Page 1

. • DR


page 38







April 26




parenting is a trip!









SUPER HEROES You don’t need special powers to make a difference PAGE 12

The Coach Joey Thomas


SPRING BREAK No time to plan? Solutions for fun, near and far p.33

What a mom and former Marine recommends 8


Encourage caring kids with these ideas 39


Harness the power of Earth Day all year long 42

Good Growing newsletter inside


APRIL 2018


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Your kids deserve a great summer.

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You don’t need special powers to make a difference

The Skateboarder


Kristin Ebling



“Dream It, Create It, Pursue It!”


Want to prevent the next shooting?


From recent research to gaga gear



Ways to be an environmental superhero

Advertising Sections

Local teens make change happen

27–30 Seattle Children’s Good

Out + About

40–41 42–45 49–55



These ideas require minimal planning


Raising a superhero


APRIL 2018



Growing Health Newsletter Pediatric Dentists Schools + Preschools Camps + Arts + Activities




10 • April 2018 • 3




News Around Town

Celebrate global fun

Three local museums receive $225,000 from Boeing

It’s Golden Teddy time!

International Children’s Friendship

children’s museums a grant of $225,000. The money is in support of

top local resources for Seattle and

Festival takes place April 14 and 15

the Tri-Museum Early Learning Collaborative between KidsQuest

Puget Sound families with our annual

in Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion.

Children’s Museum, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and

Golden Teddy Awards. And we can’t do

The festival features live musical

Imagine Children’s Museum, and will fund additional programming

it without you! Starting April 4, we’re

performances from a variety of

that gives kids skills they need to succeed in school. Specifically,

accepting nominations for this year’s

children’s groups. And don’t miss

KidsQuest will increase math opportunities throughout the museum

Golden Teddy. From your favorite

the International Playground. New

and early learning partnerships with organizations that serve families

camps to must-visit shops, best

this year, the playground will feature

in crisis. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma will expand its popular

grub to can’t-live-without parenting

games and activities from all over the

(and free) Play to Learn program. Imagine Children’s Museum will

groups, we want to hear from you!


focus on early learning, programming in Snohomish County.

Mark your calendar: This year’s

Big news from Boeing: The local company awarded three local

Giving Together Please join us each month as we promote, support and learn about an extraordinary local nonprofit. We will highlight the good works of organizations that strive to improve the lives of families and invite you to join us in giving precious time or money.


Our Children’s Trust



Every year, ParentMap recognizes the

4 • April 2018 •

Based in Oregon, Our Children’s Trust works with mission-driven youth to advocate for legally-binding, science-based climate recovery policies. You might know them as the group backing the 13 Seattle-area kids who sued Washington state in February 2018 over fossil fuels.


Secure the legal right to a stable climates.




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‘Dream It, Create It, Pursue It!’ Finding light after the dark days of Parkland


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his 15th anniversary and Superhero issue is graced by 10 magical humans. These champions show up to support kids and families in need. Like you, they’re dedicated to nurturing our precious little ones who, maybe one day, will grow to be cape-worthy contributors to our forever changing and challenging world. Among this year’s Superheroes is “The Healer” Dila Perera of Open Arms Perinatal Services, who elevated us with her advice: “If you can help your child become a loving person who believes in justice for everyone, then they will carry that forward.” Not to be outdone, the contagiously positive presence of Garfield High School’s Coach Joey makes him the perfect “be the change you want to see in the world” mentor. And lucky me that I got to chat with our iconic lieutenant governor, Cyrus Habib. After losing his eyesight at age 8, Habib overcame myriad challenges, in part due to his big brain and heart and to his devoted and tenacious mother. Also among our 2018 Superheroes: T’wina Franklin, president and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League. Her impassioned “dream it, create it, pursue it” message inspired me, particularly as we spoke in the horrifically dark days after yet another school shooting, the Parkland massacre. Her closing words shook me to my core: “Real policy change requires us to hold our lawmakers responsible. We must stay on them so they are held accountable!” And stay on them we will! What better time to amplify the formidable voices of the next generation of Superheroes: the teens who said enough is enough and took to the streets. They’ve turned up the volume on a much-needed voice of activism. Shame on us that we gave them a world that we’re not proud of and where they are not protected. It’s time for a change! At ParentMap, our goal is to champion the voices of these teens and their educators who are working to change our nation. We will give voice to educators who beg us to #ArmMeWithBooks and to students who say #EnoughIsEnough. All of us must act so that #NeverAgain means no child will ever again be slaughtered in school, a place where they should feel safe and uplifted by learning. Our commitment is to provide editorial, advertising and social space for voices in support of common sense gun laws, until that advocacy is no longer needed. Join us at for resources and action.

“At ParentMap, our goal is to champion the voices of these teens and their educators who are working to change our nation.”



Nancy Chaney


Nancy Schatz Alton, Gemma Alexender, Will Austin, Malia Jacobson, Kate Missine, Todd Powell


Lindsey Carter


Nicole Persun


Diana Cherry



Jessica Collet


Dora Heideman


Mallory Dehbod



Emily Johnson




April 2018, Vol. 16, No. 4 PUBLISHER/EDITOR Alayne Sulkin


SUMMERTIME FUN Trade-ins Welcome



Great Summer Gear for Kids, Moms, Dads, and Grandparents

Buy • Sell • Trade 1001 NE Boat Street, Seattle Next to Recycled Cycles





pg. 38


Angela Goodwin




Laura Kastner, Ph.D.


Bea Kelleigh


Yaffa Maritz, M.A.


Ron Rabin THE KIRLIN FOUNDATION Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.



ParentMap is published monthly PMB #190, 7683 SE 27th St. Mercer Island, WA 98040 ADMINISTRATION 206-709-9026, SUBSCRIPTION RATES 1 year: $24; 2 years: $40

All rights reserved; reproduction in whole or part without permission prohibited ©ParentMap 2018 • Printed in Oregon

The Rise of


Anxiety and


84.88% of those

Solutions for Your Family

surveyed in a recent ParentMap poll say they are adamantly opposed to arming educators.

FREE Resource Fair: 5–7 p.m.

Talk with experts who focus on the many categories of atypical learners.

Most parents, educators, and kids agree:

Lecture with

Guns don’t belong in the classroom.

Dr. Chris McCurry: 7–9 p.m.

Learn the science of anxiety and ADHD as well as tips and tools for creating a healthy parent-child relationship.

APRIL 26 everychild

supports common sense gun reform. Follow us on

to join in our fight to end gun violence NOW. • April 2018 • 7

parent stories

Want to Prevent the Next Shooting? Arm educators with more resources to do their jobs By Jo Coles


am a school psychologist, a former Marine, a survivor of gun violence and I have a concealed carry permit. I am also one of the professionals called when students experience a mental health crisis. I believe that guns should only be carried by qualified police officers in our schools. Teachers are already assigned to gather, shelter and protect students in a crisis situation. We are qualified to provide first aid and emotional support for students in well-rehearsed lockdown situations. When a student shows up in school with the intention of shooting fellow classmates, the system has already failed that student. Picture this: You are a first-grade student. You are told to hide under your desk, to be quiet, as your teacher covers the windows with paper, as she turns the lights off and locks the door. No one says exactly what these drills are for, but you know. You see the pictures on the magazines and newspapers at the store, you hear the people talking on the news about school shootings. For today’s high school students, these active shooter drills have been a part of life since they first began attending school. It’s no wonder that, in the wake of yet another mass shooting, students are the ones leading a new wave of protests against government inaction on this issue. Across the U.S., over a million participants — from kindergarten to high school — have joined student-led protests. Schoolchildren have been bearing the brunt of the inaction of our nation’s politicians throughout their lives, and they’re done waiting for the adults to take a stand. We should do everything we can to keep our children are safe. Some well-intentioned people are proposing that we train teachers to carry firearms on campus, so that educators may hunt an active shooter if needed. This idea, if implemented, could have disastrous consequences. An experienced shooter can fire multiple rounds per second, usually when a firearm is enhanced with a bump stock. At that rate, skilled marksmanship isn’t required to hit a moving

8 • April 2018 •

target. There is no outrunning this kind of firepower. There isn’t time to shoot back. Simply put: These are weapons of war, and they are being used on our children, often by other students. This proposal to arm tens of thousands of teachers will only benefit gun manufacturers and will likely result in more accidents, injuries and deaths. I fear it will also make what is sometimes the only safe space in a child’s life a more hostile environment, as it changes the dynamics of the relationship between teachers and their students. We tell children to “use your words” to solve playground disputes. We want to show them a better way to problem solve than the use of force. For some children, school is the only place

where they will receive regular meals, where the heat is turned on, where there are trusted adults to talk to. Schools are frequently the only place where students receive mental health interventions. There is so much stigma regarding mental illness in our culture, and the debate around gun violence has only added to that stigma. Statistically, people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence rather than the perpetrators of it. A growing body of research suggests students of color and students with disabilities face significant disparities in discipline and suspensions in public schools. I fear that arming teachers will only make school an even more hostile place

“When a student shows up with the intention of shooting fellow classmates, the system has already failed.”




©P Ph hiilip lii New wton t to

for these children who are already can’t muster the same moral courage marginalized. that major corporations are showing — to say nothing of our students — I work with students in crisis, who then it’s time for new legislators. are struggling with mental health Let the police and SWAT teams challenges or a lack of self-regulation handle the tactical approach for skills. What they need is more help disarming a student with a gun on from those professionals trained to campus. Don’t complicate it with provide it — from the mental health even more firearms in our currently professionals and their teachers, gun-free zoned schools. Let’s not act whom they see five days each week. like an active shooting is the best They need curriculum that provides place for an intervention to begin. coping and social-emotional skills. Preventing school shootings Rather than arming educators starts long before a troubled and school psychologists with guns, student fires a gun. It starts before arm us with more resources to do a student accesses a firearm. It our jobs. I’m tired of the political starts with educators, counselors, gridlock around an issue that isn’t school psychologists, peers and political — gun violence is a public parents. It starts with adults who health threat. This year, in the wake vote for reasonable, common-sense of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman restrictions to address the easy access Douglas High School in Florida, of these lethal assault weapons to everyone from Walmart to Dick’s teens and people in crisis. n Sporting Goods to the Florida Legislature came to realize that Jo Coles is a district-level school there’s no reason that people under psychologist who holds dual master’s age 21 should be able to purchase degrees from the University of Idaho semi-automatic rifles. in education and counseling. She is an But not the Washington State ardent advocate for public and school Legislature. Our elected officials safety, testifying frequently before the failed to take even a single floor Washington State Legislature. vote on Substitute Senate Bill 6620, which would’ve raised the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles to 21 and strengthened the Check out these organizations with background check on those local chapters advocating for gun rifles — that’s already the violence prevention: law for handguns in our •T  he Alliance for Gun state. The school safety Responsibility bill also would have added •M  oms Demand Action school safety measures, •E  verytown for Gun Safety like funding for more campus resource officers. • Washington Ceasefire If Washington’s legislators

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Their friends were murdered right before their eyes. Now they’re using their voices to speak for those who can never speak again. That’s why we’re handing them the mic.

want to learn more?

