Family Time
February, 2019 - Issue #173
Brush "Knee to Knee" & it's Hassle Free
Is brushing a battle in your home? With small kids, or children with special needs, brushing can become so stress fueled that it is done hurriedly - or often not at all. Caregivers with unruly or uncooperative littles are encouraged to partner up and use the "knee to knee" technique.
It's simple. Begin by sitting on a chair, facing another seated adult, with knees touching. Position your sweetie on your lap, facing up at you, with their legs wrapped around your waist. Now, decline your cutie, laying them down across your knees, with their head gently cradled on the lap of your partner's. Hold their hands and chat with them as the other adult brushes their teeth.
Kidz Dental Care 388-0499

"My daughter was constantly hounding me about wanting to be on television, so one of my friends referred me to Santa Clarita School of performing Arts. We loved what we saw and signed her up for acting classes. Within just two weeks she was signed with one of the top agencies in LA. Wow! One of the advantages of attending SCSOPA is that every Saturday a different agency or management company comes to the school and your child can interview with them. Within the first week of taking classes, we could see a huge improvement in her confidence and self-esteem. All of the teachers are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. Mike and his staff are not only great with the kids, but equally wonderful with the parents and families. Within the first few months of attending SCSOPA, my daughter booked her first national commercial and has been going strong ever since. To date, she has filmed over a dozen commercials, music videos, three films and many more exciting projects. She just recently finished a big photoshoot and we are looking forward to seeing her on toy boxes in stores soon." The Friedlanders

February is National Children's Dental Health Month
Here's How to get Kids Involved
Teach your cuties the 2019 slogan from the American Dental Association, "Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile" - and then incorporate these kid-friendly activities to celebrate better oral health!
Download crosswords, coloring sheets, kid-friendly oral-care calendars, maze activities and more at for fun lessons on the topic.
Teach your children about how oral health is important for every child - and then take them to buy toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss so they can donate the items to the local food pantry, domestic violence shelter or single-parent support org. Helping them help other kids improve their oral health will go a long way in teaching them not just oral-health practices, but gratitude and good citizenship, too.
Model good oral health habits - and make it fun! "Competitions" about who can brush until the timer goes off at two minutes, family flossing (No, not the dance - but if you can swing both at the same time, we want to see a video!) and reward charts all teach kids that taking care of their oral health is an important part of life.
Santa Clarita Children's Dental 735-1500

How to Raise Responsible Kids
by Mary Tan
Sometimes, when children are focused on having fun at any cost, trouble ensues. When this clashes with adults' agenda of safety and order, the two worlds can quickly - and dramatically - collide.
Over the holidays my 6 year old Arianna did something quite out of the ordinary. She was hanging out with peers she absolutely adores. This love opened her up to being more agreeable to suggestions. When the compelling invitation came for her to do something dangerous and unruly, she followed suit. While it was out of character, this act of curiosity was an adventure into exploring how this fascinating world works around her.
For children, everything is still quite new - including pushing the boundaries of what adults decree as law. How far can they expand into freedom? It is an important and valuable lesson to be learned at such a young age.
Rather than get mad, I introduced Adrianna to the concept of discernment. There will be innumerable times through the years where people will attempt to project their agendas onto her; this was as good a time as any to dive into the concept.
I invited her to become more aware and think when I said, "You must pause before you act and ask yourself: Is this safe or not safe for me to do? Feel into it and sense if it is a good idea. You are responsible for your own body, choices and actions no matter what others are doing. Understand?"
While this may sound like a too-mature concept for a 6 year old, you will be pleasantly surprised at what they understand if we break it down in a way they can receive. She heard the teaching, nodded as she stored the information in her mind and came in for a loving hug.
It's not easy being a little human learning all the ins and outs of how the world works. That's the sometimes-challenging, always-rewarding job you have been blessed with, dear parent. Keep up the good work!
Mary Tan is a speaker, mentor 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.

Love your Community
some Art!
What started as a way for ceramic artists at CASI Ceramic Artist Studio, Inc. in Old Town Newhall to share their talents with their community has grown to include unaffiliated amateur and professional craftspeople from every corner of Santa Clarita.
Abandoned Art SCV boasts a simple concept: make art, hide it around town, post clues in the Abandoned Art SCV Facebook group and wait for it to be discovered by a lucky resident.
A quick glance of the social-media posts shows that in just the last few days, a crocheted princess crown was "abandoned" and found, along with numerous painted rocks sure to bring a smile to those who discovered them.
Participating is easy and details can be found in the Facebook group for both artists and sleuths who want to use clues to treat themselves to free art.

Make It!
We're going to be doing this with our kids.
Stay tuned for "abandoned"...
beach stones painted with messages
of happiness and hope
tiny cross stiches
mini painted canvases
What will you make and abandon?
Join the convo and tell us on Facebook!

This Month Why Don't You...
nominate someone you know for Santa Clarita's second-annual "Clean It Forward?"
Surface Busters is putting their cleaning power where their heart is, offering the SCV community an opportunity to nominate a friend or organization in need for up to $3,000 worth of free hard-surface cleaning and restoration services. After you've nominated your faves, be sure to vote online and share the good news on social media. You can nominate and vote at

get divorced?
Studies show that more divorces are filed after Valentine's Day than any other time of year. The theory goes that the disappointment/upset that carried through the holidays in already-struggling relationships don't always find alleviation by the big love fest of February 14 - hence the swath of newly-filed cases in March. Feeling the separation itch? Before you pull the trigger, talk to a family-law attorney who can knowledgeably explain issues surrounding financial support, custody, property distribution and more. In the SCV, the one you want is Denise Placencio (Seriously. Look up her reviews online. She's amazing.). She's literally, and figuratively, a SuperLawyer.

know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em?
You'll want to attend the Santa Clarita Poker Tournament on Saturday, February 23, featuring professional poker dealers, high quality poker tables and a Vegas-like Poker Tournament experience at The Canyon Club.

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a healthy run?
On Sunday, February 24, articipate in the Mardi Gras Madness 5k/10k/Mini Madness 1k Run and get a goodie bag, tee, medal, protein refuel and Wolf Creek Brewery Beer Garden wristband for those 21 and older.

Get Ready
for Kindergarten Round Up
Historically, Santa Clarita sees Kindergarten Round Ups start at the end of February or the beginning of March. This is the time, among other things, to be sure that your child has had their first dental health assessment. Your school will provide forms necessary for your dentist to sign. The assessment is simple and worry free - your family dentist will count teeth, check for "sugar bugs," give instructions on brushing and flossing and celebrate your child's milestone with a trip to the "treasure box" and a new tooth brush!
Dr. Marvin Tong, DDS 268-6284
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