Sonoma Family Life September 2022

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September 2022

ADHD Help 4 tips for teens

Viva la Fiesta Hispanic Heritage Month

Arts & Sports 5 benefits for kids

Baby Safety What to buy

Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show September 23-25, 2022

9 am to Midnight Daily • Boonville Fairgrounds

SHEEP DOG TRIALS • APPLE & WINE TASTINGS WOOL & FIBER FESTIVAL • CARNIVAL CCPRA RODEOS SAT. NIGHT & SUN. AFTERNOON Friday, 8 pm Scott Forbes Band Saturday, 9:30 pm Dean Titus & The Coyote Cowboys Sunday, 6 pm Los Cautivos & Los Elegantes DTC

Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten

Take note of this important information!

KINDERGARTENERS MUST BE IMMUNIZED California law requires children entering kindergarten to have these five immunizations: • Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus (DPT) • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) • Polio • Hepatitis B • Varicella (Chickenpox) Children cannot be enrolled in or attend kindergarten unless they have up-to-date immunizations and an immunization record on file at the school. Your healthcare provider will need to assist you with updating your child’s vaccines. If you do not have a doctor or have questions about immunizations in general, please contact the Sonoma County Immunization Coordinator, (707) 565-4573. If your child is not immunized with one or more of the required immunizations due to a medical reason, you will need to have an electronic medical exemption on file with the State of California Department of Public Health (CDHP). The electronic exemption must be filed by a California licensed Medical Doctor (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO). If your child previously had an exemption but is now being admitted to a new school, he or she will need to meet the new requirements for medical exemptions.

ORAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT REQUIRED Your child should have an oral health assessment no later than May 31 of his/her first year in school. The assessment should be provided by a dentist or licensed dental health professional.


Huckleberry the Helpful Hound For more information on immunization requirements, including medical exemptions, visit

A certificate verifying that your child has received a health checkup within the last 18 months is required within 90 days of entering first grade.

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September 2022

Every Issue 6

Features 12 The Focus Problem Practical ways to assist students with ADHD.

14 Especially Sleepy Help kids with special needs to get their Zzzs.

16 The Inner Child Psychologist A therapist-mom’s take on autism.

18 Well-Rounded Kids


Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Zucchini with Zip


Bits and Pieces How to Raise Kids Who Thrive Be a BioBlitzer Muévete con la Música

20 Pets with a Purpose The many varieties of emotional support animals.

Need Help Training a Dog?

22 Is Your Baby Gear Safe? How to make sure car seats, cribs, and rockers are up to snuff.

24 Five Minutes of Love


Pick Up a Pencil and Draw ¡Fiesta Gratis!

26 Calendar of Events 36 Humor Break No More Forks to Give

It doesn’t take much time to connect to kids.

How extracurricular activities help children thrive.

10 4 SonomaFamilyLife

8 September 2022


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Dear Reader


his issue is dedicated to parents of children with special needs. We know raising a child who is differently abled or has cognitive, emotional, or other Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor challenges is not an easy road. That’s why we put together this selection of supportive articles that address particular issues families like yours face. For instance, getting a good night’s sleep. This basic task can be challenging for kids’ who struggle with any number of disorders. And, what’s more, a lack of sleep can aggravate existing symptoms. Malia Jacobson’s “Especially Sleepy” (page 14) offers guidance on how to help children ease into slumber and stay there.

used for this important job, many other animals make great friends for kids, too. Turn to Sandi Schwartz’s “Pets with a Purpose” (page 20) to learn more. Dodging others’ judgments is one of the hardships of parenting kids who are a little different. Many moms and dads, no matter what their circumstances, feel the weight of others’ opinions sometimes, too. Jessica Guerrieri is so over it. She refuses to be mom-shamed. Read her humorous “No More Forks to Give” (page 36), and let your laughter release any worry about what the neighbors or the in-laws or the folks waiting in line at the grocery store think of you or your kids. Whatever your family’s challenges, we are here to serve you with information that makes life easier. We know parenting is hard work. We’ve got your back. Have a wonderful September!

Support animals can soothe children any time of day. While dogs are often

BACK-TO-SCHOOL CHECKLIST FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS ✔ Sign-up for ParentSquare or download the app

Marketing/ Sales/Events Patricia Ramos 707-205-1539

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Contributing Writers Lynn Adams Kimberly Blaker Jessica Guerrieri Malia Jacobson Christina Katz Cheryl Maguire Gaby Melian Sandi Schwartz

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office P.O. Box 351 Philo, CA 95466 (707) 205 1539


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6 SonomaFamilyLife

September 2022

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SonomaFamilyLife 7

Cooking with Kids

Zucchini with Zip Argentina’s Answer to the Squash Side By Gaby Melian

“Zapallito” translates as “little pumpkin” or “little squash.” The zapallitos I grew up eating in Argentina are called “zapallitos de tronco” (“stem squashes”). They’re small, round, and bright green, with a flavor and texture similar to zucchini, which is easier to find in major American grocery stores. When I was in college, I also had a full-time job, which meant that I didn’t have a lot of free time. Whenever I needed a quick, inexpensive, and filling meal, I turned to zapallitos salteados (or zapallitos revueltos, which is when you add scrambled eggs). Today, every time I cook this for dinner, it reminds me of my college days in Argentina. You can serve your zapallitos salteados with Arroz Blanco. ❖ Excerpted, with permission, from Gaby’s Latin American Kitchen: 70 Kid-Tested and Kid-Approved Recipes for Young Chefs by Gaby Melian (America’s Test Kitchen, 2022),

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Zapallitos Salteados (Stir-Fried Zucchini) ¡En Sus Marcas! Ready! Ingredients

¡Fuera! Go!

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat for about 1 minute (the oil should be hot but not smoking). Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the vegetables are just beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

1 red onion, peeled and sliced thin 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced thin 3 small zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick (about 3 cups) 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 carrot, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater 2 teaspoons dried oregano ½ teaspoon dried thyme

2. Stir in the zucchini, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot, oregano, and thyme.

Rubber spatula

3. Cover the skillet with a lid; reduce the heat to medium-low; and cook until the zucchini is tender but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Use oven mitts to remove the lid. Serve.

Oven mitts

Serves: 4 to 6

¡Listos! Set! Equipment 12-inch nonstick skillet with a lid

Zapallitos Revueltos (Stir-Fried Zucchini with Scrambled Eggs) If you like, add some scrambled eggs to your zapallitos salteados to turn them into zapallitos revueltos! Once the zucchini is tender in step 3, remove the lid and increase the heat to medium. Use a rubber spatula to push the vegetables to 1 side of the skillet. Add 3 large eggs, beaten with a fork, to the empty side of the skillet. Let the eggs set for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir the eggs until they clump and are still slightly wet. Then, gently stir the eggs into the vegetables. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. September 2022


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Bits & Pieces

How to Raise Kids Who Thrive


merican kids are lonely and stressed, research says. So what can parents do to help them? That’s a question Michele Borba, EdD, seeks to answer in her free virtual talk Raising Thrivers. Based on her book Thrivers: Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Thrive (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2021), the talk will cover the personal traits that differentiate those kids who struggle from those who succeed. It will also offer practical, actionable ways to cultivate “thriver” traits in children—traits that will help them reach their potential throughout their lives. The talk, hosted by the Sonoma County Library, will be held on September 8, 11 a.m.– noon. Register at ❖