We’ll do everything we can to amplify their voices. supports common sense gun reform. Follow us on

to join in our fight to end gun violence NOW. • April 2018 • 9

all about baby Find Your Village Being a new parent can be really isolating, but baby, we’ve got your back. ALLI ARNOLD


Sign up for our weekly eNews for the best in outings and advice ’cause parenting is a trip!


From Recent Research to Gaga Gear

Have You Heard? States with midwife-friendly laws and

tend to experience improved

regulations tended to have lower

outcomes,” said Melissa

rates of premature births, cesarean

Cheyney, a licensed midwife,

deliveries and newborn deaths,

medical anthropologist and

according to a new nationwide

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State University’s College of

published in the journal “PLOS ONE.”

Liberal Arts and one of the

At the top of the list? Washington

study’s co-authors.

state. We had the highest integration

Right now, about 10 percent

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A SEAT TO HELP THEM SIT UP The cozy floor seat Hugaboo “hugs” your baby’s little legs

19 years since Columbine. 5 years since Sandy Hook. 1 month since Parkland.

to help them sit up and see the world around them. It’s designed for infants ages 3 to 11 months, and is also super cute.

This is one anniversary we aren’t looking forward to: the next school shooting.

AN APP TO TRACK FERTILITY Winner of a 2018 The Best Baby Tech Award, Eveline Smart Fertility System is an ovulation program that works with your phone. You literally attach an ovulation test strip to your phone — it’s pretty cool.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Let’s stand up and say NEVER again. supports common sense gun reform. Follow us on

to join in our fight to end gun violence NOW. • April 2018 • 11


SUPERH You don’t need special powers to make a difference

THE TEACHER Ilene Schwartz

THE LISTENER Laura Kneedler 12 • April 2018 •


THE DANCER Melba Ayco (left)

THE HEALER Dila Perara (right)


THE COACH Joey Thomas


EROES Photos by Will Austin


ou don’t need special powers to make a difference — that’s the thinking behind ParentMap’s annual Superheroes issue. Every year, we honor cape-worthy community members who prove that making a change is within everyone’s power. On this year’s list: a dancer who uses her personal history to educate tomorrow’s leaders; a skateboarder who’s rolling right over stereotypes; a teacher who empowers others to rethink what it means to be kind; and so many other notable locals who work hard to make our neighborhoods, our cities, our world better. As you read on, we hope you draw energy and inspiration from these Superheroes and their stories (we know we do). If these stories remind us of anything, it’s that we all have the potential for positive change.

(left to right) THE LEADER T’wina Franklin THE CAFETERIA CRUSADER Jeff Lew THE COMMUNITY BUILDER Demetria Lund

Thank you, Superheroes!

>> • April 2018 • 13


The Coach Joey Thomas



former Green Bay Packer with seven years of high school coaching experience, Joey Thomas knows football. But he didn’t know the controversy he’d face last season when players on his Garfield High School team opted to drop to one knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice. Players continued the protest this season by locking arms instead of “taking a knee,” but their intent was unchanged, Thomas says. The resulting controversy hasn’t died down, garnering national media attention after Thomas received death threats, had his tires slashed and decided to move his family to a different neighborhood. Great coaches Though Thomas took heat as the team’s need to relate to leader, players led the charge themselves after learning about pro football players’ their players. national anthem protests, which have sparked lengthy discussions at home and at school. “It was about equality, and that means different things for everyone. For some, it’s being treated as an equal in the classroom,” Thomas says. After an exceptionally challenging year, Thomas says he’d support his players’ expression of protest again because their actions started a vital dialogue; players met with local police officers in October 2016 to learn more about social justice issues facing Seattle. “Our students are so sharp, so aware, and this came out of their day-to-day experiences,” he says. “Great coaches need to relate to their players. It’s about meeting them where they are and caring about what’s going on in their lives.” It would have been easier not to do it, he says, but it was the right thing to do. “It made us stronger as a football family.” — Malia Jacobson

“ ”

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen?

What’s one takeaway you’d like families to understand about your line of work or area of expertise?

Positive self-talk. You can’t impact positive change if you don’t believe in yourself. Change always starts from within.

Anyone can be that life-changing person in another person’s life. It all starts with listening.

Best advice for kids with big ambition?

Who (or what) inspires you?

Stay patient with the process. Most are not successful because they give up too soon.

Jesus, Gandhi and the belief that things only get better if you make them better. Be the change you want to see in the world.

14 • April 2018 •

The Community Builder Demetria Lund



hile giving birth to her youngest son, Demetria Lund flatlined for several minutes. “When you do the whole dying thing, you have conversations with God,” Lund says. “[My son Epic] ended up in the NICU, and I spent nights making promises about making the world a better place.” A few months later, she made good on those promises. It was 2014, and her then 6-year-old son Emarion asked if he could give his shoes to friends who couldn’t play basketball because their footwear was too small. Surprised by the request, Lund did some research and learned that Snohomish County, where she lived, lacked an organization that distributed shoes to children in need. In response, Lund organized a shoe drive and collected more than 800 pairs. From that work, Beautiful Soles was born. The grassroots nonprofit has since given new shoes and socks to more than 3,000 children in South Snohomish County. It’s not just shoes, either. Once, while bringing donated socks to Esther’s Place, a day shelter for

What book has changed your life? “Faith in the Valley: Lessons for Women on the Journey to Peace” by Iyanla Vanzant. I love the author, but that one just stands out to me. She’s pro-women and pro-mother, and she speaks to all the struggles people go through and how to get through them with positive thinking.

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen? We’re all the same [within] different life circumstances; we all have our battles. You know how everything is so angry right now? People need to show kindness and grace to each other and realize we are all just people trying to get through life.

homeless women and children in Everett, Lund met a pregnant woman in active labor who was trying to get I spent nights help for herself and her two children before heading to the hospital. Lund making shared the request on Beautiful Soles’ promises about Facebook page and was overwhelmed by offers to help. Eventually, donors making the paid for the family to stay at a hotel world a better for a month. “The family came home from place. the hospital to a [hotel] room with decorations and a Christmas tree surrounded by wrapped presents,” Lund says. Beautiful Soles regularly assists homeless families with short hotel stays and emergency needs while helping them locate permanent housing. Through Beautiful Soles’ connections with local shelters, nonprofits and local agencies, 14 families now reside in permanent or transitional housing. There’s more to this work than meeting a physical need, says Lund, who works full-time

as a case manager and raises four children with her partner, Ed. It’s about building relationships between those who give and those who receive. “We ask [people who donate] to bring the items, whether that’s diapers or meals, to [those in need]. More often than not, friendships are formed,” Lund says. “Our families who are homeless feel more loved and that gives them more hope, so they can see that light at the end of the tunnel.” — Nancy Schatz Alton

What’s one takeaway you’d like families to understand about your line of work or area of expertise? Find a small nonprofit that’s homegrown in your community and support them. Find out how you can get involved and involve your children, because that plants a seed. I love it when parents come to me and say their kids have stood up for those kids who are picked on. [Through volunteering with Beautiful Soles], they’ve met kids and know it’s not those kids’ fault. It’s good to hear about one child saying, “Stop! No, we can’t pick on him. You don’t know what’s happening at home.”

Demetria Lund and her son Emarion • April 2018 • 15

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3/20/18 11:35 AM


The Leader T’wina Franklin



t would be hard to not like T’wina Franklin. She’s warm, friendly and passionate — important qualities for her new job as president and CEO of the Tacoma Urban A lot of those League. The league, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in services . . . were February, focuses on issues of social justice and civil rights, things that I says Franklin. “Our job is to make sure that African-Americans and needed as a other communities of color or disenfranchised groups have young person. access to the opportunities in our community,” she says. “We want to stand up for the folks who are underrepresented or underserved in our community.” Franklin and her team do this through a combination of advocacy and programming. One notable program: Girls With Purpose (GWP), in which girls of color between the ages of 11 and 14 work together on group activities and meet positive female mentors. It’s work Franklin loves. “A lot of those services, and especially the female empowerment, were things that I needed as a young person,” she says. “That I get to serve in my community and make a change in this way is tremendously meaningful to me.” Franklin is quick to credit “the superheroes in my life” for her success. On the list: a strong foster family for herself and her brothers. It was Franklin’s foster father who, she says, inspired her to represent her community. She also draws inspiration from her fiancé, JR (the couple are getting married later this year), and her four children. (The eldest, Alexia, is a college freshman and, Franklin says, “a tremendous support.”) “While I’m honored to be a Superhero, none of the things that I accomplish can happen without the important people in my life,” she says. “I’d be nowhere without them.” — Alayne Sulkin

Advice for kids with big ambition? Pursue it! My theme this year has been dream it, create it, pursue it. I want young people to dream big, to take the lid off, to not have any reservations about what they can do, but to really have a strategy and have the right people in their lives who can help them.

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen? If there’s something that you dream of doing or dream of having in your community and it doesn’t exist, create it!

