• March 2021

    Make Some Music

    Family Fun Time Make Some Music by Jan Pierce Exposure to music of all kinds is one of the best gifts you can give to your children. Finding activities your whole family enjoys can be challenging. But you can’t go wrong with music. Listening to and making music are some of the most enjoyable parts of life. And the endless variety in music ensures you can find something for everyone in the clan. The benefits of enjoying music are many. In infancy and even in utero babies are calmed by music. Young children can focus attention and complete a task while listening to a song. They can wind down with…

  • March 2021

    Pandemic Parenting

    Pandemic Parenting And the Power of Perspective By Erin Beck Maver Sometimes, when I deliver life lessons to my kids I think I’m partly delivering that lesson to myself. Today was one of those days. Somewhere during the course of my life I was presented with this analogy, and it really stuck with me and made an impact. I’ll attempt to summarize: Imagine you’re sitting at a table with three other people, each occupying a space that corresponds to “North”, “East”, “South”, and “West”, on a compass rose. From your perspective, sitting in the “North” position, you see the number “3” written on a piece of paper. Sitting to your…

  • March 2021

    The Future 2035

    What Will Santa Cruz Look Like in 2035? If You Have a Baby Now, Here’s What Their Future Will Be by Jeanette Prather With all the question marks that came along with 2020 – and, let’s be honest, 2021 so far – it might be ambitious to try and tackle what the world has in store for the coming decades. But let’s indulge this topic for the sake of our future generations, anyway! What might the world look like in 2035, for instance, for a child born now?“We hope that the culture of our community in 2035 is a vibrant town square of open communication and critical thinking, fueled by…

  • Father and daughter lying on bed and talking
    February 2021

    Kids, Politics, and the Pandemic

    What to Tell Kids About Politics and Pandemic? Contributed First and foremost, experts agree that parents need to be open with kids about what is happening, while being conscious of what the child is capable of handling emotionally and intellectually. The dual stresses of political chaos and a prolonged pandemic challenge all of us. The complexity of guiding children through these difficult times can be overwhelming. But there are simple strategies that can help parents and caregivers help children — and themselves — appropriately discuss and understand current events while being mindful of their feelings. First and foremost, experts agree that parents need to be open with kids about what…

  • November 2020

    Crazy Decisions

    Crazy Decisions in a Crazy Time Can stressed parents also take care of themselves? By Jeanette Prather  What’s overly emphasized during this pandemic is the in-person versus distance learning decisions that parents are faced with, especially as childcare facilities and private schools open (or have been open), and public schools remain closed. It’s been stated and seems to be the first, sometimes the only, topic of critical decision-making among parents, but what about everything else that we are giving up (i.e. loss of wages, personal time, orderly home, quality family time, etc.) to host not just distance learning but the continuing pandemic, SIP orders, and everything in between? “We make…

  • November 2020

    Favorite Podcasts for Kids

    Favorite Podcasts for Kids by Krista Tankoano I’ll admit we are a little late to the wonderful world of podcasts but during this time of staying home, we have discovered some amazing ones. The list below includes our family’s current favorite podcasts for kids.Aside from the story and educational side of the podcasts, they have also become something that we can do together or alone when we just need a little downtime. We listen to them in the morning before school, while building LEGO, at lunchtime, during bath time, and sometimes for bedtime when I am just a little too tired to read. Half of the time when we are…

  • October 2020

    Giving Birth in a COVID World

    Giving Birth ina COVID World By Jeanette Prather To avoid Covid-ravished American hospitals, multiple news outlets, medical professionals, and online databases have reported a surge in home births amid a questionable medical future, especially in the beginning of this pandemic. “Mostly the conversations [with expecting parents] have been limited to how to switch to home birth in order to avoid the hospital setting during Covid,” said one local furloughed doula, mother, and Childbirth Educator for Sutter Health, Kaili Reynolds. “They’re upset that doulas aren’t allowed at their births and they feel like more professionals can provide the continuous support they know they need in the home setting.” Reynolds, who mentioned…

  • October 2020

    Empowering Our Kids

    Empowering Our Kids When we’re having trouble empowering ourselves! By Suki Wessling These are tough times to be a human on earth. And parenting magnifies all of our challenges. Not only do we have to figure out how to get ourselves through pandemic, fire, and corrosive politics—we’ve got our kids to think of as well. If you’ve found yourself descending into despair for the future, you’re not alone. Santa Cruz County is a hard place to be right now if you aren’t the world’s most stubborn optimist. But parents have the responsibility to raise kids who will be ready to tackle the problems they’re faced with. And that means our…

  • September 2020

    Left Behind

    Think this Generation will be Left Behind? Think Again. By Suki Wessling I keep hearing the same thing over and over: Our kids are going to have “gaps.” They’re going to be “left behind.” Permanently scarred. Unable to have a “normal” college education. And it makes me wonder: are we really so entitled that we think a little pandemic can keep our kids down? Here’s a thought exercise:Remember the holocaust generation.Think about what it was like for Jewish kids in Europe. A few common experiences included being hounded by the police, hiding for months or years in basements and attics, being forced into concentration camps, fleeing in the trunks of…