parenting is a trip!
parentmap.com/ gottman SEE PAGE 12
TOLERANCE: WHEN RELATIVES ARE RACIST Confronting hateful speech in families 10
BREASTFEEDING 101 FROM THE MILK BOSS 5 tips for a successful breastfeeding journey 12
THE EVOLUTION OF PARENTAL CONTROLS Monitoring vs. mentoring kids’ media use 20
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4 • May 2019 • parentmap.com
inside MAY 2019
Secrets of Happy Couples:
DR. JOHN GOTTMAN MAY 14 PAGE 12
, cause parenting is a trip!
THE EVOLUTION OF PARENTAL CONTROLS Monitoring vs. mentoring kids’ media use
6 DEAR READER Honoring the mothers who walk closest to me
8 PARENTMAP STAFF
APPRECIATIONS FOR MOM In praise of the wise women who raised us
10 BEYOND TOLERANCE When relatives are racist
12 CRIB NOTES 5 tips for a successful breastfeeding journey
Out + About 16 MAY CALENDAR 23 5 SECRET URBAN
Green spaces that offer pint-size adventure
25 P AMPER MOM ON
HER SPECIAL DAY From cost-free treats to spectacular splurges
15 IT STARTS WITH YOU(TH)
This Bellevue youth puts literacy first
New project promotes safe, informed birth practices
27 AGES + STAGES: 5–18
Harnessing kids’ screen obsessions to learn
31 PARENT DAY JOBS Meet Vickie Andrews, a NICU nurse who loves her job
8–11 S chools + Preschools 22–30 C amps + Activities
ON THE COVER L to R: Georgina Juarez, Maria Maldonado, Jessica Juarez, Levi William Atkins, Arielle Sulkin Atkins. Photo by Will Austin
parentmap.com • May 2019 • 5
Honoring the mothers who walk closest to me
ou may not readily see what I see on this month’s cover: my personal angels. Perfect in pink, the elder angel, Maria Maldonado, serendipitously entered my family’s life nearly 30 years ago. At that time, my husband and I were always exhausted, often angry and definitely struggling in our respective ways with work responsibilities, raising our little ones and juggling all the other demands of life, with no family support. We desperately needed a mother’s sturdy shoulder and wisdom (and most certainly we would have benefited from a Dr. John Gottman marital coaching session — mark your calendar, as one is coming your way May 14; parentmap.com/gottman). The stresses and strains of family life had us playing an un-fun game of “Who does more?” with a consistent zero-sum outcome. But life transformed the moment we met Maria. Eli, our colicky, then-6-monthold baby, practically leapt out of my arms to land gently into her loving and calm embrace. We became a new and improved family. Our daughters, now magnificent mothers and aunties in their own right (cover, L to R: Maria’s beautiful girls Georgina and Jessica; and my Arielle) instantaneously bonded, whiling away endless carefree summer days at “Camp Maria.” They dressed up their human doll Eli, trundled to awesome (and horrible) day camps and graffitied many Queen L to R: Georgina Juarez, Jessica Juarez, Anne neighborhood sidewalks with chalk Arielle Sulkin Atkins. art. Some summer days, we would all pile into my car and descend upon some fancy beach club, sneaking in and acting like we owned the place. This trio of sister-like friends owned the Little Howe Park tire swings. They remain friends and confidantes to this day. When our darling little girl gaggle eventually aged out of Camp Maria, I proposed the idea of having a third baby to my very-happy-with-two-kids husband. Slightly in jest (not), I explained that this third baby was a necessity for me and Maria — we had to keep our love train on the tracks. Enter Maya, born in 2001. And, as we expected, she marvelously extended our parenting journey. Today, our reliable tag team is blessed with a next generation of grand-babies: Jessica is a fantastic mother of two and Arielle’s son Levi joined the family October 21, 2018. Levi William’s unexpectedly tumultuous entry into this world last fall quickly schooled his new parents on the endless joy and utter chaos a new baby brings, as well as the understanding that each child’s birth is a miracle. To the rescue came Swedish Medical Center NICU nurse Vickie Andrews (Parent Day Jobs, p. 31) and her extraordinarily skilled and caring team. Hers is one of those stressful yet rewarding jobs you may only come to appreciate when someone you love requires saving. I find myself reflecting on my beloved mother Shulamit — and how her exceptional values drive much of my daily work in ParentMap and in my community. On the occasion of this Mother’s Day, I honor the most marvelous mothers who walk closest to me: my dear Maria, Jessica and Arielle. To be in their presence is to witness exceptional teachers modeling how to love and be truly present and calm. And with this new generation, we will continue to do what all loving families do: Share life’s sorrows and joys, births and deaths, quinceañeras and weddings.
6 • May 2019 • parentmap.com
May 2019, Vol. 17, No. 5 PUBLISHER/EDITOR Alayne Sulkin
INTERIM MANAGING EDITOR Patty Lindley OUT + ABOUT EDITOR Nancy Chaney DIGITAL CONTENT EDITOR Vicky McDonald DIGITAL CONTENT PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
OUT + ABOUT EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
COPY EDITOR Sunny Parsons CONTRIBUTORS
Nancy Schatz Alton, Bryony Angell, JiaYing Grygiel, Malia Jacobson, Anjelica Malone, Jim Marggraff, Elisa Murray, Astrid Vinje
DIGITAL MARKETING DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST + TRENDING EDITOR
MARKETING + OPERATIONS ASSISTANT
EMAIL PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Angelica Lai
ADVERTISING SALES + PARTNERSHIPS SENIOR ADVERTISING AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
PARTNERSHIP ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE
AD OPERATIONS MANAGER Elisa Taylor ADVERTISING CLIENT SERVICES SPECIALIST
ADVERTISING CLIENT SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
MARKETING/EVENTS EVENT OPERATIONS Brenna McCowen EVENT COORDINATOR Mallory Dehbod MARKETING + EVENTS ASSISTANT Taryn Weiner
ART + PRODUCTION SENIOR DESIGNER Amy Chinn
ADMINISTRATION FINANCE MANAGER Sonja Hanson BUSINESS ANALYST Carolyn Brendel
PARENTMAP EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Benjamin Danielson, M.D.
ODESSA BROWN CHILDREN’S CLINIC
Joan Duffell COMMITTEE FOR CHILDREN John Gottman, Ph.D. THE GOTTMAN INSTITUTE PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Laura Kastner, Ph.D.
PSYCHIATRY + BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
VICE PRESIDENT AT DOVETAILING, LLC
Yaffa Maritz, M.A.
LISTENING MOTHERS + COMMUNITY OF MINDFUL PARENTS
Ron Rabin THE KIRLIN FOUNDATION Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
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parentmap.com • May 2019 • 7
mother’s day ALLI ARNOLD
A Mother’s Wisdom
ParentMap staff shares memorable “Mom-isms” My mom was a Pinterest mom long before Pinterest existed. I am constantly inspired by how creative and resourceful she has always been (and is, to this day, with my daughter!) to make fun homemade DIY projects, crafts, baking and activities. — Mallory Dehbod , Event Coordinator
Combining my mom’s three favorite and oft-repeated proverbs helped to define the culture of our home: “If at first you don’t succeed …” “You can lead a horse to water …” “If you can’t say something nice …” — Alayne Sulkin, Publisher + Editor My mother’s greetings to me in person or on the phone are often “Have you eaten?” or “Eat first.” The sayings for her are both cultural and personal. — Angelica Lai, Email Production Specialist One thing I remember that my aunt would say to me when I was mad or frustrated or wronged: “The best revenge is a good life.” It has always helped me to keep things in perspective and to move on. — Ida Wicklund, Senior Advertising + Partnerships Manager I have always admired my mother for her unshakeable optimism and calm perseverance. Often in my life I have made a mantra of her words: “Everything will work out.” And it always does. — Elisa Taylor, Ad Operations Manager
S C H O O L S
8 • May 2019 • parentmap.com
My mother instilled in me the ability to stand behind my gut, no matter the obstacles or pushback. This strength, also known as stubbornness to some, has allowed me to attain my greatest successes and work through my lowest lows with confidence. — Brenna McCown, Event Operations Throughout my childhood I watched my mom work hard to raise three children and prepare us for a life she never had. Her words of wisdom were always “Be kind and work hard — it always pays off.” It’s so simple, but so right. — Jen Dine, Partnership Account Representative My grandmother (about to turn 100!) always used to tell us to have a lot of kids because there’s always gonna be a dud or two. — Angela Goodwin, Advertising Client Services Administration My mum was a great mother and a nurse, but whenever we would moan about chores or other inane issues, she would say, “You need a good dose of cop on” (Irish slang for “common sense”). — Vicky McDonald, Digital Content Editor We wish all mamas out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!