Be a BioBlitzer


cientific research depends on data. Lots of it— sometimes more than any group of scientists can collect themselves. So researchers rely on regular folks and events like BioBlitz to help them collect it. Participants in the BioBlitz at Foothill Regional Park in Windsor will take a guided hike (suitable for all ages and abilities) to collect data about the diversity of plant and animal species in the park. Then they’ll download what they find to a global scientific database. To assist them with their task, prior to the hike BioBlitzers can download the free app iNaturalist to their smartphones. The event will be held on September 11, 9:30–11:30 a.m.; registration is required. Learn more and register at ❖

Muévete con la Música


hen we learn to sing or play a piece of music, we also may find ourselves learning about the culture from which it came. And so it is with the Spanish Music and Movement class, which teaches kids about Spanish culture and language while engaging them in energetic musical activities involving colorful scarves, instruments, and animals. The free class is presented in Spanish and is designed for children younger than six and their families. It will be held on September 17, 10–10:30 a.m., at the Sebastopol Regional Library in Sebastopol. For more information, go to ❖

10 SonomaFamilyLife

September 2022

Need Help Training a Dog?


og owners love their furry companions, but without proper training, even the sweetest canines can try the patience of owner and stranger alike. At Bilingual Dog Training in Your Neighborhood, newly certified dog trainer Alexis Puerto Holmes aims to help dog owners help their pets to be at their best. The free English-Spanish class will cover loose-leash walking, attention-getting techniques, and proper socialization strategies. It will be held on September 15, 5–6:30 p.m., at the gazebo in Andy Lopez Unity Park in Santa Rosa. See for details. ❖

Pick Up a Pencil and Draw


alo Alcaraz is not just any cartoonist. The winner of the 2022 Herblock Prize is renowned for his editorial cartoons, and also for his syndicated daily Latin-centric comic strip La Cucaracha. He will be sharing his noteworthy talents with the next generation of cartoonists at the free Family Comic Creation class, at which he will teach techniques for using comics for creative expression. Participants will receive a sketchbook so they can keep drawing at home. The event will be held on September 10, 2–2:45 p.m., at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Registration is recommended: ❖

¡Fiesta Gratis!


t’s National Hispanic Heritage month and the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (LBC) is celebrating with Fiesta de Independencia. The free celebration will feature performances by Ballet Folklórico Ireri and several mariachi bands as well as the Sonoma County Pomo Dancers. And there’ll be children’s activities, too, including carnival games, face painting, a jumpy house, piñatas, and an instrument petting zoo. A low-rider exhibition and, of course, plenty of authentic food will round out the afternoon’s festivities. The fiesta will be held on September 18, 1–7 p.m., at LBC in Santa Rosa. Learn more at ❖

September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 11

4 Ways to Improve Focus

The Focus Problem 4 Tips for Helping Teens with ADHD

By Cheryl Maguire


got detention for forgetting my book three times in a row,” read Michael’s text. His mother wasn’t surprised. Michael was diagnosed with ADHD when he was eight years old, and she’d received other messages saying he’d misplaced or even forgotten to do his homework. His mother had hoped that he’d be more organized by 13, and she wondered if this was typical teenage behavior or if it was the result of ADHD.

“Everyone has ADHD behavior at times,” says Sarah Cheyette, MD, a pediatric neurologist and author of the book ADHD & the Focused Mind (Square One, 2016). Cheyette says the difference between a person with ADHD and other people is that the person with ADHD is unfocused too much of the time. “There are differences between a child and a teen with ADHD,” Cheyette says. When a younger child has ADHD, parents tend to be more forgiving and helpful 12 SonomaFamilyLife

You are your child’s best advocate. with their unfocused behaviors. A teen with ADHD may want their independence but lack the skills to focus and control their impulses. This can lead to more severe consequences than when they were younger. But parents can help their teens with ADHD improve their focus. September 2022

1. Positive Thinking When a teen is interested in doing a particular task, it will be easier to accomplish. “Most people become more focused when they decide they want to do something,” says Cheyette. “If you say to yourself, I don’t feel like doing this, then you probably won’t.” For example, if your teen doesn’t like doing homework, encouraging them to change their mindset can help improve their focus. Reframing the

It’s important for teens to actively set and own their goals. negative thought (“I don’t want to do my homework”) in a more positive light (“Finishing my homework will make me feel good about this class”) can help a teen become more focused and complete the task. 2. The Right Surroundings Emily, a parent of a 14-year-old son diagnosed with ADHD, has found that choosing the right environment helps her son’s mindset. “I encourage him to stay after school to do his homework,” she says. “This way he doesn’t become distracted by things at home, like his phone, and he can receive help from his teachers.” 3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices Cheyette also stresses the importance of a healthy lifestyle for improving and maintaining focus. This includes eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and making time to exercise. Sleep problems can lead to issues with memory and impulse control for any

child, but especially kids with ADHD. (See “Especially Sleepy,” page 14.) Jen, a parent to a 12-year-old girl diagnosed with ADHD, agrees with Cheyette about the importance of eating healthy and getting enough sleep. Her daughter experiences intense mood swings and an inability to deal with stress when she doesn’t eat or sleep well. 4. Setting Goals Cheyette says that setting goals can help teens with ADHD improve their focus and achieving their goals will help them feel successful. As a parent, you may be tempted to provide directions or nag your child to make sure they are working towards their goals, but it’s important for teens to actively set and own their goals.

And you can still help them. “Make observations and ask questions,” Cheyette recommends. “If you notice your son’s backpack is a mess, instead of saying, ‘You need to organize your backpack,’ try saying, ‘It must be

When a teen is interested in doing a particular task, it will be easier to accomplish. difficult to find your homework when your backpack looks like this’ or ‘How are you able to find your homework?’” Once you’ve framed the problem, she says, “Ask questions such as, ‘How can you help yourself?’ or ‘How can you act differently next time?’ to allow

your child to think about and own their behaviors. Cheyette wants to remind parents that you are your child’s best advocate and the parents interviewed here agree. “The best advice I can give other parents is to tell them that there may be really bad times, but your child needs to know that you are in their court,” Jen says. “When your child feels like a failure or has no friends, or school is horrible, they need to be able to come home to you and release their frustrations and emotions.” ❖ A married mom of twins and a daughter, Cheryl Maguire holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, and many other publications. Find her on Twitter @ CherylMaguire05.


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SonomaFamilyLife 13

even hyperactivity. A study by the American College of Chest Physicians found that children who snored loudly were twice as likely to have learning impairment. The potential impact is so severe that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children who snore be screened for sleep apnea, says Robert Heinle, MD, of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children Sleep Lab.

Especially Sleepy Snoring, Sleep & Special Needs By Malia Jacobson


any children with special needs also face significant sleep challenges, a draining double-whammy that leaves millions of parents and children exhausted. The National Association of School Psychologists reports that as many as 30 percent of children may have a sleep disorder, but rates are much higher among children with special needs. Recent studies published in Pediatrics link childhood snoring and sleep apnea, or “sleep disordered breathing” (SDB), to behavioral problems and an increased need for special education. In fact, SDB is strongly associated with conditions like Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. What’s more, sleep problems can be especially devastating to children with special needs, because the resulting sleep deprivation can worsen the symptoms of their existing medical or behavioral 14 SonomaFamilyLife

problems, says Carole L. Marcus, MD, CHOP Sleep Center director. Night Rumbles: Snoring and Sleep Apnea Most children snore once in a while, and 10 percent snore most nights. But these nighttime noises shouldn’t be dismissed as “normal”: Researchers now believe that snoring is on the same spectrum as sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing that cause brief awakenings. Left untreated, sleep apnea can contribute to behavioral problems and learning difficulties, September 2022

Children with autism can have difficulties with the circadian rhythm. Other SDB warning signs include sleeping in strange positions, experiencing night terrors, bedwetting, or perspiring during sleep, says Renee Turchi, MD, board-certified pediatrician with St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. How to help: The good news: Nearly all otherwise-healthy children with sleep apnea respond well to having the tonsils removed, says Marcus. Back-sleeping can exacerbate snoring; regular snorers or those with sleep apnea should choose another position (“back to sleep” is still best for babies, though). Beyond Snoring: Sleep and Special Needs Rates of sleep apnea and other sleep troubles skyrocket for children with special needs. About two-thirds of children with Down syndrome have sleep apnea, says Marcus; a larger tongue, a small mid-face, and lower muscle tone make these children more prone to SDB and apnea. Children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and

other conditions associated with low muscle tone also have higher rates of sleep apnea. According to multiple studies, over half of children with Down syndrome ages 7–11 wake during the night, and nearly 40 percent wet the bed.

