Active Family Magazine - June 2016

Page 1

JUNE 2016


FATHER’S DAY Events Around the Bay Area





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Volume 3 / Issue 29 [ PARENTING ] Work-Life Balance-7 Tips for The Productive Father

The Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters: Infancy to Adolescence

[ SEASONAL FUN ] Father’s Day Products We Love




Breaking a Common Barrier to Better Myself & Expand My Child’s Future

Building a Great Relationship with Your Child



Celebrate Dad: Father’s Day Event Guide



12 The Best Recipe for Work-Family Balance

June Festivals & Fairs

Father’s Day Fashion

Discover Downtown Walnut Creek



The Importance of Environmental Education


22 49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child


Ask a UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Expert





Father’s Day BBQ

[ EVENTS ] June Calendar

Why Everything We Know About Discipline is Wrong









• • • •

Walnut Creek 925-979-3420

Athletes age 9 to 25 and parents Youth sports coaches Athletic trainers Athletic directors

Oakland 510-428-3558

Walnut Creek Campus, 2401 Shadelands Dr., Walnut Creek Oakland Campus, 744 52nd St., Oakland

Attend in person or watch live online. Baseball


ACL Prevention

Dance Medicine

Swimming: Stretches & Exercises

Strength in the Young Athlete

Tuesday, June 28, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus

Tuesday, October 25, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus

Tuesday, January 26, 7-8 p.m. Oakland Campus

Tuesday, February 23, 7-8 p.m. Oakland Campus

Running Clinic

Tuesday, March 22, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus


Tuesday, April 26, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus

Tuesday, May 24, 7-8 p.m. Oakland Campus

Tuesday, September 27, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus



Tuesday, July 26, 7-8 p.m. Oakland Campus

Tuesday, November 15, 7-8 p.m. Oakland Campus



Tuesday, August 23, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus

Tuesday, December 13, 7-8 p.m. Walnut Creek Campus

Attend in person or watch live online at Oakland 510-428-3558

San Francisco 415-353-2808

San Ramon 925-979-3450

744 52nd St. Oakland, CA 94609

1500 Owens Street San Francisco, CA 94158

2303 Camino Ramon, Suite 175 San Ramon, CA 94583

Walnut Creek Center: 925-979-3430 Motion Lab: 925-979-3420 2401 Shadelands Dr. Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Local Life & Style for the East Bay Area Publisher/Editor

Marketing Assistant Interns

Contributing Authors

Tracie Brown Vollgraf

Jaida Sinclair Alexis Faria

Devon Bandison Rachel Macy Stafford Jamee Tenzer Renee Jain - need bio The Growing Room Dr. Shefali Tsabary Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. Dr. Laura Markham Bonnie Lovette RN, MS, PNP, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Trauma Services, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

Advertising Sales Director Kathy Brillheart

Advertising Sales Managers

Fashion Editor Rachel Fawkes

April Gentry


Mary Oakes

Ad Design/Production

Teresa Agnew Craft Lara Mays

Sherry Maas

Active Family is published by TAG Marketing Group Mailing Address | P.O. Box 5158, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Advertising Inquiries | 925.789.0709 Email Address |

Editor’s Note As we kick off summer, it is also time to celebrate Dad! Turn to page 10 and check out our Father’s Day Fashion spread and page 16 for some great gift ideas. Our Father’s Day Event Guide on page 38 offers up some fabulous ways in which you can celebrate around the Bay. If you are still looking for ways to keep the kids busy during the school break, go to and click on our Summer Camp Guide. You will find an overabundance of activities and camps in various locations. Looking for a Water Park? We have them listed on our website as well. Don’t forget to go to to find all the information you need as busy parents! Happy Summer! Tracie Brown Vollgraf Editor


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[ PARENTING ] Devon Bandison is president and CEO of Devon Bandison Company (, a global coaching company that specializes in high performance and work-life integration. He is an internationally recognized coach and fatherhood thought leader whose work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal amongst other places. Devon has worked with Fortune 100 Companies, Professional Sports Teams and high performers, helping them play all out and achieve more. He is TEDx speaker who is also a contributing writer for the Huffington Post, Success Magazine, and Inc. His Live Your Legacy Coaching Program (www. helps individuals achieve more at work and win in life. His goal is to help you create freedom and live a life beyond your wildest dreams.

Work-Life Balance-7 Tips For The Productive Father by Devon Bandison Have you ever found yourself trying to perform an impossible juggling act between your work-life and home-life? Ever spent your entire work day at the “top of your game,” only to be too tired to play games with your children when you get home? Have you ever wondered how the person that seems to have it all is able to get work done, yet still have time for his family? As a father of three wonderful children, I have also struggled with these same questions over the years. Yes, even those of us who have dedicated their careers to developing fatherhood programs, coaching and strengthening the fatherhood role, face the same challenges as you. As I write this, I am on an Amtrak train traveling to Georgetown University to present at a National Conference. One glance to my left and you will find my 16-year-old daughter who is taking the trip with her Dad. It was a decision that I had made a while back to create a work-life balance that I could live with. A life where my children wouldn’t be casualties of my self admitted workaholic mentality and sedulous nature. When I look back at my legacy I’m sure I won’t be saying to myself, “man, I wish I spent more time in the office.” But I also know, I don’t want to look back and say “I wish I spent more time with my children.” So it is up to me to create that type of balance. While some may have the flexibility afforded by being self-employed, most people have 9-5 jobs that require large chunks of time away from home. I’m an early riser and believe what a mentor once told me about successful people doing more before 10 am then most people do in a day. To be a successful executive,


[ PARENTING ] entrepreneur, employee and father, requires you to be both productive and committed. It will mean some sacrifices but all worth the price for a meaningful and fulfilling family/work life. Here are 7 Tips for the productive father: 1. Be an early riser. The earlier you wake up, start your day, and get to work, the better chance you have of getting home to enjoy time with your children and family. 2. Be just as devoted to your family commitments (or more) as you are to work commitments. Avoid missing family commitments because something comes up at work. Once you establish boundaries at work, your boss and colleagues will respect it.

school pick ups will help ease the anxiety of those late work nights that are unavoidable. 5. When you are home with your children and family, try to avoid all work related interruptions unless it is an emergency. If the email or phone call can wait until the following day, put it away. This will allow you to be present with your children and reap the benefit of that connectedness. 6. Block out time in your day, week, and month dedicated to “family time.” This is the time that is specifically blocked out for you to be fully engaged with your children. No interruptions, phone calls or emails.

3. Establish communication early on with your boss, helping them understand that family is a priority for you. See if a flexible work schedule can be established to ensure maximum productivity at work without sacrificing time at home.

7. If you can’t avoid bringing work home, set up a separate time and place for you to complete the work. To avoid burnout, allow yourself the time to complete your work, then put it away. This will allow you to spend time with your children and family without the anxiety of unfinished work on your mind.

4. Develop a community of support for you and your family. Working fathers, as well as working mothers, benefit from being able to share parenting experiences with friends. Shared play dates and after

Try and implement these 7 tips into your daily routine and see how your work life balance improves. Your legacy is being created now, so build one that you will look back and be proud of.

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Father’s Day Fashion Every Dad is a man of style, but not every Dad has the same style. To help you find the perfect gift this Father’s Day, we’ve curated some of our favorite finds for a dad as unique as yours.

Rock and Roll


Gucci Plastic Frame Sunglasses, Havana/Green $325.00 | Neiman Marcus

Dune London ‘Chevvy’ Chelsea Boot $159.00 |

Lucky Brand ‘Fender’ Graphic Crewneck T-Shirt $39.50 |

Martian Watches ‘G2G’ Rectangle Voice Command Silicone Strap Smart Watch, 37mm x 39mm $249.00 |

Prada Leopard-Print Nylon Dopp Kit, Tan $385.00 | Neiman Marcus 10 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2016

Marshall Woburn Cream Speaker $600.00 | Neiman Marcus




Oliver Peoples OPLL Sun 53 Photochromic Sunglasses, Light Brown $460.00 | Neiman Marcus

Ted Baker London ‘Manbe’ Modern Slim Fit Polo $110.00 |

Shinola 40mm Brakeman Watch with Leather Strap, Brown/Gold $625.00 | Neiman Marcus

Magnanni ‘Dylan’ Leather Driving Shoe (Men) $295.00 |


Gucci Cosmopolis Leather Briefcase, Black/Blue $1,990.00 | Neiman Marcus

B&O PLAY ‘H8 ANC’ OverEar Bluetooth® Headphones $499.00 |


PRADA Linea Rossa Half-Rim Rubber Sport Sunglasses, Red $325.00 | Neiman Marcus BPM Fueled by Zella ‘Celsian Stripe’ Moisture Wicking Quarter Zip Pullover $68.00 |

adidas ‘PureBoost ZG Prime’ Running Shoe (Men) $139.95 | Nike ‘Max Air Vapor’ Backpack $70.00 |

Fitbit ‘Blaze’ Smart Fitness Watch $199.95 | JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 11


Rachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education and ten years of experience working with parents and children. In December 2010, this life-long writer felt compelled to share her journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters by creating the blog “Hands Free Mama.” Using her skills as a writer, teacher, and encourager, Rachel provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, USA Today,,, The Huffington Post, and Reader’s Digest. Her blog currently averages one million visitors a month. Rachel’s new book, HANDS FREE MAMA, is a New York Times Bestseller.

Breaking a Common Barrier to Better Myself & Expand My Child’s Future by Rachel Macy Stafford “I didn’t know I was lonely ’til I saw your face.” Bleachers, I Wanna Get Better “Instead of riding the bus today, could we go to breakfast and then could you drop me off at school?” my almost thirteen-year-old daughter unexpectedly asked me on a recent Friday morning. My Type-A, plan-happy brain initially resisted this spontaneous invitation. While my brain began to list the reasons I couldn’t, my eyes saw something else. Standing in front of me was a not-so-little girl in stylish tribal print pants that were just a little long for her small physique. They wouldn’t be too long forever, I knew. She would grow into them; it wouldn’t be long. “Okay,” I said, suddenly grateful to have an hour alone with this beautiful, growing girl.


