ACEs Aware Series

Investing in our Children / Invirtiendo en Nuestros Niños

Triple P in the News

Your Presence Is the Best Present

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 change as she gets older. The note was also heart-wrenching because it reminded me how she often gets disappointed when I have to work instead of spend time with her. I get disappointed, too. I took a picture of that message to remind myself that although my children are becoming increasingly independent, they still need me to be present in their lives.

Gearing Up for the Holidays

I love this time of the year. The holidays we celebrate serve as an important reminder to be thankful for what we have – including each other – and help others in need. I love how holiday celebrations from many religions and cultures share a similar purpose and bring out the best in people. However, holidays can also be a difficult time for many families, and heightened stress and tension can highlight our human flaws. Holidays can quickly become something “to get through” instead of a time for reflection and celebration. Sound familiar?

Raising Teens: Hovering or Guiding?

My teenage son recently announced he’d read an article on “helicopter parents” for his English class. This was stated while negotiating his weekend plans, and said with a look and tone that implied the article was about us. When asked what that term meant to him, he said, “Parents who hover over their kids so much that the kids don’t learn to do things on their own, so they’re not prepared to be independent.” Ouch.


Ready, Set, Back to School!

The start of a new school year is both an exciting and hectic time in my family. My kids look forward to reuniting with friends and meeting new teachers, and I look forward to the predictability of the school-year routine.

Tips for New Parents

Some days, I miss having babies. Not enough to actually have more babies, but I have many fond memories (and thousands of pictures) of my children’s early years. I spent hours gazing at my first-born son, captivated by his every expression and movement. But I also felt overwhelmed, uncertain and tired as an inexperienced parent. Very tired.

When Can I Leave My Child Home Alone?

Happy summer? Yes, that’s a question. Like many working parents, I’ve been awaiting summer vacation since school started last fall. I breathed a sigh of relief on the last day of school, then the reality of summer scheduling sank in. With two full-time working parents in our family, we have to make sure our kids are in safe, supervised places during the day.

Tips for Single Parents and Caregivers

I love my kids. I repeat, I love my kids. And yet, raising them to be kind, confident, capable individuals who will be ready for adulthood (or at least get to school on time) is exhausting. I can’t imagine trying to raise them on my own, but I know there are many single-parent families who are raising children successfully.

Teaching Gratitude Every Day of the Year

I can’t believe how quickly another year has flown by. In my family, the passing of time is marked by major life events: birthdays, vacations, kids’ sports activities, the end of school, the beginning of school and holidays. Everything in between seems like a blur. Sometimes it’s hard to slow down and appreciate all the things that really matter in life, like the health and happiness of my family, friends — and me! So when this month’s question came in, it got me thinking about how we teach children about gratitude.


Meet the Practitioner: Heather Thomsen, PhD

Heather Thomsen, PhDHeather Thomsen, PhD (pictured here with Matt Sanders, creator of Triple P), is an independent parenting coach who's been providing Triple P services in Santa Cruz County since 2010.  Heather conducts Seminars and provides in-depth, 1:1 services to families with children 0-16 years old. She's also the mother of two beautiful boys, so she has first-hand experience with Triple P parenting strategies! Sign up for Heather's next series of Triple P Seminars for parents of teens at