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Resources for families that want to recognize and resist racism “Teaching to Transgress” by Bell Hooks
When Grandma Is Racist Confronting hateful speech in families By Malia Jacobson
ou’re enjoying time with your child and a beloved relative when you hear it: The relative casually uses a hateful term, makes a racist joke or expresses a privileged perspective that stops you in your tracks. Your cheeks flush as you grasp for the right response — do you say something? When? Now? In front of your kid, or later? Could confronting this relative end up making matters worse? Just as quickly as it arrived, the moment fades, but your questions and discomfiture linger. Like many parents in the increasingly diverse Pacific Northwest, I’ve been in this situation more than once. And I haven’t always been happy with the way I’ve responded. In some cases, my swift and heartfelt response wound up alienating my relative, effectively shutting down communication. At other times, I was shocked into silence or simply felt unsure of how to explain my stance, holding one kid on my hip while another tugged on my arm. Confronting racist beliefs, words or actions in friends and family is always hard, but maybe never more so than when we begin hearing such comments uttered in the presence of our children. When the person spouting hateful speech is someone our child loves and admires, we don’t want to create or intensify family conflict. And countering such comments by older relatives means stepping outside of family norms and rejecting our own internalized beliefs about not questioning or disrespecting our elders, says Seattle-based parenting coach Sarina Behar Natkin, LICSW. We might wonder whether confronting a relative’s beliefs will make any difference. And well-intentioned parents who aspire to the “color-blind” ideal may squirm at the thought of bringing their child’s attention to racial oppression. These concerns are real, and there is reason to act on them, says Orchid Fowler, a teacher at the Chavitos Spanish-immersion nature school in Tacoma who spent her undergraduate years teaching anti-racism curricula in Boston schools. Raising children who champion equity means countering racist beliefs within family systems, despite the difficulty and discomfort that come with doing so. “We know that racism is handed down to children over time, through family members who view the world through the lens of racism,” says Fowler. Recognizing and fighting racism, and raising children who do the same, means resisting any urge we might feel to remain quiet. “Let the child witness you standing up for a person of color or people with a different background — this shows them that you, as an adult and parent, don’t stand for oppression,” she says. “You’re shifting the ignorance that is passed down through our parents.” But that doesn’t mean you should respond with hostility, or even necessarily respond immediately, she notes. Thinking about your response as two or more separate conversations can help. “As educators, we take the stance that children don’t perceive things in the same way adults do,” she says. “Around third grade and younger, you might
10 • May 2019 • parentmap.com
“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (essay) by Peggy McIntosh “Me and White Supremacy Workbook”
by Layla Saad address [the racist “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo remark] later with “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paolo Freire your child by saying “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates the comment was Rethinking Schools (educational publisher and hurtful and that words magazine) matter. Then, with “Seeing White” (podcast) the relative, you can explain how you’re having a conversation at home about racism and this is what you’re learning, and then ask them for their perspective. Later, after fourth grade or so, children can understand systemic racism and are ready for deeper conversation.” Even with very young children, talking about why a relative’s comment was hurtful is important, says Natkin. “Not understanding isn’t the same as not noticing. Younger kids do notice and store these things away.” What happens when you’ve respectfully requested that your relative stop making these comments in front of your children and yet they continue? Parents should keep in mind that they get to choose whom their children spend time with, Natkin says. “If I had parents or grandparents who continued to use language or act in ways that don’t align with our values, I’d tell them that I was concerned,” she says. Ultimately, parents can choose to set boundaries with relatives who can’t shift their behavior, she notes. Confronting racist language means having difficult conversations with relatives, but those conversations can provide opportunities for connection, learning and growth. “I think we only have influence through connection,” says Natkin. “Shocking or shaming our relative may seem to work in the short term, but what about the long term?” “I do my best to model compassion and meet people where they are,” says parent Jennifer Dumlao of Tacoma. “I’m not going to educate my relative on white fragility when he doesn’t understand how using stereotypes is racist. “I used to never say anything, but having a kid has made me stronger,” she says. “I’m trying my best to speak up.” ■
Malia Jacobson is an award-winning health and parenting journalist and mom of three.
BeyondTolerance In 2019, ParentMap is dedicating consistent thoughtful coverage to cultivating tolerance. We will rally partners and experts to help us deliver practical and powerful tools, perspectives and tips to parents and educators for teaching empathy, equity, acceptance, respect and inclusion to our children. Read more at parentmap.com/beyond-tolerance.
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Some predict that nearly a third of the world’s future jobs don’t even exist today. Parents, that means your job is to look for ways to encourage adaptive traits in your children: • Help them learn how to retain information. Model interval exposure, which is the idea that when a person processes new information repeatedly at different intervals, it improves recall.
• Cultivate adaptability. Help them get comfortable with ambiguity and small changes through “pattern breaking” — examining everyday routines and shaking them up. • Expose them to technology. Today’s children will depend more on “intelligent” technology both at home and at work in the future, so expose them to it now. Read the full post at parentmap.com/future.
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he joys and benefits of breastfeeding are often shared openly, but we rarely talk about the many hurdles that can arise and make breastfeeding difficult. Managing them with the right expectations and gentle support can be extremely beneficial. As a lactation educator, counselor and birth worker who’s supported families around the globe, I’ve found that there are a few key tips that universally make a difference in the comfort level and success that a woman has with breastfeeding. In my book “Milk Boss 101: The Modern Breastfeeding Journal & Guide,” I lay out a series of steps that every woman can begin implementing during the pregnancy and after birth to greatly increase the chances of having a successful breastfeeding experience. Here are a few of those steps:
Assemble your breastfeeding tribe. You’re likely building a birth team in preparation for your delivery — it’s equally helpful to round up a few friends to support you on your breastfeeding journey. Your tribe should consist of a close friend or partner, your medical provider and a coworker. Each of these people will play an important role in helping you successfully start breastfeeding after birth, during the “golden hour” (the first hour after birth when a mother has uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with her newborn); maintain breastfeeding once home; and access help should you begin to experience any breast/nipple trauma or if your baby struggles to gain weight. Your coworker will be someone who supports you in achieving your breastfeeding goals if you decide to return to work. This individual will play an important role in encouraging you if you are employed in a work environment that is not breastfeeding-friendly, and he or she can also cover for you if your pumping routine ever overlaps with a work commitment.
2 Attend a prenatal breastfeeding class. Breastfeeding seems quite intuitive, but it doesn’t come naturally to most women. It requires lots of practice and finesse. Breastfeeding can also be most difficult during the first few weeks; this period of time is also the most crucial in establishing a healthy milk supply. A breastfeeding class will teach you the warning signs of a problem before it’s too late, while also educating you on how to know if your baby is getting enough nourishment. I recommend that a friend or partner attend the class with you. They’re likely to remember things that are hard to recall once you’re in the thick of the
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postpartum period, and they will be equipped with information on available resources if you require them.
3 Write down your breastfeeding goals. Instead of solely focusing on the recommendations made by your provider, friends or family, take a moment and think about what milestones you’d like to reach in your breastfeeding journey. Doing so allows you to objectively consider why you are breastfeeding and prepare for the help you’ll need to reach each stage. For example, if you’d like to continue breastfeeding at six months, but you know you’ll have a work trip, you can plan by building up a freezer supply for your time away or by using a service like Milk Stork (milkstork.com). 4
Meet with a lactation professional. In addition to attending a breastfeeding class, it’s extremely important to identify a lactation professional you can call up personally during the first days and weeks of breastfeeding. Questions about spitting up, diapers and feeding usually require a simple answer and not necessarily a full lactation consultation, which would require showering, getting dressed and leaving the house with a newborn. Meeting with a lactation professional before giving birth allows you to ring up your consultant for advice on the fly. You can find lactation professionals by attending a La Leche League (llli.org) meeting or other local breastfeeding meet-up, calling your hospital’s lactation services department or reaching out to a doula for a list of recommended professionals.