[ PARENTING ] After having a nice visit over chicken biscuits, we ran into a nearby store for a piece of poster board. As we stood in the checkout line, a woman pulled her cart up behind us. Standing in the back was a little girl who appeared to be three or four years old. “Mama, can I get out?” the little girl asked. No response. “Mama, can I get out?” she repeated—this time a little louder.

standing right in front of them. “I’m sorry,” I said quietly to that little girl who was now a young lady. I didn’t need to explain my apology. My daughter knew my story. She’s heard me speak my darkest truths about distraction’s grip—a grip that took away my smile, made a yeller out of me, and nearly cost me my life at a traffic light. She’s read my books and gifted them to her teachers having babies. My daughter knew how sorry I was for what I missed. But she also knew how thankful I was when I woke up.

Still no response. “Mama, please can I get out?” the child politely asked as the woman used her pointer finger to scroll down the screen of her phone, happily smiling to herself. As the little girl continued to ask the same question, her left leg inched higher and higher over the grocery cart until it appeared she was going to get out herself. My daughter, sensing the little girl was about to fall, quickly stepped next to the cart, preparing to catch her. The little girl looked at my daughter and put her leg back in the cart. She began asking the same question once again, in hopes her mother might respond to her pleas. We hadn’t even made it to the car when I saw tears forming in my daughter’s eyes. As she shut the door, she quietly said, “That made me really sad.” “I saw the way you anticipated what was about to happen. You prevented the little girl from falling,” I commended. But her safe-sitter move was not what my child wanted to talk about. “The mother didn’t hear her child and she was standing right there,” my daughter said sadly. “I hope it’s not always like that,” she said sincerely. “The little girl may grow up thinking her words are not important and stop trying to tell her mom things.” Those words … coming out of that mouth … felt surreal. Six years ago, my daughter was a little girl yearning to be seen and heard. She experienced the 21st century phenomenon of being invisible to someone while

My child knew her face was one of the first sights I saw as I came out of a frenzied, joyless two-year period of my life. I’d just committed to turning off my phone and sticking it in a drawer at critical connection times like meals, bedtime, greetings, and departures. I’d been saying yes to her invitations to “Watch me, Mama,” and her offers to “help” in the kitchen. I was trying to be patient and softer towards her instead of hurried and critical. I was trying to look up more often and see glimmers of goodness in my day that were easily buried by life’s duties and distractions. On that particular day, my daughter stood on the kitchen stool I’d pulled up beside me. I’d given her a table knife, and she’d carefully cut up carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers. Her capable, little hands evenly distributed the colorful pieces into four salad bowls. “I like doing this with you,” Six-year-old Natalie said looking up at me with her gigantic brown eyes. “Thank you, Mama.” That’s when I saw her—really saw her for the first time in two years. I saw her beautiful round face had elongated. I saw my mother in her big brown eyes. She’d gotten a few new freckles on her nose. But the way she smiled at me, as if there was no place in the world she’d rather be, was what brought me to my knees. Oh my. I thought to myself. I see her. I really see her now. Thank you, God, for this beautiful child who is mine. The sight of this child’s face fueled me to keep looking up JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 13

[ PARENTING ] and letting go. I quickly noticed many positive results from the small changes I was making. By placing protective boundaries around special connection times each day, I was able to see, hear, and respond more lovingly to my family members. I went through my day feeling less conflicted, overwhelmed, and agitated. No longer dictated by the dinging demands of the device, my thoughts and actions were my own. It seemed only natural to voice these important discoveries to the people I loved. But for some reason, it felt right to do it in way that empowered rather than dictated. Instead of saying: “We don’t bring devices to the dinner table,” I said, “We’ll miss the best part of eating together if we’re looking at our devices.” Instead of placing the phone in the glove box without telling anyone, I said, “I’m going to drive with my phone out of reach. I don’t want to hurt us or anyone else by driving distracted. Plus, I don’t want to miss the beautiful sights.” Instead of: “Put away your device while we wait for the doctor,” I said, “Waiting time is an opportunity to catch up with each other; tell me the best part of your day.” Rather than demanding all devices be kept in a communal area of our home with no explanation, I talked about Internet safety and why it was important to keep each other accountable and not to hide scary, hurtful, or confusing cyber issues we encounter. Rather than letting the smile on the cashier’s face go unnoticed, I said to my child, “Did you see how happy it made the cashier when we acknowledged her rather than looking at a phone?” Talking to my daughter about the importance of having a time and place for technology became a way of life— just like talking about drugs and alcohol, puberty, body safety, bullying, and other critical topics. I didn’t know how this on-going dialogue would impact her future, but I was hopeful. And through a quick stop to get poster board, a most important discovery was made.


As I have learned to see, my daughter has learned to see. Her eyes detect an important distinction between technology as a tool and technology as a barrier. She is an almost-thirteen-year-old who uses her electronic device to communicate with friends and family near and far. She uses it to manage the cat rescue website where we volunteer. She uses it to plan a summer camp for young children in our neighborhood. She uses it to create and post YouTube videos for her musical sister. She uses it to shop for the perfect gifts for people she loves. But she also steps away from her device, more often than not, to look up and let go. She is an almost 13-year-old who loves to apply facemasks, wade in the river, and go antiquing. She’ll be happy to take your blood pressure, make you a glass of iced tea, or babysit your kids. She can look for seashells for hours on end or just sit and watch rhythm of the waves. She loves baking, swimming, and playing with her beloved cat, Banjo. Each night at bedtime, she lays beside me for Talk Time. I don’t know if my daughter will retain these healthy boundaries with technology as she grows, but I do know she’s acquired a vital awareness that cannot be taken away. Should she veer off the path of choosing real life experiences and face-to-face conversations over those on a screen, she’ll know where the emptiness is coming from. She’ll know why she’s feeling the need to compare herself to others. She’ll combat the fear of missing out by putting down the device and going toward matters most. And she’ll know without a doubt that I’m willing to go there with her. When I found our beloved cat lying by the open back door after an attack twelve days ago, I laid my head down on his body and cried. It struck me that there was only one person I wanted by my side in that moment. I longed for my daughter Natalie to be with me. She would know. She would understand. After taking Banjo to the vet and finding out he’d be okay, I prepared myself for my daughter’s arrival. I knew exactly what she would need to hear and what her face

[ PARENTING ] would look like. I knew she would need me to hold her and reassure her. I knew this because I’d been seeing her face for the past six years. Her reaction was exactly as I expected – except for one thing. After I finished telling her what happened, Natalie wiped away her tears and suddenly grabbed my hand. “That must have been scary for you, Mom. I bet you were crying so hard. I am so sorry you had to go through that alone.”

Say you’re sorry; tell them what you’re going to do differently starting today. Forgive yourself for what you missed in the past. Believe today matters more than yesterday. Believe today matters more than yesterday. I believe it. My daughter believes it.

My child knew me too.

And so does that person standing in front of you.

She knew exactly what I needed to hear and what my face looked like during that horrible moment. She knew I needed comfort in my time of fear.

Perhaps today marks the day you’ll see that beautiful

Six years ago, I chose her. And today, she is choosing me. She is also choosing to stand beside others in pain, see Mother Nature’s beauty, anticipate falls, celebrate triumphs, cry for those who are ignored, comfort those who are abandoned, make eye contact, and embrace the good and the bad that comes with an eyes up, open-handed life. Six years ago, I decided I didn’t want to miss my life.

face for the first time in a long time, and you will be thankful, so very thankful, you can see it now. Who knows where you two will be six days … six months … or six years? But for now, let’s just focus on today. Because today offers us all a chance to look up, let go, and love like we wish we had yesterday.

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As a result, this young lady is not missing hers. This offers great hope for us all. My friends, if there is a barrier in your life that is coming between you and the ones you love, begin taking small steps to break that barrier down … Accept their invitations – or invite them to do something they love to do.

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Pull up a stool and don’t worry about the mess. Look up when they walk in the room. Look in their eyes when you say goodbye. Look beyond their flaws to see all that they are.

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Ask for their opinion and then listen—just listen. JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 15


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Folding brown hammock with black stand. Easy set up and perfect for the backyard or deck. $99.99



Stainless steel tool set any grill master would die for. Comes with a fork, spatula and tong each 18� in length. $31.99

Multi-position folding chair ideal for the spring/summer outdoor sports/entertaining season. Lightweight and folds to fit in a trunk or backseat for dads on the go. $39.99

Products listed on this page can be found at Ace Hardware.


Go to or for more info! 16 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2016



A special edition Fitbit Blaze with a Gunmetal color stainless steel frame and black fitness band – the ultimate, sleek smart fitness watch for dad that is bound to turn heads (available June 2016 at and exclusively at Best Buy stories in the U.S. and at Fitbit. com) $229.95


A Fitbit Alta camel leather band available in June – just what dad needs to stay active during his busy work days. $129.95



Have a dad that’s into cycling? The Camile R100 from MiniWing is the perfect gift. The new all-in-one camera and GPS unit for bicycles is a must have for any biking enthusiast, or just handy for the weekend rider. The camera supports recording in 1080p 30fps, 720p 30/60fps, while 32GB built-in memory has room for 8 hours of filming. $149 and can be found at $149.00

An intelligent alarm clock that can help everyone wake up smarter. Your Spotify playlists and the gradual wake up light help you wake up ready for the day, but the Beddi doesn’t stop there. Witti has integrated more than 20 great features into the Beddi. 3 programmable smart buttons, each with 3 functions, allow the user to operate various smart home devices and other apps. Currently available for the $79.99


Does Dad like long term projects? With the Brinno TLC200 Pro HDR Time Lapse Camera, view months of work in just minutes. The TLC200 Pro performs time-lapse photography and instantly creates HD videos at 1280 x 720 resolution from the captured still images. Retails for $195.95 and can be found at


Go to or for more info! JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 17


Jamee Tenzer is an Executive Coach, Trainer and Mentor. For the past 15 years she has been privileged to coach breadwinner moms and executives and to work internationally as a coach mentor and trainer. She has worked with leaders in many industries including; entertainment, non-profit and technology. In addition to serving as a Supervisor, Mentor and Trainer for the International Coach Academy from 2006 to 2015, she is also a trained mediator and the co-creator of three ICF Accredited courses for coaches; Deeper Conversations Coaching, Mentor Coach Certification and Real Coaching Sessions Unplugged. Jamee is a member of the International Coach Federation, Producers Guild of America and Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She holds a CPC from the International Coach Academy, a PCC from the International Coach Federation and a BCC from the Center for Credentialing and Education. She is a committed im-perfectionist - her husband and three children can attest to this!

