January 2016 is Positive Parenting Awareness Month in Santa Cruz County

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The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed January 2016 as Positive Parenting Awareness Month, First 5 Santa Cruz County, which manages the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, announced.

The proclamation notes that, while parenting is very rewarding and enjoyable, it can also be challenging and exhausting, and yet it is often the most important role an adult will play. Families come in many forms, and parenting is provided by parents, grandparents, foster parents, family members and other caregivers. Positive parenting helps parents and caregivers develop warm, nurturing relationships with their children, become more confident as parents and ensure greater well-being for their families.

Unfortunately, not all children have the same opportunity to thrive. A growing body of research indicates the absence of positive parenting puts children at greater risk for developing physical, mental, emotional, behavioral and learning problems throughout life. Although learning to cope with stress and hardships is an important and unavoidable part of every childhood, repeated or prolonged exposure to “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (or ACEs) – such as physical or emotional abuse, chronic neglect, a caregiver’s mental illness or substance abuse, a parent in prison, exposure to family violence, or the accumulated effects of poverty – can disrupt children’s developing brains and impair lifelong health and well-being.

The good news is that positive parenting helps children develop healthy responses to “normal” levels of stress and provides a buffer that can prevent or minimize the harmful effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences. As noted in the proclamation, “in Santa Cruz County, families can take advantage of various positive parenting programs, such as the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, an evidence-based program offered in English and Spanish by many organizations and individuals throughout the county, thanks to a partnership between First 5 Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (via the Mental Health Services Act) and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department.” Triple P is available for families with children from birth – 16 years old, including children with special needs.

Since the launch of Triple P in Santa Cruz County in 2010, more than 10,000 parents and children in Santa Cruz County have benefited from services. The positive outcomes for parents who participate are significant.

  • The majority of parents receiving in-depth support report improvements in their children’s behaviors (80%), their parenting styles (77%), and their levels of stress (63%);
  • Improvements are even greater among parents who report more significant parenting challenges at the start of the Triple P program. By the end of the program, 92% of parents report improvements in their children’s behaviors, 82% report improvements in their parenting styles, and 90% report a decrease in their stress.
  • 95 percent of participants in a recent phone survey report they continue using Triple P parenting strategies after completing the program.

As part of Positive Parenting Awareness Month, Triple P will sponsor five Kids Dunk contests at Santa Cruz Warriors games in January: D-League Showcase games on Jan 8 and 9, and regular-season games on Jan. 20, 22 and 23.

Partners in the Triple P Santa Cruz County collaborative also will offer numerous parenting classes and events in January, including:

 

EVENTS

Triple P Parent Education Open House

Hosted by La Manzana Community Resources

Jan. 21, 2-4 p.m., 521 Main St., Watsonville (in outdoor courtyard)

Stop by for food, games and a chance to win prizes! Meet La Manzana’s Triple P practitioners, sign up for a Triple P class or one-on-one services, and learn about other organizations that support children and families.

Triple P at Toys R Us

Hosted by Mountain Community Resources

Jan. 16, 1-3 p.m., 1660 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz (inside the store)

Stop by for a chance to win prizes! Meet Mountain Community Resources’ Triple P practitioners, learn more about the Triple P program, pick up a Parenting Pocket Guide, and sign up for a Triple P class or one-on-one services.

 

Classes in English

Triple P Seminar: The Power of Positive Parenting

Jan. 6, 6-8 p.m., Vine Hill Elementary School, 151 Vine Hill School Road, Scotts Valley

This is a free, introductory seminar to the Triple P parenting model. Participants will learn how to create safe, interesting environments for children; provide positive learning environments for children; use assertive discipline; and more. This seminar is offered by Mountain Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges.

Triple P Seminar: Raising Confident, Competent Children

Jan. 13, 6-8 p.m., Vine Hill Elementary School, 151 Vine Hill School Road, Scotts Valley

This free parenting seminar covers social, emotional and communication skills that children need in order to thrive at home, in school and throughout life. This seminar is offered by Mountain Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges.

Lifestyle Group: Improving Children’s Nutrition & Physical Activity Through Positive Parenting

Thursdays, Jan. 14 to April 28, 1-2:30 p.m., Dominican Rehabilitation Center, 1st Floor Conference Room, 610 Frederick St., Santa Cruz

Lifestyle Triple P teaches families positive parenting strategies to increase children’s healthy eating and physical activity. This in-depth Lifestyle Group teaches parents: how an unhealthy body size can affect children’s physical, social and emotional health and development; guidelines for healthy eating and physical activity; how to make healthier food choices; how to increase children’s active play time and decrease screen time; and strategies to make positive lifestyle changes as a family. This free group, led by Christina O’Halloran, LCSW, is offered by Stanford Children’s Health.

