Positive Parenting

Parents have an important job. Raising kids is both rewarding and challenging. You’re likely to get a lot of advice along the way, from doctors, family, friends, and even strangers. But every parent and child is unique. Being sensitive and responsive to your kids can help you build positive, healthy relationships together.

“Being a sensitive parent and responding to your kids cuts across all areas of parenting,” says Arizona State University’s Dr. Keith Crnic, a parent-child relationship expert. “What it means is recognizing what your child needs in the moment and providing that in an effective way.” This can be especially critical for infants and toddlers, he adds. Strong emotional bonds often develop through sensitive, responsive, and consistent parenting in the first years of life. For instance, holding your baby lovingly and responding to their cries helps build strong bonds.

Building Bonds
Strong emotional bonds help children learn how to manage their own feelings and behaviors and develop self-confidence. They help create a safe base from which they can explore, learn, and relate to others.
Experts call this type of strong connection between children and their caregivers “secure attachment.” Securely attached children are more likely to be able to cope with challenges like poverty, family instability, parental stress, and depression.

A recent analysis shows that about 6 out of 10 children in the U.S. develop secure attachments to their parents. The 4 out of 10 kids who lack such bonds may avoid their parents when they are upset or resist their parents if they cause them more distress. Studies suggest that this can make kids more prone to serious behavior problems. Researchers have been testing programs to help parents develop behaviors that encourage secure attachment.

Being Available
Modern life is full of things that can influence your ability to be sensitive and responsive to your child. These include competing priorities, extra work, lack of sleep, and things like mobile devices. Some experts are concerned about the effects that distracted parenting may have on emotional bonding and children’s language development, social interaction, and safety.

If parents are inconsistently available, kids can get distressed and feel hurt, rejected, or ignored. They may have more emotional outbursts and feel alone. They may even stop trying to compete for their parent’s attention and start to lose emotional connections to their parents.

“There are times when kids really do need your attention and want your recognition,” Crnic explains. Parents need to communicate that their kids are valuable and important, and children need to know that parents care what they’re doing, he says.

It can be tough to respond with sensitivity during tantrums, arguments, or other challenging times with your kids. “If parents respond by being irritable or aggressive themselves, children can mimic that behavior, and a negative cycle then continues to escalate,” explains Dr. Carol Metzler, who studies parenting at the Oregon Research Institute.

According to Crnic, kids start to regulate their own emotions and behavior around age three. Up until then, they depend more on you to help them regulate their emotions, whether to calm them or help get them excited. “They’re watching you to see how you do it and listening to how you talk to them about it,” he explains. “Parents need to be good self-regulators. You’re not only trying to regulate your own emotions in the moment, but helping your child learn to manage their emotions and behavior.”

As kids become better at managing their feelings and behavior, it’s important to help them develop coping skills, like active problem solving. Such skills can help them feel confident in handling what comes their way.
“When parents engage positively with their children, teaching them the behaviors and skills that they need to cope with the world, children learn to follow rules and regulate their own feelings,” Metzler says.

“As parents, we try really hard to protect our kids from the experience of bad things,” Crnic explains. “But if you protect them all the time and they are not in situations where they deal with difficult or adverse circumstances, they aren’t able to develop healthy coping skills.”

He encourages you to allow your kids to have more of those experiences and then help them learn how to solve the problems that emerge. Talk through the situation and their feelings. Then work with them to find solutions to put into practice. 
Meeting Needs
As children grow up, it’s important to remember that giving them what they need doesn’t mean giving them everything they want. “These two things are very different,” Crnic explains. “Really hone in on exactly what’s going on with your kid in the moment. This is an incredibly important parenting skill and it’s linked to so many great outcomes for kids.”

Think about where a child is in life and what skills they need to learn at that time. Perhaps they need help managing emotions, learning how to behave in a certain situation, thinking through a new task, or relating to friends.