The Best Recipe For Work – Family Balance by Jamee Tenzer Part 4: Stirring It Up and Making It Happen! Last month YOU identified the value of Work – Family Balance for YOU! Figuring out why it might work for the mom sitting next to you at the PTA meeting or the mom sitting in the office next door, might be interesting, but probably won’t get you results in your own life. Work – Family balance is created when: • We are able to be present in our lives at work and at home, and not overly distracted. • We have a healthy body and clear mind that is able to be efficient as opposed to overwhelmed. • We have a support system and nurturing relationships with the people in our lives. • We know ourselves. Today we are going to figure out your unique recipe for Work – Family Balance: THINKING THAT BENEFITS YOU AT WORK AND AT HOME





achievers out there) this doesn’t have to be running a 5K! Remember, baby steps.


1. What have you learned about your willingness and ability to move (even a teeny tiny bit!) more?


2. When were you able to implement more physical movement in your life?

And voila! You have a gourmet dish made just for you. For this section, you probably want to have a pen and paper. After all, you will be creating your own recipe. Isn’t this exciting?

3. No matter what has happened in the past, what will you do today to get moving?

And the best part is that you can do this again in 3 months if you feel like you are losing that balance you worked so hard to create. This tool is an evergreen. Let’s start cooking! THINKING THAT BENEFITS YOU AT WORK AND AT HOME If you have read through parts 1 through 3 of this series, you have had the opportunity to identify times that you allow yourself to slow down and think. 1. What have you learned about your ability to take time (even moments!) to think? 2. When are you able to take this time? 3. What do you need to do today to get more time to think and be present? 4. What is the value of taking this time for you, your family and your productivity at work? 5. Take some time to complete this sentence: I am able to take time to think and be present, when I and I can create more time for myself by . The benefits to ME of thinking more, are huge! It shows up in many ways including; and . I can take the following actions to create more time to think at work and with my family:

4. How does physical movement help you at home with your family and at work? 5. Take some time to complete this sentence: I am able to include more movement in my life when I and I have made small changes by . The benefits to ME of moving more are huge! It shows up in many ways including; and . I can take the following actions to create more physical movement in my life, at work and with my family: (that’s your second ingredient – getting hungry?) CONNECTING THAT BRINGS YOU CLOSER TO FAMILY, FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS O.K., I know you have been connecting more. I can feel it. You are connecting to yourself and to the vision you have of work – family balance. So what have you learned about connection? 1. Who did you connect with? Someone new? A deeper connection with an old friend? 2. What can you do right now to connect with someone? 3. How does strengthening your ability to connect, help you at home with your family, and at work? 4. Take some time to complete this sentence:


I am able to connect with people easily when I and I have made small changes by . The benefits to ME of connecting more are numerous! It shows up in many ways including; and .

If you have read through parts 1 through 3 of this series, you have been moving more, right? And (for all you over

I can take the following actions to connect more with others and myself:

(that’s your first ingredient)


[ PARENTING ] work – family balance is (that’s your third ingredient – my tummy is rumbling!) HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU?


I know that if I take this one action, I will begin to see

What is the value of work – family balance for you personally?

results in my experience of work – family balance:

1. How will your life be better if you have more time to think and be present?

Congratulations! You created your own recipe for work –

2. How will moving more positively affect your work and family life?

it up!

3. How will making connections with others open opportunities at work and at home?

(that’s your secret ingredient)

family balance – now it is time to go out there and cook

Next week we will take a look at how your recipe is turning out, make any small tweaks needed, celebrate success and build on your learning.

4. Take some time to complete these sentences: When I have time to be present with my family and at work, I am able to and I experience . When I take time to include physical movement in my life, I notice that it is easier for me to and I see a real difference in my experience of . When I make connections with people at home and at work, I enjoy more and I notice that the people in my life are . The benefits to ME of taking time to think, move and connect are: . When I take the following actions to create more presence, movement and connection in my life, I will benefit at work and with my family in the following ways: (that’s your fourth ingredient – It’s almost dinner!) YOUR SECRET INGREDIENT Only you know what this is. 1. What do you know has to change for you to have work – family balance? 2. What small change could you make that would make a difference? 3. What have you learned about yourself that surprised you? 4. What have you known all along, but now see more clearly? I know that if I did I would have more work – family balance. I also know that when I am able to be I experience more work – family balance. The most important reason to create more 20 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2016

In the meantime, write your ingredients down on a small piece of paper and tuck it in your wallet, post it on your mirror or create a recipe doc on your desktop. It is more important to try your recipe than to have it turn out “right.” Good luck and enjoy your week of experimentation!







DISCOUNT days - special pricing ends at 5pm DAILY Military Appreciation Days 1 FREE admission with Military ID - All Day Everyday

JUNE 15 $1 Admission & $1 Rides


FATHER’S DAY fathers free UNTIL 12pm noon JUNE 19 Presented by John Muir Health JUNE 21 & 28 $2 Tuesdays


Enjoy $2 admission and $2 samples of select fair treats

JUNE 22 "Feed the Need" Food Drive & $1 Rides UNTIL 5PM Presented by

JUNE 16, 23 Senior FREE Thursdays – & 30 62 & better; UNTIL 5PM

4 of July fireworks th

Presented by

JUNE 17, 24 Kids FREE Fridays – 12 & UNDER; UNTIL 5PM & JULY 1 Presented by JUNE 29 DROP ZONE DRIVE & $1 Rides


Explore, Play, Learn • • • • • • • • • • • •

LEGO building competition Mindstorm Challenge Robot Discovery Quest scavenger hunt Power station solar-powered racetrack Storyville Cool reptile exhibit Storybook character contest Cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits & more Petting zoo School project exhibits Kids carnival & shows Much more

KIDS STEAM WEEKENDS Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math

Presented by

June 17-19 Health, Fitness & Sports June 24 Lego Festival

June 25 & 26– Robots, Rockets & Science July 2-4 Agriculture, Energy & Environment

2195 GM TR 5/16

elementary kids in alameda county: look for your Kaiser Free Tickets!


The Growing Room Academy’s collaborative partnership with Village Music School allows our students and San Ramon Valley families to participate in an exciting array of expanded music education classes. This alliance allows Village Music School to extend their successful studio music program from the Diablo Valley to the San Ramon Valley. Village Music School classes are held within the walls of Growing Room Academy and will be housed in two rooms solely dedicated as music studios. Classes are offered weekday afternoons and evenings, plus Saturdays.

The Importance of Environmental Education by The Growing Room We have all heard the refrain that our obligation as a society is to leave behind a better world for our children. In a world that will be inherited by our children, it would seem that the best way to ensure a better, healthier planet is to equip today’s youth with the knowledge and leadership skills to meet tomorrow’s environmental challenges. This requires parents taking an active role in educating the next generation. Our commitment to providing children with an environmental education will help them become environmental citizens that will be the thought leaders of tomorrow. Nurturing a respect for nature and all living things is an imperative that parents can convey to their children. Parents can do this by supporting and encouraging attitudes at home and at school that emphasize the importance of environmental education. Break the Indoor Habit: Reconnect Children with Nature Society is in the midst of one of the most profound paradigm shifts in history. Technological advances are changing the way we live. This societal shift is leading to more screen time for children. As a consequence, today’s generation of children is the first to grow up indoors. Children must first


[ PARENTING ] experience nature on their own terms before they can be asked to consider and address our more complex environmental issues. Parents can help by encouraging their children to spend time outdoors. Children need the opportunity to develop a personal connection with nature. This means hands-on learning, which encourages gentle observation. Walks around the neighborhood, trips to nearby forests or parks, day trips to the beach or mountains all provide opportunities for discovery that generate curiosity and passion. Discovery is the precursor to environmental literacy and advocacy for our children. Encourage Academic Study Helping children correlate school subjects with environmental interests is a great tool to help children “connect the dots” between classroom study and their outdoor experiences. Math and Science provides a means to problem solving and information gathering, while social studies can serve as a model for civic action. The combination of academic and practical knowledge sets a strong foundation for future environmental or conservation studies. What More can Parents do? When it comes to environmental education there is much parents can do to promote responsible environmental citizenry. Parents are the single-most influential influence in a child’s life; the role of parents as educators, role models, and mentors is of paramount importance. As society becomes more aware of the self-inflicted dangers that it has imposed upon the planet, the need for parents to teach children about environmental stewardship grows evermore important. These teaching opportunities can also encourage parents to reflect upon the manner in which they are positively or negatively contributing to their family’s view of environmental protection and conservancy. Parents as Educators Parents must “walk the walk” when it comes to environmental stewardship. Children learn more by what we do than what we say. It is important that parents model environmental stewardship in day-today activities. It is one thing to discuss the importance of compostable goods and recycling with children; it is quite another when children actually observe these products and actions in their own homes. Again, the focus is on experiencing rather than teaching.

Parents as Facilitators What does environmental advocacy look and feel like? Parents can help children understand what environmental citizenship really means. Young children may have difficulty comprehending global environmental concerns, but they can think and take action on a local level. Parents can facilitate this by providing opportunities that teach children to be responsible and engaged environmental citizens. Seek out local opportunities for children to become involved in their communities in meaningful ways. Mt. Diablo Recycling conducts tours for all ages, KIDS for the Bay offers action projects, field trips, and camps. Local city Earth Day activities and tree planting events are a great opportunity for children to become involved in their communities. Parents as Co-Learners Environmental education equates to lifelong learning. Science and technology expand our knowledge with each passing year. Parents learning along side children provide additional opportunities for modeling environmental stewardship. This is where parents can utilize the Internet to their advantage, exploring videos and websites that bring new and exciting information to light. Growing a Green Work Force The culmination of environmental education and advocacy is the raising up of a new generation of a highly literate green work force. Every industry, from manufacturing to information technology requires environmentally minded thought leaders at their helm. This also includes health and engineering fields, in addition to other sectors traditionally associated with environmental concerns. Higher education is responding to the demand, both by enthusiastic students and industry leaders, by increasing the number of programs available to students. Majors such as Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Natural Resources and Conservation, Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture, and Environmental Studies are on the increase. Recent studies indicate that today’s college graduate’s educational goals are closely aligned with “making a difference in the world.” Environmental Education is one way that they are accomplishing these goals. And, with the encouragement of positive role models in their own homes the trend is bound to continue. JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 23


Renee Jain is an award-winning tech entrepreneur turned speaker and certified life coach. She holds a masters in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Renee’s passion is taking research-based concepts and transforming them into fun and digestible learning modules. Renee teaches anxious children how to manage stress and worry through her innovative GoZen! Anxiety Relief Programs for Kids.