Rates of sleep troubles skyrocket for children with special needs. Children with autism can have difficulties with the circadian rhythm, the sleep-wake cycle that governs wakefulness and sleep, driving them to stay up too late, says Marcus. “Our brains regulate sleep, so if the brain is abnormal for any reason, sleep is going to be impacted, too.” How to help: Though some special-needs sleep problems are physiological in nature, such as those related to low muscle tone, many are behavioral, such as habitual night wakings, waking too early in the morning, or fighting bedtime. “Often, parents may not set the same bedtime limits for children with special needs that they set for other children,” says Marcus. Defining clear parameters for sleep—including when bedtime occurs, where a child sleeps, and what is an acceptable hour to wake in the morning—and gently yet firmly enforcing these household rules, night after night, can help get sleep on track for children with special needs. ❖ Malia Jacobson is a nationally published health journalist and mom. Her latest book is Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades. Find her at



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SonomaFamilyLife 15

The Inner Child Psychologist A Therapist Learns to Take Her Own Advice

By Lynn Adams I quit. Toward the end of my first stint as a child psychologist, a high school classmate’s sister called during the ten-minute gap between patients. I took the call because I remembered her, and I was curious. It turned out to be one of those times my own thoughts came out of someone else’s mouth, which is why it’s stuck with me so long. After asking about my training, she remarked, “Don’t take this personally, but I’ve heard you’re better at determining whether or not a kid has autism than at knowing what to do about it.” I took it personally. 16 SonomaFamilyLife

I didn’t quit until I’d had my second child. Once I became a full-time mom, I poo-pooed those who suggested that my professional training might come in handy with my own children. As expressed during that long-ago phone call, there are limits to what a psychologist can do for a kid with autism. Now that James is a teenager, I realize it’s time to forget that phone call. I’ve listened to an inner psychologist ever since I quit my practice. Here’s what she said: • Early identification is important. Identifying autism as early as possible is crucial for research, and I trained with the September 2022

best. As I made the transition from research to practice, this skill rubbed some parents the wrong way. I’d often suspect autism before anyone else was ready to talk about it. When I saw signs in my own child as early as infancy, I doubted myself as much as my family doubted me. But that didn’t stop me from seeking help early. I needed help. Because of his developmental issues, James was harder to care for than most kids his age.

Psychologists know how to tell the difference between a problem and a hassle. • “Mild” is far different from “not.” Friends questioned the wisdom of diagnosing a condition that can go undetected. James himself has questioned it since he first learned the word autism in third grade. But I knew that those with mild disabilities are most responsive to early intervention, and most likely to benefit from a mainstream school placement. They’re also likely to struggle in that mainstream placement. Nowadays, James’s autism is no secret. The amount of mothering he needs is. • Choose professionals for the right reasons. I already knew a lot of speech/language therapists, occupational therapists, and psychiatrists. I knew how much their services cost and which weren’t covered by our insurance. I knew a 30-minute session would take three times that long when you factored in travel, tantrums, and waiting room time. I knew what went on in those

waiting rooms. All this knowledge helped me weigh convenience and cost equally with professional competence. Every professional we’ve visited has worked within five miles of our home. • Developmental norms explain a lot. Kids do wacky things. Many of these are age appropriate, and you’re spinning your wheels if you get excited about them. Psychologists know how to tell the difference between a problem and a hassle. I wish I’d snapped a photo the morning I found James sitting on top of our refrigerator. It was dangerous, sure. But it was a rare act of adventure and confidence. And he was smiling like he’d won the Superbowl. • Excuse notes spell relief. Experts’ excuse notes have two jobs:

a) communicating the course of a condition, and b) clarifying the limits of one’s ability to alter that course. Just as James’s pediatrician wrote a note to get him out of PE for two weeks when he sprained an ankle, I wrote

myself this mental note on a rough night: These days James goes berserk at bedtime, even if you do everything right. Hang in there. • Consider the risk-reward ratio for big decisions. When it came time to consider psychiatric medication, I had a massive head

start on most parents. I’d supported other families through these difficult decisions, and I’d stuck around to see how things turned out. When I was desperate to do everything possible to help James, I could put both my hopes and my fears in context. I still know more about diagnosing autism than about handling it, but I’m proud to admit that now. Psychology rarely helped James directly. It helped me, the parent, tremendously. I put my career on hold in order to devote my full attention to the important and difficult work of motherhood. But I couldn’t have done it without my inner psychologist. ❖ Lynn Adams, PhD, writes about mothering a child with autism at Also find her at




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SonomaFamilyLife 17

preferably with dedicated coaches and instructors leading the way. Physical activities increase coordination, inspire discipline, and provide energy outlets for restless kids. So let another trusted adult be in charge for a change, and enjoy your downtime while your kids get more fit.

Well-Rounded Kids 5 Benefits of After-School Activities By Christina Katz


arents, do you ever wonder if you may be taking the whole over-scheduling taboo too seriously? For years, parents have been hearing that kids have too many activities, too much homework, too-heavy backpacks, too much screen time, too much sugar...and on and on. Personally, I find most parents are intelligent, conscientious, and trying to find a healthy middle ground for everyone in the family. Most parents want their kids to have just the right amount of after-school activities. The vast majority seem committed to helping their kids become happier, healthier, more well-rounded citizens without pushing them into activity overload. So why not remember a few things kids stand to gain from after-school activities instead? Kids can benefit artistically, physically, socially, 18 SonomaFamilyLife

mentally, and personally from after-school activities. I contacted a half-dozen after-school activity pros, and here are some of the many benefits for kids that we discussed. Fit, Confident Kids As Elle Woods reminds us in the film Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” But motivating kids to get off the couch is not always easy. Your kids are not looking to you to tell them to run some wind sprints or do a series of gut crunches. This is where after-school activities come in, September 2022

Shining Lights While we may like to think that our children are born whole and complete, the truth is kids often discover what they are made of after they become immersed in activities that stretch and challenge them. Engaging kids in activities

Tutoring can definitely increase not just aptitude, but also enthusiasm. where they feel fully immersed in the experience and are responsible for their own mastery helps kids discover what makes them tick. When it comes to finding an activity for your child, look for outlets that challenge them while also providing gradual instruction and skill development. Part of Something Greater After-school activities offer kids outlets for expressing their energy within a safe learning context. Feeling part of a group with a purpose is a beautiful thing, so make sure that the space where your child spends time is safe, fun, and growth-centric. Often kids become as attached to a center, a studio, or a routine as they do to a group of peers. When kids go off to their activities, they should feel like they are going to one of their favorite places—to their home away from home. If this is not the case for your child,

then you might want to check out other possibilities. Memorably Connected If there is one thing all after-school activity professionals agree on, it’s the importance of making memories via meaningful connections. Engaged, smiling, busy children are typically happy children. Whether your child’s activity happens in a place rife with variety or in a more specialized space, your child is sure to grow over time, make memories, and understand herself better with regular participation in after-school activities. Why not let your kids have the continuity of years of ongoing participation? It’s hard to advance up the activity ranks if you dabble in one activity and then another. Give your child a few years in elementary

school to try different activities. Then see if they want to commit to an activity or two during middle school. They can always switch to different activities once they get to high school, if they wish.