Do you have any thoughts on the evolution of action, inaction and causing real societal change? We have to endure to serve. … Folks have to determine what issues are important to them and work on them all the time … and not be distracted by like, “Oh, here’s this new issue. Here’s this new issue.” In order for us to really create or change policy, we also have to hold our lawmakers responsible. We have to stay on them so that they are held accountable. … We have to step up and say, “No, not this time. We’re gonna endure.” • April 2018 • 17


The Dancer Melba Ayco



elba Ayco is a storyteller. “I put stuff in a suitcase [in my head], and when kids talk to me, I can take it out and remember exactly what it was like, so I can help them navigate the same challenges,” she says. In that suitcase: the terror of being a 9-year-old black girl riding a school bus to a newly integrated school as white protesters bombarded the bus with bricks. Also in there: the humbleness of realizing what you don’t know. While Ayco was growing up in Louisiana, her only exposure to the various cultures of Asia was on TV. She still remembers — with gratitude — the patience of her first coworker of Asian descent, Mr. Ma. He took the time to dispel her misconceptions. “He raised my awareness of racial diversity,” says Ayco, who made a Your babies are point to learn from and listen to Mr. Ma listening to adult throughout their time together. Ayco uses stories like these to inform conversation . . . her work as artistic director of Northwest establishing how Tap Connection (NWTC). NWTC, which Ayco owns, bills itself as a race- and socialthey think based on justice-focused dance studio for underserved what you say. communities in Rainier Beach. By drawing on her personal experience, Ayco hopes to empower and educate the children who study at NWTC. Between her work at NWTC and more than 30 years at the Seattle Police Department, she knows how powerful such conversations can be. “Your babies are listening to adult conversation,” she says. “[They’re] establishing how they think based on what you say.” With this in mind, NWTC imbues dance lessons with broader messages about self-esteem, respect and dissent — lessons that take on new life in the studio’s performances. Two years ago, for example, NWTC instructor Shakiah Danielson choreographed a number in response to police violence against African-Americans set to Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout.” The piece, performed by NWTC students, won the Audience Award at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, the world’s largest youth film festival. “It’s a conversation about how police fit into our community,” says Ayco of the performance. Her three decades at SPD (she retired as a supervisor for the Records Division in 2017) taught her just how vital such conversations are to our community. “My work is to help children define themselves as socially conscious young people, with a vision of building tomorrow,” Ayco says. “We don’t want to raise another generation on senseless acts of violence.” — Gemma Alexander

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Melba Ayco, her granddaughter Sadé and daughter Shaina Proctor 18 • April 2018 •

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The Healer Dila Perera



very new parent knows that pregnancy, birth and the early months of a baby’s life can be some of the most challenging times in parenthood. Add in complications, breastfeeding and sleep deprivation and things only get more difficult. Having support is essential to surviving. But not everyone has it, particularly women of color. “Mothers and babies of color are sometimes two to four times more likely to die in childbirth or to die in the first 28 days of life here in King County, depending on their race,” says Dila Perera, executive director of Open Arms Perinatal Services.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for women of color to receive less support from perinatal care providers. Last year, tennis star Serena Williams made headlines when she almost died after giving birth when her health care team refused to take her concerns seriously. It’s a situation many women of color of all economic situations can relate to. “This is simply not something we should tolerate in the 21st century,” says Perera. That’s why Perera is such a fierce advocate for at-risk families in the Puget Sound area through her work with Open Arms, a nonprofit focused on supporting women through pregnancy, birth and early childhood parenting. Each year, Open Arms serves more than 300 pregnant women and their

infants by assigning doulas to families in need (the organization primarily serves Medicaid-eligible families in King County, with its service growing in Pierce, Snohomish and Whatcom counties.) Though Perera has worked in public health and advocacy locally and internationally, she says she still believes “small organizations, even when working with minimal resources, are the most effective at creating lasting and transformational change.” Supporting new mothers and infants through Open Arms is the most rewarding work she’s done, Perera adds. It’s not hard to see why: The support her team provides saves lives. — Diana Cherry

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We live on through our children and through children in our lives.

What’s the most misunderstood part of your job? It can be hard to believe that in a community with so much wealth that some families can thrive and others face incredible challenges, especially when it comes to health, pregnancy, birth and the loss of a child. A healthy beginning for children should not be something that some parents have to wish for. It should be a right.

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen? We live on through our children and through children in our lives. Even if you are not a parent, you were a child once. Do your best to enrich the life of one young person in our community. If you are a parent, do your best to nurture your attachment with your child, which will then carry on to future generations.

Best advice for kids with big ambition?

Dila Perera and her daughter Anzara

20 • April 2018 •

Tell them you will do what you can to help them do what they want to do. Help them think through the steps they need to take to reach their goal.

The Cafeteria Crusader Jeff Lew



ike many of us, Jeff Lew never imagined that adults would take hot lunch out of the hands of a hungry kid because the kid couldn’t cover the $3 cost. Then, the Seattle dad (and former student of Seattle Public Schools) read a CNN article about America’s “lunch shaming crisis” (i.e., when school officials give kids with negative lunch account balances cold sack lunches, or no lunch at all). He immediately got in touch with his son’s school to learn more. Seattle Public Schools (SPS) doesn’t shame kids with negative lunch account balances, staff at his son’s school assured him, but like three-quarters of American schools, the school did have a “lunch debt” — the sum of the students’ negative lunch account balances — of $97.10. Lew quickly set up a GoFundMe campaign to If we end lunch cover the cost; he met the goal within a couple debt, we can end of days. Encouraged, he decided to take on SPS’s district-wide lunch debt of $20,531.79. Within days, lunch shaming. local media started reporting on his efforts and donations rolled in, including some from highprofile contributors like the Safeway Foundation and singer-songwriter John Legend, who heard about the campaign on Twitter. The campaign quickly met its goal, and Lew worked with World Impact Network to disperse money to the district. But his work wasn’t done. Lew decided to use the momentum to create campaigns for the Renton, Tacoma, Spokane and Clover Park school districts (all are still accepting donations). By August 2017, his campaigns had raised more than $100,000, so Lew set his sights higher: erasing Washington state’s debt of some $650,000. That campaign has garnered more than $44,000 to date. Erasing lunch debts isn’t a permanent fix for poverty and economic inequality, says Lew, who works full-time at a local government agency serving low-income families. But he’s proud of the impact his donors have made. “I had no idea whether I’d succeed, but I was blown away by the support.” — Malia Jacobson

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What’s the most misunderstood part of your job? Awareness. A lot of people don’t even know that lunch debt exists, so there’s an education component to this advocacy work.

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen? I was hesitant to set up the first campaign.

There are a lot of campaigns out there. What if no one donates? My advice is just try — just go for it. You don’t know if you’re going to succeed.

Best advice for kids with big ambition? You’ll fail at many things, but it makes you stronger. You have to keep going. Keep trying different ideas and goals.

What’s one takeaway you’d like families to understand about your line of work or area of expertise? I’m not going to stop. If we end lunch debt, we can end lunch shaming. My mission isn’t done, and I’m going to keep going.

Who inspires you? Great philanthropists like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. • April 2018 • 21


The Advocate Cyrus Habib



yrus Habib was 8 years old when he lost his eyesight to cancer. As he likes to joke, that means everyone still looks like Cyndi Lauper and Boy George, right? Good-humored and vivacious, Habib is the son of Iranian immigrants. His father left Tehran during the Iranian Revolution and came to Washington state when he was 17 to study engineering. In order to join her husband, Habib’s mother left Iran, went to Europe, lived in a Parisian convent for a year during the Iran hostage crisis until finally being reunited with Habib’s father. Habib inherited his parents’ tenacious spirit. He refers to his grade school years as “from Braille to Yale” and says it’s when he really learned how to best advocate for himself. His mother provided a strong example. A newly minted lawyer who eventually became a judge, she fought for her son to [My mother said] have equal access in school. She also made sure young Habib I can fix a broken memorized every corner of the playground so he would be arm; I can never fix a included in activities. Including others has driven Habib for decades. His inner broken spirit. power and will led him to become a black belt in karate, a jazz pianist, a Rhodes Scholar, editor of the law review at Yale, an attorney at a prestigious law firm and now lieutenant governor of Washington state. “The whole point in running for office and in serving goes back to, what did being a three-time cancer-surviving, fully blind, Iranian-American from a mixed-religion immigrant family — what did it teach me about this country?” Habib says. “It taught me about the importance of inclusion [and] the importance of interdependence.” He continues: “Every day I’m relying on other people for help, but I don’t view that as a sign of weakness. [Rather,] I thought about how I can also help others. That’s hard to do in politics. I’ve had to learn how to do it better.” — Alayne Sulkin

“ ”

What’s one takeaway you’d like families to understand about your line of work or area of expertise? I wear three hats in my job as lieutenant governor. One is I am the president of the state Senate. The second hat I wear is I serve as the acting governor whenever he’s not in the state; that happens about 60 days a year. And then third is that I run my own small little office.

Who inspires you? My mother. Her advocacy for me as a young boy seemed unlimited. She said: “I’m gonna teach him how to get around the jungle gym. I’m gonna teach him how to get around the whole playground. He’s gonna learn it and he may learn it differently, but he will learn it just as well as any other kid knows how to get around.” And that’s when she said, “It may happen that he might slip and fall, and he might even slip and fall and break his arm — that’s a fear that any mother has. But I can fix a broken arm; I can never fix a broken spirit.”

22 • April 2018 •

The Skateboarder Kristin Ebeling



t 16, Kristin Ebeling considered quitting. She was a pretty good skateboarder — and more importantly, loved it — but was disheartened by experience after experience of being judged for her looks rather than her skills. Then she went to an all-girl skateboarding contest sponsored by the Seattle-based organization Skate Like a Girl. “I was skeptical, but I showed up, and my jaw hit the floor,” she says. “I was hooked.” In Skate Like a Girl’s community of female athletes, Ebeling found encouraging mentors. She also found a career path. In 2013, she began working full-time at Skate Like a Girl. In the five years since, she’s transformed the all-volunteer organization into a staffed nonprofit with a $300,000 annual budget and branches in three cities (Seattle, Portland and San Francisco). Seek to Among other programs — many of which understand are free — Skate Like a Girl runs the Youth Employment Skateboarding (YES) Program before being to train teens of all genders in first aid, skate understood. instruction, financial literacy and inclusivity. The nonprofit also hosts skateboarding showcases, including the annual Wheels of Fortune. Held in May, the Seattle competition features skateboarders of all levels, from little kids to professionals. As part of its mission to create an inclusive community and empower young people, especially women, Skate Like a Girl also runs a series of summer camps. On the docket this summer for the first time: a camp specifically serving youth who identify as queer and/or transgender. “I think having equal opportunities to try new things is a right,” Ebeling says. And while she acknowledges that skateboarding may not be a need, just trying it matters. “Whether or not someone sticks with skateboarding, they’ve done something new,” she says. “I’ve seen the confidence that gives.” — Gemma Alexander

“ ”

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen? My favorite advice is “Seek to understand before being understood.” This works. It helps you find common ground while the reverse sets you up for anger, bitterness and negativity.

Best advice for kids with big ambition? Err on the side of saying yes. Obviously, you have to have safe boundaries, but don’t be scared to say yes and just try something. It opens doors. Experimentation is when you make discoveries. I’ve been on reality TV and traveled the world because I was willing to just show up and try.

