Encouragement in Parenting for the New Year

by Jennifer Donovan

New Habits in the New YearParenting. Forget New Year’s resolutions; when it comes to parenting I honestly feel like I make resolutions to start anew in that area every single week. Today I feature an interview with Brenda Nixon, author and speaker. She has addressed audiences large and small, from the MOPS International convention to breakout groups to appearing on radio and TV. If you need a speaker, check out her website. You’ll also find some resources on tips for dealing with temper tantrums and choosing a preschool.

How important is it to tailor our parenting to our children’s individual personalities?
Children are as different as snowflakes. Our parenting must reflect that knowledge as we respond to, love, and discipline each child in a way that matches his/her personality. When speaking to audiences across the country, I often remind them that it’s not realistic to not be fair all the time. Fairness doesn’t recognize differences; it’s only a convenience to the parent. Just question it from an adult point of view: are all your relationships with family and friends equal? Do you treat all those people the same? Of course not. So why try to do that with impressionable children.

I encourage parents to start off the new year with the liberating thought of tailoring their childrearing to meet each child’s needs, wants, and learning style.

Isn’t treating our kids all the same proof that we are not playing favorites?
It may seem like it, and that nagging voice in the back of our head tells us that our kids will scream, “That’s not fair!” and then we’ll feel guilty. We actually are playing favorites when we overlook any child’s unique need by making one shoe size fit all. In “The Five Love Languages of Children,” authors Chapman and Campbell explain that children even interpret love differently. One child may see gifts (or things) as symbols of love, while another thinks love is affirming words. Now, what if a parent practiced hugging both children to treat them the same. . . then neither child would feel truly loved because their personal need wasn’t being met. Or if the parent only said affirming, encouraging words but never gave any gifts to the one who interpreted gifts as love, then that one would think the other was the favored child.

What is one thing that we should eliminate from our parenting bag of tricks?
In this new year, I challenge parents of young children to develop the habit of being their child’s parent. Too many try to be their friend, buddy, companion, playmate — or worse — the missing parent. Don’t cheat a child out of having a mature, capable, competent parent. Often parents tell me they don’t want their child mad at them. “So what?” I ask. If your child gets mad at you, he or she will get over it. Never allow a child’s use of emotion to manipulate or compromise your standards. I think it was the actress Bette Davis who said, “If you’ve never been hated by your child; you’ve never been a parent.” And the child psychiatrist Dr. Grace Ketterman said, “Good mothers need to be tough at times.” These are two of my favorite quotes sprinkled throughout my book.

As the years pass and your child grows, you’ll do less disciplining and it’s appropriate to become more of a consultant. Be there when he or she needs you; provide assistance when asked, but know when to back off and allow some independence. As kids become adolescents, there will be even more camaraderie and less of the parenting. Eventually, as our children become young adults we need to back off — or work ourselves out of a job.

Thank you Brenda!

If you’d like to win a copy of Ms. Nixon’s book, Parenting Power in the Early Years, (U.S. shipping addresses only), please leave a comment on this post, and check out the New Habits in the New Year guidelines at this main post.

Come back on January 9 to see if you have won. Please be sure that the email address that you provide is one that you check regularly, and also check your spam folder when the winners are announced if you see your name.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 202 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenn January 8, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Neat Book

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2 Katherine January 8, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Please enter my name!
:)Kat

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3 Mamacheryl January 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Wow. That’s powerful stuff. Sign me up, please!

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4 Danielle January 8, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Sounds like a great book.

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5 tammy b January 8, 2008 at 4:56 pm

sounds like a very interesting read.

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6 Steph January 8, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Looks like a great book. Count me in!

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7 brandy w January 8, 2008 at 5:22 pm

great book

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8 SUSAN VARNEY January 8, 2008 at 5:24 pm

i need a good read

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9 Dan January 8, 2008 at 5:25 pm

please enter me

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10 Susan Smith January 8, 2008 at 5:25 pm

nice book

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11 Erica January 8, 2008 at 5:29 pm

nice!

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12 Pamela Muldowney January 8, 2008 at 5:35 pm

My son would love this book for his new baby son.

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13 Michele Poynter January 8, 2008 at 5:36 pm

sounds like a good read

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14 Jill H. January 8, 2008 at 5:38 pm

count me in, sounds like a book I need to read!

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15 Angela January 8, 2008 at 5:42 pm

I would love to win a copy!

I blogged you too:
http://www.prizeatron.com

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16 Todd Walden January 8, 2008 at 5:47 pm

ooh, enter me please!

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17 Stephanie January 8, 2008 at 5:53 pm

This looks like an excellent book…and perfect for the stage we’re in right now. Please enter me.

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18 JONI CHADWELL January 8, 2008 at 5:53 pm

sounds good to me!

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19 Tiffany G January 8, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Sounds like a great book!

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20 Karen Gonyea January 8, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Pick Me Please !!

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21 Angela C January 8, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Looks like a must read for parents of youngsters!