Physical activities increase coordination, inspire discipline, and provide energy outlets. Aptitude-Rich Some students need extra help to keep up academically, so don’t panic if your child turns out to be one of them. Your child may need extra help that addresses specific needs such as standardized test preparation or responding to learning gaps. Other


kids simply need help becoming more satisfied students. Tutoring can definitely increase not just aptitude, but also enthusiasm. And just as parents don’t always make the best coaches, we also don’t always make the best tutors, either. Besides, kids often progress faster and more willingly when they work with mentors they don’t already know. And good news: raising academic confidence in one subject can lead to increased academic confidence across the board. So if your child is struggling with critical reading, vocabulary, or math skills, why not try a local tutoring service? ❖ Christina Katz is a mother, author, and journalist who has written hundreds of articles and columns for publication since 1999. Find her at



Children often become more focused, mature and calm after spending time with horses.


Getting your child involved in horses will take them on the adventure of a lifetime, and will provide exercise and a break from screens.


100 Lynch Road • Petaluma • 707-799-5054

20+ years teaching Sonoma County youth • Fun & positive environment

• All levels & ages

Eric Cabalo is the classical guitar professor at Sonoma State University.

102 B Wikiup Drive • Santa Rosa • 707.217.8017 • September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 19

some breeds are known for being the best emotional support dogs and more kid-friendly than others. These include the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Labrador retriever, bichon frise, shih tzu, boxer, poodle, and beagle.

Pets with a Purpose

How Animals Support Kids’ Emotional Health

By Sandi Schwartz


eyond simply being loving pets, animals can serve as therapeutic tools for children struggling with emotional issues, such as anxiety and depression. Such pets are referred to as emotional support animals (ESAs). An ESA can be a dog, cat, or other type of pet that, through companionship and affection, helps ease symptoms of an emotional or mental issue. Also called assistance animals, ESAs have improved the lives of so many people. Some children have trouble connecting with adults and their peers, which is where an ESA can be beneficial. They may find it easier to bond with an animal, as they can use nonverbal (or verbal, if they prefer) communication to connect with it. Pets are also supportive and nonjudgmental, providing a safe space for children to express themselves. ESAs are more than just pets to these

20 SonomaFamilyLife

children; the bond between child and animal can be quite powerful. Here are some of the types of ESAs available for your children. Dutiful Dogs Dogs are the most popular ESA choice, as they can be great emotional support animals for children. They are typically energetic and enjoy lots of playtime with their companions. Both small and large dog breeds work well with children, but September 2022

Caring Cats Cats are also a terrific choice for an ESA, especially for children who are intimidated by or afraid of dogs. They are a low-maintenance animal and often tender with children. Cats are smaller and lighter than

Dogs are the most popular ESA choice. dogs and usually enjoy sitting on laps. Additionally, they are more independent, tolerant of being left alone, and easily transportable, for instance on airplanes. Cats can be an antidote to kids’ loneliness and just generally help children cope more effectively with everyday life. There are no specific cat breeds known to be better for emotional support; it just depends on which cat can provide comfort to those struggling with a mental or emotional issue. Beautiful Birds Birds can also serve as pacifying companions. Parrots, in particular, are known to have a high level of empathy and provide a special type of interaction with those struggling with emotional issues. They can be taught words and phrases, which can help in therapeutic ways. Plus, many people are fascinated by their behavior and beautiful colors, and enjoy interacting with animals that can fly.

Sweet Small Pets Another group of ESAs, called “smallies,” include tiny animals, such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, mini pigs (also called pot-bellied pigs), and even rats. When used in therapeutic ways, they can help lower stress and anxiety in children. Easy pets to have around, they work especially well for people who find larger animals intimidating. Rabbits come in a range of sizes up to about 15 pounds. They are curious animals that enjoy socializing and can build bonds with humans. Hamsters are easy to care for, inexpensive, simple to transport, and calm. Guinea pigs are small enough to hold and love to be stroked. They are social, inquisitive, and can bond strongly with humans. What most people do not realize is that guinea pigs are

frequently vocal, whistling and purring when they are happy. Mini pigs are highly intelligent, easily trained, and can be very affectionate. The most shocking of this group, of course, are the rats. Despite the obvious stigma against them, they can actually be

frog, or turtle takes a great deal of concentration and offers individuals a reprieve from their emotional struggles. An advantage of choosing this type of ESA is that they require less care than mammals. For instance, they do not need to be walked or groomed.

Cats can be an antidote to loneliness.

If you are interested in getting an ESA for your child or registering one of your own pets as an ESA, check out ESA Registration of America ( for guidance. If you would like to find animal support programs in your community, contact organizations like Pet Partners (, American Kennel Club (, and Alliance of Therapy Dogs ( ❖

effective ESAs since they are very intelligent and social creatures that enjoy interacting with people in a gentle way. Chill Reptiles and Amphibians Finally, as surprising as it may sound, some types of reptiles and amphibians are now being used for therapy purposes. Caring for a lizard,

Learn more about Sandi Schwartz at

The library is your back-to-school resource school

September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 21

Check that car seat clips or seat belts are in the right place every time. Clips should be clasped at the armpit level. A seat belt should lay across your child’s lap with the top across the chest and shoulder (not across the neck or face). If you’re unsure whether your seat is correctly installed or need help, reach out to a Sonoma County community services officer: child-safety-seat-installation.

Is Your Baby Gear Safe? Tips for Buying & Using Equipment By Kimberly Blaker


egardless of their approach to parenting, one thing all parents prioritize is keeping their children safe. It seems like new recalls on child equipment occur each week. To ensure your child is safe and secure, keep the following in mind when buying and using child equipment. Car Seats The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that car seats offer your child the best protection in the event of an accident. The following are the three main types of car seats and how to use them. Search for and compare different car seats at

• Rear-facing: Babies and toddlers should face the rear as long as possible until they outgrow car seat height or weight limits. 22 SonomaFamilyLife

• Forward-facing: Once children outgrow a rear-facing seat, they should stay in a forward-facing seat until they exceed its height or weight limit. • Booster: Older children who can use a seat belt, but need to sit higher for the seat belt to correctly fit, should use a booster car seat. Once kids are tall enough to sit on the seat with the seat belt in a safe position, a car seat is no longer required. September 2022

Yes, car seats have expiration dates. In case of an accident, add a tag or sticker with important information about your child and emergency contact information. If possible, avoid buying a used car seat. It’s important that a car seat has not been in an accident and that it has not expired. (Car seats are not safe 6–10 years after their date of manufacture.) It’s hard to determine either if its used. Cribs Don’t use a crib with drop-down sides. Even though they were banned more than a decade ago for safety reasons, you still might find one at a garage sale or resale shop. Don’t buy it. Also make sure anything used you do buy does not have missing parts or issues with paint, splintering, or loose connections. To avoid SIDS, babies should be placed on their backs, and mattresses should be flat and firm with a tight-fitting sheet. There should be nothing loose in the crib, such as blankets, pillows, or stuffed toys. Cords and strings increase the risk of strangulation. Make sure neither is

anywhere near the crib. Don’t place heavy art or decorations over a crib as they could fall. As your child grows, there is a risk that they will fall out of the crib. Ensure the mattress height is appropriate so your child can’t roll or climb out. When your toddler can climb out, the crib is no longer suitable or safe. Changing Tables A safe, sturdy changing table is essential to keep your baby secure and reduce the risk of falls. The table should have a guardrail at least two inches high, and the changing pad should have raised sides to prevent easy rolling. A strap with a buckle is recommended to keep your baby secure. But don’t rely on it solely. Also keep diaper supplies within reach, so you never have to leave your

baby’s side. Like any equipment, make sure the changing table is correctly assembled and be aware of the manufacturer’s recommended weight limits.