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5 Prioritize self-care. Your mental health is just as important as your baby’s physical well-being. I’ve heard many mothers share their experiences of feeling trapped by breastfeeding at first, since they are their baby’s sole source of nourishment. You can ease this feeling by taking walks, scheduling a massage or attending a yoga class a few times a week. Requesting gift cards for such services at your baby shower can help ensure that you make time for them. These practices usually take no more than an hour and can really do wonders for your sanity. ■ Doula Anjelica Malone is a mother of two and wife of a military spouse. A trained lactation and childbirth educator, she is author of Milk Boss 101: The Modern Breastfeeding Journal & Guide. parentmap.com • May 2019 • 13
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it starts with you(th)
ARRIVE LEAVE CURIOUS. INSPIRED.
Meet Andrea Liao This Bellevue youth is changing lives, one book at a time By Patty Lindley
ndrea Liao is a 16-year-old sophomore at Interlake High School in Bellevue, and she won’t mind if you know that she is a complete bookworm. Reading and writing are her two favorite pastimes, and these twin passions have motivated her to dedicate admirable effort to making sure that as many children as possible can grow up in an environment with ample access to literature. “Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved to read, and I’ve wanted to do book drives for other kids who are in need of books. So, the summer after middle school, I started out small with local organizations, [such as] Seattle Children’s Hospital. I reached out to them and asked if they needed any books, and what age group the books would be for. And then I started to expand from there,” says Liao. Organizing with an inspiring mission, “A book for every child, a story for every student,” Liao formally founded Book the Future in January 2018. The student-run organization’s dedication to expanding global youth literacy manifests itself through three primary programs: bimonthly book drives to collect and deliver picture books and chapter books to refugee centers, children’s hospitals, schools, orphanages and NEXT TO SEATTLE CENTER foster care homes; local events, including writers workshops and read-a-thons; and a ALWAYS 440 5TH AVE N. digital-format magazine that features written pieces and visual artswork submitted by FREE discovergates.org | discovergates Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm teens that explore intersections between activism, the arts and storytelling. Liao is passionate about this work and the importance of connecting children to the life-changing joys of reading. “Speaking from personal experience, growing up I was in the library at least one or two times a week. I always wanted to have my bookshelf full 4/8/19 of books. Last summer, I was a mentor at a summer camp specifically for literacy, and 0519_gates_branding_1-4.indd 1 the reason that a lot of the kids were there was because they were pretty much unwilling to read, unwilling to write. At the end of the camp, I was really glad that they were more confident about their abilities,” says Liao. Even children raised in book-loving families can be reluctant readers. How does Liao advise parents to help foster a love of reading in their children? “Set a good example. I know that today’s parents are always on their phones, so kids take after that. I think it’s important for parents to read with their children from the very beginning — just go to the library together and read every night,” she says. Through her book drives, Liao estimates that she has curated and delivered more than 2,000 books to both local and international organizations, including amassing more than 1,000 books to start a library at a primary school in Ghana through the African Library Project (africanlibraryproject.org). She has managed this largely on her A book for every child, a story for every student. own, but credits help from fellow Interlake student Sabine Wood and from her mother (who helps her deliver the books, since Liao is too young to drive) for the growth and success of Book the Future. Book the Future is a student-run organization Liao finds the work to be deeply gratifying and when I ask if she plans to continue based in Seattle. We are dedicated to global it beyond high school, she says, Sponsored by: youth literacy. It is our belief that every child “It’s something that I’m definitely should grow up in an environment where there interested in doing later on — is ample access to literature. just dedicating my life to this cause and ensuring that more Our mission is to promote youth literacy children will have access to and activism, seeking change through words, At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we reading resources.” stories, and art. believe all lives have equal value. We are To see how your family or impatient optimists working to reduce inequity. organization can help support Explore interactive exhibits and find ways you can take action at the Gates Foundation Liao’s Book the Future mission, visit bookthefuture.wixsite.com/website Discovery Center, discovergates.org parentmap.com/bookthefuture. ■
SUPPORT YOUTH LITERACY
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parentmap.com • May 2019 • 15
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AveKids: Caspar Babypants, May 4
Holocaust Remembrance Day. Embark on a journey of family survival in the one-woman play “Cyla’s Gift,” followed by a memorial candle-lighting with Holocaust survivors. 2–4 p.m. FREE; preregister. Seattle Art Museum. holocaustcenterseattle.org Kodomo no Hi Children’s Day. Enjoy crafts, tasty food from local vendors, martial arts, taiko performances, a kids’ tea ceremony, games and more. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE. Japanese Cultural Community Center, Seattle. jcccw.org
Little Sprouts. Enjoy an hour of naturethemed stories, sensory activities, songs and outdoor play. Also on May 13. 9:45–10:45 a.m. $5; preregister. Ages 2–4 with caregiver. Tacoma Nature Center. metroparkstacoma.org Playdates at PacSci. Enjoy a 15-minute live, interactive planetarium show, then mingle with other parents while your tot unleashes their inner scientist. Mondays, 10 a.m.–noon. Included with admission. Ages 2–5 with caregivers. Pacific Science Center, Seattle. pacificsciencecenter.org
Mother’s Day Family Paddle. Adventurous moms will love this paddle through Foss Waterway providing unique views of downtown Tacoma. 10 a.m.–noon. $35 per person; preregister. Ages 7 and up. Tacoma. metroparkstacoma.org Mother’s Day at the Farm. Bring the family to enjoy farm activities, animals, the new Cat Café, DIY gardening projects and more. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Moms and kids under 1 get in FREE; $10 for everyone else. Fox Hollow Family Farm, Issaquah. foxhollowfamilyfarm.com
Preschool Discovery Lab. Bring your toddlers to practice preschool readiness skills at their own pace with STREAM activities presented by KidsQuest Children’s Museum. 2–3 p.m. FREE; preregister. Ages 2–5 with adults. King County Library, Skyway Branch, Seattle. kcls.org Magic Monday. Local magicians perform feats of wonder in the cozy quarters of the bookstore the second Monday of every month. 7–8 p.m. FREE. Third Place Books – Ravenna, Seattle. thirdplacebooks.com
Lasting Love: Secrets of Happy Couples. ParentMap welcomes John Gottman, Ph.D., to share his insights on building a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Lecture at 7 p.m., Q&A to follow. $25 advance; $30 door. Adults. Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle. parentmap.com/gottman Meditation for Baby & Me. Music for babes followed by meditation for grown-ups, every second Tuesday. 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. FREE. Adults with infants. Sahaja Meditation Center, Seattle. meetup.com/meditation-for-moms-and-babies
Lacey Spring Fun Fair. Carnival, car show, kids’ activities, lip sync contest and lots more. Saturday–Sunday, May 18–19. FREE. Saint Martin’s University, Lacey. laceyspringfunfair.com Mushroom Maynia. Puget Sound Mycological Society promises “family fungi fun” at this mushroom-growing and -harvesting fest featuring crafts and a nature walk. 12:30–5 p.m. $3/person or $5/family. Phinney Center Community Hall, Seattle. psms.org
OmTots Play Gym. Bounce around, swing from the ceiling and gambol like a monkey. Monday–Friday. 9:30 a.m.–noon. $12; discounts available. Ages 1–5 with caregiver. OmCulture Wallingford, Seattle. omculture.com Low Sensory Play Time. Special play time features a limited number of kids and a calm environment. Mondays, noon–2 p.m. (check website for additional times). $20; preregister. Ages 0–10 with adult. Roo’s World of Discovery, Kirkland. roosworldofdiscovery.com
