Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures is a parenting book. It encompasses the lessons learned from my adult life along with my childhood on ways to work with children and pitfalls to avoid. I have been very fortunate to have worked with incredible people for years. I have studied how they dealt with the simplest to more complex situations.
Although we love our children, there are certain times they drive us crazy. Maybe a child misbehaves at home or at school. It could be they are not relating well to siblings or classmates. Maybe they behave around mom but they act like a mess around their father. Behavior is one of many issues covered in various parts of the book. After working with over 400 hundred children at St. Joseph's Children's Home and as an elementary classroom teacher, I can tell you there are reasons children act the way they do. As a parent, these reasons can be found and usually corrected.
The main idea I want to get across in this blog and my book is for you to think about parenting. Think about what you are doing right. It's important to know your strengths. Think about where you are weak and how you can improve. There's little doubt that we won't agree on every single parenting issue. That's perfectly fine. What may happen though is if there's an area you are not as strong, I may be able to help.
It's in my nature to study and fix little problems. When I was a teenager, guys and girls would consistently ask me about boyfriend/girlfriend issues. It was funny because I didn't have a girlfriend most of the time. Apparently, I gave good advice because they always came back. That may have been a factor in why I majored in Psychology and Communications at Bellarmine University. I've joked for years they taught me how to think and talk (and now write).
Now and then, people ask for my parenting advice as well. It started when I was teaching. Parents had no idea why their children were doing well in school and being a trouble-maker at home. Using my leverage as a teacher, I actually worked with kids on how to be better "students" at home. Although I am a stay at home dad, Lauren will occasionally throw parenting stories my way to see how I would handle the situations. Through the telephone and email, there are certain parents I still occasionally counsel.
My blog and book are not meant to put your parenting skills down. Instead, they are meant to be easy reads. They will hopefully coach you through quotes, anecdotes, and assignments. There are stories personally and professionally in the book that will make you laugh, cry, shake your head in disbelief, and give you hope.
Parenting and working with children are my main strengths in life. Though I've tried other things, I have never found the same satisfaction as when I watched a child get adopted and know that I was part of the reason it happened. I also received great joy in the classroom turning a "D" student to a "B" student. True happiness for me is watching my children Cameron and Luke grow and succeed and know I was a factor.
Lauren encouraged me non-stop while writing the book and that kept me going. She deserves a lot of credit. Though I have decided to work with parents much more actively and openly through the blog and book, I am still a full time parent; therefore very busy. I often joke when Lauren comes home from work, instead of having two children, I now have three. I will try my best to get to questions and comments as needed but please be patient.
I want to thank everyone who will decide to give this blog and the book the wings they need to fly. Without you, it couldn't exist. I write in the book that it doesn't do any good for the book to sit on a shelf. When you are finished and if you liked what you read, give it to someone in need or donate it to a local library. We need more good parents like you who are actively looking to get better at what they do.
There will be more details on the book in the days to come. For now, take care and when you see your kids, no matter what kind of day they had, give them a big hug. You'll be glad you did.