Don’t use a crib with drop-down sides. Swings & Rockers This type of baby equipment has had many recalls. Some rockers and swings are advertised for helping baby sleep or nap. But according to manufacturers and organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), swings and rockers aren’t safe for sleeping,

especially without supervision. The safest way for babies to sleep is flat on their backs; swings and rockers put a baby’s head and neck at an angle, which can negatively impact breathing. In addition, babies should only be placed in swings when you are able to see and be aware of them. Discontinue the use of swings and rockers when your baby can sit up or roll. Also, always follow the recommended weight and height limits. Check out the CPSC’s website at for recalls, safety recommendations for parents, and equipment safety requirements for manufacturers. ❖ Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer who also owns an online bookshop, Sage Rare & Collectible Books:


PLAY-BASED EMERGENT CURRICULUM Our nurturing and qualified teachers have been serving Petaluma families of all faiths for over 45 years. With a 1/8 ratio and an emphasis on social and emotional learning, our program provides a positive first learning experience. Students enjoy, art, science, storytime, circle time, music and movement. All COVID-19 and CCL guidelines are followed so that we can provide a safe and healthy experience for all.

We are open to all faiths

The YMCA Preschool provides your child with high-quality, age-appropriate activities and enjoyable experiences. Personal attention, rich sensory experiences, and a generous supply of giggles! Part-Time/Full-Time Care Flexible Plans Available Serving Infant-5 years




707 308-3043 • 2590 Piner Rd. Santa Rosa September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 23

one good thing that happened to you today?” Surely, I should be able to think of something this time, especially since she asked it yesterday, I thought. But my mind was blank. Three hands shot up this time. “I was on time for the training today.” “I ate a tasty breakfast.”

Five Minutes Connect with Kids of Love at the Bus Stop By Cheryl Maguire


still walk to the bus stop with my ninth grade boy/girl twins. Before you assume that I’m a helicopter, snowplow, lawnmower, or some other type of machinery parent, please let me explain.

When my kids were younger, I admit that I used to go to the bus stop with them out of fear they would get hurt or kidnapped. But as that they got older, I realized that I continued to walk to the bus stop to spend time with them. And they wanted to spend time with me. Recently, reflecting on why those five minutes felt different from the rest of the time I saw them during the day, I recalled a three-day training I attended when I used to be a counselor. On the first day of the training, the speaker began by asking us, “What’s one good thing that happened to you today?” 24 SonomaFamilyLife

It was 9 a.m. and I’m not a morning person, so my brain wasn’t functioning enough to think of a response. I also thought, “Not much has really happened yet.” The class seemed to share my sentiment because only one other hand was raised. “I drank my coffee,” said an eager volunteer.

“My kid gave me a hug before I left the house.”

“Parenting a teen is not a set of strategies. It is a relationship.” —Laura Markham, PhD That day when I went home, I thought about the question and possible answers. I was determined to participate. When I woke up the next morning, I paid attention to all the positive experiences I had before I arrived at the training. That day when she asked the question, “What’s one good thing that happened to you today?”, at least 15 hands were raised, including my own. “The sky was filled with beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. Seeing it made me smile,” I said.

“Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you had a chance to drink coffee. Anyone else?”

The technique worked because the speaker asked the same question at the same time. This routine allowed me to anticipate and prepare to answer the question.

No one raised a hand. She moved on to the rest of her presentation, and I forgot about her question.

The Power of a Routine Walking to the bus stop every morning is a routine that my teens can count on.

The next day, I sat in the same seat. Again she began by asking, “What’s

They sometimes ask me questions or offer information about their day. And

The group erupted with laughter.

September 2022

rarely do they have their phone in front of their faces (unlike the rest of the time I see them).

to their families and schools, they are less likely to engage in violent behaviors as adults.

Laura Markham, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (TarcherPerigee, 2012), says, “Having a regular routine or ritual that you do with your teen will bring you closer. Parenting a teen is not a set of strategies. It is a relationship.”

Even though it’s short, the walk to the bus stop is enough time to create a connection.

Most parents of teens worry about the possibility that their kids might use drugs or engage in other risky behaviors. Research shows that when parents have a positive relationship with their teens, the teens are less likely to take risks. Research also shows that when teens feel connected

“Too many families waste energy nagging.” — Kenneth Ginsburg, MD When they come home from school, they are busy completing homework or talking with their friends. They often have activities or sports after that, so there are evenings when we don’t eat dinner together. There are some days when that walk to the bus stop is the only uninterrupted time we get, which is why I value it.

September 2022

“The time we spend together as families should be treasured. It should be spent supporting, guiding, and enjoying each other’s company,” says Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, co-founder of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication. “Too many families waste energy nagging. The bigger goal is to learn to communicate in a way that strengthens your relationships and prepares your teens for healthy relationships with you in the future.” In less than four years my kids might be headed off to college. So I’m taking Ginsburg’s advice and treasuring the time we have together—even if it is only five minutes. ❖ Cheryl Maguire is a nationally published writer with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Find her on Twitter: @CherylMaguire05.

SonomaFamilyLife 25

September Calendar of Events

Thursday 1 FREE Neurodiverse Storytime.

Facilitated by Sonoma County librarian. For neurodiverse & neurotypical kids ages 0–11. Thursdays (except Sept. 29). 10:30–11 a.m. Ives Park. 7400 Willow St., Sebastopol. Register: mubby6dc. FREE Intergenerational Chess Club: Teens & Seniors. Thursdays (except Sept. 29). 3:30–5 p.m. Sebastopol Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol.

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FREE Movies on Old Courthouse Square. Back to the Future plus

pre-show live music by Kid Galaga. Bring chairs & blankets. Beer & wine available for purchase. Concert: 5:30 p.m. Movie: 6 p.m. Old Courthouse Square. Santa Rosa. FREE Summer Nights on the

Live music, food vendors, farm-fresh produce. Sept. 1: TBA blues band. Sept. 8: Beatles Flashback. Farmers’ Market: 5–8 p.m. Live music: 6–8 p.m. Windsor Town Green. 701 McClelland Dr., Windsor. Green Concerts.

September 2022

Friday 2 FREE Young Astronomers/Striking Sparks. Robert Ferguson Observatory

virtual meeting for kids in grades 4–9 who are interested in all things space & want to meet like-minded friends. 7–8 p.m. RSVP for Zoom link: Garden Party. Weed, plant, harvest &

learn gardening practices at the edible garden. Free with museum admission ($11–$14, babies 0–11 mos. free). Fridays. 10 a.m.–noon. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. tinyurl. com/4m777ebb.

FREE Friday Night Live at the Plaza. Featuring Grupo Fantasma (Latin funk). Vendor booths & variety of family-friendly activities. Bring blankets or chairs. Food & drinks available for purchase. 6:30–9:30 p.m. Street fair: 6 p.m. Music: 6:30 p.m. Downtown Plaza. 122 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. cloverdalearts FREE Summer Movie Series.

