by Jennifer Shakeel
I have said before that one of the perks of my job is that I get to talk to some interesting and incredible people. Dr. Michele Borba is no exception to this rule. I was fortunate enough to be able to get some quality time with her while she was in Denver, Co for the day, in the midst of multiple television and radio interviews and her regular spot on the Today Show. Our time together was brief so I wanted to get straight to the point.
We were discussing her newest book, "The Big Book of Parenting Solutions." The first thing that caught my eye was that she claims this is the only book you will need to deal with any issue your child between the ages of 3 and 14 will have. My first question is always why this?
Q: What made you decide to become a child rearing expert, because that is what you are really?
A: I wouldn't say that I set out to be a child rearing expert. I have a very sincere love for children and I would say that I have been fortunate enough to have many experiences that naturally lead me to where I am today. I have worked with a lot of children and parents to help them overcome the issues that they were having combined with my own parenting issues and talents. I started writing books while I was in private practice. Those books where inspired by questions that parents I was working with had asked me how they could help their children.
Q: Why is the book dedicated to the age group 3-13?
A: I dedicated this book to that age group because that seems to be the forgotten time. There are thousands of books out about babies and there are equally as many dedicated to dealing with teenagers. There are very few that focus on the in-between years, and these are the formative years. Between the ages of 3 and 13 this is the time when children form their behaviors for life, what they consider to be right and wrong, ethics and all of their values. It is at the age of 3 that the conscience sets in, yet this is we as parents start to step back because of all the effort put into the baby time, we are parents tend to start thinking about the teenage years. This age, from 3 to 13 this when our kids are listening to us. After 13, it isn't that they don't listen… but we have to try harder the older they get.
Q: My husband says the same thing all the time. For parents that have children older than 3 but younger than 13 is it too late for them to get your book and use it now?
A: Absolutely not! While it is always better to start when they are young, it is never too late to start. You can get the book today and start using it today. I have broken the book up into sections to pinpoint what issue you need help with. You don't have to read the book cover to cover before it will help.
Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge parents are facing today?
A: It depends on the age of the child. For kids 3 to 5 years old it is the whining and temper tantrums. For kids between the ages of 6 and 7, this is where the social scene becomes a factor and bullying. Then you have 8 being the new 13. Kids are growing up to fast, there is internet safety issues parents need to confront, there is the cyber bullying and clicks. The nice thing about this book is that it really is the only parenting book you will ever need.
Q: How so?
A: Because it is broken down into easy to use sections. If your are concerned over a family issue, you can flip to the family section. Let's say your child is an only child, you will got that subsection under family. There you will see a question that one of the families I have worked with posed to me, and the answer I gave. Let's say that your child back talks, you can flip to page 54 where it discusses back talking. It will show you what is normal, what the red flags are and how we are parents can parent to change the behavior. There are signs and symptoms listed so you can see what is "normal" and what you need to be concerned about.
That is part of the problem. We as parents all too often think certain behaviors are normal and that our child will outgrow them. They will not outgrow the behaviors if they are not taught an appropriate way to behave.
Q: Very good point. I was able to interview Dr. Rimm last month and one thing that she felt was very important to a child's success was being raised by a united parenting front, would you agree?
A: Absolutely, I can't believe any expert would disagree with that. The reality though is that is not the case in most homes. There is the parent that is the disciplinarian and the parent that is the savior. Kids know that and play that to their advantage. I have a section dedicated to the 7 Deadly Parenting Styles that I think will benefit all parents. I know child rearing is not easy and that sometimes it is hard to agree on how to handle situations with our kids. That is the point of this book, find just one thing you and your spouse can agree on and use it to help your kids.
Q: What makes you most proud of this book over your other books?
A: This is really an encyclopedia on parenting. It covers every topic you could imagine, and the best part is that it is backed by all of the latest research. I have put in the book what the latest research has shown and how to apply what the studies are telling us. There is 44 pages of bibliographies so you can go to a particular source and read it on your own.
Look, my child rearing theory is this. You don't have time to waste, find the stuff that is really effective and use it. Don't buy this book and read it cover to cover. Buy the book and use it to address what you have going on with your child/children.
Q: Thank you Dr. Borba for taking the time to talk with me!
A: You are welcome; I am glad that we were finally able to catch up. Please tell Kevin thank you!
That concluded my talk with Dr. Borba, and yes I do have her book. I told her I wanted to go get all of her books because I was fascinated by her insight. Her response to me was, "Don't, you don't need any other book then this one." I can tell you that my husband and I actually used it the other night. Our son as you know has ADD. He has been off his meds for over a year now and has been doing really well, up until lately. There were some issues that we really weren't sure what the best route to take would be. There is an entire section dedicated to Special Needs. This section is specifically for children with learning disabilities and other issues that need a different approach.
I highly recommend getting the "Big Book of Parenting Solutions," not only will it help you when you aren't sure what the next best step is… it also can confirm that you are on the right track or help you get you and your child on the right track.
Jennifer Shakeel is a writer and former nurse with over 12 years medical experience. As a mother of two incredible children with one on the way, I am here to share with you what I have learned about parenting and the joys and changes that take place during pregnancy. Together we can laugh and cry and rejoice in the fact that we are moms!
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