class

By Jessica Guerrieri


no longer read the news. I’ve actually been banned from it—a direct order from my therapist. I got into a bad habit of waking up, doom scrolling, and stopping to read about whatever tragic event transpired while I was sleeping. I’d feel my anxiety— along with an overwhelming sense of impending catastrophe—kick in. As it turns out, this is not a healthy way to begin the day, especially while caring for three small children. Lately I let my daughters dictate the direction of our days, only nudging them (and myself!) back towards gratitude when we fall off course.

These mornings I’m barefoot in the kitchen sipping on cold coffee, throwing cereal towards my toddler, locating my five-year-old’s toothbrush, and calling out bribes to my seven-year-old in hopes that she’ll stay seated at the computer. In all the a.m. kerfuffle, I still get to hear the news, it 26 SonomaFamilyLife

just comes from a much purer source: a first grade Zoom meeting. Teacher: Can someone share one thing in their house that’s blue? Suzy, I see you are holding something blue. Hit unmute and tell us what you found. Suzy: No sound. Teacher: Suzy, press unmute. Suzy: Still no sound. Teacher: Try again. We can’t hear you. Suzy: Dad comes over to assist. My Dad told me not to share this because it’s private: My mom got out of the shower and wasn’t wearing clothes. Teacher: You’re right, that is private. Tell me about the blue item in your hand. Suzy: I take baths not showers. Teacher: Last chance to tell us about your blue item.

For 45 minutes, this is how the class continues: 15 six- and seven-year-olds gloriously, innocently oversharing. I marvel that their logic always follows a zigzag path, until eventually and inevitably they show the class their dog, or talk about losing a tooth or that one time they swam at a hotel pool. As a former teacher myself, I’m not sure what I was expecting. The main perks of my old job were these pure nuggets of delight. I guess I thought my daughter’s class would talk about what every adult I know is talking about: the pandemic. But children would rather tell you about Grandpa farting in the car than complain about wearing a mask. How unbelievably refreshing. As parents, it’s our job to filter out the parts of our reality that are too toxic for our children. And, as my therapist helped me to understand, I have to do that for myself, too. Instead of scrolling through the news, I need to take a page out of Suzy’s playbook and go back to the simple joys of bath time. We show them the tough parts they can handle. And they show us the very nature of resilience. We carry the weight, even though it’s too heavy. They keep reminding us to laugh. ¶ Jessica Guerrieri is a freelance writer/blogger. She and her husband have three daughters. Find her at witandspitup.com and follow her on Instagram @witandspitup.

April 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

Classified Marketplace Camps



So much learning was erased. We can help bring it back this summer!

Get Your Indie Flick Fix


t’s hard to get a culture hit during a pandemic. But the virtual Alexander Valley Film Festival aims to make it easier with online and drive-in screenings of indie films. Along with movies, there will be Q&A sessions, panels, and networking events. And local restaurants, wineries, and distillers will participate with products available for pick-up. The festival will run April 23–May 2. Passes are $19–$139 and may be purchased at avfilmsociety.org. Also check out the Sonoma County Virtual Israeli Film Festival, April 1 and 2. Purchase individual tickets at jccsoco.org/viff2021. ¶

2021 SUMMER CAMPS & CLASSES JUNE 14–JULY 16 OPEN TO ALL! AGES 6-14 30+ classes and camps!

Hogwarts | KidVets! | Edible Science | Art In-Person and Online Options

RINCON VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION http://rvef.org/enrichmentclasses.html

Childcare/Preschools YMCA Early Education Center SANTA ROSA 2590 PINER ROAD


Part Time /Full Time Care Flexible Plans Available Serving Infant-5 years PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

We can help! 

Health & Nutrition, Motor Skills, Interpersonal Relationships, Self Confidence, and Cognitive Development PRICING & REGISTRATION: 707.544.1829 www.scfymca.org

The Sonoma County Family YMCA is an inclusive, charitable organization that enriches community through the areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.

Take a Chill Pill


he frequent urge to tear your hair out seems to go hand-in-hand with (pandemic) parenting. The Child Parent Institute (CPI) understands and wants to help moms and dads chill out. To this end, CPI is offering a free four-week online class called Parenting and Coping with Stress. The class promises to help parents figure out their unique responses to stress and, using a series of evaluations and tools, devise a plan to eliminate or exert more control over common stressors. The course will be held Tuesdays, April 6–27, 6–7:30 p.m. Get more information at calparents.org; register at tinyurl.com/ rtjxt64e. Registration closes 24 hours before the first class. ¶ www.sonomafamilylife.com

 Paternity and Child Support  Order Establishment   Payment Collection Services   Payment Tracking and     Accounting   Child Support Modification   

Call Today 866-901-3212 Sonoma County   Child Support Services  3725 Westwind Blvd., Ste 200  Santa Rosa, CA 95403  

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