What’s one takeaway you’d like families to understand about your line of work or area of expertise? Skateboarding will be an Olympic sport in 2020! Also, that most people don’t realize that skateboarding is statistically safer than basketball and soccer. • April 2018 • 23


The Listener Laura Kneedler



aura Kneedler’s dad introduced her to the disability community. He worked in adult group homes. She’d hang out with him at work, and sometimes clients would come over for dinner. “I learned sign language because I wanted to interact with the people he was interacting with,” says Kneedler. Those lessons learned with her dad stuck with Kneedler. She eventually created a career that mixed creating inclusive environments, early childhood learning and supporting families within the special needs community. As the vice president of Northwest [To be successful,] Center Kids, Kneedler leads nearly 100 we all need teachers, therapists and support staff in serving more than 700 children in King accommodations County. Through programs of early sometimes. intervention therapy and two inclusive early learning preschools, Kneedler’s team provides a comprehensive approach to meet the needs of children with special needs in the classroom, community and home setting. Kneedler leads by listening, says Emily Miller, Northwest Center’s chief people officer. “You leave conversations [with Kneedler] feeling heard and respected. She’s created a culture of respect and dignity.” Working in inclusive classrooms has taught Kneedler that everyone has special needs, not just students with a diagnosis or delays. “We’re constantly adjusting environments to meet individual needs,” she says. “[To be successful,] we all need accommodations sometimes.” — Nancy Schatz Alton

What’s the most misunderstood part of your job? I don’t think people realize how far of a reach the disability community has: It affects so many families in one way or another. If my work has taught me anything, it’s that we have so much to learn from this community. People fight a little bit harder for the things we take for granted, and many barriers still exist for these children and families.

Who inspires you? It sounds cliché, but I really mean it: the families and kids I work with every day. I

24 • April 2018 •

“ ”

see them overcome big adversities and they have a wonderful outlook on life. It reminds me to be grateful and open and to not take for granted the opportunities that I have.

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen? Speak to someone who’s different than you and try to understand their point of view or what their life is like. Families with typically developing kids often join NWC because [the school is] close by their house.

Later, they tell us that being in an inclusive environment has made a huge impact not only on their children, but also on them.

What’s one takeaway you’d like families to understand about your line of work or area of expertise? The disability community is frequently left out of conversations about diversity and yet is the largest minority group in the United States. We have to work harder as a society to include everyone in the conversation because so many amazing people go unnoticed.

The Teacher Ilene Schwartz



nclusion isn’t about placement in a classroom. It’s about really belonging to a Be kind to people, group, says Ilene Schwartz. Schwartz would know. As the director especially people of the Haring Center at the University of whom you Washington (UW), she leads its Experimental Education Unit (EEU). This comprehensive early perceive to be childhood school community provides inclusive different than you. education to all children. Schwartz has also been a professor and researcher in the UW’s Special Education program since 1991. In that role, she’s mentored graduates who’ve offered special education instruction to generations of children. Her work on Project DATA (Developmentally Appropriate Treatment for Autism) led to the creation of a manual for teaching preschoolers with autism. “Ilene has consistently espoused, fought for and demonstrated the value of inclusion, particularly for children with autism spectrum disorder, but really for all children with disabilities,” says Nancy Rosenberg, director of the UW’s Applied Behavior Analysis program. “She’s a great leader [at the Haring Center] because she excels at both the big-picture level — establishing the center’s vision — and at the fine-grained level of helping children and families. She’s always the first person in the room to help a struggling family, student, teacher or child.” More than 30 years of working in special education has taught Schwartz that for inclusion to work, a teacher must be willing to change their behavior to accommodate a student’s needs. Schwartz also learned that to thrive, all children need to experience a daily moment of joy at school. There are so many pressures on children, she says, that making sure school is joyful is the least we can do. “Their teachers need to experience joy, too,” she says. “I tell my students [at the UW that] we can’t lose sight of this idea.” — Nancy Schatz Alton

What’s the most misunderstood part of your job? That people who work with people with disabilities are patient. It’s not patience; it’s stubbornness, steadfastness, compassion and passion. Patience means that you’re ready to make good with the status quo — special education educators are not fine with the status quo. We change the developmental trajectories of children.

What’s one small action our readers can take in their own lives to make positive change happen?

What’s one takeaway you’d like families to understand about your line of work or area of expertise?

Be kind to people, especially people whom you perceive to be different than you. When I walk into a room and I don’t feel included, it’s always nice when someone reaches out and introduces themselves to me. How do we make sure everyone feels included and valued in the groups that we have? Primarily by being kind.

That children with disabilities are children first. We need to recognize that any diagnosis a person may have, that’s one thing that describes the child, but it’s not everything. They have passions and interests. We need to develop their strengths as well as provide instruction in their area of need. • April 2018 • 25

april PICKS

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, April 1–30



‘The Rise of Anxiety and ADHD: Solutions for Your Family’ lecture and free resource fair, April 26


Spring Break Superstars at PDZA, April 2–6


Movin’ Around the World, April 7–13

Kelsey Creek Sheep Shearing, April 29

26 • April 2018 •







Train Season Opening Day. Ride the rails and learn all about historic transportation. Saturday–Sunday through October. $10– $20; ages under 2 free. Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie. Egg Hunts at the Farm. Fabulous farm fun coupled with egg hunts throughout the day. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $8 admission; $3/dozen eggs; prices vary for other activities. Old McDebbie’s Farm, Spanaway.

Spring Break Superstars. Celebrate and support the zoo’s “superstar” species with special activities each day. Monday–Friday, April 2–6. Included with admission. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma. Paws to Read. Young readers practice their skills by reading to trained therapy dogs in a relaxed environment. 3–5 p.m. FREE. School-aged kids with adult. Everett Public Library, Evergreen Branch.

Sprout Smart. Head to the W.W. Seymour Conservancy with your littles and create some plant-themed crafts. Tuesday–Friday, April 3–6. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. $3 suggested donation. Ages 2–8 with adult. Wright Park, Tacoma. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Tulips are blooming! Head north to see acres of stunning fields of color. Daily through April 30 or while blooms last. Mount Vernon area.




Second Sunday at Morse Wildlife Preserve. Explore this wild, wonderful preserve, perfect for a family nature stroll. Look for special Poetry in the Park signage along the upland trails this month. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. FREE. Graham. SANCA Showcase Spectacular. Watch amazing circus performances by students and pros alike. Friday–Sunday, April 6–8. $12–$18. Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle.

Marine Mammal Mania. Learn all about our mammal cousins, like orcas and otters, who live in the sea next door. April 6–15. Included with admission. Seattle Aquarium. Movin’ Around the World. Northwest Folklife presents performances and all-comers lessons on folk customs from around the world. Today’s focus is dances of India. Saturday–Friday. April 7–13. FREE. Seattle Center.

Ballard Church Indoor Play. This neighborhood church opens its doors for families with tots to stop by and play. Tuesday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. FREE. Ages 0–8 with adult. Ballard Church, Seattle. Bullying and Boundaries. Parenting workshop on helping kids deal with bullying behaviors. 6–8 p.m. FREE; supervised play for ages 3–12 included; childcare for under age 3 $10. Hands On Children’s Museum. Olympia.




International Children’s Friendship Festival. Children perform dances and music from across the globe. Saturday– Sunday, April 14–15, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE. Seattle Center. The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. Follow the antics of everyone’s favorite flat kid in this lively show. Saturday–Sunday, April 7–28. Ages 5–12 with families (Sundays all ages). $6–$12. SecondStory Repertory, Redmond.

Lil’ Diggers Playtime. This awesome, giant sandbox is perfect for rainy day play. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:30–11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. $8. Ages 5 and under. Sandbox Sports, Seattle. ONGOING EVENT Open Skate. Afternoon indoor skate session for skaters of all ages; additional weekly sessions available. 3–5 p.m. $5. All Together Skate Park, Seattle. ONGOING EVENT

Exploration and Innovation Packs. Pick up a pack filled with activities, puzzles and more to explore the museum in a whole new way. Daily. Included with admission. Ages 3–10 with families. Museum of History & Industry, Seattle. Tool Time Tuesday. Young builders practice with real tools and learn how to safely saw, hammer and more. Tuesday, 3–4 p.m. Included with admission. Ages 5 and up. KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Bellevue. ONGOING EVENT




Low Sensory Play Time. Play time with limited kids and a calm environment. Sunday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, noon–2 p.m. $20; preregister. Ages 0–10 with adult. Roo’s World of Discovery, Kirkland. ONGOING EVENT Junior Ranger Program. Learn about Seattle’s role in the gold rush of the 1890s. Daily, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE. Ages 5–13. Klondike Gold Rush Seattle Unit. ONGOING EVENT

Toddler Gym. Play time for tots at Seattle’s neighborhood community centers. Monday–Saturday, various times. FREE. Ages 5 and under with caregiver. Seattle. ONGOING EVENT Detective Cookie’s Chess Club. Drop in to learn and practice chess skills; new members always welcome. Tuesdays, 3–5 p.m. FREE. Ages 7 and up. Seattle Public Library, Rainier Beach Branch. ONGOING EVENT

FREE Entrance to Washington State Parks. Celebrate Earth Day in nature; no Discover Pass required. FREE. Statewide. discoverpass, Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank. Exhibit weaves together the story of Anne Frank with stories from today’s youth regarding prejudice and exclusion. Wednesday, Sunday through May 30. $5–$10; preregistration required. Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle.



Kelsey Creek Sheep Shearing. Watch the sheep get a haircut, take a wagon or a pony ride, make crafts and more. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. FREE; some activities have fee. Kelsey Creek Farm, Bellevue. I Dig Dinos. Bring little dino enthusiasts to learn all about these prehistoric creatures and have some hands-on fun. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Included with admission. Ages 3–7 with adult. Burke Museum, Seattle.

The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity and Resilience in Your Child. Join ParentMap for a lecture and Q&A with author Dr. Dan Siegel talking about his new book, “The Yes Brain,” and helping parents guide their children to approach life with openness and curiosity.