49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child by Renee Jain, It happens to every child in one form or another – anxiety. As parents, we would like to shield our children from life’s anxious moments, but navigating anxiety is an essential life skill that will serve them in the years to come. In the heat of the moment, try these simple phrases to help your children identify, accept, and work through their anxious moments. 1. “Can you draw it?” Drawing, painting or doodling about an anxiety provides kids with an outlet for their feelings when they can’t use their words. 2. “I love you. You are safe.” Being told that you will be kept safe by the person you love the most is a powerful affirmation. Remember, anxiety makes your children feel as if their minds and bodies are in danger. Repeating they are safe can soothe the nervous system. 3. “Let’s pretend we’re blowing up a giant balloon. We’ll take a deep breath and blow it up to the count of 5.”


[ SEASONAL FUN ] If you tell a child to take a deep breath in the middle of a panic attack, chances are you’ll hear, “I CAN’T!” Instead, make it a game. Pretend to blow up a balloon, making funny noises in the process. Taking three deep breaths and blowing them out will actually reverse the stress response in the body and may even get you a few giggles in the process. 4. “I will say something and I want you to say it exactly as I do: ‘I can do this.’” Do this 10 times at variable volume. Marathon runners use this trick all of the time to get past “the wall.” 5. “Why do you think that is?” This is especially helpful for older kids who can better articulate the “Why” in what they are feeling. 6. “What will happen next?” If your children are anxious about an event, help them think through the event and identify what will come after it. Anxiety causes myopic vision, which makes life after the event seem to disappear. 7. “We are an unstoppable team.” Separation is a powerful anxiety trigger for young children. Reassure them that you will work together, even if they can’t see you. 8. Have a battle cry: “I am a warrior!”; “I am unstoppable!”; or “Look out World, here I come!” There is a reason why movies show people yelling before they go into battle. The physical act of yelling replaces fear with endorphins. It can also be fun. 9. “If how you feel was a monster, what would it look like?” Giving anxiety a characterization means you take a confusing feeling and make it concrete and palpable. Once kids have a worry character, they can talk to their worry. 10. “I can’t wait until .” Excitement about a future moment is contagious.

[ PARENTING ] they have to carry their anxiety until whatever they are anxious about is over. This is especially difficult when your children are anxious about something they cannot change in the future. Setting it aside to do something fun can help put their worries into perspective. 12. “This feeling will go away. Let’s get comfortable until it does.” The act of getting comfortable calms the mind as well as the body. Weightier blankets have even been shown to reduce anxiety by increasing mild physical stimuli. 13. “Let’s learn more about it.” Let your children explore their fears by asking as many questions as they need. After all, knowledge is power. 14. “Let’s count .” This distraction technique requires no advance preparation. Counting the number of people wearing boots, the number of watches, the number of kids, or the number of hats in the room requires observation and thought, both of which detract from the anxiety your child is feeling. 15. “I need you to tell me when 2 minutes have gone by.” Time is a powerful tool when children are anxious. By watching a clock or a watch for movement, a child has a focus point other than what is happening. 16. “Close your eyes. Picture this…” Visualization is a powerful technique used to ease pain and anxiety. Guide your child through imagining a safe, warm, happy place where they feel comfortable. If they are listening intently, the physical symptoms of anxiety will dissipate. 17. “I get scared/nervous/anxious sometimes too. It’s no fun.” Empathy wins in many, many situations. It may even strike up a conversation with your older child about how you overcame anxiety.

11. “Let’s put your worry on the shelf while we (listen to your favorite song, run around the block, read this story). Then we’ll pick it back up again.”

18. “Let’s pull out our calm-down checklist.” Anxiety can hijack the logical brain; carry a checklist with coping skills your child has practiced. When the need presents itself, operate off of this checklist.

Those who are anxiety-prone often feel as though

19. “You are not alone in how you feel.” JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 25

[ PARENTING ] Pointing out all of the people who may share their fears and anxieties helps your child understand that overcoming anxiety is universal. 20. “Tell me the worst thing that could possibly happen.” Once you’ve imagined the worst possible outcome of the worry, talk about the likelihood of that worst possible situation happening. Next, ask your child about the best possible outcome. Finally, ask them about the most likely outcome. The goal of this exercise is to help a child think more accurately during their anxious experience.

27. “Remember when…” Competence breeds confidence. Confidence quells anxiety. Helping your children recall a time when they overcame anxiety gives them feelings of competence and thereby confidence in their abilities. 28. “I am proud of you already.” Knowing you are pleased with their efforts, regardless of the outcome, alleviates the need to do something perfectly – a source of stress for a lot of kids.

21. “Worrying is helpful, sometimes.” This seems completely counter-intuitive to tell a child that is already anxious, but pointing out why anxiety is helpful reassures your children that there isn’t something wrong with them.

29. “We’re going for a walk.” Exercise relieves anxiety for up to several hours as it burns excess energy, loosens tense muscles and boosts mood. If your children can’t take a walk right now, have them run in place, bounce on a yoga ball, jump rope or stretch.

22. “What does your thought bubble say?” If your children read comics, they are familiar with thought bubbles and how they move the story along. By talking about their thoughts as third-party observers, they can gain perspective on them.

30. “Let’s watch your thought pass by.” Ask your children to pretend the anxious thought is a train that has stopped at the station above their head. In a few minutes, like all trains, the thought will move on to its next destination.

23. “Let’s find some evidence.” Collecting evidence to support or refute your child’s reasons for anxiety helps your children see if their worries are based on fact.

31. “I’m taking a deep breath.” Model a calming strategy and encourage your child to mirror you. If your children allow you, hold them to your chest so they can feel your rhythmic breathing and regulate theirs.

24. “Let’s have a debate.” Older children especially love this exercise because they have permission to debate their parent. Have a point, counter-point style debate about the reasons for their anxiety. You may learn a lot about their reasoning in the process. 25. “What is the first piece we need to worry about?” Anxiety often makes mountains out of molehills. One of the most important strategies for overcoming anxiety is to break the mountain back down into manageable chunks. In doing this, we realize the entire experience isn’t causing anxiety, just one or two parts. 26. “Let’s list all of the people you love.” Anais Nin is credited with the quote, “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer.” If that statement is true, then love is anxiety’s greatest killer as well. By recalling all of the people that your child loves and why, love will replace anxiety. 26 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2016

32. “How can I help?” Let your children guide the situation and tell you what calming strategy or tool they prefer in this situation. 33. “This feeling will pass.” Often, children will feel like their anxiety is never-ending. Instead of shutting down, avoiding, or squashing the worry, remind them that relief is on the way. 34. “Let’s squeeze this stress ball together.” When your children direct their anxiety to a stress ball, they feel emotional relief. Buy a ball, keep a handful of play dough nearby or make your own homemade stress ball by filling a balloon with flour or rice. 35. “I see Widdle is worried again. Let’s teach Widdle not to worry.” Create a character to represent the worry, such as Widdle the Worrier. Tell your child that Widdle is worried

[ PARENTING ] and you need to teach him some coping skills. 36. “I know this is hard.” Acknowledge that the situation is difficult. Your validation shows your children that you respect them. 37. “I have your smell buddy right here.” A smell buddy, fragrance necklace or diffuser can calm anxiety, especially when you fill it with lavender, sage, chamomile, sandalwood or jasmine. 38. “Tell me about it.” Without interrupting, listen to your children talk about what’s bothering them. Talking it out can give your children time to process their thoughts and come up with a solution that works for them. 39. “You are so brave!” Affirm your children’s ability to handle the situation, and you empower them to succeed this time. 40. “Which calming strategy do you want to use right now?” Because each anxious situation is different, give your children the opportunity to choose the calming strategy they want to use. 41. “We’ll get through this together.” Supporting your children with your presence and commitment can empower them to persevere until the scary situation is over.

midst of anxiety is nearly impossible. But asking your children to give how they feel with a color, gives them a chance to think about how they feel relative to something simple. Follow up by asking why their feeling is that color. 46. “Let me hold you.” Give your children a front hug, a hug from behind, or let them sit on your lap. The physical contact provides a chance for your child to relax and feel safe. 47. “Remember when you made it through XYZ?” Reminding your child of a past success will encourage them to persevere in this situation. 48. “Help me move this wall.” Hard work, like pushing on a wall, relieves tension and emotions. Resistance bands also work. 49. “Let’s write a new story.” Your children have written a story in their mind about how the future is going to turn out. This future makes them feel anxious. Accept their story and then ask them to come up with a few more plot lines where the story’s ending is different.