Mom & Baby Yoga. Gentle postnatal yoga for new moms, along with community support. Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. $20. Moms with infants. Seattle Holistic Center. seattleholisticcenter.com Garden Party. Learn all about science and plants with your kiddos at this STEM event. 3–4 p.m. FREE. Ages 6 and up with families. Eatonville Pierce County Library. piercecountylibrary.org
Play to Learn. Community play and circle time. 10 a.m. FREE. Ages 6 and under with adult. Charles Wright Academy, Tacoma; additional weekly times and locations online. playtacoma.org Stories Alive Story Time. Kids become a part of the story “Interrupting Chicken” at this interactive story time. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Included with admission. Ages 1–6 with families. Imagine Children’s Museum, Everett. imaginecm.org
Mushroom Maynia, May 19
Syttende Mai Parade, May 17
16 • May 2019 • parentmap.com
Family Science Weekend at the Aquarium. Hands-on activities, special talks and demonstrations will help the whole family discover science in a fun way. Saturday– Monday, May 25–27. Included with admission. Seattle Aquarium. seattleaquarium.org Emerald City Ride 2019. Bike the new SR 99 tunnel (car-free, of course!) with the whole family, including a stop for free food in iconic Gas Works Park! 7 a.m. $18–$40. Pyramid Alehouse, Seattle. cascade.org/emeraldcityride
Memorial Day Parade. Honor our veterans at this moving annual parade. 10 a.m. FREE. Route winds along N. Olympic Ave., Arlington. arlingtonwa.gov Memorial Day Train Rides. Enjoy train rides this holiday weekend with special discounts for those with a valid, current military ID and their families. Saturday– Monday, May 25–27. $5–$20; kids 2 and under free. Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie. trainmuseum.org
Hoppy Hour. Bounce time for energetic kids to get the rainy-day (or any-day) wiggles out at a discounted rate. Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. $7–$12. Elevated Sportz, Bothell. elevatedsportz.com Japanese Playgroup. Come read, play and sing with other families; led by a Japanese-speaking volunteer. Tuesdays, 2–4 p.m. FREE. Ages 0–5 with caregiver. FamilyWorks Family Resource Center, Seattle. familyworksseattle.org
May Day Celebration and Potluck. Bring flowers to craft a crown, a dish to share and your maypole dancing shoes. 5 p.m. FREE. Woodland Park near the horseshoe courts, Seattle. fremontartscouncil.org Free Admission Day at Renton History Museum. Learn about some of the earliest inhabitants of the Renton area and lots more at this museum housed in an art deco firehouse. First Wednesday and third Saturday. FREE. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Renton. rentonwa.gov
Lil’ Diggers Playtime. Behold the enormous sandbox of kids’ dreams! Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 9:30–11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. through May 23. $8. Ages 5 and under with adult. Sandbox Sports, Seattle. sandboxsports.net Nordic Stories. Hear stories by Scandinavian authors, then make a related craft project. First Thursday of the month. 10 a.m. FREE. Ages 3–6 with caregiver. Nordic Museum, Seattle. nordicmuseum.org
Bobby’s World of Adventure. Bring the entire family to see this fun show about a boy who must piece together clues to get back home. Friday–Sunday through May 11. $15. Bellevue Youth Theatre – Crossroads. bellevuewa.gov Small Frye: Storytelling + Art. Stories spring to life with Seattle Children’s Theatre at this first-Friday craft and story time; 10:30–11:45 a.m. FREE; preregister. Ages 3–5 with caregiver. Frye Art Museum, Seattle. fryemuseum.org
AveKids: Caspar Babypants. Bring the whole family to enjoy a fun-tastic live show by the one and only Grammy-nominated Chris Ballew. 2 p.m. $10; babes in arms free. Auburn Ave Theater. auburnwa.gov Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Join this community celebration featuring music, a parade, kids’ activities and more. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. FREE. El Centro de la Raza, Seattle. elcentrodelaraza.org
Ms. Bee’s Play Place. Play-centered activities to help promote social, emotional and language development. 10–11 a.m. FREE. Ages 0–6 with adult. King County Library, Fairwood Branch, Renton. kcls.org The Diary of Anne Frank. This show recounting the true story of eight individuals hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland during WWII is told from the inspiring perspective of 13-year-old Anne Frank. April 4–May 19. Today’s show is at 7 p.m. Ages 9 and up. Seattle Children’s Theatre – Charlotte Martin Theatre. sct.org
Northwest Paddling Festival. Get out on the water with demo kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. Friday–Saturday, May 10–11. Free entry; small fee for tours and demos. Lake Sammamish State Park, Issaquah. northwestpaddlingfestival.com Tot Shabbat. Gather with other families to celebrate with songs and snacks. 11:15 a.m.–noon. FREE. Ages 0–5 with adult. Temple B’nai Torah, Bellevue. templebnaitorah.org
Half-Price Moms’ Day. Marvel at the exhibits, catch an animal show, visit the critters and celebrate Mom. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Moms half-price at the gate. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma. pdza.org Remlinger Farms Opening Weekend. Celebrate moms with a day out at the fun park with a mini steam train, hay maze, pony rides and more. Saturday–Sunday, May 11–12, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. $16–$18; under age 1 free. remlingerfarms.com
Kaleidoscope Play & Learn. Meet and play with other families. Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.–noon. FREE. Ages 0–5 with caregiver. King County Library, Kent Panther Lake Branch. kcls.org Baby Gym. You and your baby explore with coaching guidance at this FREE drop-in group class. Wednesdays, 9:30–10 a.m. Ages 4–12 months with caregiver. Advantage Gymnastics Academy, Woodinville. advantagegym.com
Ballard Church Playspace. 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, Seattle. ballardchurch.com Third Thursday at Tacoma Museums. Romp (gently) around the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum and Washington State History Museum FREE on third-Thursday evenings. museumofglass.org, tacomaartmuseum.org, washingtonhistory.org
17th of May Festival. Celebrate Norwegian Independence Day with the awesome Syttende Mai parade in Ballard. 6 p.m. FREE. Along Market St., Seattle. 17thofmay.org Everfree Northwest. Every pony will love this family-friendly, all-ages convention for My Little Pony fans. Friday–Sunday, May 17–19. $20–$45; ages 12 and under free with paid adult. DoubleTree Hotel, SeaTac. everfreenw.com
A Glimpse of China: Chinese Culture & Arts Festival. Festál celebrates 5,000 years of Chinese culture with performances, activities, food and more. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. FREE. Seattle Center Armory. seattlecenter.com/festal Minefaire. Get your geek on at this Minecraft convention. Saturday–Sunday, May 18–19. $32+; ages 2 and under free. CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle. minefaire.com
Reading With Rover. Young readers gain confidence reading aloud to trained therapy dogs. First and third Tuesdays, 6:30–7:30 p.m. FREE. Ages 5–10 with adult. King County Library, Lake Hills Branch, Bellevue. readingwithrover.org Shoreline Indoor Playground. Large gym is ideal for liberating the wiggles. Monday– Friday, 9:30–11:30 a.m. $2–$2.50. Ages 1–5 with caregiver. Spartan Recreation Center, Shoreline. shorelinewa.gov
Musical Storytime. Expose your kids to the joy of music and stories, then let them explore the museum the rest of the day! Thursdays, 11–11:30 a.m. Included with admission. KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Bellevue. kidsquestmuseum.org Toddler Time. Early-bird 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. issaquahwa.gov
Northwest Folklife Festival. The iconic festival showcases a vibrant array of talent, including performances especially for kids. Friday–Monday, May 24–27. Suggested donation: $10/person or $20/family. Seattle Center. nwfolklife.org Family Board Game Night. GeekGirlCon hosts this fun, family-friendly social gathering of tabletop gaming, with coffee to enjoy. Second and fourth Fridays, 7–11 p.m. FREE. Wayward Coffeehouse, Seattle. waywardcoffee.com
Tankfest Northwest. Check out tanks, military vehicles and things that go boom. Children’s activities include a scavenger hunt, bouncy house and more. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. $15–$20; ages 5 and under and active military/veterans free. Flying Bomarc Business Park, Everett. flyingheritage.com Family Nature Walk. Explore Tacoma’s parks and discover spring plants and animals on this naturalist-led walk. 10 a.m.–11 a.m. FREE; preregister. Ages 3 and up. McKinley Park, Tacoma. metroparkstacoma.org
