• December 2020,  Uncategorized

    Bright Spots

    Finding Bright Spots in the Midst of Uncertainty By Nicole M. Young, MSW 2020 started off promising. The California legislature passed the first-ever statewide resolution declaring January as Positive Parenting Awareness Month. Go parents! I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia in February to present at an international conference for Triple P providers and researchers. My kids had enjoyed a long break from their rigorous high school and college classes and were gearing up for their spring semesters. Life was busy but good. And then came COVID-19…and racial unrest…and the wildfires…and repeated disruptions to our daily lives. This year has been filled with one challenge after another, and at times…

  • November 2020

    Connected Holidays

    Physically Distanced but Socially Connected Holidays By Nicole M. Young, MSW I love fall and winter holidays. I look forward to celebrating with lots of food, decorations, gatherings with friends and family, and other traditions. But holiday celebrations in any given year can be hard. It’s a challenging and overwhelming time for many families, especially if money is tight or stress and family conflict overshadow the spirit of joy and giving. In 2020, the holiday season will certainly be different because of COVID-19, but we can still find ways to be physically distanced while staying socially connected with friends and family. This monthly column provides tips for raising children, based…

  • October 2020

    Tips for Supporting Distance Learning

    Tips for Supporting Distance Learning By Nicole M. Young, MSW When I was in college, I would not have enjoyed living and learning at my parents’ house. Even when I was in high school, I would’ve been miserable if all my classes were online since school was my social lifeline. Now, my house is a home/office/high school/college campus for two working parents, two students, two cats, and a never-ending pile of dirty dishes and laundry. I’m fortunate that my kids don’t need constant supervision, and they’ve learned to manage their own schedules and schoolwork. If you read my articles from several years ago, you’d know this was not always the…

  • September 2020

    Coping

    Coping and Recovering After Traumatic Events BY Nicole M. Young, MSW When I started writing this month’s article, the biggest concern for many parents was starting the new school year with distance learning because of rising COVID-19 cases. Families and educators alike were worried about teaching and learning and working from home – or, for many families, wondering how to keep their kids safe during the virtual school day while they had to work outside of the home. It was a daunting challenge only a couple weeks ago, but now it’s been compounded by the devastating effects of the wildfires. My heart goes out to all those who lost their…

  • July 2020

    Anti-racism

    Anti-racism Resources for Parents BY NICOLE M. YOUNG, MSW I am a woman of color, raised in a White family, mother of two bi-racial children. I’ve experienced racial ignorance, microaggressions (words and actions that seem trivial, but are hurtful because they’re based on stereotypes), prejudice, and racism in my personal and professional life – even in my own family. But I am not Black, and I can’t even pretend to know what it’s like to live in fear that doing everyday things like jogging (Ahmaud Arbery), sleeping at home (Breonna Taylor), driving (Sandra Bland), watching birds (Christian Cooper), or waiting for a friend at Starbucks (Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson)…

  • June 2020

    Parenting Teens

    Parenting Teens During Uncertain Times BY NICOLE M. YOUNG, MSW So much has happened – and not happened – in the last few months because of COVID-19. Schools and many child care facilities closed. Businesses closed or rapidly changed the way they serve customers. Parks and beaches closed, then reopened, then closed during peak hours of the day. Proms, graduations, birthday parties, and holiday gatherings were canceled, postponed, or changed to virtual gatherings. Many parents took on the additional job of overseeing distance learning, and many others lost their jobs and are struggling financially. Some days, the pace of change and level of stress caused by COVID-19 is dizzying and…

  • May 2020

    Positive Parenting Pandemic

    Positive Parenting During a Pandemic BY NICOLE M. YOUNG, MSW Just when I got used to my son being away at college, BAM! He’s finishing his spring semester from home and we’re a family of four again with very different schedules, understandings of social distancing, and pre-existing handwashing habits. We’ve resolved most of the big differences that caused tension early on, but social distancing, school closures, and Stay at Home orders due to COVID-19 have turned many families’ lives upside down. Daily routines are disrupted, and everyday tasks like grocery shopping are increasingly difficult and stressful. Many parents I’ve talked to (virtually or from a safe distance, of course!) are…

  • Parents playing with their two young children
    April 2019

    Small Steps, Big Changes

    Small Steps, Big Changes BY NICOLE M. YOUNG, MSW April is the Month of the Young Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is a good opportunity to remind ourselves that 1) raising happy, healthy children is both exhausting and rewarding, 2) every parent struggles, feels unprepared, or worries they’ve failed at parenting at some point, and 3) everyone in the community can play a role in making sure children and families have the resources and support needed to thrive. This monthly article provides tips for families raising children, based on the world-renowned Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Santa Cruz County. If you have a…