Before and after School Care For students entering TK to 5th grade in PUSD

42. “What else do you know about (scary thing)?” When your children face a consistent anxiety, research it when they are calm. Read books about the scary thing and learn as much as possible about it. When the anxiety surfaces again, ask your children to recall what they’ve learned. This step removes power from the scary thing and empowers your child. 43. “Let’s go to your happy place.” Visualization is an effective tool against anxiety. When your children are calm, practice this calming strategy until they are able to use it successfully during anxious moments. 44. “What do you need from me?” Ask your children to tell you what they need. It could be a hug, space or a solution. 45. “If you gave your¬¬ feeling a color, what would it be?” Asking another person to identify what they’re feeling in the

Program includes:  Meals and snacks  Drop off and pick up from school  Classes such as Karate, Spanish, SPARK PE, Art and Science  Homework support  Open teacher work days and most vacations  Drop off and pick up from most schools

3200 Hopyard Road | Pleasanton | tel. 925.462.7123



June Alameda County JUNE 2 Beauties & Beasts Children’s Fairyland Oakland 6:30pm – 9:30pm

JUNE 3 Parent’s Night Out Pump It Up Pleasanton 6:30pm – 9:30pm History Mystery “After-Hours” Tour USS Horney Alameda 7:00pm

JUNE 4 107th Annual Cherry Festival Downtown San Leandro San Leandro 10:00am – 6:00pm

JUNE 4 – 5 Dashing Dragonflies Crab Cove Visitors Center Alameda 2:00pm – 3:00pm

JUNE 5 Free First Sunday OMCA Oakland 10:00am – 6:00pm Ice Cream Tour Rockridge Oakland 3:00pm


Butterfly & Bird Festival Coyote Hills Regional Park Visitors Center Fremont 10:00am – 3:30pm

Bug Day UC Berkeley Botanical Garden Berkeley 11:00am – 3:00pm


World Giraffe Day! Oakland Zoo Oakland 10:00am – 4:30pm

Waterfront Flicks Jack London Square Oakland 8:30pm

JUNE 12 Teddy Bear Tea with Friends Oakland Zoo Oakland 9:30am – 12:00pm

JUNE 15 County Fair Opening Day Alameda Fair Grounds Alameda 12:00pm – 11:00pm

JUNE 17 Family Friday Nite Splash Aqua Adventure Water Park Fremont 4:00pm – 8:00pm Jack’s Night Market Jack London Square Oakland 6:00pm – 10:00pm

JUNE 18 Children’s Sing Along Freight & Salvage Berkeley 11:00am



JUNE 25 Trekking with Tots Tilden nature Area Berkeley 10:30am – 12:00pm Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars Oakland Impact Hub Oakland 2:00pm – 8:00pm

JUNE 26 Animal Encounters Show Oakland Zoo Oakland Times Vary Family Square Dance Ashkenaz Berkeley 7:30pm

Contra Costa County JUNE 4, 11, 18 & 25 Kids Club Michaels Arts & Crafts Dublin 10:00am – 12:00pm

JUNE 1 Walnut Creek First Wednesdays Cypress Street Walnut Creek 5:00pm – 8:00pm


June JUNE 2 -5


Splash Dogs Contra Costa County Fairgrounds Contra Costa Times Vary

Model Railroad Show Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society Walnut Creek 8:00pm

JUNE 2 -5 County Fair Contra Costa Country Fair Contra Costa Times Vary

JUNE 3 Preschool Performance Series – The Music of The Raytones Village Theatre Danville 10:00am

JUNE 5 MG Car Show Danville Livery Danville 10:00am – 3:00pm

JUNE 8 Teen Book Chat Dublin Library Dublin 4:00pm – 4:45pm

JUNE 11 - 12 Finding Dory Playland-Not-at-the-Beach El Cerrito 10:00am – 5:00pm

JUNE 14 4th of July in June Concord Library Concord 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Free Friday! Lindsay Wildlife Experience Walnut Creek 10:00am – 5:00pm Kids Free Fridays Alameda County Fairgrounds Pleasanton 11:00am – 5:00pm

JUNE 19 FATHER’S DAY Kids Belay Diablo Rock Gym Concord 11:30am – 3:30pm diablorock

Walnut Creek Farmer’s Market 1737 Locust Street Walnut Creek 9:00am – 2:00pm

Out of Area JUNE 19 Peguins and Pajamas Sleepover California Academy of Sciences San Francisco 6:00pm Palo Alto World Music Day University Avenue Palo Alto 3:00pm – 7:30pm

JUNE 25 Treasure Island Flea Avenue of the Palms San Francisco 10:00am – 4:00pm

JUNE 20 - 24 Harry Potter Potions Camp Dougherty Station Library San Ramon 2:00pm – 3:00pm

JUNE 25 Summer Reading Carnival Dougherty Station Library San Ramon 10:00am – 3:00pm

JUNE 26 Mustang Ponies & Snakes Car Danville Livery Danville 10:00am – 3:00pm Email to subscribe to our weekly email blast for more events!



Celma’s Housecleaning Service

Sat. & Sun 9:00am - 2:30 pm

(925) 826-6397

Full Table Service

Great for a casual “Date Night”

· · · · · ·

Offering meticulous & affordable housecleaning for busy families! References Available!

Pleasanton Rage Girls Youth Soccer Club

Burgers , Salads & Much More Continuous All Day Menu Daily Grill- Entrée Specials Singles Friendly- Bar Seating Eat or Takeout Family Friendly

HAPPY HOUR- 4-6PM Daily $2 off all beer, wine, burgers, sides and entrée salads (eat in only)

965 MOUNTAIN VIEW DR, LAFAYETTE Across from Trader Joe’s Parking Lot (925) 298-5372 • WWW.BISTROBURGER.NET

Adventures in Learning Early Childhood Center

~ Recreational & Competitive programs available ~ Open to ages 4-18

Serving students 2 - 6 years Full and part time programs 3200 Hopyard Road | Pleasanton web. tel. 925.462.7123




JUNE 11 – 19

San Leandro Cherry Festival Upwards of 30,000 people attend the Cherry Festival to partake in food, a beer garden, live entertainment, handmade arts and crafts, a special “Kids Zone” with rides and games, Farmer’s Market with lots of cherries, community and City resources and a cherry store selling everything cherry! For more information call 510.577.3462 or visit

San Mateo County Fair There is always something at the San Mateo County Fair for everyone. Enjoy carnival rides, food booths, games, concerts, interactive exhibits and much more. The Fair is the destination for family and friends to make memories and recall their prior adventures. For more information visit

JUNE 4 – 5 Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival Whether you are a wine connoisseur, a microbrew lover, an art buff, playing in the kids zone, or just interested in lounging in the grass listening to good music, the annual Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce Art & Wine Festival has something for you for more information visit

JUNE 11 – 12 Fairfax Festival The Fairfax Festival embodies the values that are dear to all Marinites: community, family, social responsibility, sustainability and, of course, a great party. Come hear great local music at three stages, shop for crafts and flea market treasures, enjoy fresh, wholesome food, beer, organic wine tasting, entertain the kids in their expanded children’s area, and ponder social and environmental issues at the Ecofest. For more information visit

JUNE 11 - 12 North Beach Festival In its 62nd year, The North Beach Festival is considered one of the country’s original outdoor Festivals. Explore more than 125 arts and crafts booths, gourmet food booths, two stages of live entertainment, Italian street painting, beverage gardens and more. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to participate in this San Francisco tradition, which is known nationally and internationally. For more information call 800.310.6563 or visit www.sresproductions. com.

JUNE 11-12 Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music The Novato festival is a free multi-generational event that incorperates all of the best parts of living in Northern California. Always a perfect blend of unique handcrafted art, regional and imported wines, award-winning micro brews, Americana and gourmet foods, and first-rate live music on two stages, this Festival is the good-time place to be.

JUNE 15 – JULY 4 Alameda County Fair Embrace the Spirit of Summer by bringing the whole family down to the Alameda County Fair. Over three million visitors enjoy the fair annually for events which include a summer concert series, rodeo and monster truck shows, friendly adult competitions, games and carnival rides, and much more! The Alameda County Fair should be on top of everyone’s summer checklist. For more information call 925.426.7600 or visit

JUNE 19 Palo Alto World Music Day Palo Alto World Music Day is a free music festival that takes place every year on Father’s Day. The event features 50 professional and amateur music groups ranging from a variety of genres. This is a fun and unique family event not to be missed! For more information visit www.

JUNE 19 – AUGUST 21 Stern Grove Festival The Stern Grove Festival is a treasured San Francisco event. The festival offers a series of free shows featuring first class talent. This years line up features performers ranging from classical, Latin pop rock, funk, hip hop, and R&B music. For more information call 415.252.6252 or visit,

JUNE 25 – 26 San Anselmo Art and Wine Festival The San Anselmo Art & Wine Festival will feature over 200+ artists, outstanding food and drinks, and great music. This event offers something for the whole family. For more information call 415.258.4600 or visit www.

JUNE 30 – JULY 4 Marin County Fair The Marin County Fair is celebrating 75 years of tradition and offers attractions for the entire family. The fair features a solar-powered carousel, carnival rides, farm.




Courtesy of Whole Foods Markets

Nutritional Info: Per Serving: 550 calories (290 from fat), 33g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 195mg cholesterol, 600mg sodium, 2g carbohydrates, 60g protein.

GRILLED PORK CHOPS WITH CHIMICHURRI INGREDIENTS: For the Chimichurri Sauce: • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves • 2 tablespoons chopped white onion • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile pepper • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt For the Pork Chops: • 4 thick-cut (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (14 to 16 ounces each) • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper METHOD: For the chimichurri sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor with 1 tablespoon water. Process until blended; set aside. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium-heat cooking, leaving one area of the grill cool (this will be a place to transfer the chops if they flare up). Brush chops all over with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once or twice, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Watch the chops carefully, and move them to the cool area of the grill if they flare up or brown too quickly. Let rest 5 minutes; serve with the chimichurri on the side. 32 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2016

GRILLED VEGGIE TOSTADAS WITH FRESH SALSA INGREDIENTS: • 1 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro • 2 tablespoons lime juice • 1 teaspoon salt, divided • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing tortillas • 2 teaspoons chili powder • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into thick strips • 2 yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices • 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices • 1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced • 6 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced • Lime wedges for garnish METHOD: Put tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black


pepper and jalapeños into a medium bowl and toss to combine. Cover and chill. Preheat grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, mix together oil, chili powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic. Add peppers, squash, zucchini, eggplant and onion and toss to coat. Working in batches, grill vegetables, flipping halfway through, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a platter as done. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with olive oil and grill, flipping once, until just crisp and lightly charred on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Place one tortilla on each of six plates and top with vegetables, salsa and avocados. Garnish with lime wedges and serve. Nutritional Info: Per Serving: 380 calories (160 from fat), 18g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 490mg sodium, 47g carbohydrates, (12 g dietary fiber, 12g sugar), 10g protein

SPICY GRILLED PEACH AND CHICKEN KABOBS INGREDIENTS: • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1 large), cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks • 2 ripe peaches, halved, pitted and cut into 8 chunks each

• 1 small red onion, quartered and pulled apart into petals • 2 tablespoons orange juice or white wine • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari sauce • 3 tablespoons no-sugar-added apricot fruit spread • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary • 1 large rosemary sprig to use as a basting brush METHOD: Prepare a grill for medium-high heat cooking. On 4 long metal skewers, alternate pieces of chicken, peach and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together juice, tamari, fruit spread, chipotle and chopped rosemary. Grill kabobs, turning frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Begin dipping rosemary sprig in tamari mixture and brushing kabobs, turning kabobs frequently, until chicken is cooked through and kabobs are glazed, about 3 minutes more. Nutritional Info: Per Serving: 160 calories (20 from fat), 2g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 45mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber, 8g sugar), 18g protein. JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 33


Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D., received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Specializing in the integration of Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, Dr. Shefali brings together the best of both worlds for her clients. She is an expert in family dynamics and personal development and runs a private practice in New York City. Dr. Shefali has written three books, including the award winning New York Times bestselling book The Conscious Parent. Dr. Shefali is also a keynote speaker who has presented at TEDx, Kellogg Business School, the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, and other conferences and workshops around the world. She’s been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday and Oprah’s Lifeclass.