Outdoor screenings. Sept. 2: The Princess Bride. On the lawn; bring chairs & blankets. Gates: 7 p.m. Film: 8 p.m. Healdsburg Community Center. 1557 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. Sept. 9: Grease. Drive-in. Gates: 6 p.m. Film: 7:30 p.m. Cloverdale Airport. 220 Airport Rd., Cloverdale.

ily ious fam c e r p e t n Crea afternoo n a h it sw . memorie mphony at the Sy n! g and fu in n r a le , Music

Symphony Spooktacular

October 23, 2022

Beethoven Lives Upstairs

Bobby Rogers, conductor Enjoy the familiar music from Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and more, that conjure images of fantastical creatures and magic, alongside ominous masterworks.

January 15, 2023 Bobby Rogers, conductor Classical Kids Live!

Costumes are encouraged.

A young boy comes to understand the genius of Beethoven, the beauty of his music and the torment of his deafness. Hear 25 selections from the master’s music.

FREE Movies in the Park. Sept.

2: Luca. Sept. 9: Sing 2. Sept. 16: Jurassic Park. 7:45–10 p.m. Howarth Park. 630 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. FREE Downtown Movie Night: We Bought a Zoo. Bring chairs; blankets not recommended due to concrete ground. Food & drinks available for purchase or bring picnic. Gates: 5 p.m. Movie: 6:30 p.m. 6400 State Farm Dr., Rohnert Park. Reserve free parking:

For kids & adults with sensory, motor, or other developmental needs. Membership not required, $10 for a family swim pass (2 adults & any minors in the same household). Fridays: 2:20–4 p.m. Sundays: 9–10:30 a.m. YMCA. 1111 College Ave., Santa Rosa. Sensory Swim at the YMCA.

3pm Sundays Weill Hall, Green Music Center Pre-concert fun for kids of all ages! Come for the FREE Instrument Petting Zoo one hour prior to performances.

Becoming Mozart

April 16, 2023 Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor Elizabeth Prior, Artistic Partner Jeff Coté, actor While the orchestra performs his quintessential works, learn of Mozart’s journey to becoming a classical music icon, from his humble beginnings, through his struggles and triumphs.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! | (707) 546-8742 3-concert package: $54/adult; $27/child; Family packages from $144; Single tickets: $20/adult; $10/child Family Series sponsored by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust and Victor and Karen Trione. Photos by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography.

September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 27

Saturday 3 FREE African Soul Festival.

Celebration of Rohnert Park Mayor Jackie Edward. Live music, dancing, Zumba, African market & food. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Rohnert Park Plaza. Rohnert Park.

Monday 5 Create mud sculptures, “cook” with mud—messy fun for all ages. Smocks provided. Free with admission ($11–$14; babies 0–11 mos. free). Mondays. 2–3 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. muv2a7jc. Mud Lab.

Tuesday 6 FREE Santa Rosa Taco Tuesday Rides. Slow 7-mile ride through

historic Santa Rosa neighborhoods. Taco trucks on hand to sell tacos & drinks. Humboldt Park. 1172 Humboldt St., Santa Rosa. Tuesdays. Meet up: 5:45 p.m. Pedals up: 6:15 p.m. groups/340583634378145. For elementary school-aged children who have 1/2 days on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Provides farm-, nature& art-based experiences. Snacks provided. Sliding scale: $10–$45. 12:30–4:30 p.m. 175 W. Sierra Ave., Cotati. Registration required: tinyurl. com/5h84yw7p. Early Release Enrichment.

Wednesday 7 FREE Lawyers in the Library.

legal assistance. First come, first served. Consultations 20 minutes


3795 Adobe Road • Petaluma 707-778-3871 •

Thursday 8 Believe in the Dream Virtual Gala. A fundraiser for the Lime

Foundation. Special guest speakers & performances. $150. Tickets include dinner. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa.



Wide variety of pumpkins Inflatable Jumpers Corn-Kernel Pit & Slide Western Village & More

FREE Rec Party in the Park. Games, crafts, snacks & more. Rotates to a new neighborhood park each week. Hosted by the City of Windsor Parks. Wednesdays. 4:30–6:30 p.m. Sept. 7: Sutton Park. Sept. 14: Vintage Oaks Park. Sept. 21: Robbins Park. Sept. 28: Los Robles Park. tinyurl. com/5n7a9d7m.



28 SonomaFamilyLife


max. Sign up: 4:30 p.m. Consultations: 5–7 p.m. Sonoma County Public Law Library. 2604 Ventura Ave., Santa Rosa.

SATURDAY8AM–2PM SEPTEMBER 17 Pacific Coast Air Museum, N. Laughlin Road Entrance September 2022

Registration & reception: 5–6 p.m. Dinner & program: 6–8:30 p.m. Tickets:


FREE Wee Read Baby-Toddler Storytime. Language-rich education

• Before-school care & Breakfast Club.

enrichment for ages 0–36 months. 10:30–11 a.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park. Tickets: tinyurl. com/yckjhcth.

• Transportation to & from select local public schools. • Daily Homework Club to help children with their school work so evenings are free for family time.

Friday 9

• Holiday & minimum-day care, including fun arts & crafts, games, cooking projects & so much more.

The Music Man. $12–$36. Sept. 9–10,

16–17, 23–24, 29–30 & Oct 1: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11, 18, 25 & Oct. 2: 2 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. Tickets: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Based on the Tony

Award Broadway musical comedy. Audience participation. Adult themes. Recommended for ages 12 & older. $35. Sept. 9–10, 16–17, 23–24: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11, 18 & 25: 2 p.m. Cinnabar Theater. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.


WOODSIDE WEST SCHOOL 2577 Guerneville Rd. • Santa Rosa • 707-528-6666 Lic#’s 490103579 & 490108547 •

Elevating Excellence for All

Saturday 10

 Enroll Online (TK–8)  Academic Excellence  Enrichment & More

Science Saturdays: Penny Spinners. Kids-only, interactive

science hour. For ages 6–12. Held the second Saturday of each month. $10–$12. Parking: $7. 2 sessions: 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Environmental Discovery Center. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. Register 11 a.m.: tinyurl. com/47vpmjvx. Register 1 p.m.: Windsor Chili Cook-Off. Live music & chili tasting. $10–$15. Proceeds benefit the Windsor Educational Foundation. Noon–4 p.m. Windsor Town Green. 701 McLelland Dr., Windsor. (707) 829-4570

CASTLE Preschool & Child Care Park Side School (TK-4) Brook Haven School (5–8)

September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 29

Movies on the Green. Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings (5 p.m.) & Spider-Man: No Way Home (7 p.m.). $5. 12 & younger: free. Food & drinks available for purchase. Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Second Saturday Cartoonist.

Meet & talk with Lalo Alcaraz as he celebrates the 20th anniversary of his Latino daily comic strip, La Cucaracha. (Talk included in museum admission: $5–$12 or free for ages 3 & younger). Meet & Greet: 11 a.m. Family Comic Creation Workshop: 2–2:45 p.m. Create Comics: 3–4:30 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Register:

Sunday 11 Little Parkies: Wonders of Wildlife.

Ages 4–6. Exploratory walkabouts in the park, hands-on learning, nature-based games & unique crafts to take home. $10–$12 per family (up to 4 people). Parking: $7. 10 a.m.– noon. Riverfront Regional Park. 7821 Eastside Rd., Healdsburg. Register:

Tuesday 13

Park. 302 Sugar Maple Ln., Windsor. Register:

Wednesday 14 FREE Walk Through the Grades

Take a peek into Waldorf classrooms. 9–11 a.m. Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. Register: Tour.

Thursday 15 FREE Bilingual Dog Training/

FREE Girl Scout Meet & Greet.

