Tuesday, March 15, 2016

#MMBBR: SHOWCASE Parenting as a Second Language: A Guidebook for Joyfully Navigating Trials, Triumphs and Tribulations of Parenthood

I am thrilled to present my new book!  

The Ultimate Guidebook for Joyful, Effective Parenting!

Humans expect ourselves to be great parents - naturally! - as if good parenting were an instinct we're all born with. But you weren't born with that skill any more than with the ability to speak your family's native tongue.

Before you became fluent in any language, you had to learn it: one word at a time and with a lot of repetition. You learn how to parent the same way - one lesson at a time, through practice and trial-and-error.  And error... And error...

Which is why every parent, at any stage of their child's development, needs Parenting as a Second Language, A Guidebook for Joyfully Navigating the Trials, Triumphs and Tribulations of Parenthood.

With this book as your guide, you will learn:

* How to name yourself an effective parent, and make that true
* The nouns and verbs that connect your children to you, and the one adjective that describes - and creates - every effective parent
* How to turn negative numbers into positive outcomes
* How to "tell time" so that your whole family's needs are met
* How to use adages we all know to instill the values most important to you
* How to derive joy from life's most challenging role

This book is the first step in your journey towards becoming the amazing parent you always knew you'd be. Some of the work may seem hard, but with time and effort, you can be fluent in Parenting, and your children will be native speakers!

Elisabeth Stitt

The first job Elisabeth Stitt ever imagined doing at nine was being a British nanny. After many hours of reading English children's stories, it seemed to her to be the perfect combination of getting all the joy of taking care of children without the drudgery of being the one doing all the cooking and cleaning. Well, she didn't realize that dream exactly, but she did become a mother's helper, a baby sitter, a camp counselor and finally, a teacher.
In 25 years of teaching Elisabeth has taught children kindergarten through twelfth grade in some capacity or another, but most of her time was spent teaching English to 7th graders. Teaching middle school is not for the faint of heart, but Elisabeth is crazy about twelve year olds. She feels it is an honor and a privilege to get to walk alongside children just as they are stepping into adulthood, and there is no better vehicle for aiding that journey than reading great literature and having students write about themselves. 

Outside the classroom Elisabeth developed the middle school character education curriculum and later brought a YMCA social emotional development program called Project Cornerstone to the lower grades. In her teaching, Elisabeth operated by two rules: One, the child is more important than the curriculum; and two, she'd rather her students be kind and do good in the world than that they be smart. As a result of those priorities, Elisabeth's students were among the best writers in the state. 

On the home front, life was a little rockier. Having been friends with her husband since the 9th grade, Elisabeth never expected to find herself divorced at thirty-three. Still, creating a new life for her toddler, gave her something to focus on as she reimagined what her future was going to be. Once divorced, Elisabeth never expected to fall in love again--but she did, head over heels, and has spent the last 15 years navigating the ins and outs of blending families, co-parenting from two households, and custody schedules, as well as the usual craziness that goes along with raising three children. 

Elisabeth started Joyful Parenting Coaching (www.elisabethstitt.com) because she was seeing a shift in parents over the years. Parents are getting busier--and as they have become so, they are becoming more isolated and more anxious with less and less time to reach out to support each other. Elisabeth's mission is to fill that gap, and she does so through one-on-one coaching, workshops, webinars and a weekly newsletter you can sign up for at www.elisabethstitt.com. 

Q.  What inspired you to write Parenting as a Second Language?

A.  Well, actually, I was asked to write it.  Valerie Alexander, author of Happiness as a Second Language and Success as a Second Language was looking for someone to contribute to her “As a Second Language” series when she found me through my parenting coaching business.  I jumped right on the project because I am a big believer in the premise:  Parenting is a skill that can be taught, learned and practiced.  

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A.  I love knowing I am having an impact on my readers.  I started my coaching business because parents these days are so isolated.  I really want parents to know that they are not alone and that with time and practice every person should be able to say, “I am an effective parent.”  At heart I am a teacher, and the way that Parenting as a Second Language is designed with stories and exercises for a lot of self-reflection is very much the way I operated as an English teacher.  

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A.  Sitting down!  Honestly.  I get so restless.  Even when I am on a roll writing, I can hardly sit still.  I was a teacher for 25 years and I spent every day on my feet roaming my classroom.  

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. Great question!  I think it would be “An Expansive Heart.”  I’ve always been kind hearted, but I was really judgmental—very black and white—when I was younger.  The reality of adult life (divorce, remarriage, blending families, teaching and finally starting my own business) taught me flexibility and humility.  In order to stay on an even keel, I had to learn to be ever more loving, forgiving and understanding.  Isn’t it funny how our hardest moments become our greatest teachers?

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. To Kill a Mockingbird.  I read it four or five times growing up, but as it is the book I have taught the most in my career, it has become the most intimate of friends.  Hard to go wrong with Atticus Finch.  In fact, some of my favorite parenting advice comes from him.  My most borrowed quote from him is “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.  You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.... --until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (30).  
Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.  Christmas!  I have to discipline myself to not sing Christmas carols until after Thanksgiving.  I just love the music and the lights.  And the imagery.  I’m not particularly good at the decorations, the food and the presents, but I have heard “Silent Night” sung on a candle-lit night in churches all over the world.  It makes me cry every time.  It is so full of hope.  And it’s a baby.  Who doesn’t love a baby?

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  Not in the book writing department.  I continue to blog and I just produced a tele summit: Let’s Hear It for the Dads! Conversations About Fatherhood.  I interviewed 20 dads.  It was so much fun, and I loved hearing dads’ stories.  We moms fall into the trap of thinking dads don’t care as much.  Not true.  Though sometimes they do have a hard time admitting it.  Often their fear and insecurity prevent them from stepping forward the way they want to.  

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A. Thank you for checking out my interview, and big thanks to Emily for having me! You can find out more about Parenting as a Second Language on Amazon and about me and my blogs and workshops by visiting my website (www.elisabethstitt.com), or follow me on Facebook (search for Joyful Parenting Coaching) or on twitter @StittCoaching.  

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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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