‘The Yes Brain’ lecture and Q&A with Dr. Dan Siegel, April 30

A Seattle Children’s Publication | Spring 2018

Learning and Practicing the Concept of Consent Terrible stories about sexual assault and harassment are everywhere. How can we help ensure our boys and girls will never go through these experiences? We can help them become both confident and compassionate, and teach them about consent from a very young age. Consent isn’t only about sex: it’s about everyone’s right to control their own body. We all need to set our own boundaries, and respect others’ boundaries too. It takes practice to build any skill. Young children can learn to set boundaries by exercising the power of consent. For example, during a tickle-fight, if your child says “stop” or “no,” stop immediately and continue only if they request it. When greeting family or friends, let your child decide if they want to give a hug, fist bump or verbal hello. And when

it comes to food, allow children to decide if and how much they want to eat (see the related item on page 3). We can encourage our kids to speak up for themselves and express their full range of emotions. They mustn’t hide their feelings or

Purchase a Miracle May 1 to June 15 Help support Seattle Children’s by shopping at grocery and drugstore locations across Washington state from May 1 to June 15. Volunteers will place shelf tags beneath products of participating sponsors in hundreds of retail stores. When you choose to purchase products with the Purchase a Miracle shelf tag, you are helping support cancer research at Seattle Children’s. to learn more:


pretend everything is okay if it’s not — and they should never ‘just go along’ with anything they’re not comfortable with. Of course, our kids must understand that we may override their consent when their safety and wellbeing are on the line. Buckling into their car seat or wearing a helmet or getting a vaccine shot are not choices for them. But be clear that very few people can veto their consent: maybe just mom, dad or another trusted caregiver. It’s crucial that kids learn to hear and respect another person’s “no” or “stop.” Teach them to seek a friend’s verbal consent on the playground before chasing them or pushing them higher on the swing: if that child says no, it’s wrong to continue. We must respect others’ belongings as well as their bodies, so remind your child to ask permission before playing with a friend’s toy or borrowing something from a sibling. And be sure they understand that getting consent once doesn’t mean you always have it — you must ask each time. A huge part of parenting is teaching empathy. Encourage children to put themselves in another’s place, and really imagine what that person might be feeling and thinking. It’s essential that all kids learn the concept of consent. Building a healthy culture of respect starts with families! to learn more:

Get tips on talking to your child about sexual assault at talking-your-kids-about-sexual-assault.

For Vaccines, Stick with the Schedule The Child Immunization Schedule precisely maps out when children should receive which vaccines. Every year the schedule is evaluated by our nation’s best disease experts and pediatricians, and it’s revised when needed. Vaccines are scheduled based on two factors: the age when the body’s immune system will work the best; plus the need to provide protection at the earliest possible age, before a child is likely to be exposed to a disease. Parents may wonder about spacing immunizations further apart, but

babies really can tolerate receiving multiple vaccines on the same day. In fact, healthy immune systems fight off thousands of daily threats. Remember, it’s always OK to ask your child’s doctor about vaccines. to learn more:

Visit safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/ Child-Immunization-Schedule-Why-Is-It-LikeThat.aspx.

When to Use Urgent Care or Walk-in Clinics Urgent care is the best option for non-emergency medical care (like minor illnesses and minor injuries) when your doctor’s office is closed and you can’t wait for treatment. Your insurance company or doctor’s office may have a nurse hotline to help you decide if urgent care or emergency care is needed, or if you can wait for your regular doctor. Urgent care clinics are open on evenings, weekends and holidays. Some urgent care clinics offer appointment times, so call ahead and ask before arriving. Even if you have an appointment, be prepared to wait; patients who are more ill may be seen first. Keep in mind that urgent care offers limited

services. Certain tests like ultrasounds, CT scans and MRI studies are not usually available; if your child needs one of these tests they may be sent to a nearby emergency room. Check with your child’s doctor before you are in need of urgent care to see which clinic they recommend. Seattle Children’s has clinics in Bellevue, Federal Way, Mill Creek and Seattle. And always remember: if your child’s illness or injury is lifethreatening, call 911. to learn more:


Spring Safety-Gear Check-Up Spring is a great time to check your family’s bike helmets and life jackets, to be sure they’re in good shape and still fit properly. Invest a bit of time now, before summer arrives and someone misses out on a spur-of-the-moment bike ride or boating adventure. Inspect bike helmets for cracks and other damage. Discard helmets that are in any way damaged. Then check the fit. A helmet should sit level and rest low on the forehead, one or two finger widths above the eyebrows. The straps should be even and lay flat against the head, forming a ‘Y’ under each earlobe. The buckled chin strap should be just tight enough so that one finger fits between buckle and chin. If a new helmet is needed, get one that meets safety standards, fits properly — and that your child likes.

Check life jackets for wear and tear and throw them away if you find punctures, tears, rot or mildew. Check for a good fit: when fastened, a jacket should be snug yet comfortable. Lift your child by the jacket’s shoulders and be sure their chin and ears don’t slip down. Younger kids need a jacket with both a collar for head support and a strap between the legs. If a new life jacket is needed, be sure it’s U.S. Coast Guard-approved, and that the size and weight specifications match your child. (Never buy a life jacket for your child to ‘grow into.’) Be sure to check out Seattle Children’s free helmet fittings and giveaways, and low-cost life jacket sales! to learn more:


Kid Bits

Ear Wax is Normal

ADHD Facts

Think Roles, Not Rules, for Eating

Everyone has ear wax. It’s not a sign of poor hygiene. In fact, it serves a purpose: it helps to keep water and germs out of the ear canal, and it protects the skin in the ear canal. Ear canals clean themselves, so follow the silly old advice and don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear! This means don’t use cotton swabs or other tools to try to remove ear wax. Doing so can actually push the wax far back into the ear and block the canal, or even damage the eardrum. Instead, clean behind the ears and wipe the outer ear with a washcloth or a tissue after bathing. If ear wax causes hearing problems, pain, or a feeling of fullness in the ear, see your doctor.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects about 1 in 10 kids and can cause problems ranging from mild to serious. The signs and symptoms may include always being ‘on the go’ or restless, being impulsive with actions and words, and having trouble paying attention. Kids with ADHD often get distracted, and may have trouble completing things. The disorder is caused by a problem with the brain’s development, and it is often genetic: passed from parent to child. Kids with ADHD may have other medical, emotional and learning problems. Typical treatment combines medicine with behavior modification therapy. If you suspect your child has ADHD, talk with their doctor.

Many people grow up with the ‘clean your plate’ rule. But research shows this can backfire and harm a child’s eating habits, now and in the future. Instead of rules, try roles. A parent’s role is to offer healthy food, while a child’s role is to decide what and how much to eat of the food that is offered. (And there’s no reason to prepare special food for your child.) If a child doesn’t eat much, that’s okay: wait until the next meal to offer more food. As simple as this may seem, it helps kids learn to pay attention to their body’s natural cues that signal if they are physically hungry or full. Also, always try to eat with your child during mealtimes, from babyhood through the teen years.

to learn more:

to learn more:








Quick Tip Until your child is 4 feet, 9 inches tall (usually 8 to 12 years old), your vehicle’s seat belt won’t fit correctly. Use the right car seat or booster seat for your child.

to learn more:

Regional Clinic Locations

Online Resources

• • • •

Visit for the following: • Child Health Advice • my Good Growing email newsletter • Doctor Finder •S  eattle Mama Doc, Teenology 101, Autism and On The Pulse blogs • Medical condition information • Safety & wellness information • Ways to help Seattle Children’s • Research Institute information

Bellevue Everett Federal Way Mill Creek

• Olympia • Tri-Cities • Wenatchee

Primary Care Clinic • Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

Main Hospital Numbers 206-987-2000 866-987-2000 (Toll-free)

Heather Cooper is the Editor of Good Growing, which is produced four times a year by the Marketing Communications Department of Seattle Children’s. You can find Good Growing in the January, April, July and October issues of ParentMap and on our website For permission to reprint articles for noncommercial purposes or to receive Good Growing in an alternate format, call 206-987-5323. The inclusion of any resource or website does not imply endorsement. Your child’s needs are unique. Before you act or rely upon information, please talk with your child’s healthcare provider. © 2018 Seattle Children’s, Seattle, Washington.

Classes and Events To register or view more information, please visit A phone number is provided for those without Internet access. No one will be denied admission if unable to pay the full amount. If you need an interpreter, please let staff know when you register. These classes are popular and often fill up several months in advance, so register early. PARENTING CLASSES Autism 101

CPR and First Aid for Babysitters

WHEN: Thursday, April 26, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Autism 200 Series Autism 204: Powerful Partnerships: Strategies for Navigating the Family/School Relationship WHEN: Thursday, April 19, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Autism 205: Inclusion WHEN: Thursday, May 17, 7 to 8:30 p.m. View more dates online FEE: Free WHERE: Seattle Children’s main campus, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle CALL: 206-987-8080 For parents and caregivers of children with autism who wish to better understand this disorder. These classes are also available through live streaming. Sign up online. Past Autism 200 lectures are available online.

Heartsaver First Aid, CPR and AED WHEN: Saturday, April 28, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, June 10, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. View more dates online FEE: $75 per person WHERE: Seattle Children’s main campus, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle CALL: 206-987-9878 For parents and caregivers. Topics include how to treat bleeding, sprains, broken bones, shock and other first-aid emergencies. Also includes infant, child and adult CPR and AED use.


4 locations

WHEN: Sunday, April 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Seattle Children’s admin. building, 6901 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle WHEN: Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Overlake Medical Center, 1035 116th Ave. NE, Bellevue WHEN: Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Pavilion for Women & Children, 900 Pacific Ave., Everett WHEN: Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Seattle Children’s South Clinic, 34920 Enchanted Pkwy. S., Federal Way View more dates online FEE: $45 per person CALL: 206-987-9878 for all locations

For youth, ages 11 to 14. Topics for responsible babysitting include basic child development, infant care and safety, handling emergencies, age-appropriate toys, business hints and parent expectations.

WHEN: Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. View more dates online FEE: $75 per person WHERE: Seattle Children’s main campus, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle CALL: 206-987-2304 For youth, ages 11 to 15. Topics include pediatric CPR, treatment for choking, and first-aid skills. Students receive a 2-year American Heart Association completion card.