Why Everything We Know About Discipline Is Wrong by Dr. Shefali Tsabary In my work as a clinical psychologist, the greatest concern expressed by parents is not knowing how to effectively discipline their children. No surprise here. They are often frustrated and burnt out because they have tried every technique and strategy out there to no avail. Their child’s behavior hasn’t changed and more specifically, they are on the verge of breaking point themselves. To help parents understand why their disciplinary strategies do not work, I often do an exercise with them. I ask them to use the word “discipline” in a sentence. Invariably, they say something like, “How can I discipline my child?” or if they


[ PARENTING ] are addressing their child, they say, “I am going to think of a way to discipline you.” I first point out how the word “discipline” is used as a verb: Something you do onto another. I then ask them to analyze the subtext of their sentences — what do they really mean when they use the term “discipline”? If they are really honest, they say something to the effect of, “I want a way to control them” or “I am pissed off at my kids and they are going to pay for it,”or “I am so frustrated because I cannot change how they behave.” And this, I reveal to them, is the reason why disciplinary strategies with our children backfire. We say we want to teach our children proper behavior and help them develop self-discipline. Yet instead, we have adopted strategies that are the direct opposite of teaching and instead are just clever guises of manipulation and control. And because no human being likes to be manipulated, our children revolt. They either revolt against themselves by divorcing from their authentic power through subservience and compliance or they rebel in a more active way against their parents. Either way they create a false persona that is reactionary to their parent’s controlling energy rather than a genuine response that emerges from a more organic inner state.

There’s nothing punitive about this term. A learner is entirely different from someone who is the subject of disciplinary action. They are someone who wants to learn. And the most powerful teachers for our children are its parents. If I’m to set myself up as my child’s teacher, I must first have learned how to be self-disciplined. I must have addressed, and continue to address, my own emotional immaturity. I do this by becoming an authentic person, true to myself. In this way, my child learns from me to also be true to themselves — true to their heart’s deepest desires. This is fundamentally different from hyper-focusing on our children’s behavior and constantly “disciplining” — controlling — them to get them to conform to our wishes. The focus is instead on ourselves as parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers, making sure that we are setting an example that creates within our children the desire to emulate our aligned and meaningful life. Self-discipline is something we learn for ourselves, not something that can ever be imposed effectively by someone else.

If we say that someone lives a very “disciplined life,” we mean something entirely different from when we say that the person is to be the recipient of “disciplinary action.” In fact, leading a disciplined life and disciplinary action are opposites.

When we, as parents, radiate with self-discipline, it will vibrate louder than any strategy we can inflict on our children. It will echo in the way we make our beds every morning, how we exercise our bodies, the food we eat,

The first refers to self-discipline — the ability to selfregulate, without needing someone to keep us in line. We are guided by our own internal compass to live a life in which all the spokes of our everyday existence connect with our hub, the very heart of our being, which is the source of all our true desires. The second expression, “disciplinary action,” refers to a punitive action imposed by an external source. To see the difference, it’s helpful to understand the etymology of “discipline.” The term contains within it the word “disciple,” which comes from Latin and means “learner.”

the boundaries we set and the ways we engage with our own purpose. Our task then is not to search high and low for a clever doctor to hand us techniques or strategies to “fix” and control our children’s lives. Instead, the paramount task becomes to align our own lives with clarity, intent, purpose and balance. Do we have the wisdom and courage to tame our own indisciplined selves and trust that it is through this process that our children will reflect our spirit and soar? JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 35


Discover Stroll Walnut Creek’s downtown filled with specialty boutiques and over 50 retailers in the newly renovated Broadway Plaza including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Macys. Stop into a sidewalk café for lunch or enjoy a warm summer night’s dinner on the roof for a unique dining experience! Performing arts are woven through the downtown showcasing live outdoor music, jazz series, theater and dance. Make your plans today to experience the ‘jewel of the East Bay’!

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August 3 September 7

October 5

Wine Walk June 15

Movies Under the Stars August 19, Aladdin September 10, Toy Story

Oktoberfest October 15

Trick or Treat October 21


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5/18/16 Y 10:2137 AM JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL



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Experience Downtown Walnut Creek businesses and restaurants as they host wineries and live music throughout the evening! Wednesday, June 15 6:00–9:00 pm

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Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst with specialized clinical training in infant-parent, child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy. She has been on the faculties of New York University and the Society for Psychoanalytic Study and Research, among others. She has written extensively on parenting for various publications, including the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, The International Journal of Infant Observation, The Inner World of the Mother, Newsday’s Parents & Children Magazine, Long Island Parent. She writes her popular column, PARENTAL INTELLIGENCE, at Moms Magazine and blogs for Huffington Post. Her new book is Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior.

The Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters: Infancy to Adolescence by Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. Girls seem a bit foreign to most new dads, but with these tips, you can form a special bond that will last a lifetime. Dads and daughters are a unique pair. Daughters look up to you as their top guy, so it’s important to form this precious bond early and maintain it throughout her stages of childhood. Infant Daughters You may not carry your growing baby inside your body, but you sure do carry her inside your mind. The prospect of being a father to a daughter may seem daunting at first because you have a second sense about being with a boy, but girls seem a bit foreign to most guys. But all an infant girl needs is your special voice to key into and the romance begins. Four Tips for Relating to Your Baby Girl 1. Respond quickly to your baby girl’s cries simply by talking or humming. When she hears your deep voice, a calm will set in. 2. When changing your baby, make it a bit of an event. Talk and sing about anything you wish, and she will respond like changing diapers is a game. 3. Hold your infant girl close to your chest and move gently and rhythmically. She will feel your unique tempo that fosters your connection. 4. As soon as she begins to coo, join in the conversation. Simply coo back in your low tones, and presto, you are talking together and relating together. Child Daughters The 1- to 10-year-old daughter set falls in love with their daddy. You may find


[ PARENTING ] that your daughter loves to just be around you, kind of shows off for you, and hangs on your every word. She craves your attention, so give it often. Four Tips for Relating to Your Little Girl 1. Girls love praise from their dads. When you praise, be specific, accurate, and of course, positive. Overpraising can lose meaning, so look for details to point out and your daughter will be grateful. 2. Girls build self-confidence when they feel their dads relate to them. Stretch yourself to learn about your daughter’s interests, so you can talk about what she enjoys. When you’re interested in what she does, she feels you’re interested in who she is. This builds her selfesteem and your dad-daughter relationship. 3. Be involved with school work. School is the center of your daughter’s life. Be as involved as she wants you to be. That may mean sitting next to her while she does her homework, actually helping with assignments, or organizing a backpack. Whatever it takes! 4. Meet her friends. Friends are also at the center of your daughter’s life. If she’s a social butterfly, drive her to sleepovers, chat with her friends, and look at her photos. If she’s more reserved, be interested in her “best friend” and let her know she’s a girl that other girls will like and tell her specifically why. She needs to

know from you. Teenage Daughters Your daughter is more of her own person now, but building her self-esteem is key. When teenage girls believe their dads believe in them, their self-confidence rises. Four Tips for Relating to Your Young Woman 1. Teenage girls need their space, but they build confidence when they know you are interested in what they enjoy. Ask them about their activities, interests and school work. They’ll be very pleased you want to know. 2. Teenage girls need your approval even if they don’t act that way. Find whatever you can to praise — from a cool outfit to a school essay. Deep down you’re still her No. 1 guy. 3. Ask your daughter her opinions. Teenage girls develop philosophies about life, especially as they get into their later teen years. Your interest in her thoughts matter more than you know. 4. Go places with your daughter together, just the two of you. No matter how many kids you have, how busy home and work lives are, your daughter needs to spend time alone with you to remember she is a central part of your world.

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Celebrate Dad! FATHER’S DAY EVENT GUIDE Father’s Day Barbera & Barbeque On the Patio at Dante Robere Vineyards JUNE 19, 2016 12:00 – 5:00pm Dante Robere Vineyards 1200 Wetmore Rd | Livermore, CA 94550 Bring Dad, enjoy our 2014 Barbera along with grilled Tri-Tip sliders and the scenic view from our Main Patio. Specials on Barbera by the glass, beer for dad and tri-tip sliders. Open for regular tasting as well.

Rock Out with Your Daddio on The Patio at The Steven Kent Winery JUNE 19, 2016

WINERY Annual Father’s Day Picnic at Retzlaff Winery JUNE 19, 2016 11:30am - 4:30pm Retzlaff Vineyards and Estate Winery 1356 South Livermore Ave. | Livermore, CA 94550 Our annual Father’s Day picnic! Celebrate Dad at the winery. Bring a picnic, kick back and enjoy the fine tunes of Jeff Bordes and the Burnt Ends. Father’s Day competitions including oldest dad and dad that can hold the most kids. Table decorating contest, Most lavish, Most family like, Sportiest and? This event sells out annually. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Father’s Day Picnic on the Patio with Life Music at Mcgrail Vineyards JUNE 19, 2016 12:00 - 4:30pm McGrail Vineyards and Winery 5600 Greenville Road | Livermore, CA 94550 Pack a picnic, buy a bottle of wine and sit on our patio to enjoy live music and breath taking views. Table seating on the patio requires reservations and a fee of $50/table up to 10 people. On the vineyard patio enjoy live music by the Mojo Swingers. The front lawn is open seating and complimentary. Music will be playing from 12:00 – 4:00pm.