Kitty Literature. Call ahead for your child to practice reading with shelter cats; 20-minute sessions. Monday–Friday. FREE. Ages 5–10. Seattle Humane, Bellevue. seattlehumane.org Wild Wednesday. Enjoy free admission to this fun indoor play space with a two-item canned food donation this last Wednesday of the month. 9 a.m.–8 p.m. FREE with donation. Ages 0–12 with families. PlayDate SEA, Seattle. playdatesea.com
Urban Adventure Quest. Join this citywide scavenger hunt with an “Amazing Race” vibe to complete challenges and learn about Seattle’s history. 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; other dates available. $27/team; smartphone required to receive clues. Seattle Center. urbanadventurequest.com Toddler Gym. Seattle’s neighborhood community centers offer free tot play times. Monday–Saturday, various times. FREE. Ages 5 and under with caregiver. Seattle. seattle.gov/parks
Bite of Greece. Bring the family to this cultural festival featuring Greek food, music, dancing and more! May 31–June 2. FREE. Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, Seattle. biteofgreeceseattle.com Family Nature Class: Wetlands. Explore the topic of wetlands with learning stations and a nature walk. Friday–Saturday, May 31–June 1, 9:30–11:30 a.m. $19/adult-child pair; preregister. Ages 2–5 with caregiver. Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle. botanicgardens.uw.edu
8 Let’s Play: Snow White. Pop in for this classic tale filled with silly woodland animals and the seven dwarves in a dynamic half-hour show. May 8–12, 10 a.m. $5; ages 2 and under free. Ages 0–5 with families. Olympia Family Theater. olyft.org Conservatory Story Hour. Enjoy stories and crafts amid verdant surroundings. 11 a.m.–noon. Suggested donation of $3. Ages 3–8 with adult. W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, Tacoma. seymourconservatory.org
Northwest Folklife Festival, May 24–27
parentmap.com • May 2019 • 17
Baby on Board
New project promotes safe, informed birth practices By Malia Jacobson
s Kelsey Mooseker and her husband, Andrew, of Lake Stevens prepared for the birth of their twin girls in early 2019, they expected the delivery would be via C-section. Mooseker had had a previous C-section in 2008, and with this latest pregnancy, one of the twins was breech, positioned head up in the womb. Under the circumstances, Mooseker says, a vaginal birth seemed out of reach. “I’d come to terms emotionally with having another C-section. I wanted a vaginal birth, but I thought the stars would have to align perfectly,” says Mooseker. In a way, the stars did align. The weeks leading up to the twins’ birth coincided with the launch of the Team Birth Project, a new initiative promoting safe, informed birth practices. Currently piloted at just four hospitals in the United States, the project aims to improve communication between parents and their providers, improve outcomes for moms and babies, and reduce the rate of C-sections, which are currently performed in about 30 percent of births nationally.
The Northwest is home to two of the project’s pilot hospitals, Overlake Medical Center (overlakehospital.org) and EvergreenHealth (evergreenhealth.com). “We want Overlake Medical Center to be an environment that supports normal vaginal birth, which tends to lead to an easier recovery for mothers,” says Dr. Kristin Graham, a practicing OB-GYN and medical director of Women’s and Infants’ Services at Overlake. With just weeks to go before the birth of her twins, Mooseker learned that she’d be able to try for a vaginal birth if her one twin moved into a head-down position. Mooseker readily agreed to the safeguards recommended by her provider, EvergreenHealth’s Dr. Bettina Paek: She’d give birth in an operating room, instead of a traditional birthing suite, and the babies would be monitored for signs of distress during labor. “Everyone listened to what I wanted and took me seriously,” Mooseker says. The twins were born vaginally on Feb. 7, 2019, after 33 weeks of gestation. Mooseker credits the Team Birth Project with helping create a supportive, empowering environment for the birth of her babies. One of the project’s
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key components is a “labor and planning board,” a large whiteboard that faces the patient in the delivery room and acts as a clearly visible birth plan. The whiteboard keeps hospital staff, the laboring mother and family members informed and up-to-date. The board also facilitates regular staff “huddles” so doctors and nurses can confer as the birth progresses. Overlake providers have adopted other practices shown to reduce unnecessary C-sections, says Graham. These include allowing mothers enough time to move through the stages of labor, and encouraging mothers to allow labor to become established at home before coming to the hospital. Compared to her first delivery 10 years ago, Mooseker says the difference in her second was remarkable. “In 2008, I wrote a birth plan, and I didn’t feel heard or listened to,” she says. “My doctor actually used a black Sharpie to cross out sections of my birth plan! There wasn’t a discussion about what I wanted. The whiteboard is there to push communication both ways.” While surgical births can be lifesaving in certain circumstances, families should understand the risks involved in any surgery, including C-sections, says Graham. Along with risks involving scar tissue and bleeding, there can be complications for future pregnancies. “Once somebody has a C-section, they tend to have repeat C-sections, which increases risk for problems in the way the placenta attaches,” she says. For the Moosekers, a vaginal delivery made for an easier transition into life with four children. “Having been through a C-section, I couldn’t imagine recovering from a major surgery while caring for twins, along with two other children,” says Kelsey Mooseker. “This time, I’ve had a great postpartum experience and recovery. We’re thrilled.” ■ Malia Jacobson is an award-winning journalist and mom of three. Sponsored by:
Overlake Medical Center and Clinics are committed to offering the highest quality, compassionate medical care for you and your family. Learn more about your healthcare options at overlakehospital.org.
BELLEVUE ISSAQUAH KIRKLAND NEWCASTLE REDMOND SAMMAMISH parentmap.com • May 2019 • 19
The Evolution of Parental Controls
Monitoring vs. mentoring kids’ media use in the digital age By Nancy Schatz Alton
en years ago, academic counselor and author Ana Homayoun noticed a shift in her tween and teen students. Twenty years ago, kids noted that their top distractions were food, daydreaming, siblings and pets. But a decade ago, they began putting technology at the top of this list. Recently, a sophomore student told Homayoun that his biggest distraction is YouTube. “I asked him to check screen-time usage on his phone. He’d spent 40 hours on it in the previous week: 20 hours on YouTube, 10 hours on Snapchat, and the rest of the time on Instagram, texting and music,” says Homayoun. In her book “Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World,” she outlines pragmatic strategies for effective self-regulation and overall safety and wellness with respect to digital media use. In the past year alone, Homayoun has visited 35 cities to talk about social media wellness with students and their parents. While parents might panic to hear that their child spends more than 40 hours each week focused on tech, Homayoun recommends they take a calmer approach. “It’s important for parents to switch their attitude from fear, anger and frustration to compassion, understanding and empathy. Learning how to manage tech is part of this journey to adulthood,” she says, while noting that most adults are also grappling with their own tech usage issues. In addition to this accepting attitude, what other strategies can parents adopt to help teens manage tech? A recent Pew Research Center study (pewresearch.org, search “screen time”) showed that 65 percent of the 1,000 parents surveyed worry that their kids are spending too much time online. Some of these surveyed parents (58 percent) monitor their
20 • May 2019 • parentmap.com
teens’ tech usage; others use parental controls to restrict site access (52 percent); and some limit when and how long their teens can be online or use their smartphones (58 percent). We asked experts who help teens manage digital distractions about viable ways parents can help guide their teens. While not everyone agreed on tactics, they all believe our kids are hungry for such guidance. “Kids are relieved when I say, ‘Hey, I know this tech landscape is new and different, and that you feel exhausted, overwhelmed and stressed out,’” says Homayoun. “They react with positivity to the strategies I share with them.”
