The invaluable experience of a local author is being shared to help all parents with the acutely complicated task of raising children.
Brenda Fisher-Barber has 35 years of experience in childhood development. She’s well-known among the parenting community for instructing workshops and seminars; working as an Early Childhood Education (ECE) instructor and developed the program at Sprott Shaw College Penticton Campus; writing an advice column; as well as raising her own child.
By expanding her advice column into a four part series, Fisher-Barber is preparing for the release of Dear Ms. Barber: Managing Children’s Behavior Volume I. Much of the content incorporated is based on the ECE curriculum.
The public’s first chance to get a copy will be out from of Hooked on Books during the Penticton Farmer’s Market on Sept. 5. The book address 12 of the most common parent challenges, and how best to deal with them in 2015.
One issue that parents are often distraught over is whether choosing to spank produces better outcomes.
“For many parents and past students at the college, it’s a huge dilemma,” she said. “Some people who are parents now were raised different then the way children are raised today.”
Fisher-Barber thoroughly explores the issue, but she doesn’t suggest one direction to be better than the other.
“I give both sides and I also give a lot of supportive documentation on the positive and negative outcomes, and then parents can decide for themselves.”
She said new disciplinary strategies have been developed over recent years which are advantageous for parents and caregivers to understand.
“It’s very different from any other parenting advice book,” she said. “It’s a nice, easy read. It’s written in layman’s terms so that anyone can read it and understand it, not just my college students.”
In the chapter Nature versus Electronics, Fisher-Barber addresses the tricky balance of embracing technology.
“Parents are always asking about screen time; how old should my child be when my child gets an iPad?”
She said it’s also important to direct a child’s behaviour in the classroom as parents, and to work co-operatively with a child’s educator.
“Parents are a child’s first teacher and a lot of educators forget that. They need to be supportive and understanding of the parent, and encouraging that parent to be their child’s best model.”
And whether at home or school, children who struggle with aggression or anger are beginning to use their teeth more often.
“A lot of biting going on these days with the little ones.”
Amid the ever-changing landscape of parenting, she also emphasizes the importance of many traditional family values, and how to incorporate them into our lives.
“Getting back to having family meals in this fast-paced, fast food era is tough. A lot is missing from the family unit and raising our children.”
While she self-published the first volume of Dear Ms. Barber: Managing Children’s Behavior, she signed a publishing deal for volumes two, three and four with FriesenPress from Victoria.
To get a signed copy of volume one, visit her out front of Hooked on Books on Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.