• August 2021

    School Anxiety

    Facing Anxiety as Schools Reopen By Suki Wessling Caught early, anxiety can be alleviated and treated. But as children continue to suffer, anxiety can take a toll on their physical, social, and academic health. Before the pandemic, professionals were already sounding alarms about the state of our children’s mental health. Now with the return to school, parents, psychologists, and caregivers are concerned that the problem may have been exacerbated by long months of isolation. Caught early, anxiety can be alleviated and treated. But as children continue to suffer, anxiety can take a toll on their physical, social, and academic health.In this article, a variety of professionals weigh in to help…

  • August 2021

    Right Feet

    Getting off on the Right Feet By brad kava I spent Superbowl Sunday at the emergency room with my 5-year-old son, after he slipped and ran headfirst into a bench at Anna Jean Cummings Park. Four hours and seven stitches later, I didn’t really care about the game. But I did wonder about his shoes. Why didn’t they grip the ground better? Looking them over, they had flat soles with no tread like I have on my more expensive hiking and running shoes. I realized we are cheating our kids. Why don’t we buy them the best shoes, like the ones we buy for older kids and adults? I soon…

  • July 2021

    Reading This Summer

    Reading This Summer More Important than Ever If your child can read, he or she can learn anything. It’s really quite important. So get on the reading bandwagon this summer and let those skills flourish.. Summer is here and it’s time for fun in the sun. Yes. But, many of your children have been through the pandemic mill when it comes to their classroom experiences and they will need extra support to maintain their reading skills.Some children in primary grades have not had “normal” educational direct instruction for two years. While we all applaud the efforts of classroom teachers during this challenging time, even they know the instruction has not…

  • June 2021

    Don’t Forget to Dance with Your Baby

    Don’t Forget to Dance with Your Baby 7 Reasons a Baby Twitches & Moves from Tongue to Toes by Sue Doherty Have you noticed how often a baby twitches while sleeping or waves, wiggles, and squirms about while awake? Is all this movement necessary? What can the science of sensorimotor development tell us about these phenomena? Let’s look at the sleeping infant first. When a baby sleeps, if they are developing typically, you will observe them profusely twitching. Professor Mark S. Blumberg studies such twitches called “myoclonic” twitches. As he puts it, there are “intriguing relationships between twitching and the skills that babies are developing.”  Twitches send sensory feedback from…

  • June 2021

    Musical Children

    Raise a Musical Child…Even if You Aren’t a Musician By Suki Wessling I think that it’s a wonderful thing to have your children go and be in a room filled with music, see other kids listening to music and dancing and moving your body. “They felt like they were going to give us something that we would use for the rest of our lives,” music educator Barbie Wong says of her parents. Wong is a music educator who has made a study of how parents can instill a love of and passion for music in their children’s lives. She leads workshops for parents on the subject, starting with biology. “When…

  • May 2021

    Early Financial Literacy

    The Value of Early Financial Literacy By Christy Shults Whatever you choose, teaching your children the value of budgeting and saving at a young age will carry with them through their adulthood. Good luck with your money adventures! “Can you Venmo me? Or CashApp, Paypal, Zelle, I’m pretty sure I have Facebook Pay too.” Sound familiar? Who writes checks anymore or carries cash? Long gone are the days of giving your kid a $20 to go out. Admittedly paying allowance has been much easier since March 2020 when social outings came to a halt. All I have to do is transfer my kids’ budget to their savings accounts. It could…

  • May 2021

    Mini Musicians

    Give Kids The Choice…By Taking It Away by Chris Jackson If your kids want to choose to learn an instrument once they’re adults, they can, right? Wrong. If you don’t make music lessons mandatory for your kids, they won’t have the choice to learn later. If you require the lessons, they will have the choice to not pursue it as adults. The vast majority of successful musicians do not have some crazy gift. They learned early and played their instruments a lot. My parents made it mandatory for me to take piano lessons at nine years old. They did the same with my two brothers. Both of them made the…

  • May 2021

    The New Normal

    The New Normal By Jeanette Prather “These are the best of times!” announced Julie Horner, editor of the SLV Post. At first glance you might be thinking that Horner was referring to some obscure, off-the-cuff situation, but she was simply referencing the “here and now.” She was mentioning how good things have spawned from the bizarre year-plus our society is coming out of. And she’s not alone, especially among the parents locally who’ve become masters at thinking outside of the metaphoric parenting box. “Creative parenting,” we can call this. “Our weekends used to be really full of events, birthday parties, etc.,” said Felton mom, Sarah Marie Shane-Vasquez. “During the pandemic…

  • April 2021

    Which Parent Are You

    Which Parent Are You? by Chris Jackson One parent steps in and prevents the child from failure and negative outcomes. The other parent says, “I’m not doin’ that. Either (the child) does it, or it won’t get done.” Which one seems healthier? Are you surprised it’s the second parent? Healthier for the parent and for the child. “But, if I don’t help her register at the DMV, I’ll be the one driving her around.” No you won’t. Don’t do it. “But she’ll miss her classes and lose her job.” Yup. “But then I’ll have to pay more to support her.” Well, you could consider other options for that too.The term…

  • April 2021

    Santa Cruz Seeds

    Your Baby May Have a College Savings Account Whether You Know It or Not… By Suki Wessling You may have received the letter and tossed it, thinking it was junk mail. You may have gotten a flyer at your baby’s birth, but who can keep track of things when there’s a new baby in the house? But in any case, if your baby was born after December 31, 2020 and you are a resident of Santa Cruz County, they qualify for up to a $50 gift towards their higher education. It’s all thanks to Santa Cruz Seeds, a partnership between Santa Cruz Community Ventures, the County, the Office of Education,…