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FAMILY   -   FAMILY FEATURES
Family Time
December, 2018 - Issue #171
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

When it Comes to Kids' Dental Care, Use it or Lose It
It can cost, on average, $250 to $600 to fill a child's cavity; if they have multiple, that total can add up to big bucks quickly. Luckily, many SCV kids are covered by their parent's dental insurance plan, which traditionally allots a set dollar amount of coverage each year.

The problem? Parents aren't often great about scheduling twice-annual checkups - or making return follow up visits.
This doesn't just bode badly for a child's dental health, it can make for costly concerns, too. Skipping cleanings and fluoride treatments increases the likelihood that your child will accrue more dental damage - like cavities, abscesses, impacted teeth and more - that levy a cost in pain, time and monetary loss. Skip out on a follow up visit? That tiny cavity that just needed a dot of composite filling material a few months ago now needs to be numbed, drilled and filled because it grew worse without care.
Most dental insurance plan costs are deducted from Mom's or Dad's paycheck; it's sometimes hard to even notice it's gone. But you will notice that those funds you already paid for haven't rolled over when it's time to book a "baby root canal" that exceeds your annual insurance allotment - and all because you didn't take care of the problem when it was minor.

The fast fix to all of this? Use up your dental insurance plan fund allotment - that's what it's there for - and don't skimp on preventative care. You'll save yourself money - and your child a whole lot of discomfort. Plans roll over January 1, 2019 - so book your appointments today.
Santa Clarita Children's Dental 735-1500

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"Enrolling my kids at SCSOPA was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was looking for someone to help my daughter Jolene with her pageantry. A friend whose daughter that was also in the pageant told us about SCSOPA. Me, my husband and our three kids went to their open house and met Mike and his staff - we even got a chance to meet some of the kids! Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. We were very pleased to see the variety of classes this school provides. Jolene was able to get the help we were looking for and much more. My kids are currently a part of their unlimited program and have gotten the opportunity to meet with different agents on a regular basis. In less than a year, Jolene was signed by an agent and has been going to endless auditions and booking jobs. I have seen so much growth in my daughter's skills and talent. But the biggest change I noticed is how much more confident she is. My husband and I are looking forward to what the future holds for her. We highly recommend SCSOPA. Thank you Santa Clarita School of Performing Arts for all that you have done for my children!" Anita Matamoros

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courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
How to Prepare Children for Winter Rides
One of the most magical times of year to trail ride with the family is late fall and winter. The air is crisp, the sky is bright blue and the quiet is a calm escape from the holiday madness you get to temporarily leave behind. It's an incredible opportunity to refocus your children - help them break them away from screen addictions, peer pressures, toy commercials and reconnect with themselves, their family and the natural world. A comfortable kid is a trail-confident kid. Consider the following before you head out for the day.

Dress in layers. Chilly breezes pick up on otherwise temperate days - and the sun usually comes out when it's cloudy. Be ready so they stay comfortable and, of course, don't forget the closed-toed shoes and long pants - even when it's warm.

Apply sunscreen. Yes, even in winter! Hats aren't a bad idea, either.

Talk about what to expect. Watch trail-riding videos on YouTube and share your own excitement about being out in nature on the back of a horse.
Don-E-Brook Farms 296-9995

courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
Life is Hard
by Mary Tan

It's barely 8:30am on a Friday and I can already hear my two daughters' play quickly morph into a fight. I stay in my zone doing my own thing, but within seconds the 3 year old bursts into my office, reporting the offenses of her big sis.

"Mommy, Ari hit me on the wrist." I listened with a quiet giggle in my heart. Externally, I offered no reaction. Then big sis, who's 6 years old, comes through the same door. "Yeah, but Gigi hit me first." With so much disappointment and frustration in her voice she points and shouts, "I hate being a big sister. It is so hard!"
I listened with empathy and took a moment to pause. Then, what I said next disarmed her completely. "Yes, it is hard to be a big sister. It's also hard to be a mom, a dad and even a little sister. It's all hard. You have to decide what you want to do about that, though. Do you want to stay in the pit and feel sad about it? Or do you want to make the most out of it and find a way to feel better?"

She breathed that in, nodded and walked away. Within minutes they were playing a new game together. It's not always that easy, but the repetition of the message pays off over time.
In all fairness, it is hard.

My first born used to get all the attention, cuddles and hugs, 100 percent of the time. It's understandable; now sharing it with a sibling seems highly unfair. But rather than negate her feelings and simply focus on the positive, or blame her for knowing better as an older sibling, I allowed her the experience. And - without my resistance to complaints - she felt acknowledged, accepted and loved unconditionally.

If only we felt that way when we were children. In that acknowledgement is the freedom to let it go. She didn't find the need to fight for her position or defend her point. Yup, it's hard sometimes. So, what's next? Allowing them to discover those answers will strengthen their resiliency in dealing with perceived hurts and life's many disappointments.
Mary Tan is a speaker, coach and author of "The Empowered Child," published by Morgan James NY, now available on Amazon. She lives with her two little girls, husband and dwarf bunnies in Valencia.
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