Ask Nicole: January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month in Santa Cruz County, with a focus on teens

-By Nicole M. Young, MSW


This month I’m taking a pause from our regular question-and-answer format to recognize January as Positive Parenting Awareness Month in Santa Cruz County. Looking ahead to next month, if you have a parenting question, please email me at triplep@first5scc.org.


Parenting is very rewarding, and it can also be challenging and exhausting. Whether you’re making New Year’s resolutions or just getting ready for another busy year ahead, January is a great time to press the “restart” button and find ways to ease everyday stress and create more meaningful relationships in your family. Positive Parenting Awareness Month, as designated on behalf of the County by Supervisor Neal Coonerty, provides an opportunity to focus on small changes that can make a big difference.


To mark Awareness Month for 2014, the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is offering a new Pocket Guide for Parents of Teens. We are excited to offer this guide because parenting teens presents unique challenges. Teens can do many things for themselves and may not want their parents to be as involved in their daily lives.  Yet this is a critical time for parents to provide support and guidance that will help their teens grow into capable, responsible, independent adults. The new guide was developed to help parents gain confidence, prevent problems before they begin and strengthen relationships with their teens.


A variety of subjects are covered in the new guide. Here’s a sample of what’s covered:

·      Healthy Eating—A busy schedule, pressure from friends and teen-focused marketing of junk food can make it hard for teens to make healthy choices. Tips are provided to help your teen start a healthy habit.

·      Rudeness & Disrespect—There is a fine line between teenage “attitude” that is part of adolescence and disrespect that is hurtful to others or negatively impacts the family. Tips cover how to encourage your teen to be respectful.

·      Anxiety & Depression—Traditional teenage “angst” is common. But sometimes it can be more serious. Tips are included to help your teen deal with emotions.

·      Friends & Peer Relationships—For many teens, relationships with peers are extremely important, yet often complicated and drama-filled. The guide provides tips to help your teen develop healthy relationships with peers.


The new pocket guide complements our guide for parents with children 0-12 years old.  Both pocket guides are free and available at various locations throughout the county, including health clinics, pediatrician offices, schools and First 5 Santa Cruz County.


There are several parenting programs available throughout Santa Cruz County, which is a great thing. Triple P is among the leading programs in the county and is based on more than 30 years of research and development. The goals of the program, centered on positive parenting, are to provide families with tools to build warm and nurturing relationships with their children, develop good communication, encourage positive behaviors and handle challenging behaviors.


Through classes, workshops, one-on-one consultations and tips, the program reaches parents, grandparents and other caregivers with simple and practical strategies that can be easily integrated into daily life.


So if you’ve been thinking about how reduce family stress, want to get closer to your child or have specific challenges you’re looking to address, January is a great month to make a positive change and take advantage of the great parenting resources available to us here in Santa Cruz County. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!


Nicole Young manages Santa Cruz County’s Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, the world’s leading positive parenting program. Scientifically proven, Triple P is made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (Mental Health Services Act) and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department. For more information, including classes and one-on-one meetings to help parents handle everyday parenting challenges, visit triplep.first5scc.org, www.facebook.com/triplepscc or www.youtube.com/triplepsantacruzco. To get a copy of the Triple P Pocket Guide for Parents or find a Triple P class or practitioner, contact First 5 Santa Cruz County at 465-2217 or triplep@first5scc.org.



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