Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Get the behavior you want without being the parent you hate

December 10, 2014

My name is Annie Fox and I endorse this book!

I’m Annie Fox and I approve this message!

I read lots of parenting books, but only recommend the top notch. That means they deliver pragmatic advice in small, well-organized, chunks of digestible wisdom. No big chunks, please. Who’s got the time? It helps a lot if the book’s tone is so engaging I can imagine the author talking to me over a cup of coffee. Also, it’s a good thing if the descriptions of parent-child interactions are so spot-on I’m chuckling and misting over throughout. (Yes, a good parenting book is as likely to make me cry as it is to have me laughing and calling out to David, “Sweetie, you’ve gotta hear this!”)  Added requirement for any great parenting book: I have to learn something new. Not so easy because, as I said, I read loads of them.

For all the above reasons, I’m happy to recommend Dr. Deborah Gilboa’s latest book, Get the Behavior You Want Without Being the Parent You Hate. Before I tell you what I learned, let me tell you who needs this book – Any parent who has ever wondered if there’s a better way to get your child to:

1. Brush his/her teeth

2. Get along better with siblings

3. Quit whining about being “booooorrrrreeeed” and learn to manage their free time creatively

4. Do something you require without your constant nagging

… plus fifty other things that kids need to learn in order to be become respectful, responsible, and resilient young adults.

Dr. Gilboa, aka @AskDocG, is a practicing family physician, and a parenting expert. She’s also the mom of four boys who,  have apparently brought her to edge of sanity more than once. In the book’s introduction she admits that she has “nagged, yelled at, threatened, and guilted my children to try to get them to behave well. Not all of the time, and usually not on purpose, but, just like many parents, I’ve done all this and more. Not only do I feel really horrible about it afterwards, but (and here is the kicker) it doesn’t work.” So you see, Doc G is also honest, humble and funny. What’s not to like?

Listen to my podcast interview with Doc G.

As for what I learned from Get the Behavior You Want… it came from section 5: What you do is more important than what you feel. Think about it for a minute. Most of the time we mindful parents do our best to get our children in touch with their feelings. “How do you feel now, sweetheart?” “And how did what he said this morning make you feel?” “How do you think you’ll feel about that tomorrow?” The message to kids: how they feel is pretty much the most important thing. Doc G points out that feelings are important, but they should not be accepted as an excuse for poor behavior. Something parents do all the time!

We do it when we say, “Oh, she’s just in a bad mood.” “He’s had a hard day.” “She’s overtired.” Doc G teaches that we need to help our kids become accountable for their behavior. And we can accomplish that by empathizing with our kids’ feelings (“I understand why that made you angry….”) while still sticking with our standards of behavior (“….but biting is totally unacceptable in this family. And here’s the consequence for the doing it…”)

It’s not always easy for an unhappy, overtired child to accept responsibility for his or her actions, but parenting is all about clear standards and consistent responses, isn’t it?

Thanks, Doc G!

Try making this shift in the way you deal with unacceptable behavior from your kids and let me know how it goes.

 

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Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship Blog Tour Continues…

November 5, 2014

50 Ways to Fix a Friendship without the DRAMA

On Sale Now

UPDATE: (Dec. 10th) Just hit the last stop on The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship Book blog tour. Since October, I’ve stopped at 21 blogs and answered more than 90 friendship-related questions. As usual, every time I answer a question, I learn something valuable. Thank you to all of my blog tour hosts. You are exceptional friends and I’m grateful to have you in my life. I’m also appreciative of the awesome work you do with kids and parents, to make the world a safer, saner place for everyone.

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I’m still on the virtual road answering real friendship questions and letting girls and parents and teachers know that when it comes to curtailing the spread of Mean Girl Disease, we can do better. Recent additions are:

 

For my complete itinerary, here’s the original post»

Girls' Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good will and good friendship strategies. Zero carbon emissions.

Girls’ Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good  friendship strategies. Zero social garbage emissions.

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Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship Blog Tour

October 13, 2014

Let’s talk about reality. What is real? Girls’ friendship issues are real. So is the damage they can cause.

The Girls' Q&A Book on Friendship. Up with compassion and social courage. Down with social garbage.

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship. Up with compassion and social courage. Down with social garbage.

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friends without the DRAMA is also real. I wrote it. Erica De Chavez illustrated it, brilliantly. And it’s now available in print and on Kindle. No Kindle? No problem. It can be downloaded and read beautifully on anything, except maybe a microwave. If you’re not in the US, you can get the book on whatever Amazon site you usually shop on. My desire to criss-cross the world helping girls with their friendship challenges is real.  So is the need to reduce the social garbage kids slog through daily, online and off. My book can make things better for tweens and the adults who care about them. But alas, I had no budget for plane fares, hotels, food (and I do like to eat). Life is not virtual, but book tours can be. So… I got a virtual bus…

Girls' Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good will and good friendship strategies. Zero carbon emissions.