Learn more about Girl Scouts. For girls in kindergarten–grade 6 who reside in or attend school in the Mark West/Windsor area and are not yet Girl Scouts, but girls from all areas are welcome. 6–7 p.m. Pleasant Oak

Learn from a certified dog trainer how you can support your dog with loose-leash walking, attention-getting techniques & socialization strategies. /Aprenda de un entrenador de perros certificado cómo puede ayudar a su perro a caminar con la correa suelta, técnicas Entrenamiento De Perros.


SALUTE TO THE FLAG CEREMONY AT NOON First Responders Kidsʼ Activities Chili Mania Vendors Beer & Wine Raffle Live Music

Music and Lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa'i & Mark Mancina Steele Lane Community Center - Santa Rosa

with The Ignitors


September 23 - October 2 8 Shows Tickets $7


GET TICKETS AT 30 SonomaFamilyLife

September 2022

RELENTLESSLY PURSUING EXCELLENCE FOR ALL STUDENTS para llamar la atención y estrategias de socialización. Gratis. 5–6:30 p.m. Andy Lopez Unity Park. 3399 Moorland Ave., Santa Rosa. tinyurl. com/2zcc2hew.

Friday 16 FREE Movies in Lucchesi Park: Forrest Gump. Bring chairs &

blankets. Food & drinks available for purchase. 7–9 p.m. Petaluma Community Center. 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. Learn About Honeybees &

With the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association. Free with museum admission ($11–$14, babies 0–11 mos. free). 10 a.m.–noon. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. Pollinators.


KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION PACKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW CALIFORNIA DISTINGUISHED SCHOOLS Yulupa Primary School Strawberry Intermediate School TK-Third 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272

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

Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2022 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two-year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2022.


FREE Día de Independencia.

Family event featuring live artist Rocio la dama de la cumbia y su sonora. Also ballet folklorico, artisan craft vendors, classic low-rider cars & food trucks. /Evento familiar con la artista en vivo Rocío la dama de la cumbia y su sonora. También ballet folclórico, vendedores de artesanías, autos clásicos lowrider y camiones de comida. Gratis. 5–7:55 p.m. Windsor Town Green. 701 McLelland Dr., Windsor. yc3tv2a2.

Fall Activities Are Here! Plan activities for your whole family! Check out the Fall/Winter Activity Guide and register now!

Saturday 17 Wheels & Wings Show. Classic &

muscle cars from every era parked next to high-performance historic aircraft. $10. Ages 7 & younger: free. 8–2 p.m. Pacific Coast Air Museum. One Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa. | 707-543-3737

September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 31

Presentations on astronomy. Thee main telescopes open for viewing. $5–$10. Ages 11 & younger: free. Parking: $10. ID & proof of vaccination or negative test required within 48 hrs. prior to event. 8–11 p.m. Robert Ferguson Observatory. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood. Star Party.

Cultivating Queer & Trans

This space is provided for LGBTQ2IA+ people to come together & explore the natural world while building relationships of support. Parking: $7. Noon–2 p.m. Riverfront Regional Park. 7821 Eastside Rd., Healdsburg. parks.sonomacounty. Community.

FREE Coastal Cleanup Day. Join

Maxwell Farms Regional Park & Spring Lake Regional Park. Tools, materials, gloves, drinks & snacks provided. 9 a.m.–noon. Registration required: play/calendar. FREE Monthly Common Ground

For moms of disabled or special needs children. Snacks, water & bubbles provided. Bring chairs & blankets. COVID guidelines followed. 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Alicia Park. 291 Santa Alicia Dr., Rohnert Park. Register: Moms’ MeetUp: Bubble Party.

FREE Sonoma County Pomo

Bring beach or lawn chairs. Donations accepted. 2 p.m. Sonoma Coast State Park. 7900 Carlevaro Way, Bodega Bay (between Dancers: Ocean Dance.

volunteers cleaning up Larson Park,


Registration opens Sept.19 Registration opens Ages 6-12Sept.19 Registration opens Sept.19 Registration opens Sept.19 Ages 6-12 Ages Ages 6-12 6-12


more than just about aa score. It’s teamwork, sportsmanship and more teamwork, developing healthy habits.sportsmanship more than than just just about about a score. score. It’s It’s teamwork, sportsmanship and and developing healthy habits. developing healthy habits. developing healthy habits.

Sonoma County Family YMCA Sonoma County Family YMCA Sonoma County Family 1111 College Avenue, SR YMCA • 707-545-9622 • Sonoma County Family YMCA

1111 College Avenue, SR •• 707-545-9622 • 1111 1111 College College Avenue, Avenue, SR SR • 707-545-9622 707-545-9622 •• 32 SonomaFamilyLife September 2022

Shell & Wright Beaches). Registration required:

Sunday 18 FREE Fiesta de Independencia.

Family-friendly celebration of community, cultural diversity & Latino heritage. Mariachi bands & Ballet Folklórico Ireri. 1–7 p.m. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. tinyurl. com/4pwpmrdv.

Tuesday 20 FREE Spanish Music & Movement/ Música y Movimiento Español.

Music & movement with colorful scarves, instruments & animals. Presented in Spanish for families & kids ages 6 & younger. Do not need to speak Spanish to attend. /Música y movimiento con bufandas de colores, instrumentos y animales. Presentado en español para familias y niños menores de 6 años. No es necesario hablar español para asistir. 11–11:30 a.m. Sonoma Valley Regional Library. 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma. Other libraries will host this event. View: events. for branches/times.

Wednesday 21 FREE Emergency Alerts Sign-Up Drive. Sign up for SoCo Alerts at Ask a librarian for help signing up & learn more about emergency alert systems. 6–7 p.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park. FREE Virtual Tween Writing Club. Grades K–6. Author Natasha Yim will help young writers ages 9–12 to develop their own stories. 4–5 p.m. Register for link: tinyurl. com/247ewm9y.

Just Between Friends Kids’ &

Fall Youth Day. Kids meet animals

Maternity Consignment Sales

& make crafts. 3:30–5 p.m. Veronda Falletti Ranch. Cotati. Registration required:

Event. Presale Entry: Sept. 21, 9 a.m.

($10–$25). Sept. 22: 10 a.m.–7 p.m. ($6–$8). Sept. 23: 9 a.m.–7 p.m. ($4). Sept. 24: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. (free). Sept. 25: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. (free admission & 50% off public sale). Full schedule:

Friday 23 Disney’s Moana Jr. A Theater for

Children’s production for young audiences. $7. Sept. 23: 7 p.m. Sept. 24: 1 & 3:30 p.m. Sept. 25: 3 p.m. Sept. 30: 7 p.m. Oct. 1: 1 & 3:30 p.m. Oct. 2: 3 p.m. (Pre-show activities begin 30 minutes before show). Steele Lane Community Center. 415 Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

FREE First Annual Cotati Car Show & Summer Movie in the Park.

Car Show: 5–7 p.m. Disney’s film Cars: 7:15 p.m. LaPlaza Park. Cotati.

Saturday 24 FREE Storywalk Celebration: Life Along Park’s Trail. Visitors are

encouraged to walk from page to page of Cynthia Rylant’s book Life Along Park’s Trail. Parking: $7. 10 a.m.–noon. Taylor Mountain Regional Park. 3870-3400 Petaluma Hill Rd., Santa Rosa.

Family Matinee Concert: A Tribute to Guaraldi, Schulz & Peanuts.