“You want to help kids become confident,” Crnic says. “You don’t want to aim too high where they can’t get there or too low where they have already mastered the skill.” Another way to boost confidence while strengthening your relationship is to let your kid take the lead.

“Make some time to spend with your child that isn’t highly directive, where your child leads the play,” advises Dr. John Bates, who studies children’s behavior problems at Indiana University Bloomington. “Kids come to expect it and they love it, and it really improves the relationship.”

Bates also encourages parents to focus on their child’s actual needs instead of sticking to any specific parenting principles.

It’s never too late to start building a healthier, more positive relationship with your child, even if things have gotten strained and stressful. “Most importantly, make sure that your child knows that you love them and are on their side,” Metzler says. “For older children, let them know that you are genuinely committed to building a stronger relationship with them and helping them be successful.”

By being a sensitive and responsive parent, you can help set your kids on a positive path, teach them self-control, reduce the likelihood of troublesome behaviors, and build a warm, caring parent-child relationship.

Tips for Connecting with Your Kids
-Catch kids showing good behavior and offer specific praise.
-Give children meaningful jobs at home and positive recognition afterward. Don’t be overly critical; instead, help them improve their skills one step at a time.
-Use kind words, tones, and gestures when giving instructions or making requests. 
-Spend some time every day in warm, positive, loving interaction with your kids. Look for opportunities to spend time as a family, like taking after-dinner walks or reading books together.
-Brainstorm solutions to problems at home or school together.
-Set rules for yourself for mobile device use and other distractions. For instance, check your phone after your child goes to bed.
-Ask about your child’s concerns, worries, goals, and ideas.
-Participate in activities that your child enjoys. Help out with and attend their events, games, activities, and performances.

Written by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D.

White Oak Accepting Summer Camp Applications

2017-white-oak-spring-camp

This summer, students will embark on a global journey into conservation! Each day they will learn about threats to nature on a different continent, connecting to not only animals – but people and places as well. This STEM camp will put them up close to wildlife, science and leading experts in conservation! 

The adventure begins on Sundays when campers arrive for their week-long experience. During the week, campers will spend time in our conservation center, veterinary clinic, and our world-class conference center. In addition to learning about wildlife, they will engage in classic camp activities such as boating, hiking, swimming, bowling and so much more. Campers depart on Friday evening after our parent event that tops off their week. 

Your student will leave camp with critical thinking and leadership skills that will enhance their ability to make decisions that benefit people and wildlife worldwide. While at White Oak, they will gain independence and make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime! 

To learn more, visit our website at www.whiteoakwildlife.org/summer-camp/ to watch a camp video, read the camp FAQs and start your application today. 

Preference for camp spaces will be given to:
-Applications submitted by March 30
-Camp alumni and their siblings
-Families that were on the 2016 camp wait list
-Students attending White Oak Education Partner Schools

Residential Week-Long Camps: $1100
Sessions begin the week of May 28 and end the first week of August!

Two New Support Groups Offered FREE To Local Residents

Are you or someone you know in need of support to be successful in your recovery? Have you or someone you know recently lost a loved one and in need of comfort and support? Not sure where to turn or how to get help?

Beginning January 23, Nassau Alcohol Crime Drug Abatement Coalition (NACDAC) will be offering two new support groups for community members.

“Relapse Prevention” is a FREE support group being offered to individuals in recovery from any type of addiction. The group’s goal is to harbor a safe, confidential environment where one can gain support and skills to be successful in recovery and provide networking opportunities for continued future support.

“Living With Loss” is a FREE support group offered to anyone who has lost a loved one and needs a safe place for comfort and support. The group is designed to assist participants with healing methods, self-awareness exercises and give a sense of connectedness to others.

For more information, please contact Kerrie Albert, NACDAC Director of Prevention Services at (904) 277-3699 or email kerriealbert@nacdac.com.