Stepping Stones Brief Group: Adapting & Thriving as a Family When Your Child Has Special Needs

Thursdays, Jan. 14- Feb. 4, 6-8 p.m., Imagine Supportive Living Services, 9065 Soquel Drive, Aptos

Stepping Stones Triple P offers parenting support for families with children with special needs, such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome and other developmental delays. Participants in this Stepping Stones Brief Group will learn tips and strategies to: Build family strengths and resources for raising a child with a disability; Understand the effects of stress on parents and children, and get tips for coping with stress; Identify ways to work as a team; and Understand how to support the unique needs of siblings of children with special needs. This four-week group is offered by Easter Seals Central California.

Triple P Workshop: Problems at Meal Time

Jan. 20, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mountain Community Resources, 6134 Hwy. 9, Felton

This free parenting workshop provides tips and guidance about: why children may have problems with mealtime; how to avoid problems at meals and encourage your child develop healthy eating habits; and tips for creating positive mealtime routines in your family. This free workshop is offered by Mountain Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges.

Triple P Seminar: Raising Resilient Children

Jan. 20, 6-8 p.m., Vine Hill Elementary School, 151 Vine Hill School Road, Scotts Valley

This free seminar provides tips for helping children develop important social-emotional skills, such as: Recognizing and expressing emotions in healthy ways; Developing confidence and optimism; and Coping with difficult emotions and stressful situations. This seminar is offered by Mountain Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges.

Stepping Stones Triple P Workshop for Families with Children with Special Needs: Preventing Whining & Tantrums

Jan. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room, 155 Center St., Santa Cruz

This workshop provides parenting tips and guidance for families who have children with special needs. Attend this free workshop to learn: Common reasons why children with special needs whine and have tantrums; How to encourage child to communicate without whining; How to prevent tantrums and encourage positive behavior. This workshop is offered by Special Parents Information Network (SPIN).

Triple P Workshop: The Joys & Challenges of Being a Parent

Jan. 27, 7-8 p.m., Toys R Us, 1600 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz

Participants will learn: Common “parenting traps” that create stress for parents and children; Tips for making parenting easier and more enjoyable; How to get additional support when parenting becomes stressful and overwhelming. This free workshop will be led by Dr. Heather Thomsen, PhD.

Triple P Workshop: Encouraging Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Jan. 28, 6-7:30 p.m., La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite E, Watsonville

Participants will learn: why it is important for children to develop healthy self-esteem; how to encourage healthy self-esteem in children; and tools to help children cope with feelings and solve problems. This workshop is offered by La Manzana Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges.

 

Bilingual (English and Spanish) Classes:

Triple P Seminar: Raising Resilient Children

Jan. 14, 6-7:30 p.m., Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery, 1855 41st Ave., Capitola (inside the Capitola Mall)

Participants will learn tips for helping children develop important social-emotional skills, such as: Recognizing and expressing emotions in healthy ways; Developing confidence and optimism; and Coping with difficult emotions and stressful situations. This Triple P Seminar is offered in partnership with the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery, and is FREE for Museum members and $5 for non-members. The Seminar will be conducted in English by Dr. Heather Thomsen, PhD and in Spanish by Lourdes Barraza, PsyD.

 

Classes in Spanish

Triple P Workshop: The Power of Self-Esteem

Jan. 14, 6-7:30 p.m., La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite E, Watsonville

Participants will learn: why it is important for children to develop healthy self-esteem; how to encourage healthy self-esteem in children; and tools to help children cope with feelings and solve problems. This workshop is offered by La Manzana Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges.

Triple P 8-Week Group for Families with Children 2-12 years old

Tuesdays, Jan. 19 to March 8, 6-8 p.m., La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite E, Watsonville

This free group provides in-depth parenting information and assistance for families with children 2-12 years old. Participants will learn strategies to strengthen family relationships; encourage and teach children new skills and positive behaviors; handle disruptive or challenging behaviors with greater confidence; and take care of themselves as parents. This class meets Tuesdays for eight weeks and is offered by La Manzana Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges.

 

About Triple P

The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is a world-renowned program available to families in Santa Cruz County who have children ages birth to 16, including children with special needs. Backed by more than 30 years of international, scientific research, Triple P offers families proven strategies for strengthening relationships with their children and for preventing or managing a full range of parenting challenges. The program is available to all families in Santa Cruz County through a partnership between First 5 Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department. For more, visit http://triplep.first5scc.org or facebook.com/triplepscc.

 

About First 5 Santa Cruz County

First 5 Santa Cruz County invests in health, early learning and family support to promote the well-being of children. A growing body of scientific evidence points to the economic and societal impacts of investing in the early years. First 5 Santa Cruz County is dedicated to giving children the opportunities they need to reach their full potential. First 5 Santa Cruz County was established by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in December 1998 by urgency ordinance to ensure that family-friendly services and education are available, so that each child reaches the fifth year of life healthy, ready and able to learn, and emotionally well developed. We are committed to involving community members, as well as professionals working with young children and their families. For more information, visit www.first5scc.org.

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