Pianist Jim Martinez & his musical ensemble make Guaraldi’s music accessible to families. Noon–1 p.m. Free with admission. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. family-matinee-concert. FREE Common Ground Dads’ MeetUp. For dads of disabled or

special needs kids. Leashed dogs allowed. Parking: $7. Meet at gazebo at 11 a.m. for a few-mile hike. Lunch at 12:30 p.m. Sandwiches & drinks provided. Helen Putnam Regional Park. 411 Chileno Valley Rd., Petaluma. Little Heroes 5K of Santa Rosa.

Hero Dash for ages 12 & younger: $15.

Luther Burbank Center

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10:45–11 a.m. 5K: $30–$35. 11 a.m.– noon. Super Hero attire is encouraged. Benefits Children’s Tumor Foundation. Spring Lake Regional Park. 5611-5699 Newanga Ave., Santa Rosa. Register online: FREE Family Bike Workshop.

Learn tips, tricks & tools for bicycling safely. Bring bikes & helmets. Parents must participate with children. 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Rohnert Park Library. 6250 Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park. Registration required: bikesonoma. org/family-bike-workshops. Live music, dancing, BBQ dinner, outdoor games, raffle & silent auction. $50. Round-trip transportation from various locations in Sonoma County: additional

Annual Barn Dance.

$35. 5:30–10 p.m. Alexander Valley Community Hall. 5512 Hwy. 128, Geyserville. Tickets: tinyurl. com/5dzummzj.

Sunday 25 Food, music, crafts & entertainment. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 2400 London Ranch Rd., Glen Ellen. FREE Community Day.

FREE Petaluma Fall Antique Faire. Attracts more than 8,000 collectors. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Kentucky & Fourth Streets, Petaluma. tinyurl. com/34xfrpuy. FREE Bees ’n Blooms: Art Trails

Featuring the art of Erin Dertner. Walk lavender labyrinth; visit chickens & farm stand. Sept. 24 & 25: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Bees ’n Blooms. Weekend.

3883 Petaluma Hill Rd., Santa Rosa.

Friday 30 FREE Car Seat Fitting Station.

Have your car seat or booster checked for expiration. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Sonoma County Indian Health Project. Stony Point Rd., Santa Rosa. By appointment only. Call Tania: 707-521-4606. FREE First Day of Issue Peanuts Stamp Dedication Ceremony.

Snoopy & the US Postmaster at noon, followed by signing & photo ops. Free admission all day. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (Stamp sales: 11 a.m.–1 p.m.) Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. stampceremony.




ALCOHOLIC ALCOHOLIC Families and friends Families and friends areare suffering too. suffering too. • • DoDo you worry about how you worry about how much someone drinks? much someone drinks? • • Al‑Anon and Alateen Al‑Anon and Alateen can help. can help.

ForFor information about information about Al-Anon & Alateen visit: Al-Anon & Alateen visit: ersers

Sonoma County meetings visit: ForFor Sonoma County meetings visit:

1‑888‑4AL‑ANON • AL‑ANON.ORG 1‑888‑4AL‑ANON •Local AL‑ANON.ORG Sonoma County Al-Anon/Alateen Support - 707-575-6760 Sonoma County Al-Anon/Alateen Local Support LineLine - 707-575-6760

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September 2022




Humor Break For instance, every time we go to the dentist, I’m prepared for my kids to go into wild-animal mode. I wait for them to bolt for the door, grabbing fistfuls of tiny plastic toys from the dentist’s “treasure chest” on their dash out. Sometimes they surprise me, though. This last dentist visit went so well the hygienists lined the hallway to marvel at my ridiculously compliant

No More Forks to Give

Parenting without Shame

By Jessica Guerrieri


ight around the second kid, I made a profound discovery:

I don’t give a fork. Parenting is already more tiring than trying to stay awake during Caillou, after taking Nyquil for the cold contracted from your kid affectionately licking your eyeball. So why waste time worrying about what other people think? Recently I overheard a mom describe how mortified she was when her kids refused to eat the seasonal vegetables her in-laws served. “They eat most things, but weren’t familiar with squash or pumpkin.” Who are your in-laws? British monarchs? I thought. 36 SonomaFamilyLife

I used to be a worrier just like her. If I had a dollar for every time my kids did something embarrassing we could open our own restaurant. But then came the birth of my second. Disabused of the notion that the doctor would hunt for the baby under a protective sheet, I found myself in a position that had nothing to do with mommy modesty and everything to do with my (relative) comfort. And just like that I shed the burden of worrying about other people’s judgment. Of course, it is always wonderful when ones children act like well-mannered royalty out in public. But parenthood is never the highlight reel we see on Instagram. September 2022

If I had a dollar for every time my kids did something embarrassing we could open our own restaurant. little angels. Ah, success! But for every victory there’s a failure, and how we meet the latter is what matters. Will we brush off embarrassment or let others’ (and our own) judgment weigh us down? As for me, I refuse to be mom-shamed. Even for that time I had to abandon our full shopping cart because my youngest tried potty training in the public restroom and wound up standing ankle-deep in a dirty toilet. I carried out my half-naked toddler and her screaming sister with my head held high. I prefer to spend my energy tackling struggles directly related to my daughters’ well-being. Anything I have leftover goes toward dressing them in matching outfits. And maybe someday we’ll even open that restaurant. It’s motto? “Parents, eat here. We don’t give a fork.” ❖ Jessica Guerrieri is a mom, humorist, and writer. Find her at and on Instagram @witandspitup.

Jim Martinez

Snoopy’s Favorite Dance Music



id you know that the iconic theme for Peanuts cartoons is jazz? Yes, renowned jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi composed it. At Good Grief! A Tribute to Guaraldi, Schulz, and Peanuts, Sacramento pianist Jim Martinez and his ensemble will pay tribute to the artist, reimagining his work so that it is accessible to a family audience. Hosted by Healdsburg Jazz artistic director Marcus Shelby, the concert will be held on September 24, noon–1 p.m., at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. It’s free with museum admission. See for details. ❖

Now Accepting Applications

• Paid job training. • Part-time. • Health benefits. • CalPERS retirement. • Winter & Spring Breaks off. • Summers optional. • Paid sick leave, holidays, & vacations.


CALL NOW 707-206-9988 367 West Robles Avenue, Santa Rosa •

Get Free Lactation Help


reast is best—there are many reasons for this ubiquitous slogan: Breastfed infants experience less diarrhea and constipation, fewer colds and ear infections, and lower rates of death, including death from SIDS. But lactation can be challenging for moms. So the local nonprofit Better Beginnings for Babies launched the Breastfeeding Cafe, where mothers can get free professional support from lactation specialists and consultants. The café meets on Tuesdays in September, 11 a.m.–noon, at the Sebastopol Regional Library in Sebastopol. For more information, email betterbeginnings or see ❖

JOIN OUR LOVING FAMILY keep little bodies & brains active & learning!


539-7524 Rincon Valley Area. Lic. #04746

September 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 37


Fairness Kindness

Respect Integrity

Emphasizing the 8 Core Virtues & Excellent Academics Developing Global Awareness & An Appreciation of One's Inherent Spiritual Wisdom



Cross & Crown Lutheran School

Filial Piety



Preschool through 6th Grade. Limited class size.

Classes start September 6th REGISTER NOW FOR 2022-23 (707) 795-7863 5475 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park Preschool license #490100475


WE LOVE TO DANCE AND YOU CAN TOO! The Keenan School works to bring the fun and joy of traditional Irish dance to all! From the age of 3 to the teen years, dancers of all levels of interest and experience have a place here.

PLEASE CALL FOR COMPLIMENTARY CLASS 326 Petaluma Blvd. North • (707) 479-1128

Enroll Today!

707.468.1138 (Boys) 707.468.3896 (Girls)

Expires Expires:10/01/22 08/01/22 • Code: Family Life Magazine