Scaffolding to develop self-control Before teens can take their driver’s license test in Washington state, parents need to drive with them for 50 hours. Mediating our child’s use of tech and media requires no less of a commitment. “With tech, we want to help our kids build up their self-control around usage before we let them handle it all by themselves,” says Jo Langford, a local therapist and author of “Tech Talk/s!: The Complete Guide to Parenting Around Online Safety, Social Media and Self(ie) Esteem!” In America, the average age for a child to have their own smartphone is a little older than 10, although the new media campaign Wait Until 8th (waituntil8th.org) has some parents pledging to hold off on adding phones to their kids’ tech diet until the eighth grade. Of course, technology includes many moving parts, from YouTube and Netflix consumption to Kindle and iPad use to video gaming. “The goal is to shift from parent-based decision-making to child-based decision-making
over 18 years. Instead of assuming your child can’t manage phone and tech usage, think about scaffolding it so they know how to manage it,” says parenting coach and licensed social worker Sarina Behar Natkin. For example, Natkin’s eighth-grader received a phone in the sixth grade, but she could only use it for the bus app and to call her parents. She started texting in seventh grade, but she can only text classmates and family. The daughter’s phone stays downstairs — not in her bedroom — and isn’t available after 8 p.m. From the time their daughters were preschoolers, Natkin and her husband have been talking with them about who owns digital images and communication once it leaves their hands and devices. Even though she’s had hundreds of small-moment check-ins and longer conversations with her daughters about digital citizenship, Natkin still doesn’t feel her eldest is ready to manage the complex emotions that come with social media usage. “While my daughter tells me nobody is texting anymore and everyone is on social media, we decided to hold off and may let her try one private social media account at age 14. This is based on my specific child, because I know she’s really focused on identity and the question of ‘How do I belong in my world?’” says Natkin. That’s the rub with making tech rules for our kids: There’s no one rule that fits every user. That’s why Langford is a big believer in using individualized contracts for tech usage. When families create media contracts together, they can talk about their family values as the reasoning behind the policies they establish, says Langford. “It can’t just be a rule — it has to be steeped in
values. For instance, in our family, we say it’s not good for your brain or your heart to be plugged in all the time,” says Langford. “Everyone in the family follows a 50 percent rule during walks together, meaning devices can only be used for half of the walk. My wife and I often ask our kids to unplug within a 10-minute timeframe to help them learn self-control, too.” Such contracts for tweens and young teens set up guardrails for kids to learn safe and respectful tech usage while also helping them build self-control muscles, says Langford, who adds that contracts evolve as kids age and acquire skills. For example, Langford’s daughter wants a smartphone when she starts middle school in a few months, but he’s let her know this will only happen if she becomes more adept at unplugging from her iPad.
legally responsible for what is on their kids’ phones, explains Homayoun. “Kids will make mistakes because mistakes are part of a growth process. If you openly have conversations about your access to their tech, kids can develop buy-in as to how this growth process works, as well as offer strategies themselves for how tech usage will work in your family,” she says.
Self-regulation of tech usage and the teen brain Have you ever tried breaking your own unruly tech habit — say, limiting Facebook time or not looking at your phone while making dinner? Now imagine changing such a habit while your brain is being
To monitor or not to monitor: That is the question If you’re looking to stir up a lively debate, just ask a roomful of parents if they believe in monitoring their kids’ tech usage. If you do decide to monitor your child’s media use and access, know that monitoring technology changes often, and kids learn how to get around it quickly. A parent who uses monitoring software because her 14-year-old has an addiction issue with gaming and tech says she changes her monitoring game plan every six months or so. She researches monitoring technology online, calls tech companies when she needs help with monitoring one of their products, and talks to other parents to gather information about monitoring software and best practices. Homayoun says that using different monitoring apps may be part of a person’s parenting experience based on their child’s needs. “My approach is to help parents proactively have conversations about technology with their child,” she says. “If parents use monitoring, they should be open with their kids about this, letting them know they have full access to their tech devices. It’s not a breach of trust if everyone knows monitoring is taking place.” When public safety officers come to a school in response to a problem, they always ask if the parents have checked their kids’ phones, because parents are
remodeled, from the onset of puberty through your mid- to late-20s. The prefrontal cortex, which helps people plan, solve problems, weigh consequences and control impulses, isn’t fully developed during this lengthy remodeling phase. Teen brains actually work differently than adult brains, and when it comes to processing what teens are feeling, their brains rely more on the amygdala, the brain’s “alarm circuit,” which guides instinctual (“gut”) reactions and controls autonomic responses associated with fear, arousal and emotional stimulation. Only as teens grow older does the brain’s center of activity begin to shift more toward the reasoning frontal cortex and away from the cruder response of the amygdala. While everybody needs structure to navigate tech usage, teens have a trickier time with tech management because of this brain remodeling process and the identity-building work that goes on in these years, says
Homayoun. When a teen asks her to help change their tech habits, she outlines three steps: awareness, compartmentalization and consistency. “Teens can use Apple’s Screen Time or any number of apps to see where and how they are using their phones and iPads. Nonjudgmental awareness is needed before kids can set goals to change their habits.” Parents can help kids learn how to compartmentalize their screen time, says Homayoun, by modeling how to move from multitasking (e.g., texting while making dinner) to monotasking (just making dinner). “Many kids have never set a timer and focused on working on one task for 10–15 minutes. But I tell students that if they work up to only doing their homework for 25 minutes at a time with five-minute breaks in between, suddenly homework becomes much more relaxing and manageable,” says Homayoun. She notes that her students like the Forest app (forestapp.cc) and blocking apps like SelfControl (selfcontrolapp.com) to help them minimize distractions during focused work times. The last piece in mastering self-regulation is consistency: daily and weekly opportunities to be totally off-line. “Kids often tell me they wish their parents would take away their phones for part of every day. It’s easier to make a parent the bad guy than manage tech 24 hours a day themselves,” says Homayoun, who notes that some older teens can manage dual screens with social media on one screen and their work on another screen, while other kids totally need to block out the fun in order to get their work done. A formal survey she conducted during her last middle school visit showed that 42 percent of the students had their phones in their room all night long, and, correspondingly, that 39 percent of the students also felt sleep-deprived. “Having consistent times where they are off-line really does help kids focus on wellness — food, sleep and stress management,” says Homayoun. “Proactive strategies help prevent tech overuse while teaching kids skills to manage selfregulation.” ■ Nancy Schatz Alton is a writer, teacher and poet. Read her work at withinthewords.com. parentmap.com • May 2019 • 21
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Secret Urban Hikes Green spaces that offer a pintsize outdoor adventure By Bryony Angell
hen my son was a preschooler, I wanted to introduce him to hiking, but I knew he wasn’t ready for long trails (or drives). We began exploring the wealth of tucked-away wild areas in the Lake Washington region. We discovered some jewels, from short wetland walks to a 2-mile hike with significant elevation gain. These short trails are part of official open space in and around Seattle; each offers different ecosystems to explore and different nature memories to treasure. Bonus: Since they’re in urban areas, these trails are accessible in all seasons.
Licorice Fern Natural Area Pinehurst, Seattle Licorice Fern is one of several Thornton Creek natural areas in North Seattle that are being lovingly restored with the help of a neighborhood group. Licorice Fern offers a quiet creek-side stroll, with logs and benches to sit on and listen to the water. This watershed is where I brought my son when he was still an infant, to experience the sounds and sights of nature on a small scale. Look for pileated woodpeckers or evidence of beavers. GOOD TO KNOW: Stay on marked trails and remember that this is a residential area as well as a sanctuary for wildlife. The closest retail area (and restrooms) is the large Safeway grocery store at the intersection of N.E. 125th St. and 15th Ave. N.E. in the Pinehurst neighborhood. FINE PRINT: Less than 0.5 mile of trails. Enter the green space at the end of N.E. 130th St., a few blocks west of 15th Ave. N.E. Park on 12th Ave. N.E. and walk down to the entrance. Find more information on the Friends of Licorice Fern Facebook page (search “Friends of Licorice Fern Natural Area”).