NYT Best Selling Author Comes to Amelia Island’s Book Loft

book-signing-karen-white

We are thrilled to share that New York Times bestselling author Karen White is coming to the Book Loft on Amelia Island to promote the beloved Tradd Street Series, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY (Berkley Hardcover; January 10, 2017; 9780451475237). White is the author of twenty previous novels, including Flight Patterns and The Forgotten Room which was an instant New York Times bestseller.

White has always been charmed by the brick-walked streets of Charleston, its beautiful architecture and its rich history. So, when it came time for White to write a series about complicated characters with a side of spooky lore, she knew just where to set it. And so began the story of Melanie Middleton, a Charleston realtor with a special gift, in The House on Tradd Street. THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY picks up on the picturesque streets of Charleston after Melanie has given birth to twins, and is married to the love of her life, Jack Trenholm. Melanie’s maternity leave has reached its end and she is less than thrilled to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end, and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for over a year are about to invade her life once more. But, Melanie’s return to the realty office goes better than expected, with a new client eager to sell her recently inherited home on South Battery. Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits have started to appear to her again. And while she knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past, some secrets refuse to stay buried. THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY is the perfect addition to the Tradd Street series, reuniting fans with their quirky doughnut-loving, schedule-obsessed heroine.

Certain to delight long-time fans of the series, and easy to jump into for newcomers, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY is another winner from the “ultimate voice of women’s fiction” (Fresh Fiction).

Karen White will be speaking at The Book Loft located at 214 Centre Street from 12:30 until 2 p.m. on January 20, 2017. Dessert and tea will be served.

Charming and complex living characters, combined with unsettled ghosts that balance uncanny creepiness with very human motivations, keep this story warm, real, and exciting.” – Publishers Weekly

White’s latest will keep you in its grip from first page to last.” – RT Reviews

A book with the right combination of chills, thrills and romance.” – Huffington Postkaren-white-books

Responsible Beverage Server Training For Bartenders, Servers and Cashiers

Are you or your employees in the hospitality business? Do you operate a liquor or package store? Then this is important training for you and/or your employees and it’s FREE!

This two-hour course helps to develop practical ways retail establishments can prevent sales to minors and intoxicated persons.

The training is sponsored by the Nassau Alcohol Crime Drug Abatement Coalition (NACDAC) and the Fernandina Beach Police Department. Classes will be held at the Fernandina Beach Police Department Community Room, 1525 Lime Street, Fernandina Beach.

Two different training times are available for owners, managers, and employees of bars and restaurants on January 24; choose from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For owners, managers, and employees of package stores and/or gas stations, training is being offered on January 25; choose from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please call (904) 994-2502.

To register, contact Suzanne Bass, Fernandina Beach Police Department at (904) 277-7342 ext. 224 or email sbass@fbfl.org to ensure availability for the scheduled training dates.

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Opens The Lobby Bar Christmas Eve

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island hopes you will experience The Lobby Bar inspired by bourbon legends, featuring small batch spirits and craft cocktails. Theater and cocktail craft meld together with personal tableside infusions and lite bites, including freshly prepared sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls.

The Lobby Bar is open daily at 12 p.m. – a cocktail experience like no other.

NEW TRADITIONS
Experience First Call when The Lobby Bar mixologist introduces the day’s small batch, house-infused spirit. The First Call infusion is available as craft cocktail until that day’s spirit is sold out.

Reserve the Legends Table, a private banquette with a personalized cocktail menu that includes a small batch tasting flight, signature cocktail, sushi presentation and rare spirits.

Request the Reserve Menu including the exclusive Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. Advance reservations are required through Leisure Reservations, 904-277-1087.

FRESH SUSHI, SASHIMI AND SPECIALTY ROLLS
Their sushi chefs prepare delectable sushi, sashimi and artful sushi rolls made with the freshest seafood available. House specialties include the Amelia roll with shrimp tempura and spicy tuna and lobster and scallop crudo.

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE LOBBY BAR
Celebrate the New Year with a Gatsby themed party on New Year’s Eve in The Lobby Bar. Experience infused drinks, artful cocktails and the sushi bar. The night includes a DJ, complimentary champagne toast, party favors and fireworks. Dress in Gatsby-style clothing and enter the costume contest.

