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Siblings: Friends or Foes?

Siblings: Friends or Foes?

By Nicole M. Young, MSW When I was young, my siblings were my greatest friends one minute, then my biggest foes the next. We built forts, played hours of board games or just made up silly games — usually at my expense. It was always fun until my brother started teasing the rest of us or […]






Tips to Avoid Common Parenting Traps

Tips to Avoid Common Parenting Traps

By Nicole M. Young, MSW April is the Month of the Young Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month, so it’s a good time to reflect on what it takes to raise happy, healthy, resilient children who thrive throughout life. Parenting is a non-stop job full of joy, struggles, love, worries, pride and stress. Every parent […]






Get Support to Stay Afloat

Get Support to Stay Afloat

Nicole M. Young, MSW This has been the wettest winter in a long time. After a multi-year drought, the torrential rain is a welcome relief — until it isn’t. Mudslides, floods, fallen trees, power outages, closed roads and destroyed buildings turned everyday life upside down. The stormy weather won’t last forever and someday the chaos […]






Simple Acts of Love

Simple Acts of Love

Nicole M. Young, MSW I loved celebrating Valentine’s Day as a child. My favorite memory is of the Valentine’s “mailbox” that appeared every February. It was a big box that my mom decorated with colorful paper, hearts and lace, with a large slot in the lid. My siblings and I loved “mailing” our cards to […]






Ten Tips for Positive Parenting

Ten Tips for Positive Parenting

By Nicole M. Young, MSW The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors designated January as the fifth annual Positive Parenting Awareness Month. As in years past, this month’s column will reflect on the importance of positive parenting and encourage families to make use of local resources that support parents, such as the Triple P – […]






Your Presence Is the Best Present

Your Presence Is the Best Present

Nicole M. Young, MSW My teenage daughter sometimes leaves me sweet notes on the whiteboard in my home office. She recently wrote, “Thank you for making time for me, even when you could be working.” It made my heart melt because I know she genuinely loves to spend time with me. I hope that doesn’t […]






Encouraging a Growth Mindset

Encouraging a Growth Mindset

Nicole M. Young, MSW As my kids grow older, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with asking myself, “Will they be prepared to live on their own someday?” Deep down, I know they’ll be fine. They will make mistakes, do things I consider irrational or unwise, or just struggle to define who they are and what they […]






Parenting in a Digital World

Parenting in a Digital World

By Nicole M. Young, MSW I’m dependent on technology. Some days, I spend more time with my phone than I do with my kids (don’t judge – they’re in school all day). I do the majority of my personal and work-related reading on the Internet. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I read […]