Llandover Woods Greenspace Northwest Seattle Just south of Shoreline, Llandover Woods feels like a secret forest at the edge of the city. Deep, heavily wooded ravines make this park seem like stepping into the mountains. The 0.6-mile-long loop trail is wide and well maintained, and the twitter of the golden-crowned kinglet’s song high in the conifers might be the only sound you hear other than your footfalls. It’s also possible to extend the walk by passing through the neighborhood in one big loop. GOOD TO KNOW: Find the closest public restrooms at the retail area of N.E. 145th and Greenwood, or head to the fantastic Central Market nearby in Shoreline for a pit stop and snacks. FINE PRINT: The shorter loop is 0.6 mile. The park entrance is at N.E. 145th St. and Third Ave. N.W., where you’ll find ample parking. seattle.gov/parks
Madrona Woods Madrona, Seattle This greenbelt above Madrona Park and Beach in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle offers a quiet retreat from the sound of cars on Lake Washington Blvd. Maintained by the dedicated Friends of Madrona Woods, the 9-acre forest features trails, a daylighted Madrona Creek and waterfall, and the novelty of a weathered
1940s-era Ford sedan lodged into the hillside. The trails are hilly, with reinforced plank stairs, and branch off across the slope to emerge into the neighborhood or the lakeside park below. NEARBY BONUS: Madrona’s cute shopping district is close by, with kid-friendly destinations such as Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream and Cupcake Royale. FINE PRINT: Madrona Woods has several access entries on 38th Ave. and E. Spring St., as well as a crosswalk from the Madrona Park Beach below. Park on the street. madronawoods.org
Lakeridge Park Rainier Beach, Seattle Lakeridge Park, a 35-acre wooded canyon in the Rainier Beach area, might be the most overlooked gem of the Seattle parks system. Once called Deadhorse Canyon, the area has a gravel trail that runs a half mile round-trip along the west side of the canyon overlooking Taylor Creek below. The trail ascends quickly, and soon you are looking across the ravine, feeling like you are at bird’s-eye height. The drop-off can be intimidating, but the trail is wide and even, and our boys loved running across the well-fortified, hand-railed wooden bridge that spans rougher terrain. NEARBY BONUS: Adjacent to Lakeridge Park, on Rainier Ave. S., Lakeridge Playfield has a playground and a ball field (and restrooms). FINE PRINT: Up to 0.5 mile round-trip. The trailhead is at a bend in the road where 68th Ave. S. becomes Holyoke Ave. S., just a block from Rainier Ave. S. There is a pullout for three cars, a kiosk and a Seattle Parks and Recreation sign. seattle.gov/parks
O.O. Denny Park Kirkland Just up the road from better-known Saint Edward State Park, O.O. Denny Park is a 46-acre green space along Lake Washington that encompasses the Denny Creek watershed area. Park in the lot across the street from the lakefront area and find a trailhead at the north end that leads to a 1.5-mile loop trail. Interpretive signage at the halfway mark explains the restoration and history of the area. As you descend through tall trees, look for a 600-year-old Douglas fir tree nicknamed “Sylvia,” the biggest tree in King County. As you loop back down by Denny Creek, kids will have fun playing “hot lava” on the wood pavers on muddier sections of the trail. NEARBY BONUS: After the hike, cross the road to the Lake Washington section of O.O. Denny Park for a lakeside picnic and playground time. Find more trails at nearby Big Finn Hill Park. FINE PRINT: An approximately 1.25-mile loop, with around 200 feet of elevation gain. Find a trail map at alltrails.com. O.O. Denny Park, 12032 Holmes Point Dr. N.E., Kirkland. kirklandwa.gov ■ Bryony Angell loves nature, art and mid-century architecture, and can find a way to connect all three to parenting. Read more of her writing at bryonyangell.com. parentmap.com • May 2019 • 23
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6 Tips for Planning a Summer Rich in Learning I’ll share something that I’ve learned the hard way: A little summer planning goes a long way. Here’s how to fight that old enemy procrastination. Identify a few low-key goals. Even if your goal is to make sure your kids have plenty of unscheduled outdoor fun, it’s worth putting a name to your summer goals. Involve the kids early and often in planning. Post a big sheet of paper where everyone can write down ideas.
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Remember, learning happens everywhere. Everyday activities — especially in the summer, when life is less rushed — are a great tool for learning, especially STEM skills. Grocery shopping, road trips, camping: It’s all fodder. Get more tips for planning a summer of learning at parentmap.com/ summerlearning. — Elisa Murray
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Ways to Pamper Mothers on Their Special Day From cost-free treats to spectacular splurges
By JiaYing Grygiel
hat does mom really want for Mother’s Day? That should be a one-word story: sleep. But that’s the most boring and shortest article ever, so we rounded up some more ideas for how to spoil all the mothers and mother figures in your life. (Remember all the single mamas, who carry that load by themselves every day!) And while you can’t put a price on love, money is a bummer, so we’re keeping it real with three different price ranges. Feel free to read this list and drool, then forward it to your partner, whose idea of a happy first Mother’s Day is you hosting your in-laws. (Ahem … partners, if you don’t get through this entire story, remember this basic takeaway: A handmade card from the kids is nice, but all she really wants is to sleep in.)
have to organize, pack and clean up afterward. Go for a ferry ride and a picnic, but pick up all the food from the deli section and bribe the kids into putting on their very best behavior. Skip the jewelry (you’ve never nailed her taste, anyway). The real key to her heart is hiring a housecleaner and meal delivery, so she comes home to a clean house and dinner on the table. Can’t-fail gift: spa day with the girls! Send her out the door with a gift certificate for a massage and a mani-pedi. Want to give her something tangible? Nothing says I love you (and I can’t hear you) quite like a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Or the guilt-free human equivalent, which is hiring a babysitter for the day.
Budget-friendly Moms spend all of their time taking care of other people — how about something to take care of her? It costs nothing to lighten some of her mental load, and that’s something she will totally appreciate. Little things: Do a Starbucks run before she’s even gotten out of bed. Let her have a long soak in the tub without anyone pounding on the bathroom door. If you want to get really crazy, march the kids straight out the door and give her an entire day off, to go shopping, catch up with friends, take a hike, tackle some household chores or — a personal favorite here — sleep. Ironically, what mom wants most is a brief taste of her life before kids: a clean house, a nap and a good book — stuff we used to take for granted. No kid-made art, please, because she has enough macaroni necklaces already. What she could really use more of? Time alone. Not that she doesn’t love the kids, but she sees plenty of them every day, and they suck up all of her brain space. I promise you, in the back of her mind she’s always thinking about what needs to be restocked in the fridge and who’s outgrown what already. Maybe mom doesn’t want a day off from being mom, just a day off from her mom responsibilities. Give her a day with the family when she doesn’t change any diapers or wipe up any little-boy pee. Let mom be the fun one for a change, not the one nagging the kids about homework. Meals and cleanup are basically 99 percent of her day — you take over the dishes and laundry and send her to the playground with the kids.
