Press Kit - Let's Talk Kids: Facing Family Challenges
Let's Talk Kids: Facing Family Challenges
by Claudia Quigg
Edited by Brittany Mytnik and designed by Emily Cardot, with photopgraphy by Emily Cardot, Toni Graves & Taylor Chaney.
paperback © 2014
248 pages (6" X 9”)
$16.00 plus $2.50 postage
Illinois residents add 9% sales tax ($1.44 per book)
The second book in the Let's Talk Kids series, Facing Family Challenges, brings up family challenges from toddlerhood to seeing children off as young adults. Quigg's light-hearted writing style tackles these difficulties in a way that reassures parents and empowers them to value their own innate knowledge about their own children.
Let's Talk Kids: Facing Family Challenges is not an advice book, but rather a collection of stories that prompt reflection and invite parents to thoughtfully consider their own approach to bringing up their little ones.
Print-ready Flyers & Posters
2-up (8x11.5) order form flyer - Let’s Talk Kids: Facing Family Challenges (300 dpi PDF)
See the Baby TALK web site for more details about Baby TALK at <http://www.babytalk.org>.
Let’s Talk Kids: Facing Family Challenges Front cover (6x9) 72 dpi JPG
Let’s Talk Kids: Facing Family Challenges Front cover (thumbnail) 72 dpi JPG
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Author Claudia Quigg - b&w photograph 72 dpi (3x2) JPG
Author Claudia Quigg - b&w photograph 72 dpi (4x6) JPG
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I used to have a refrigerator magnet that bore the following sentiment: "Before I had kids, I had three theories about raising children. Now I have three kids, and no theories."
I used to have this magnet, before one of my children broke it.
The real experience of living with children tends to shoot holes in our fine ideas about how families operate. Because every child is different and because our life situation changes with time, we find ourselves responding to children in ways we hadn't really planned.
Children challenge us in ways we couldn't have imagined in our blissful pre-parenting fantasies. Learning to face those challenges and come through them with healthy children can be incredibly satisfying.
My husband says that the only thing you can count on with kids is your fingers. And yet, child development doesn't change much from age to age. It causes one to wonder: Are there any hard-and-fast rules about what works in raising kids? Asked this question recently, I believe there are a few constants we can hold onto as we walk our often-bumpy parenting roads. Here, for your consideration, are Ten Things I Know for Sure:
1. You know more about your own kids than anyone else does. People who live with a child gain deeply contextual knowledge about him through sharing each day's life experiences. Parents know what their children look like right before they throw up—a significant piece of information. Other people know about your child, too, but you should never undervalue what you know. Your instincts are probably right most of the time.
2. From their first breath, your children look to you to understand the world. How YOU do it is the RIGHT way. Your children see you as the absolute authority during their early childhood years, only thinking to question your perceptions as they become adolescents. Your values are accepted without question, including the ones you don't say out loud but demonstrate in your actions.
3. You will overcome today's challenge, but will face a new one tomorrow. The work of the family is to figure out each day, but often the seeds of tomorrow's challenge are sown in our very efforts. A fussy baby must be held and bounced by the hour, but an older baby may need to be taught how not to be held all the time. This process continues in one step after another throughout life.
4. Behavior = Temperament + Development + Environment. Every behavior you see in your child is a result of the combination of the in-born attributes she brought into the world with her, where she is in her development, and what she has learned from her environment. As you try to understand your child, always look to these three aspects of your child and you will find your answer.
5. As learning happens, knowledge > skill > judgment. Cognition always comes first. Kids get an idea in their heads about what they want to do. Then they work hard to be able to put together the skills to do it. Finally, they develop the judgment about how to do it appropriately. A child wants to ride a bike. He gets the idea of how to do it, and soon acquires the skill. But don't be surprised if he rides the bike out into the street into the traffic. Judgment always shows up last.
6. You are raising a human being. There is absolutely no chance this child you are raising will ever be perfect, even if your love for him is. He will disappoint you. He will not be good at everything. Some days you won't even like him very much. He will be a unique mixture of strengths and weaknesses and will become a fully formed human being, just like his parents. Resist seeking perfection and instead help him become the best version of who he is, warts and all.
7. Parents and children learn the most from their mistakes. Children learn how to stack blocks by doing it wrong. Put a big heavy block on top of a small one and it will fall right down every time. Likewise, parents learn how to raise their kids by discovering what doesn't work. Some of our mistakes are small, but other bloopers take their place in the annals of family lore. These memorable mistakes serve as the best teacher for our future efforts, as we usually make them only once.
8. Kids fall apart before they get better. A lesson from neuroscience confirms what parents already know: As children learn new things, they actually regress and fall apart before they can move ahead. This phenomenon is related to the process of laying down more complex brain connections as well as living with frustration in learning something new. As kids change, they are apt to show a decreased quality of mood as well as an alarming regression in skill. If your child's a mess, wonder about what new skill she's working on.
9. It helps to laugh. Sometimes the only appropriate response to the ups and downs of family life is a good belly laugh. When you feel your own frustration rising, try to step back and laugh out loud. You may be ready to blow your top when your toddler dumps his spaghetti over his head, but your best friend will remind you how memorably hilarious it is. A parent whose children are grown will assure you that it's often a mistake to take our kids' behavior too seriously.
10. We all need help parenting our children. Raising kids in isolation leads parents to more stress and less enjoyment of their kids. We need the support and commiseration of others who see the load we are carrying. We need someone to laugh with us about the ridiculous antics of our offspring. And we need someone else to be a little bit in love with our children, to share our view that they really are extraordinary. Our friends and families encourage and connect us to the joy of watching our kids grow. No matter how dedicated you are as a parent, raising children is a job best done by adults who have enough support to meet their own needs.
I hope this book will be a help to you as you parent your own wonderful children!
My best wishes, Claudia Quigg
No two families are the same, and your family will undoubtedly face challenges I have not addressed in this book. But I hope that whatever demands come your way will be met with confidence and hope, knowing two important things:
• you know your children better than anyone else, and
• your love will bear fruit in them in ways which will bring you joy in the years to come.
I continue to be inspired by the creative approaches families are taking to meeting the needs of their children and for finding meaning in their lives together. This gives me great hope for our shared future.
I would love to hear from you about how your family manages the challenges you face. And I hope you will be interested to know about my third book in this series exploring the great assets children get from their families (to be released in early 2015).
Best wishes, and enjoy your kids!
Information about Baby TALK
Baby TALK's mission is to positively impact child development and nurture healthy parent-child relationships during the critical early years. Begun in Decatur, Illinois in 1986, Baby TALK programs have been established in many other cities and states. The Decatur local program continues to impact every childrearing family and also serves as a demonstration program for other communities. A support system for families with very young children, Baby TALK reaches out through collaboration with hospitals, schools, and other health and learning resources. Baby TALK aims to deliver accessible and meaningful services that correspond with the needs of families.
About the Editor, Designer & Photographers
|Brittany Mytnik is a junior at Millikin University studying professional writing and literature. Her focus was to highlight Claudia's voice and discover the best ways to connect with readers.||Emily Cardot is a junior at Millikin University studying graphic design and entrepreneurship. She sought to capture moments of genuine energy and emotion to provide images of real experiences.||Taylor Chaney is a 2013 Millikin University graduate with a degree in graphic design. Her approach to the book's photography was to give families a task to perform that illustrated one of Claudia's points and wait for their acting to became real.|