Girls’ Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good  friendship strategies. Zero social garbage emissions.

Last week I hit the virtual road answering real friendship questions and letting girls and parents and teachers know that when it comes to curtailing the spread of Mean Girl Disease, we can do better. Here’s my itinerary… Pop in any time. I hope to see you and your girls. And don’t worry about expired dates. I’m still there. Ah… the beauty of virtual existence.

December 10th>Deborah Gilboa’s blog at AskDrG.Com

December 5th>“What Really Matters” podcast at VickyandJen.com

November 19th>Amy Fortney Parks’ blog at Wise-EdServices.com

November 18>Sarah Newton’s blog at SarahNewton.org

November 13>Amy Jussel’s blog at ShapingYouth.org

November 7th>Nuala O’Hanlon’s blog at KeystoneCreations.com.au

November 5th>Megan Hunter’s blog at UnhookedMedia.com

November 3rd>Vicky Thornton and Jen Rehberger’s blog at VickyAndJen.blogspot.com

October 29th>Wendy Morelli’s blog at Tweenhood.ca

October 27th>Janine Hallorin’s blog at EncouragePlay.com

October 24th>Deborah McNelis’s blog at BrainInsights.blogspot.com

October 23rd>Beth Engleman’s blog at MommyOnAShoestring.com

October 20th>Jean Tracy’s blog at ParentingSkillsBlog.com

October 17th> Drawp blog at Drawp.it

October 16th> Louise Masin Sattler’s blog at LouiseSattler.me

October 15th> Beth Onufrak’s blog at DrBethKids.com

October 13th> Carl Grody’s blog at GrodyFamilyCounseling.com

October 13th> Wendy Young’s blog  at Kidlutions.com

October 13th> Erin Harris’ blog at CrisisPrevention.com

October 10th> Sarah Newton’s blog at SarahNewton.com

October 10th> Dr. Amy Alamar’s blog at Parenting for the Genius

October 6th> Dr. Kimberly Palmiotto’s blog at Coastal Education Services

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If you have friendship questions, post them to COMMENTS and I’ll answer them here. No reason my own blog shouldn’t be part of the blog tour too!

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Cure discovered for ‘mean girl’ disease!

August 19, 2014

After more than a year’s collaboration, our work on The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship is wrapping up. Illustrated by the ridiculously talented Erica DeChavez, my book for 8-12 year old girls, is coming next month from Electric Eggplant.

I’m super excited when I think about all the girls this book is going to help. Let’s face it, a new school year always brings friendship issues (aka social garbage.) The Girls’ Friendship Q&A Book is a cure for mean-girl behavior. (You’ve had enough of that, right?)  With 50 questions from real girls (and answers that really solve the problem), plus tons of quizzes and awesome advice from older teens about how to be a Super-Friend, this book will teach you a whole lot about empathy and social courage. Something we can all use more of.

Sneak Peek from The Girls’ Friendship Q&A Book> Here’s one of the book’s fifty questions and answers:

"She needs a friend, but I don't think I'm brave enough."

“She needs a friend, but I don’t think I’m brave enough.” (from The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship, by Annie Fox, illustrated by Erica De Chavez, © 2014 by Annie Fox and Erica De Chavez. Now available)

A new girl from another country gets teased because she doesn’t speak English.  I want to be nice to her, but I’m afraid people will tease me. Should I be her friend? 

You already know the answer to your question, but you need some support. That’s why I’m here. Yes, you should be her friend! She has come from far away to a place that is very strange to her and she needs a friend. Imagine how you’d feel moving to some place that’s very different from what you’re used to. What would it be like not to understand what people are saying and to have no one understand you? She’s got a lot to deal with. Now imagine how she feels being teased. Having a friend like you could really help.

You say you’re worried the teasers might turn on you. They might. Or they might become friendlier to the new girl when you show them the way. You have the chance to do something important, and you are brave enough to do it.

Be kind. Show this girl that people in your country can be very welcoming. You’ll gain a new friend and learn amazing things about her and her culture.

Go for it and good luck!

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For updates on the publication of The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship, follow me on twitter and visit GirlsQandA.com

UPDATE October 4, 2014: The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friendship Without the DRAMA is now available in print and on Kindle (the ebook can be read on any device, your mobile phone, tablet, or computer with the free Kindle reader app). Visit GirlsQandA.com for an excerptreviews, and to order your copy.

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