Splurge Moms are always the ones taking pictures, never the ones in them. Book a professional photo shoot. You can purchase a “Mommy and Me” session, or sign mom up for a glamour shoot with professional hair and makeup so she can remember what it was like getting all dolled up. Hire a repair person to take care of all those things that have been bugging her around the house, because you’ll never get to it and you’ll bungle it up if you try. A new refrigerator ... yeah, now that’s the ticket. The one in the kitchen has paneling on the front to match the cabinets — which was cool in 1999, but not so much now. Jewelry? Bleh. A new stainless-steel refrigerator with French doors and an ice maker? Cool. In your house, this metaphorical refrigerator might look like a washing machine, a dishwasher or some other major appliance she uses every day that is on its last legs. We save the best for last: a “mom-cation” at a nice hotel with room service. The place has to be close enough so it’s an easy drive, but far enough so she can really disconnect. Our recommendations: Salish Lodge & Spa (salishlodge.com) at Snoqualmie Falls, The Inn at Langley (innatlangley.com) on Whidbey Island, Suncadia (destinationhotels.com/suncadia-resort) in Cle Elum, Alderbrook Resort & Spa (alderbrookresort.com) in Union or Willows Lodge (willowslodge.com) in Woodinville. Make sure to get a nonrefundable room so she can’t say no. Let her enjoy some relaxing solitude, recharge and then come home happy to be mom again. ■
Midrange Mom loves family outings, but the key here is making it one for which she doesn’t
JiaYing Grygiel is a mama of two boys, ages 7 and 3, and a freelance photographer and writer. She blogs at photoj.net. parentmap.com • May 2019 • 25
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Putting Technology to the Task 5–18 Can our kids’ screen obsessions prepare them for the future? By Astrid Vinje
statement. These effects are significant enough that educators employ such games t’s a typical Friday afternoon, and my husband, Clint Bush, is preparing our for practical, real-world purposes, such as training surgeons and rehabilitating kids for their homeschooling lesson. individuals with perceptual or cognitive deficits. Among the elderly, action-based “Today we’re going to do a Minecraft challenge,” he instructs. “I want you video game playing has been shown to improve information processing and to create a realistic pyramid, based on what we’ve learned about pyramids.” promote sustained attention. And in terms of job training, video-game-based He outlines the specifications for the pyramid: a base of four sides, wider at simulations can actually help expand job skills. the bottom, tapering to a point at the top, and with an entrance. Right away, “One of the things I love to use is anything that has to do with programming,” our two kids, Mira and Julian, ages 8 and 5 respectively, jump to work on their my husband continues. “The apps we use teach some iPads. Their fingers work nimbly as they navigate easily of the basics of problem-solving, but in a fun way.” through the Minecraft world. In 30 minutes, they both And Khan Academy (khanacademy.org), an educational have pyramids to show their dad. website, has been instrumental in helping our kids learn In another era, our kids would have used physical basic math concepts in a fun and engaging way. building blocks to model such a structure. But these I think being interactive Experts are quick to point to the dangers of days, games like Minecraft offer them a similar with screen time technology use by kids and teens, citing studies that experience, but on a virtual level. And, in some ways, link excessive screen time to poor sleep habits, lack of they have more conceptual flexibility and freedom with can actually allow attention, increased rates of depression, and low physical Minecraft. Both our son and our daughter love building certain brains to learn activity among kids and teens. In fact, the American unique and individual worlds in Minecraft, and they Psychological Association (APA) recommends that kids take pride in showing off their creations. better than trying to ages 2–5 limit their screen time to only one hour per Since starting homeschooling in July 2018, our process information in day. For kids ages 6 and older, the APA recommends that family has taken a possibly unorthodox approach to parents set consistent daily limits on technology and technology use: Rather than shying away from screen traditional ways. screen use. time, we embrace technology as a tool to support our Yet a recent article in Scientific American kids’ education. Relying on apps, online games and (scientificamerican.com) by science writer Lydia even YouTube, we find ways to help our kids learn by Denworth suggests that panicking parents should relax their anxieties about incorporating the tools they already love using. screen time and the troubling, often conflicting messages they receive about “For years,” claims my husband, “video games have been shown to produce a the effects of technology on children’s well-being. The article cites a University certain level of brain stimulation. I think being interactive with screen time can of Oxford paper published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour showing actually allow certain brains to learn better than trying to process information in that among 350,000 adolescents studied, the effect of technology use on teens’ traditional ways.” psychological well-being is almost negligible. Essentially, technology use had A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Play about the perception and cognitive benefits of playing commercial video games corroborates his continued on page 30
parentmap.com • May 2019 • 27
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ages + stages Putting Technology to the Task continued from page 27 neither a positive nor a negative effect on teens. These findings suggest that screen time may not be as bad for kids as parents think. Ours is not the only homeschooling family that is seeing the benefits of mediated, monitored screen time as an educational tool. One homeschooling family in Seattle enjoys the creativity and flexibility that come with using online tools. “I think it’s really helpful for logical and creative thinking,” remarks a homeschooling mom of my acquaintance. “My son can be more independent in thinking with online learning. He can do a lot of things on his own, and he can do his own research.” Educators in both public and private schools are embracing technology use more and more as an efficient and effective means to enhance kids’ education. Within Seattle Public Schools, teachers regularly encourage kids to use IXL Learning (ixl.com), a subscription-based adaptive learning site for K–12 students, as a supplement to what they are learning in the classroom. Eliza Furmansky, an independent learning specialist who works with Seattle public school students, believes that technology, when used appropriately, can be helpful for kids. However, she encourages parents to be mindful of how they’re using technology. “It’s a tool, like anything else,” explains Furmansky. “People need to make sure the technology is doing what we want it to be doing. It’s important to think about what you’re actually learning when you’re using it and what parts of your brain you’re actually using.” A Seattle father who enjoys using Lego robotics kits
My son can be more independent in thinking with online learning. He can do a lot of things on his own, and he can do his own reserach.
with his son echoes this point by explaining how programming a robot on the computer is only one aspect of the experience. “With the Lego robots, it’s only part of the task to just program it. You still have to be able to build the robot. You have to understand hydraulics, and you have to understand how things work,” he explains. My husband acknowledges some of the limitations that come with relying on technology to boost education. “When you’re in front of a screen, you’re not getting physical activity,” he admits, “and it can be hard to put away. Even if you’ve gone past the point of frustration, that stimulation can sometimes be hard to turn off.” Finding a balance between an appropriate use of technology as an educational tool and an overreliance on screen time is something we’re constantly navigating. But considering the direction that the world is heading, we’ve determined that preparing our kids to be adept at utilizing screens and tech seems ultimately more helpful than harmful. “The majority of our jobs are online now, and the majority of our work takes place in front of a screen,” reflects my husband. “So [espousing] this idea that we must always teach without a screen feels a bit antiquated. There’s a ton of useful information online. There’s no reason why you should not take advantage of that.” ■ Astrid Vinje blogs at The Wandering Daughter (thewanderingdaughter.com) and loves experiencing new cultures with her family.
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Meet a Swedish Medical Center NICU nurse who loves her job By Nancy Schatz Alton • Photo by Will Austin
ickie Andrews fell in love with the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) during a visit to see if that specialty was right for her. “It was calm and peaceful, and the lights were turned low. After being a night nurse for a few years who charted with one hand and ate with the other, I had never experienced nursing like that before,” says Andrews, who laughs as she notes that her initial visit happened during a rare night when everything was going extremely smoothly. Still, Andrews knew what parents in the NICU were experiencing, because her own son had spent time in the NICU as a newborn. “We’re with people at some of the very worst moments in their lives.
After having an unexpected preemie when things were going just fine, or having a sick baby, [parents are] usually shell-shocked from life changing in an instant,” says Andrews. “It’s our job to bridge the gap between the NICU and the parents — explaining what we do, how we do it and how they can help care for their baby, too.” Andrews also enjoys caring for the parents and the grandparents, teaching them how to touch their babies. She loves helping those moms and dads who are afraid to move from standing a foot away from their baby’s Isolette to holding their baby skin to skin, kangaroo style. “It’s such an accomplishment for parents to realize
their preemies aren’t breakable and to begin building the caregiver-baby bond. It’s a privilege to see these intimate moments in people’s lives and be able to help them,” says Andrews. “I really love what I do, and I get a paycheck for it!”
What led to your career in nursing? I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was 4 years old. I was the kid who started IVs in my dolls’ arms using my mom’s sewing needles. All of my dolls were in my homemade hospital. Still, I didn’t become a nurse until I was 40. I went back to nursing school as a single mom when my son was 8 and my daughter was 3. They liked watching me study, and we celebrated when I did well on exams. Before that, I had a business out of my garage so I could stay home with my children. I did electrochemical etching on airplane parts, and my clients never knew I didn’t have an office. How has your nursing work affected your role as a parent and grandparent? As a single parent, nursing is a great career. We only work three days a week if it is hospital nursing, and financially speaking, it’s a pretty good-paying profession. I had enough money to raise my kids and provide for them, and they didn’t miss out on the things they wanted to do. I think it was very positive for my kids to see that I loved going to work and was excited and upbeat about my profession. My daughter [now 23] wants to be a nurse. My flexible schedule means that I can pick up my son’s 9-month-old daughter one day a week from day care and spend the whole day with her. That is a huge plus! What do you wish people knew about your work in the NICU? Not all of our patients are preemies. Babies born at term who are sick will also come to the NICU. Although I love my job, it can be very stressful. Some days are great, when the babies I care for are doing well. Other days don’t go as well. Our patients usually stay for quite a bit longer than a regular hospital stay, and so the bonds with families and nurses are quite strong. I love the population we work with, and I think they are very resilient. They try so hard to get better. Watching the babies grow and the family bond grow during their time at the NICU is the best part of my job. ■
May 2019 • 31
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