No cover charge, reservations not required.

RESTAURANT WEEK FINALE: A BOURBON AFFAIR
On January 28th, Amelia Island’s Restaurant Week concludes with A Bourbon Affair event at The Lobby Bar. Sample small batch and house-infused bourbons and craft-cocktails while enjoying small plates from our fresh sushi and sashimi menu. The evening includes select wines and hors d’oeuvres, plus presentations from visiting mixologists, cigar roller and a glassblower with live demonstrations.

For reservations call 904-277-1087.

AFTER DINNER DELIGHTS IN THE LOBBY BAR
End your evening at The Lobby Bar for after dinner specialty drinks, house-made desserts, fine ports and cigars.

FEATURED AFTER DINNER DRINKS
Salted Caramel Martini, a decadent martini with Absolut Vanilla, silky White Chocolate Godiva and salted caramel syrup. Espresso Martini, a combination of vanilla infused vodka, White Chocolate Godiva, espresso and Baileys Irish Cream blend together to create the perfect dessert martini.

CORDIALS AND PORTS
You will find a variety of cordials that include everything from Hennessy to Louis XIII de Remy Martin to Baileys and Grand Marnier. Enjoy an after dinner port from a selection including Graham’s 1980, Cockburn’s Reserve and Warre’s 1985.

CIGARS
The Lobby Bar offers a variety of fine cigars; their selection includes: The Classic Churchill, a medium bodied cigar with a light, creamy and nutty flavor. The Davidoff Millenium Blend Toro, a full flavored cigar with notes of chocolate, caramel and a little spice.

If you’ve worked up an appetite, The Lobby Bar offers sushi and sashimi until 10 p.m

Amelia Island Prepping for Ninth Annual Restaurant Week

Amelia Island, FL – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island will host its ninth annual Restaurant Week, Jan. 20-29. The 10-day culinary showcase will feature culinary events and fixed lunch and dinner menus at a wide selection of the island’s most popular and award-winning dining establishments. The lunch option is $12 per person and includes an entrée, side and a non-alcoholic beverage, while the dinner option (priced at either $21 or $31 per person) includes three courses and a beverage. Menus, restaurant listings, special event information and discounted hotel packages can be found online at www.ameliaisland.com/yummy.

“Restaurant Week has become one of our most anticipated annual events and is the perfect time for hungry visitors and locals try some of the island’s new culinary hotspots and enjoy their old favorites,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This Restaurant Week will include several new tours, cooking classes and other events we’ve added to the menu.”

Among the new 2017 Amelia Island Restaurant Week special events is the “Distillers Dinner” on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, a playful reflection of clear, blonde and brown spirits to kick-off the week. Executive Chef Daven Wardynski and his culinary team will highlight the distillation process of each spirit and how it relates to flavors of our island in the winter. The four-course dinner will focus on Vodka, Gin, Whiskey and Rum, each course mindfully paired with a cocktail. Tickets for the dinner are $100 and available by calling 904-432-1467.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island will wrap up Restaurant Week with “A Bourbon Affair,” a craft cocktail event at the Lobby Bar, celebrating specialty spirits. Starting at 7:30 p.m., guests will sample small-batch and house-infused bourbons, whiskeys and craft cocktails while enjoying small plate selections of fresh sushi and sashimi. The evening includes select wines and hors d’ oeuvres, as well as presentations from visiting Mixologist Bob Peters and The Ritz-Carlton’s Head Mixologist Johnny Love. Additional tableside infusions and flights of select bourbons, scotches and sakes will be available. Tickets are available for $125 per person by calling 904-277-1087.

Available again this year is a Mixology Tour with Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours. With available dates throughout January, the tour includes stops at four local bars. At each stop, guests will learn about the bar’s history and enjoy a specially prepared cocktail. Tickets are available for $45 per person by calling 904-330-5746.

