Skip to main content

News & Events

CPI's Newsletter for Parents

Our newsletter for parents provides tips for caregiver who is helping raise children, based on the world-renowned Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Sonoma County at the Child Parent Institute.  If you have a question or idea for a future newsletter, contact Grace Harris, Children and Family Services Director at graceh@calparents.org


Holidays are a special time for many families, but a whirlwind of visitors and activities that disrupt children’s daily lives can add unwanted stress and pressure. Try a few of these positive parenting tips to help everyone – including you – enjoy the hectic holidays.

Saying good-bye is hard for many children and parents, no matter how old they are. Developing routines for separating and reconnecting helps children learn how to handle their feelings about saying good-bye, which helps prepare them to cope with changes and transitions throughout life.

It’s been hard to read and watch the news lately. Three mass shootings within one week. Migrant children in detention camps. Families torn apart after immigration raids. With each “new” story, we feel sad, angry, and heavy with worry. We worry about the safety of our children when mass shootings occur in public places without warning. We worry about what children of undocumented immigrants must feel, not knowing if they’ll see their parents again, or living in constant fear of being separated from their families. Traumatic events like these create emotional scars that last a lifetime, long after the media has moved on to the next big story.

Even children who love school can have a hard time transitioning from summertime to schooltime. Taking small steps now to prepare children for the transition will help them enjoy what’s left of the summer and be ready to start the new school year with a positive attitude and eagerness to learn.

Navigating the ups and downs of friendships is hard for many kids (and adults), especially in the midst of physical and hormonal changes and pressure to project an image of the “perfect life” on social media. With support from caring adults, children and teens can learn important social and emotional skills, like expressing their feelings, staying true to their values, and dealing with disappointment or rejection. Although adolescence eventually ends, the importance of having positive relationships never goes away.

We live in an era where screen time is nearly impossible to avoid, yet it’s our job as parents and caregivers to set limits and help our kids learn to make healthy choices on their own. Kids may think screen time limits are unnecessary or unfair, but our guidance will help them be healthier in the long run.

Many parents wonder and worry about whether they are doing enough or doing the right things for their children. While self-doubt is common, too much of it can keep us from learning and growing. In the end, our children will benefit more from being raised by happy, healthy parents and caregivers than having their days filled with endless activities. At least that’s what I’d like to think Michelle would say.

Quality Time and Talking or Communicating with children and teens are two of the most effective parenting strategies. Using them can help build and maintain strong relationships with children and teens of all ages, and they don’t have to cost anything except your time and imagination.

Teaching kids about valuing and managing money without relying on material things for happiness is essential for their future independence and lifelong well-being.

Teaching children to make healthy choices isn’t always easy, especially when it requires us (the adults) to change our own habits, too. Making lifestyle changes as a family, one step at a time, can make it feel easier and benefits everyone.

Let’s make positive parenting a daily habit and start the new year with a renewed focus on our family relationships and parenting practices. We're in – are you?

There have been many devastating events happening lately, one right after another. Lives and homes have been lost, and it feels as though the tidal wave of tragedies is relentless. It’s emotionally exhausting, and it’s hard not to get weighed down with fear and sadness every time I read the news.

Over the past week, the smoky air and the vivid media coverage from the fires in Butte County and southern California have been stressful for all of us. Smells and images that are reminiscent of last year’s trauma can be “triggers” that can cause a setback in recovery.

Take time to pause and reflect on the things that are going well and make you feel content. When we make thankfulness a daily habit, it can improve our own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Having a baby can be a joyful and stressful experience for many parents. Even when expectant parents feel prepared to have a baby, the reality of frequent crying, diaper changes, and sleepless nights is often overwhelming. For first-time parents, it’s especially hard to understand how much life will change after having a baby until it happens.

As the one-year anniversary of the fires approaches, here are some ideas for nurturing and guiding children who have experienced fire-related loss.

Technology and digital media (web sites, apps, social media, online video games, video streaming, etc.) have become a central part of many people’s lives – for better or worse. This is a good time to do a “digital health check-up” with your kids.

Last October’s fires impacted our entire community. Many people are still recovering from the trauma of losing their homes or businesses. Children who lost their homes are particularly vulnerable, and can greatly benefit from parental guidance and support.

Going back to school can be stressful for many kids, even when they enjoy learning. Starting middle school can be particularly stressful because of changes in the school schedule, academic expectations, friendships, and teenage hormones. Here are some tips to try.

Summertime is meant to be fun and relaxing, yet patching together safe, engaging activities for the entire summer can become another full-time job. A few positive parenting strategies can make summer a fun experience for kids, while minimizing stress for parents and caregivers.

The systemic separation of children from their families is government sanctioned child abuse. As we first learned about the immigration policy being enacted on our southern border, we were concerned. Because we can no longer stand by, we must add our voices to the doctors, clergy, parents, and Americans who are outraged at these actions.

Being a parent is hard work, but that hard work will pay off. Remember that small acts of love and kindness make a big difference, and your presence is the best gift you can give your children.

Parental burnout is a real thing. This is why taking care of yourself is one of the core principles of positive parenting. If it feels foreign to put your needs first, start with something small and do it consistently so that taking care of yourself becomes as natural as breathing air.

Remember three key things when giving praise: 1) Give praise and encouragement every day. 2) Use praise to encourage small efforts that add up to bigger, lasting changes. 3) Praise children’s efforts as well as achievements. Try these ideas, then keep adding to this list!

Maintaining open communication, setting reasonable limits, and teaching teens to accept responsibility for their choices is one of the most important jobs parents and caregivers have. It’s often a thankless job until you realize your child is ready to leave home – and has the skills to thrive.

Whenever I go to the grocery store, I’m reminded of the everyday challenges parents face. I recently overheard a parent say to a screaming child, “Calm down, or we’re leaving the store.” The child continued to scream, and the parent continued to say, “Calm down, or we’re leaving the store.” Five aisles later, the child was still screaming. I empathized with both the parent and

There’s a Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” It makes me think of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program motto, “Small changes, big differences.” Together, both quotes provide a helpful reminder that in this lifelong journey called “parenting,” the greatest growth and change often comes from taking one small step at a time.

I live five minutes away from the beach, and yet I often go months without stepping foot in the sand. Sometimes, the closest I get to the ocean is when I take the back roads instead of the highway to get to or from meetings. It’s ridiculous, especially when I know that many people dream of living near the ocean or travel for hours to spend a day at the beach. And yet every time I get a glimpse of the ocean – or actually make it to the beach – I automatically take a deep breath, say a silent “thank you,” and feel a sense of peace and contentment that had been absent only moments before. It’s little moments like these that remind me how grateful I am for the life I live.

Holidays can be a mixed bag full of love, laughter, joy, stress, anxiety, and full-blown tantrums. And I’m just talking about the adults. Expectations about gifts, traditions and spending time together can make the holidays challenging and overwhelming for many families, even when relationships are harmonious. When relationships between immediate, extended, separated, or blended family members are strained, it requires extra effort to communicate effectively so that children remember the holidays as a special time with family and loved ones.

Our Impact in Sonoma County Last Year

  • Children & Families Helped

    7734

  • Families Benefited from Creative Arts

    1011

  • Counseling Hours Provided

    3,594

  • New Directions Students

    37

© 2019 Child Parent Institute

Powered by Firespring