For Boys: The Joys and Challenges of Growing Up

4 locations

WHEN: Wednesdays April 25 & May 2, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Seattle Children’s main campus, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

WHEN: Sunday, May 6, 1:30 to 6 p.m. WHERE: Federal Way Community Center, 876 S. 333rd St., Federal Way WHEN: Thursdays, May 24 & 31, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Overlake Medical Center, 1035 116th Ave. NE, Bellevue

For Girls: A Heart-to-Heart Talk on Growing Up

4 locations

WHEN: Tuesdays, April 17 & 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Seattle Children’s main campus, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

WHEN: Sunday, May 6, 1:30 to 6 p.m. WHERE: Federal Way Community Center, 876 S. 333rd St., Federal Way WHEN: Mondays, May 7 & 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Overlake Medical Center, 1035 116th Ave. NE, Bellevue WHEN: Sunday, May 20, 1 to 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Everett Community College, Wilderness Auditorium (Bldg. 8) Henry M. Jackson Conference Center, Everett

EVENTS Bike Helmet Fitting and Giveaway WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. WHERE: Federal Way Community Center, Pirates and Pixies Event, 876 S. 333rd St., Federal Way WHEN: Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. WHERE: Lacey Kohl’s Store, 681 Sleater Kinney Rd., Lacey WHEN: Saturday, June 30, 1 to 4 p.m. WHERE: Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St., Seattle CALL: 206-987-1569 Come get your child properly fit for a new bike helmet. Kids must be 1 to 18 and present to receive a helmet. First come, first served. No appointments needed. See additional event dates and learn more at

Low-Cost Life Jacket Sales WHEN: Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Evans Pool at Green Lake, 7201 E. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle WHEN: Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Southwest Pool, 7201 E. 2801 SW Thistle St., Seattle WHEN: Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Rainier Beach Pool, 8825 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle View more dates online FEE: $20 infant and youth sizes, $30 adult sizes CALL: 206-684-7440 Come get properly fit for a new life jacket and learn about water safety. The person who will be using the life jacket must be present for proper fitting. Children younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children less than 6 months or 18 pounds cannot be fitted at this sale. All sales final.

Free Safe Firearm Storage Giveaway

View more dates and locations online FEE: $80 per parent/child pair; $60 per extra son or daughter CALL: 206-789-2306

WHEN: Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. WHERE: Sportsman’s Warehouse, 1405 S. 348th St., Federal Way CALL: 206-987-4653

These classes use an informal and engaging format to present and discuss the issues most on the minds of pre-teens ages 10 to 12 as they begin adolescence; conversations about body changes, sex, and other growing up stuff. Content outlines and short videos available at

Come learn about the importance of safe firearm storage and get a free lock box or trigger lock, with hands-on training on proper use. Supplies are limited. First come, first served. One free lock box or trigger lock per person (maximum two items per household). Must be present to receive free item. Recipient must be 18 or older.









Moisture Festival Comedy/Varieté. Musicians, acrobats, comedians and can’tbe-categorized performers present amazing variety shows. Wednesday–Sunday, through April 8. $11–$26. Most shows all ages; see website. Hale’s Palladium, Seattle. Shadow Lake Bog Self-Guided Tour. Stroll the boardwalk in this fascinating bog preserve for a great tot-length hike. Daily during daylight hours. FREE. Shadow Lake Nature Preserve, Renton.

Rosie the Riveter the Musical. Visit the Museum of Flight and watch a special showing of this fun, family show during the museum’s free first Thursday evening. 5–9 p.m. FREE. Museum of Flight, Seattle. Mine, Craft, Build and Play! Tinker and build virtually and in real life with a multitude of games. 3:30–5 p.m. FREE. Ages 3–13 with families. Pierce County Library, Lakewood Branch.

Robots, Robots, Robots! Learn all about robots and build your own in this terrific musuem’s free first Friday evening. 5–9 p.m. FREE. All ages. Hands On Children’s Museum, Olympia. Family Bingo Night. Bring your family and your own highlighter or dauber and win prizes. 6:30–9:30 p.m. $5 includes 6 bingo sheets; ages 3 and under FREE; preregister. Chambers Creek Regional Park, University Place.

Daffodil Festival Parades. Wave at the floats, marching bands and Daffodil Princesses in four city parades. 10:15 a.m. in Tacoma; 12:45 p.m. in Puyallup; 2:30 p.m. in Sumner; 5 p.m. in Orting. FREE. Bike Helmet Fitting and Giveaway. Kohl’s and Seattle Children’s team up to protect kids’ precious skulls; one helmet per child. 1:30–4:30 p.m. FREE. Ages 1–18 (wearer must be present). Federal Way Community Center.





Student Wednesday at BAM. The museum invites students to visit its collections every second Wednesday of the month. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE for grades K–12 with online coupon. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue. Tacoma Resident Free Day. City of Tacoma dwellers enjoy free admission to the zoo and aquarium today. 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. FREE for Tacoma residents with proper I.D. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma.

Drop-in Breastfeeding Group. Stop in for support, guidance and discussion on breastfeeding. Thursdays, 10 a.m.– noon. FREE. Parents with breastfeeding babies. Family Support Center, Olympia. ONGOING EVENT Reading with Rover. Calm, trained therapy dogs listen attentively while kids practice reading aloud. 6:30–7:30 p.m. FREE. Ages 6 and up with adult. King County Library System, Sammamish Branch.

Baby Jam. The tots will be a-rockin’ with this multi-lingual, drop-in musical exploration. Friday, 10:30 or 11:15 a.m. $12. Ages 0–5 with caregiver. Balance Studio, Seattle. ONGOING EVENT Family Discovery Series: Bees. Spring is in the air and buzzing is all around; learn about the importance of pollinators. 10–11 a.m. FREE; preregister. Lake Hills Greenbelt Ranger Station, Bellevue.





Toddler Time. Open-early play gym lets the little ones burn off energy with bikes, slides and toys. Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–noon. $2. Ages 3 and under with caregiver. Issaquah Community Center. ONGOING EVENT Toddler Tales & Trails. Kids and caregivers enjoy story time and a tot-sized nature hike. Wednesday, Saturday, 10–11 a.m. $2. Ages 2–5 with caregiver. Seward Park Audubon Center, Seattle. ONGOING EVENT

Spring Break at Kruckeberg Gardens. Drop-in to explore and enjoy different themed activities each day. Monday– Thursday, April 16–19. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. $10/ child. Grades K–5. Kruckeberg Gardens, Shoreline. Washington State Spring Fair. Get a head start on summer fair fun. Thursday–Sunday, April 19–22. $8–$12; ages 5 and under free; all kids free Thursday with food bank donation. Washington State Fair Events Center, Puyallup.

Critter Club. Zoo program for tots features stories, hands-on exploration and an animal surprise. April 5–6, 19–20; 11 a.m. $13–$15; preregister. Ages 3–5 with caregiver. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma. Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival. Taiko drumming, artisan craft demos, traditional food and more. Friday–Sunday, April 20–22. FREE. Seattle Center.

FREE Entrance to National Parks. Enjoy our country’s treasured places for FREE on the first day National Parks Week. Earth Day Celebration and Family Festival. Create crafts, hike with rangers and more. 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m. FREE. Lewis Creek Park, Bellevue. Earth Day Extravaganza. Celebrate our mother earth with family activities. Noon–4 p.m. FREE. Tacoma Nature Center.





Toddler Time. Join your toddler and an Environmental Science Center naturalist for seasonal nature activities. 10:30–11:30 a.m. FREE; preregister. Ages 2–4 with families. Seahurst Park, Burien. ONGOING EVENT Kitty Literature. Kids practice reading with a supportive audience of shelter cats during a 20-minute session. Monday–Friday, times vary. FREE; preregister. Ages 5–10. Seattle Humane, Bellevue. ONGOING EVENT

Every Child Resource Fair and The Rise of Anxiety and ADHD: Solutions for Your Family. Join ParentMap and dive into resources to support children with learning differences, followed by Chris McCurry, Ph.D., speaking about anxiety, ADHD and family-centered solutions. Resource fair; 5–7 p.m. FREE; RSVP. Lecture, 7–9 p.m. $25–$30. Kirkland Performance Center.

Drop-In Playgroup. Meet other parents and tots and explore this playroom chockfull of toys, art supplies and books. 10:30 a.m.–noon. FREE. Ages 0–5 with adult. FamilyWorks, Seattle. Ballard Locks Tour. Join a free walking tour of the amazing “boat elevator” and garden grounds, watching for seals, herons and interesting boats. Thursday–Sunday, 2 p.m. through April 30. FREE. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle.

Saturday Family Concert: The Pop-Ups. Rock and roll and puppets are a great combo at this fun, family show. $5; kids free. 10:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Phinney Neighborhood Center, Seattle. April Showers Make... Watersheds? Learn all about what happens after the rain falls with hands-on activities inside and outdoor exploration. 2:30–3:30 p.m. Ages 5–10 with adult. Lewis Creek Visitor Center, Bellevue.


Marine Mammal Mania, April 6–15

Sewing to Sowing. Plant seeds, learn to hand-sew, churn butter and experience springtime life of the 1850s. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. $8–$10; ages 3 and under free. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, Tacoma. Leap for Green Family Sustainability Fair. Music, arts and crafts, wetland tour and more. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. FREE. Mercer Island Community and Event Center.

Kari Haas Real Estate Team 206.719.2224 karihaaswindermere

Windermere Real Estate Bellevue Commons, Inc

“Let’s Sell Your House and Find Your Home!” • April 2018 • 31




MAESTROS Once Upon A String Featuring a string quartet February 18 | 2:30 p.m.

Great Value! Family Series 4-Pack

3-2-1 Brass Off! Featuring a brass quintet March 18 | 2:30 p.m. Percussion On Parade Featuring a percussion ensemble April 15 | 2:30 p.m.




includes box office fees

Peter and the Wolf Featuring full symphony and Sarah Ioannides, conductor. No instrument petting zoo. May 6 | 2:30 p.m.

MAY 10 + 22

“Angst: Breaking the Stigma Around Anxiety” looks at anxiety, its causes and effects and what we can do about it. This documentary starts a conversation about anxiety from a peer-topeer standpoint that is intimate, honest and accessible.

An informal concert series especially for children ages 2-8 and their grown-ups!

Single Tickets

“SCREENAGERS” documentary sheds light on the impact screen time is having on families, and explores how learning, playing and socializing online affects teens’ developing attention span, fragile self-esteem and moral instincts.


7- 10



plus box office fees

Held in Schneebeck Concert Hall, University of Puget Sound, 14th and Union, Tacoma. Arrive one hour early for instrument petting zoo! (No petting zoo for Peter and the Wolf)

MAY 22

Purchase tickets today: | 253-591-5894 Series sponsor:

,cause parenting is a trip!