During Restaurant Week, aspiring chefs can attend cooking classes hosted by the Amelia Island Culinary Academy. Available themed classes include Parisian Café, Hands-On Pasta Making, a Farmer’s Market Tour & Class, as well as a Children’s Pasta Camp, ideal for a parents’ night out. For information, please call (904) 515-6863.

Nearly 30 of the island’s most popular restaurants are participating in the 2017 Amelia Island Restaurant Week, providing fixed menus for either lunch, dinner or both. The list of participating restaurants currently includes:

29 South Eats Gilberts Underground Kitchen Marina Seafood Restaurant
Bar Zin Hola Cuban Café Oceanside
Brett’s Waterway Café Horizons The Patio Place
Burlingame Restaurant Jack & Diane’s Café Pi Infinite Combinations
Cafe Karibo Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro The Salty Pelican
Ciao Bistro La Mancha Restaurant The Surf Restaurant & Bar
Coast at The Ritz-Carlton Le Clos of Amelia Island Verandah
Crab Trap Lechonera El Coqui Cucina South Italian Bistro
Lucas on Centre España Restaurant & Tapas Lulus

For a complete listing of menus, participating restaurants, special event information and discounted hotel packages, visit www.ameliaisland.com/yummy.

Santa Fe on Foot at The Book Loft

Santa Fe on Foot at The Book LoftPlanning a get away to New Mexico? Dreaming of Santa Fe? The Book Loft is excited to host author Elaine Pinkerton on Friday December 2, 2016, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Pinkerton will be reading from her book Santa Fe on Foot and answering questions.

The Book Loft is located in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, at 214 Centre Street.

For more information, please call them at (904) 261-8991.

Deep Frying a Turkey – Video Revisited

Deep Frying a Turkey - Video RevisitedThis was such a popular video when posted several years ago, and because I have had so many friends ask me, “How do you deep fry a turkey?” I thought this would be a great time to re-publish the original article.

Supplies:

    -Gas heat source.
    -An oversized pot large enough to hold a 10 to 16 pound turkey.
    -Turkey frying tools (see video)
    -3 to 4 Gallons of peanut oil
    -Meat thermometer Read more

First Aid for High Risk Writing

Excellent editing may do more than save your book from the dust bin. It carries the possibility of projecting your work to first-class acclaim. On November 17, at 6:00 p.m., all local writers are invited to join in as Writers by the Sea presents First Aid for High Risk Writing, by Heather Whitaker. Her approach to the editing process is not limited to improving your manuscript and increasing its chances of success, she also helps her clients become better writers along the way.

Beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the Amelia Island Museum of History, announcements and introductions will be facilitated by Donna Jennings, whose newly-released book will also be available to look at.

BIO: Heather Whitaker is a developmental editor and writing coach specializing in novels and memoirs, including children’s literature, adult literary, and adult genre fiction. She has worked with over 150 writers across the nation, from budding novelists to award-winning and NYT best-selling authors, Julianna Baggott (The PURE trilogy), J.C.Quinn (THE INFINITY OF YOU & ME), Jon Jefferson (CUT TO THE BONE, THE BREAKING POINT), and Laura Lascarso (COUNTING BACKWARDS, RACING HEARTS). In addition to manuscript editing, Heather leads ongoing writers groups and teaches writing classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at FSU.

Learn more about her at www.heatherwhitaker.com

Comedian Amy Beckham’s Take on Election 2016

Just in time for Election 2016, local Comedian Amy Beckham offered her poetic take on the presidential candidates.

Amy Beckham is the optometrist at the Yulee Mall, better known as the Super Walmart. Most of the people I know use her as their eye doctor, including my entire family, BUT – did you know she is also a stand-up comedian? I had the pleasure of catching her show at the Amelia Musical Playhouse theatre on Amelia Island Saturday evening, and she gave me permission to film and share a portion of that show… this 3 1/2 minute take on Election 2016 is sure to put a smile on your face!

To learn more about Amy, please visit: AmyBeckham.com

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