12 - 4:30pm The Steven Kent Winery 5443 Tesla Road | Livermore, CA 94550 Join us on Father’s Day on the Steven Kent Patio to celebrate your Dad! We’ll have Steven Kent wines for sale to enjoy by the glass or by the bottle. David Land Band will be rockin’ the tunes and “Let’s Be Frank” will be rockin’ the dogs... Hot Dogs and Bratwurst, that is. Be there or be square!!

Father’s Day at Concannon Vineyards JUNE 19, 2016 11am - 4:30pm Concannon Vineyard 4590 Tesla Road | Livermore, CA 94550 Plan a day for Dad at Concannon Vineyard! Choose from a variety of ways to celebrate an afternoon with family food and wine. Since we appreciate our members we wanted to give you the event details before releasing them to the general public. Reserve a table on our lawn area or rent a table under our beautiful Grape Arbor.

Bacon Fest for Father’s Day JUNE 19, 2016 12 - 4:30pm Les Chenes Estate Vineyards 5562 Victoria Lane | Livermore, CA 94550 Treat Dad to Les Chenes Estate Vineyards BACON FEST. We are featuring our three bacon Cheeses (Bacon Cheddar -

[ SEASONAL FUN ] Smoked Gouda with Bacon - and Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Cheddar Cheese) to pair with Dad’s favorite wine, our 2012 Herritage Roso (Zinfidel). Bring Dads favorite lunch and picnic at Les Chenes and enjoy our fabulous views.

ACTIVITIES 23rd Annual Father’s Day Spirit Run JUNE 19, 2016 8:00am 652 Main St, Downtown Pleasanton Pleasanton, CA 94566 Father’s Day Spirit Run Proceeds support college scholarships for Pleasanton students plus community and international projects of The Rotary Club of Pleasanton. Cool medals awarded three deep in designated age groups for male and female participants. Post-race refreshments including fresh fruit and ice cream will be served. Check-in and on-site registration will be held at the parking lot of Workbench True Value Hardware at 652 Main St, Downtown Pleasanton starting at 6:45am.

from Oakland to San Francisco. Sail around Alcatraz and Angel Island paying tribute to that very special Dad.

Father’s Day Catch on The Field JUNE 19, 2016 1:05pm Oakland Coliseum 7000 Coliseum Way | Oakland, CA 94621 On Father’s Day fans will have the opportunity to play catch on the outfield grass following the 1:05 p.m. A’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. The postgame session will last for 15 minutes. Game tickets and Father’s Day Catch tickets are sold separately, and both are required to play catch on the field. Family and friends attending the game but not playing catch can watch the postgame catch from Section 130.

Redwood Regional Park: Fathers in the Forest JUNE 19, 2016 10 – 11:30am Redwood Regional Park 7867 Redwood Rd | Oakland, CA 94619 Celebrate Father’s Day with a family-friendly foray for youngsters and their dads (and moms), frolicking through the redwood forest, finding flora and fatherly fauna, and finishing at the park’s playground. Meet at Canyon Meadow Staging Area. Stroller friendly and wheelchair accessible

Blackhawk Museums’ Father’s Day Car Show 2016 (10th Anniversary) JUNE 19, 2016 8am – 12pm Blackhawk Museums 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle | Danville, CA 94506 Bring a collectible, rod, classic, or muscle car. Dads can bring their favorite vehicle regardless of make since it’s Father’s Day. Drivers receive free admission to the Museum and a Goodie Bag. You can pre-register your car online or by mail for $20 before the event, or $30 the day of the event. The Car Show is free for spectators. Live music will be provided by Juke Joint and the Museums will be open an hour early at 9am. Museum admission is $15 for Adults, $10 for Seniors/Students & Free for Children 6 and under. (Online ticket purchases receive a $3 discount.) Father’s are Free!

Father’s Day Cruise JUNE 19, 2016 12 - 3pm 540 Water Street | Oakland, CA 94607 Time to Honor Dad with a cruise on San Francisco Bay aboard the Presidential Yacht Potomac. Sail for 3 hours enjoying a hearty box lunch, hosted wine bar and sites around the bay

FOOD Father’s Day Celebration at The Terrace Room JUNE 19, 2016 10am – 2:30pm The Terrace Room Restaurant & Bar 1800 Madison Street | Oakland CA 94612 On Father’s Day, The Terrace Room in Oakland will be serving an a la carte brunch. Last year The Terrace Room was heralded by as serving one of the top five best chicken and waffles in the East Bay. . There will also be a special bottomless Bloody Mary Bar!


[ SEASONAL FUN ] Father’s Day Celebration at District Oakland JUNE 19, 2016 11am – 2pm District Oakland 827 Washington Street | Oakland, CA 94606 This Father’s Day, District in Old Oakland will be serving brunch from with an all you can eat breakfast buffet and a bottomless Mimosa for $35.00 ($22.00 for just the buffet). Children ten years of age and under can enjoy the buffet for $10.00. Specialty cocktails will also be available.

Father’s Day Celebration at Ajanta in Berkeley JUNE 19, 2016 11:30am – 9:30pm Ajanta 1888 Solano Ave. | Berkeley, CA 94707 Ajanta Restaurant in Berkeley will be open for lunch and for dinner serving the regular a la carte menus plus a $29.00 Chef’s Tasting Menu with three appetizers, four main dishes and sides of rice, naan bread, chutneys and pickles. A vegetarian option will be offered for $26.00. All prices exclude tax and gratuity.








Instead of a rigid structure, we give our campers choice. Instead of teaching kids the typical way, we give them tools and gentle guidance to help them become autodidacts, people who teach themselves. Kids choose from: stop motion animation, coding, sports in a custom stadium, bread-making, waterslides and much more.

Our policy is as flexible as you need it to be. You can buy a whole summer membership or you can purchase as many day passes as you want. Use the passes whenever. Didn’t use them? No sweat. We’ll give you a full refund for unused passes. And best of all, you don’t even have to tell us when you’re coming. Ta-da. Camp just got easier.






A traditional summer camp experience






All-Outdoor Summer Day Camp


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Adventure and Learning Await!

June 13 – August 10

SUMMER CAMP 2016 at The Growing Room

Learn all summer long with weekly themes, special events, competitions and enrichment classes such as Robotics, 3D Printing, Sports, Fitness, Chess, and Art!

Grades K-5

Register Early Weekly Adventure field trips include destinations such as: CA Academy of Sciences, Lost Worlds Adventures, Movies & Bowling, City Beach, CuriOdyssey, Oakland A's Game, Cafe Art & Chili's, Rockin' Jump and the Community Pools and Parks

Academy | Live Oak| Tassajara Hills | Hidden Hills | Neil Armstrong JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 47


“Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” –Linus Pauling CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS Still Enrolling All Grades! Call us today to schedule a Campus Tour! Preschool - 12th Grade | 7500 Inspiration Drive | Dublin, CA 94568 | Contact Daly Johnson | Director of Admissions | (925) 560-6262 or



May 31 – August 26 With themes like Fort Building, Art Attack and Outdoor Explorers, children ages 3 – 10 will love spending the summer at our weeklong Discovery Camps. We even have a Junior Counselor program for ages 9 – 16!


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Building a Great Relationship with Your Child by Dr. Laura Markham Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where she offers a free daily inspiration email to parents.


Want to be a great parent? Want to raise a happy, healthy, well-behaved kid? Want to live in a home where discipline becomes unnecessary? The secret is to create a closer connection with your child. “What do you mean? Of course I love my kid, and I tell him so all the time. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need discipline!” It isn’t enough that we tell our children we love them. We need to put our love into action every day for them to feel it. And when we do that our kids need a lot less discipline! “But what does that mean, putting our love into action?”

[ PARENTING ] Mostly, it means making that connection with our

believe that bonding with a newborn is crucial to note

child our highest priority. Love in action means paying

that the kind of man who treasures his newborn and

thoughtful attention to what goes on between us, seeing

nurtures his new family is likely to continue doing so in

things from the our child’s point of view, and always

ways that bring them closer throughout her childhood.

remembering that this child who sometimes may drive us crazy is still that precious baby we welcomed into our

2. Remember that all relationships take work.

arms with such hope.

Good parent-child connections don’t spring out of nowhere, any more than good marriages do. Biology

“Doesn’t that take a lot of energy?”

gives us a head start -- if we weren’t biologically programmed to love our infants the human race would

It takes a lot of effort to fully attend to another human

have died out long ago -- but as kids get older we need

being, but when we are really present with our child, we

to build on that natural bond, or the challenges of

often find that it energizes us and makes us feel more

modern life can erode it. Luckily, children automatically

alive, as being fully present with anyone does. Being

love their parents. As long as we don’t blow that, we can

close to another human takes work. But 90% of people

keep the connection strong.

on their deathbed say that their biggest regret is that they didn’t get closer to the people in their lives. And

3. Prioritize time with your child.

almost all parents whose children are grown say they

Assume that you’ll need to put in a significant amount of

wish they had spent more time with their kids.

time creating a good relationship with your child. Quality time is a myth, because there’s no switch to turn on

“Being fully present? How can I do that when I’m just

closeness. Imagine that you work all the time, and have

trying to get dinner on the table and keep from tripping

set aside an evening with your husband, whom you’ve

over the toys?”

barely seen in the past six months. Does he immediately start baring his soul? Not likely.

Being present just means paying attention. Like a marriage or a friendship, your relationship with your child

In relationships, without quantity, there’s no quality. You

needs positive attention to thrive. Attention = Love. Like

can’t expect a good relationship with your daughter if

your garden, your car, or your work, what you attend to

you spend all your time at work and she spends all her

flourishes. And, of course, that kind of attentiveness takes

time with her friends. So as hard as it is with the pressures

time. You can multi-task at it while you’re making dinner,

of job and daily life, if we want a better relationship

but the secret of a great relationship is some focused

with our kids, we have to free up the time to make that

time every day attending only to that child.