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Storytelling Guided tour


Hibulb Cultural Center 6410 23rd Ave NE Tulalip, WA 98271 Located less than a mile west of I-5 exit 199. 32 • April 2018 •

Outdoor scavenger hunt Listen to traditional stories in the longhouse Canoe Guided tour Gallery scavenger hunt Sand and design your own cedar paddle necklace Weaving Guided tour Weaving scavenger hunt Weave your own cedar mat pendant

out + about

Spring Break Solutions

NEAR AND FAR The best part? These ideas require minimal planning BY KATE MISSINE


elieve it or not, spring break is almost here. If a jet-setting getaway isn’t on your radar and

you’d rather not entertain cabin-fevered kiddos all day, fear not. There’s plenty to explore right here in the Pacific Northwest, whether you hit the road for a last-minute road trip or keep it close to home with a day trip. Read on for three fabulous springbreak adventures near you and three a little farther out. The best part? All require minimal planning!

>> • April 2018 • 33

out + about

continued from page 33



Museum of History and Industry

This South Union Lake spot is a gem not to be missed for a day of family learning and play. The impressive museum, better known as MOHAI, houses collections and exhibits that tell the stories of the Puget Sound area, highlighting the spirit of innovation that shapes our region to this day.

TIP: The front desk lends out “Exploration and Innovation Packs,” which kids ages 3–10 can use to guide their visit. Strollers are allowed, and an

on-site café serves hungry explorers. The best part? Those younger than 14 get in for free! If weather allows, combine your outing with a walk around Lake Union Park; also check out the neat maritime artifacts at The Center for Wooden Boats, just steps away. ALSO NEARBY: If your kids are on the younger side, KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue may be more up their alley than MOHAI. This curious-kid mecca allows them to “drive” a truck, climb a three-story tree house, splash in water and plenty of other activities.


Snohomish Aquatic Center

Beach-going weather may still be months away, but that doesn’t mean you need to pass on splashand-surf fun. Pack your swimsuits and head to the Snohomish Aquatic Center. The bright, 52,000-square-foot center features several pools and pretty much anything else you could want in a waterpark. Climb, swing and slide on one of the play structures; practice flips in the dedicated dive area; splash in the spray pad; float along the lazy river; or barrel down the 151-footlong Splashtacular waterslide. Still not satisfied? Get your boards ready for the FlowRider machine, a groovy real-life surf experience with waves ready for riding. Classes and clinics are available to polish swimming and surfing skills. Spend the day and your kids will definitely be ready for bed by the time you’re back home! ALSO NEARBY: For more ways to get the young

ones moving, bounce off to We Rock the Spectrum, an awesome all-abilities, sensory-safe gym in Bellevue.


Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour

Just because your spring break doesn’t involve boarding a plane, there’s no reason you can’t get up close to one. The Future of Flight center in Everett is a must for every flight enthusiast

34 • April 2018 •

Dan Siegel, M.D. APRIL 30 See page 56 yesbrain

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and budding pilot. Discover the past and future of aviation, explore aircraft building and materials, and track the progress of aerospace engineering and innovation. Younger visitors are welcome at the Family Zone, which features Lego activity carts and a kid-size airport with plenty of planes to pilot. Families can also attend aviation-themed weekend workshops, or try your hand at 3-D modeling on Maker Mondays. Then, tour the Boeing

For age 5 to teens Learn, Laugh, Perform! Early bird price before May 1 st

FLING April 2 – 15

factory floor to see a Dreamliner assembled before your eyes. (Note: The tour has a minimum 4-foot height limit; infants in arms aren’t allowed.) Same-day tour tickets sell out fast, so a little booking ahead is recommended! ALSO TRY: For youngsters who

can’t get enough planes, The Museum of Flight is another

Discover the Science of Spring.

great destination, housing one of the country’s largest air and space collections and flying fun for all age groups.

>> • April 2018 • 35

11,000 sq ft Hands-On Exhibits

Preschool Program Special Events

Parties & Field Trips School Break Camps Admission $6.25 per person

Healthy Kids Day YMCA OF PIERCE AND KITSAP COUNTIES Are the kids in your life already dreaming of summer? When kids are inspired, they can do anything. Let’s awaken their imagination so they can explore new activities and healthy habits. Join us!



Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm Toddler Tuesday 8:30am-10:00am Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm Closed some holidays

Located in Burlington, WA :: Tel: 360.757.8888


Courage • Curiosity • Resilience

YMCAPKC.ORG/HEALTHY-KIDS ACTIVITIES • Open swim • Water safety demonstrations • Group exercise and youth class demonstrations • Local vendors and community partner booths • Healthy snacks • Contests and prizes • Register for summer programs

“This unique and exciting book shows us how to help children embrace life with all of its challenges and thrive in a modern world.” —Carol Dweck, author of Mindset

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. AND Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. Available Wherever Books Are Sold 36 • April 2018 •

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Olympia and Tumwater

A snappy 60-mile drive from Seattle, our state’s notable capital of Olympia makes for an easy and educational family day trip. The city is best known for the Capitol campus and dome-capped Legislative Building, a great first stop in town. Start with the free hourly public tour; then, venture outside to explore the public monuments and art, or head to one of the city’s awesome museums. The Hands On Children’s Museum is a must for the younger set, while older kids will love exploring vintage aircraft at the Olympic Flight Museum or learning all about water at the interactive (and free!) WET Science Center. Wander the historic downtown and grab a bite at the funky King Solomon’s Reef diner, followed by a retro-style float at Grandpa’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream Parlor. Then, head south to Tumwater Falls Park 10 minutes away, and take in the pretty waterfalls, footbridges, totem poles and a unique ship-themed playground. Or drive 10 miles east to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, which features trails, local bird and animal species, and a neat nature exploration and learning activity area just for kids. GO FARTHER: About 65 miles from Seattle, you’ll find Mount Rainier National Park. Here, you can marvel at the state’s highest peak in all of its magnificence and the surrounding wilderness.


Port Townsend

The Olympic Peninsula is known for its incredible national park, but if April is still a bit too chilly for camping and hiking, try the quaint town of Port Townsend. It’s about a two-hour drive and a ferry ride away, and makes for a lovely home base for exploring the area. A GREAT PLACE TO START: Take a guided

walking tour of the town’s pretty Victorian homes, followed by a walk through the charming downtown (be sure to stop by Whistle Stop Toys). Grab a frozen treat at the old-fashioned

ice cream parlor, Elevated Ice Cream Co. and Candy Shop, and learn about sea creatures at the Northwest Maritime Center. If you visit on a weekend between April and December, don’t miss the farmers’ market (and its annual goat parade). Finally, make a stop at Fort Worden State Park, a turn-of-thecentury army base that is now prime grounds for beachcombing, hiking and awe-inspiring views of the Cascades. Be sure to visit the Marine Science Center on the pier at Fort Worden for a hands-on encounter with local sea life. GO FARTHER: With some advance planning and cooperative weather, Olympic National Park, with its incredible range of ecosystems, coastlines and rain forests, is on everyone’s list of favorites. The cabin lodging fills up quickly, so book as early as you can!


Winthrop and Methow Valley

Ready to take off on a longer-distance adventure? Dig into our region’s gold-mining history on a trip through the Methow Valley on your way to the kitschy-fun town of Winthrop. Set along the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20), Winthrop features Old West buildings and a cowboy country vibe that make it a popular

visitor destination. Stroll the wooden boardwalks, shop for unique souvenirs and refuel at a retro saloon. For an even more authentic — if spooky — look at the past, take a trek through the surrounding area’s former gold-rush towns and abandoned mines. An hour to the west of Winthrop is Barron, with intact structures and machinery remaining from its former prospecting glory. Eastward, Ruby, Montana Mine and Conconully (still populated) offer glimpses of the past; Nighthawk and Molson (which also has an open-air history museum) are a couple of hours north by car. The valley is also known for outdoor pursuits, from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to fishing and mountain biking. Winthrop accommodations are plentiful: Wolf Creek Cabins and the Wolfridge Resort are two family faves. April can still be snowy in these parts of the country, so monitor road conditions before heading out. GO FARTHER: An extra three hours’ drive will take you over the Canadian border and into the Okanagan Valley, strewn with cute resort towns, family-friendly wineries and stunning scenery. n

Kate Missine is a lifestyle writer, food lover and a girly girl raising two little boys in beautiful Sammamish. • April 2018 • 37

Spring into

Earth Month with PBS KIDS! KCTS 9 is springing into Earth Month with programs that encourage families to get outside and explore nature. The adventure begins the week of April 23, with brand-new episodes of Splash and Bubbles, Nature Cat and Wild Kratts. Even Peg + Cat is getting in on the Earth Month action with a new episode about composting! For airdates and times, visit

The Rise of Anxiety and


Lecture with

Solutions for Your Family

Dr. Chris McCurry


From ADD to Autism, talk with experts who focus on the many categories of atypical learners.

Resource Fair: 5 – 7 p.m.


Lecture: 7 – 9 p.m.


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ages + stages



How to Raise Your Own Superhero Encourage caring and generous kids with these ideas By Todd Powell

aising kids to be empathetic and generous is not always an easy process, but the rewards can be profound. Not only does the external community benefit, so does the individual. “There have been studies that show changes in the brain when we are connected to something larger than ourselves,” says Sarina Behar Natkin, a family therapist and parenting coach in Seattle. “We feel as though we matter.” But how do we help kids develop these values? For Natkin, the primary key is being aware of what your kids see you do. “Be mindful of what you are modeling,” she says. That’s an important lesson that applies to all stages of development. Here are some other considerations.

Preschool “You want your children’s first experience of philanthropy to be joyful,” says Carol Weisman, author of “Raising Charitable Children” and an international speaker on volunteerism. “A child might not be ready to donate something he doesn’t use anymore but still feels attached to. Then he’s associating giving with loss instead of love.” Generosity at the preschool age doesn’t have to be through an official charity, but it does require an understanding of what motivates children. If a child is excited by fire trucks, for instance, try making brownies and taking her to the fire station. “The trip to the station could be part of the child’s birthday present,” Weisman says. Sometimes the philanthropic payoff shows up at a later stage. For instance, when Maren Van Nostrand realized that her daughter, Julia Ricks, was fascinated by bugs as a young child, she encouraged Julia’s natural curiosity to explore their yard in Carnation. “When she was collecting bugs, she was relating to them,” Van Nostrand says, adding that Julia’s next major interest — this time, guinea pigs — led to Julia joining 4-H and becoming a four-time state champion. More important than the awards, 4-H bolstered a community-service ethos that goes back generations in Julia’s family. Indeed, family

stories — in Julia’s case, about relatives who raised money for the YMCA or marched with Martin Luther King Jr. — can become touchstones for developing compassion. Now 18, Julia has participated in a number of volunteer activities, including helping out at Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center in the Snoqualmie Valley and bicycling with her parents in the Bike MS fundraiser. But don’t worry if that’s not your family’s history. Small, everyday acts count. Young children can learn that even helping to clear the table is a way to contribute. They also might draw pictures for a sick relative, go on short visits to a senior center or help make sandwiches for a homeless shelter. In the process, you can tell kids your own stories about why you chose a specific charity or where you spent time volunteering. In fact, talking with young children about such values is in many ways more essential than taking them on an actual outing. Both Natkin and Weisman warn against signing up preschoolers for extended activities, exposing them to settings that might be beyond their comprehension or

“It’s a chance to connect kids to the resilience of the human spirit.”

expecting them to learn lessons overnight. “These qualities are not built on one interaction,” Natkin says. “It’s such a scaffolding process with these big values.”


By the time kids enter elementary school, their brains are more adept at distinguishing others’ feelings. “Changes in the brain that occur around age 4 allow children to understand that other people’s thoughts and feelings are different from their own,” Natkin explains. “This is a key piece of developing empathy. As the brain continues to develop, the ability to pick up on body language, tone and emotions of others continues to grow.” Depending on the child, some kids might be ready for longer volunteer activities outside the home. Plus, as they progress in school and join clubs, such as Cub Scouts or Campfire, they will often be asked to participate in raising money. “What’s interesting about this age is that they’re always being asked to sell stuff,” Weisman says. “It’s not a bad skill to have.” With thoughtful discussion, elementary-age kids can also begin to process some of the larger >> • April 2018 • 39


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ages + stages How to Raise Your Own Superhero continued from page 39 questions surrounding philanthropic work: Why are these people homeless? What can we do to help them? “You have to be careful to debrief children frequently when you take them on something like a mission trip, whether it’s downtown or around the world,” Weisman says. “What they see can be stressful as well as poignant.” Parents can help kids reflect on the sadness of a situation and build on the conversation. “The act of doing something is often the remedy to feeling lost in a harsh world,” Natkin says. “It’s a chance to connect kids to the resilience of the human spirit.” Allowing kids to have a voice in where and how often the family participates in volunteer work helps, too. Parents might also consider participating with another family. “With Julia, if other kids were doing it, she would want to do it, too,” says Byron Ricks, Julia’s dad.

Tweens and teens As Natkin reminds us, one of the challenges of this age is that it’s the kid’s job to separate. “You need to allow for that space,” she says. “If they’re interested in helping with rescue pets at the animal shelter but not with you, by all means let them do it.” Don’t get hung up on eye rolls or

negativity, she adds. “That’s just on the outside,” Natkin says. “There’s still something happening on the inside.” This is an age when kids zero in on the behavior and language of their parents. If you don’t make eye contact with people asking for money on the street, they’ll notice. If you make judgments in your language, they’ll notice. “If you’re not modeling generous behavior, don’t expect them to do so because they’ll call you on it,” Natkin says. Teens can have an intense sense of justice when it comes to family requirements, including chores, but it doesn’t mean those requirements should be ignored. As Natkin explains, parents still have a window of opportunity to influence their kids before they become adults. As Weisman points out, for much of their lives, kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up. Weisman prefers to ask a different question: “Who do you want to be?” It’s a question that speaks directly to the values we wish to pass on to our children. It also highlights the difference between a career and a calling. n An award-winning writer, Todd Powell has been a stay-at-home father for the past 16 years.

P E D I A T R I C See pg. 38

volunteer ideas for all ages PRESCHOOL

Northwest Harvest offers two volunteer opportunities that kids younger than the age of 6 can do from home. The first: Make thank-you posters to hang in Northwest Harvest’s warehouses. You’ll need to provide your own materials, preregister the projects and follow the detailed instructions. volunteermatch. org/search/opp1593210.jsp The second: Host a food drive at home. Create a theme or a party and have your kids help plan the festivities. In some cases, Northwest Harvest will pick up the food once the collection is complete. search/opp1120092.jsp

ELEMENTARY There’s nothing like digging in the dirt when you’re a kid. United Way King County offers a variety of volunteer opportunities that help restore local trails, parks, wetlands and forested areas. Your family can

even learn about native plants by helping out at the King Conservation District native plant nursery in Renton, which is where many of the plants used in regional restoration projects get their start. Training and gloves are provided, but bring sturdy, close-toed shoes or boots.

TWEENS AND TEENS If your older kids are animal lovers, Purrfect Pals (, which coordinates with area pet stores, needs volunteers who are at least 14 to help care for cats awaiting adoption. Little Bit, a therapeutic riding center in Redmond ( volunteer), needs volunteers (also 14 and older) to help prepare horses before classes. Or kids 13–17 can become involved in animal welfare work through the Seattle Humane Teen Club ( teen-programs).


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cut this out











Ways to Be

an At-Home Superhero

Reuse plastic bags. And we don’t just mean the grocery store kind. Wash out those Ziplocs!


Move the fridge.

Putting your fridge in direct sunlight forces it to


work harder to stay cool.


Try a shadier spot.



Microwaves matter. They use 50 percent less energy than a


conventional oven.

June 25th-Aug 3rd

T  ry vinegar.

It’s a natural way to kill germs. Drop in some lemon oil to cut the smell.


Lose the leaks.

They’re seriously wasteful

Curiosity, Independence, and a Love of Learning

(both of water and of



 Keep it cold.

When it comes to laundry,


opt for cold water. Your clothes won’t mind. Plus,


it saves you money.

C  ompost. Compost. Compost.


Opt for glass, ceramic or silicone dishes. They’ll make cooking


more efficient.

Grow a plant.

Not only do they look good, plants help purify the air around you. — Elisabeth Kramer

42 • April 2018 •

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Stress can energize you and help you get things done, and it can motivate you to achieve optimal performance. But stress can also activate your physiological systems excessively, signaling an emergency to all of your organ systems, creating panic and interfering with your ability to function. So is stress good or bad? Both, says Laura Kastner, Ph.D., and author of “Getting to Calm.” We talked to Kastner about the epidemic of stress facing parents and kids alike, and what you can do to ease the negative impacts of stress on your family. One question we asked: What contributes to rising stress levels? “Gen Z kids feel compelled to stay connected on social media platforms,” Kastner explains. “Tweens and teens have always wanted to feel important, recognized, included, respected and affirmed by peers. Social media offers limitless opportunities for these rewards to be experienced in positive ways, but also in ways that can result in vulnerability and harm.” Read the full Q&A with Kastner at

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— Jody Allard

12/13/17 8:22 AM

We’re for a healthy dose of originality. We’re for the freedom to be fearless. WE’RE FOR WHAT YOU’RE FOR: YOUR CHILD


Spring Visit Day

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46 • April 2018 •

teens take action


Meet Tai McMillan

Local teens make change happen By Elisabeth Kramer


ince January, we’ve spoken with one local teen a month who’s making a difference. Some are involved in the Gates Foundation Discovery Center’s Youth Ambassadors Program (YAP), a year-long service learning program for high school students designed to educate, engage and empower youth. These teens have their sights set on a better, brighter future. Learn how the Gates Foundation Discovery Center is helping them get there and how you can, too. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

Who am I? I’m Tai McMillan. I’m 18 and a senior at Renton High School. This is my second year in the Youth Ambassadors Program at the Gates Foundation. I was actually in the pilot program, which ran during the 2016-2017 school year. I first heard about the Youth Ambassadors from my mom. She had enrolled my little brother in a Gates summer program for middle school students and saw that there was a high school program, too. I looked into it and signed up. >> Sponsored by:




ARRIV At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we believe all lives have equal value. We are impatient optimists working to reduce inequity. Explore interactive exhibits and find ways you can take action at the Gates Foundation Discovery Center,


teens take action

most things are better finished– like college. And Terrible Twos. CityU Students finish at twice the National Rate

Meet Tai McMillan continued from page 47 I had a really good time in that program. [After it was over,] our program facilitator reached out to me to see if I would be interested in being part of the Youth Ambassador pilot program. I was so I applied and was lucky enough to get in.

What I’m up to Through my work as a Youth Ambassador, I helped plan and promote the foundation’s Teen Action Fair last year. What was really cool about that event is that an organization that I’m a part of, Northwest Tap Connection [a social justice dance studio], attended the fair. The director of Northwest Tap Connection even let me hop in on a number they did during the fair. [Editor’s note: McMillan began dancing with Northwest Tap Connection at age 8 after seeing his then-3-year-old brother perform to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with the group.] [As a Youth Ambassador], I’ve volunteered multiple times with Teen Feed. That’s a program where we make dinner for homeless teens. We buy the food, make the dinner and serve it. Part of my role as a Youth Ambassador is also to run outreach programs at my school. We try and inspire the other youth in our community that they have the ability to participate in the change that the Gates Foundation is doing. For a lot of people, they don’t even know these problems are happening in the world so the outreach programs are pretty eye-opening. As a Youth Ambassador, it’s really nice that I get to show other students that these things are happening and that they can do something about it.

“It’s really nice that I get to show other students that these things are happening and that they can do something about it.”

Want to get involved, too? What I recommend

Learn More • 888.422.4898

City University of Seattle is a not-for-profit and an Equal Opportunity institution accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. SP5834

48 • April 2018 •

Start small and build on that. For families, start in your household. Perhaps you’re passionate about environmental issues. You could start composting and turning the lights off and being adamant about those things. Or maybe once a week, you and your family go clean up a park. Also, do research. There are so many organizations in our area that are doing positive work; you’re bound to find something that aligns with your interests. And even if you don’t, there are so many options, something will likely catch your attention. It’s about exploring and building on top of that. n Elisabeth Kramer is associate editor at ParentMap.

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Strolling the grounds of local sports tournaments this past summer, a person might have thought our national security was at stake. “Come on, [insert child’s name here], battle for the ball, attack!� “Destroy them!� Or how about this “wisdom� overheard from a Seattle soccer coach of 9-year-old girls: “You’d better not lose.� Not all adults talk this way. But when a friend with a soccerloving son moved to Europe for a year and saw a strongly worded sign posted outside his soccer academy, I began thinking more about word choices on our own sports fields. Where the club said “destroy,� perhaps we use “create,� as in creating opportunities? “Stealing the ball� can become “recovering the ball� and “battle/war/fight� can all be ditched in favor of words such as “competition and match.� It’s a little something to think about as we head into yet another active summer on the field. Read more at sportsummer. — Hilary Benson

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