“This is all too vague for me. What am I supposed to

4. Start with trust, the foundation of every good

actually DO?”

relationship. Trust begins in infancy, when your baby learns whether

1. Start right for a firm foundation.

she can depend on you to pick her up when she needs

The closeness of the parent-child connection throughout

you. By the time babies are a year old, researchers can

life results from how much parents connect with their

assess whether babies are “securely attached” to their

babies, right from the beginning. For instance, research

parents, which basically means the baby trusts that his

has shown that fathers who take a week or more off work

parents can be depended on to meet his emotional and

when their babies are born have a closer relationship

physical needs.

with their child at every stage, including as teens and college students. Is this cause and effect? The bonding

Over time, we earn our children’s trust in other ways:

theorists say that if a man bonds with his newborn, he will

following through on the promise we make to play

stay closer to her throughout life. But you don’t have to

a game with them later, not breaking a confidence, JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 51

[ PARENTING ] picking them up on time.

talk to me that way.” A friend who was with us said, “If he’s starting this early, you’re going to have big

At the same time, we extend our trust to them by

problems when he’s a teenager!” In fact, rather than

expecting the best from them and believing in their

challenging my authority, my toddler was simply asking

fundamental goodness and potential. We trust in the

to be treated with the dignity he had come to expect.

power of human development to help our child grow,

Now a teenager, he continues to treat himself, me, and

learn, and mature. We trust that although our child may

others, respectfully. And he chooses peers who treat

act like a child today, he or she is always developing

him respectfully. Isn’t that what we all want for our kids?

into a more mature person (just as, hopefully, we are.) We trust that no matter what he or she does, there is

7. Think of relationships as the slow accretion of daily

always the potential for positive change.

interactions. You don’t have to do anything special to build a

Trust does not mean blindly believing what your

relationship with your child. The good -- and bad --

teenager tells you. Trust means not giving up on your

news is that every interaction creates the relationship.

child, no matter what he or she does. Trust means

Grocery shopping, carpooling and bathtime matter, as

never walking away from the relationship in frustration,

much as that big talk you have when there’s a problem.

because you trust that she needs you and that you will

He doesn’t want to share his toy, or go to bed, or do

find a way to work things out.

his homework? How you handle it is one brick in the foundation of your permanent relationship, as well as his

5. Encourage, Encourage, Encourage.

ideas about all relationships.

Think of your child as a plant who is programmed by nature to grow and blossom. If you see the plant has

That’s one reason it’s worth thinking through any

brown leaves, you consider if maybe it needs more light,

recurring interactions that get on your nerves to see

more water, more fertilizer. You don’t criticize it and yell

how you might handle them differently. Interactions

at it to straighten up and grow right.

that happen more than once tend to initiate a pattern. Nagging and criticizing are no basis for a relationship

Kids form their view of themselves and the world every

with someone you love. And besides, your life is too short

day. They need your encouragement to see themselves

for you to spend it in a state of annoyance.

as good people who are capable of good things. And they need to know you’re on their side. If most of what

8. Communication habits start early.

comes out of your mouth is correction or criticism, they

Do you listen when she prattles on interminably about

won’t feel good about themselves, and they won’t feel

her friends at preschool, even when you have more

like you’re their ally. You lose your only leverage with

important things to think about? Then she’s more likely

them, and they lose something every kid needs: to know

to tell you about her interactions with boys when she’s

they have an adult who thinks the world of them.


6. Remember that respect must be mutual.

It’s hard to pay attention when you’re rushing to pick up

Pretty obvious, right? But we forget this with our kids,

food for dinner and get home, but if you aren’t really

because we know we’re supposed to be the boss.

listening, two things happen. You miss an opportunity

You can still set limits (and you must), but if you do it

to learn about and teach your child, and she learns

respectfully and with empathy, your child will learn both

that you don’t really listen so there’s not much point in

to treat others with respect and to expect to be treated


respectfully himself. 9. Don’t take it personally. Once when I became impatient with my then 3 year

Your teenager slams the door to her bedroom. Your

old, he turned to me and said “I don’t like it when you

ten year old huffs “Mom, you never understand!” Your


[ PARENTING ] four year old screams “I hate you, Daddy!” What’s the


most important thing to remember? DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! This isn’t primarily about you, it’s about

12. Re-connect after every separation.

them: their tangled up feelings, their difficulty controlling

Parents naturally provide an anchor, or compass, for kids

themselves, their immature ability to understand and

to attach to and stay oriented around. When they’re

express their emotions. Taking it personally wounds you,

apart from us they need a substitute, so they orient

which means you do what we all do when hurt: either

themselves around teachers, coaches, electronics, or

close off, or lash out, or both. Which just worsens a tough

peers. When we rejoin each other physically we need to

situation for all concerned.

also rejoin emotionally.

Remembering not to take it personally means you:

13. Stay available. Most kids don’t keep an agenda and bring things up at

• Take a deep breath

a scheduled meeting. And nothing makes them clam

• Let the hurt go

up faster than pressing them to talk. Kids talk when

• Remind yourself that your child does in fact love you

something is up for them, particularly if you’ve proven

but can’t get in touch with it at the moment

yourself to be a good listener, but not overly attached to

• Consciously lower your voice

their opening up to you.

• Try hard to remember what it feels like to be a kid who

Being on hand when they come home is a sure-fire

is upset and over-reacting. • Think through how to respond calmly and constructively.

way to hear the highlights of the day with younger kids, and even, often, with older ones. With older kids, simply being in the same room doing something can create the opportunity for interaction. If you’re cooking dinner and

You can still set limits, but you do it from as calm a place

she’s doing homework, for instance, or the two of you are

as you can muster. Your child will be deeply grateful,

in the car alone, there’s often an opening. Of course, if

even if she can’t acknowledge it at the moment.

one of you is hunched over the computer, the interaction is likely to be more limited. Find ways to be in proximity

I’m not for a minute suggesting that you let your child

where you’re both potentially available, without it

treat you disrespectfully. I’m suggesting you act out of

seeming like a demand.

love, rather than anger, as you set limits. And if you’re too

This may seem obvious, but stating your availability is

angry to get in touch with your love at the moment, then

helpful, even with teens.

wait. “I’ll be in the kitchen making dinner if you want me” or 10. Resist the impulse to be punitive.

“I have to run to the grocery store, but don’t hesitate to

How would you feel about someone who hurt,

call my cell phone if you need me.”

threatened, or humiliated you, “for your own good”? Kids do need our guidance, but punishing your child

But the most important part of staying available is a state

always erodes your relationship, which makes your child

of mind. Your child will sense your emotional availability.

misbehave more. See Positive Discipline for more info on

Parents who have close relationships with their teens

handling your anger and setting effective limits.

often say that as their child has gotten older, they’ve made it a practice to drop everything else if their teen

11. Don’t let little rifts build up.

signals a desire to talk. This can be difficult if you’re also

If something’s wrong between you, find a way to bring it

handling a demanding job and other responsibilities,

up and work it through positively. Choosing to withdraw

of course. But kids who feel that other things are more

(except temporarily, strategically) when your child

important to their parents often look elsewhere when

seems intent on driving you away is ALWAYS a mistake.

they’re emotionally needy. And that’s our loss, as much

Every difficulty is an opportunity to get closer or create

as theirs JUNE 2016 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 53


Ask a UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Expert by Bonnie Lovette, RN, MS, PNP Q: The weather is getting warmer and windows are opened more frequently. That’s when injuries can happen. What is the way to protect children from window falls? A: Children under 6 years of age are most at risk for falling out of a window, and unfortunately, we do see children who are seriously injured by window falls. There are simple, but important steps you can take to protect your family. Screens do not prevent falls. They keep bugs out, but not kids in. Install window fall prevention products such as child safety window guards, sash stops, window latches or “Super Stoppers.” Open windows from the top, not the bottom, whenever possible. Windows should not be open more than four inches. Move furniture away from windows too. Q: When a child is outside biking, skateboarding, or doing some other physical activity, can I do anything to lessen the chance of a sports-related injury? A: If a child is riding a bike, skateboard, or scooter, or wearing inline or roller skates, wearing a properly fitted helmet is critical. In California, it’s the law! It can also reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent. All children 18 and under must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet that meets current safety standards. Check to ensure your children’s helmet is worn correctly. The helmet should sit on top of a child’s head in a level position, cover his/her forehead, and not rock forward and back from side to side. This helps the helmet provide extra protection to more vulnerable areas like the back and sides of the head. Insist that your child always ride with the helmet straps buckled. In addition, always make sure your child is wearing correct gear for the activity or sport he/she is playing. This means wearing a helmet, protective pads, mouth piece, etc. Make sure you child drinks plenty of water or electrolyte sports drinks before and during the activity and rests frequently during hot weather. Q: Are there different safety precautions you should take for different riding activities? A: Riding on wheels is fun, and whether your child is biking, skateboarding, scooting or skating, he/she needs to learn proper and safe movements and take precautions. Help your child learn the rules of the road including proper hand signals. Teach your child to 54 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | JUNE 2016

respect stop signs and signals while riding their bikes. If your child uses a skateboard, scooter or inline skates, they should also avoid these activities in or near public roads and intersections. Also, some families enjoy allterrain vehicles, but you should never allow children younger than 16 years old to ride on one, even with an adult. Children and teens under 16 are four times more likely to experience an injury on an ATV. Q: If children are playing at a playground and are well supervised, can they still be at risk for injury? A: First, make sure your child’s playground is safe and well maintained. If you go to a public playground, report any broken parts, jagged edges, or weatherworn pieces to the organization responsible for the site (a school, park authority, city council, etc.) Ensure all playground equipment, even indoor equipment, has sufficient protective surfacing under and around it. Look for age appropriate equipment and separate play areas for different age groups (2-5 or 5-12). Always use the appropriate play area for the age of your child. Don’t forget to remove necklaces, scarves, clothing with drawstrings and bike helmets when on playground equipment. Q: You hear often about drownings in summer months. Who is vulnerable and how can drowning be prevented? A: Drowning is the leading cause of death, disability and injury for children under 5 years of age in California and the second leading cause for children under 5, nationwide. Children should always be actively supervised by an adult while in or around a swimming pool. All toys should be removed from a pool when it is not in use. Toys will attract young children. Keep safety equipment by the pool as well as a phone with emergency numbers. Install self-closing and selflatching gates on isolation fencing around the pool. Be sure the gates are properly maintained and checked frequently. Empty all buckets, containers and inflatable wading pools immediately after use, and store them upside down. Whenever possible, avoid swimming in open water, like lakes or rivers, unless your child is well supervised, wearing a life vest and there is a lifeguard present. Even if your child is well supervised in the water, learn CPR and first aid to ensure you can help if there is an emergency.



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