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22 Katherine Frazier January 8, 2008 at 6:12 pm

enter me – looks like a great book

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23 DonnaH January 8, 2008 at 6:19 pm

looks interesting

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24 Adrienne Gordon January 8, 2008 at 6:19 pm

I realllly need this

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25 jesy January 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm

The best parenting alway starts early

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26 Rachel Prieto January 8, 2008 at 6:25 pm

would like to read… :)

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27 Cindi Hoppes January 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm

It would be great to win this book! I agree with almost all of what the author said in your review! Please enter me in your contest. Thanks,Cindi

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28 Brooke Allen January 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm

I’d love to read this book.

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29 SJ January 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Count me in!

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30 Michael Capp January 8, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Looks like a good book!

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31 christopher h January 8, 2008 at 6:54 pm

love to win a copy of this

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32 Mary DeMuth January 8, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Alas, you mentioned her first as Brenda Howard, but it’s Brenda Nixon. Just an FYI.

Mary

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33 Denise January 8, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I need this!

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34 Miscellany Mom January 8, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Thanks for your info and interview!

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35 Kathy Scott January 8, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I love to read.

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36 charline s January 8, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Would love this book.

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37 betty gill January 8, 2008 at 7:21 pm

What a very powerful book. Would make a great gift for any Mother to be. Thanks for the offer.

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38 Linda Moeller January 8, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Good book.

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39 Stephen Alexander January 8, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Yeah good book!

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40 Brenda Prentice January 8, 2008 at 7:55 pm

What encouraging words!

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41 Rebecca Lunsford January 8, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Excellent book!

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42 Tyna Begley January 8, 2008 at 7:56 pm

That book sounds great!

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43 Shannon Baas January 8, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I would like this for my boss.

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44 Nancy January 8, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Would love to read this…

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45 Emily Cummings January 8, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I think every parent worries about whether or not they are doing things right in the way they raise their children. It’s important to have some kind of reference for reassurance.

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46 Rosanne Morrison January 8, 2008 at 8:14 pm

If we remember to treat our children as we would want to be treated it makes parenting easier

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47 Kayce C. January 8, 2008 at 8:15 pm

If you are a parent and smoke or do drugs, your child should complain to you about it.

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48 philip halter January 8, 2008 at 8:15 pm

enter me please

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49 Pam January 8, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Sign me up!

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50 Emmaline Kuebler January 8, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Enter me please.

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51 Fruitbearer January 8, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Please count me in. Thanks!

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52 kathleen haas January 8, 2008 at 8:40 pm

sounds like a good book

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53 Linda White January 8, 2008 at 8:51 pm

I needed this when my kids were little! I will read it and give it to a friend with small kids!

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54 John B January 8, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Any and all help welcome here

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55 Lynn Barbee January 8, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Sounds like something I could use also!

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56 Catherine copeland January 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

This sounds like a book that every parent would appreciate

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57 Beverley Justice January 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Gift for my daughter.

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58 Meg January 8, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Sounds like a wonderful read.

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59 Miranda Allen January 8, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for the contest, Please enter me.

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60 bob keck January 8, 2008 at 9:38 pm

i’D LIKE TO READ THAT.

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61 DD January 8, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Sign me up Jen Jen!!

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62 Susan Chester January 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

This would be great for my pregnant daughter.

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63 David Bertolo January 8, 2008 at 9:46 pm

My son could really use this book.

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64 Jill January 8, 2008 at 9:56 pm

oh, I need me some powerful parenting!

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65 Linda January 8, 2008 at 9:59 pm

This looks like a book every parent and grandparent should read !

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66 margaret herrin January 8, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Nice.

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67 shawna f January 8, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Would love to win!

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68 Jessica January 8, 2008 at 10:02 pm

This looks great! Count me in!

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69 Sarah Berry January 8, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Please enter me. Sounds interesting

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70 Liz Sawyer January 8, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I would love to gain the insights this book could offer me regarding my little ones.

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71 shelly January 8, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Interesting.

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72 Amber January 8, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Looks great! I think too often parenting is focused on multiple child families and those of us with one blessing need just as much help!

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73 Jennifer S January 8, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Looks good! Enter me please.

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74 Kristy BRown January 8, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I could use a new book.

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75 Amy R. January 8, 2008 at 10:45 pm

This sounds great!

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76 Debbie Criss January 8, 2008 at 10:46 pm

My daughter would love it with her new little one.

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77 gina snow January 8, 2008 at 10:48 pm

i want to win!!!

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78 Stephanie January 8, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Oh please, please, please pick me!!! I need this book like you wouldn’t believe. Thanks for the contest!
Stephanie
williamspublic at comcast dot net

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79 claudette flanigan January 8, 2008 at 11:02 pm

my daughter-in-law would love to get this book

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80 Erica G January 8, 2008 at 11:03 pm

I need this. I have a new one arriving shortly.

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81 Tamara Leonard Merritt January 8, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Thanks for the contest!

Please enter me.

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82 Naomi January 8, 2008 at 11:13 pm

This would come in handy, I think!

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83 Margery Yeager January 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Please pick me!

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84 jessica January 8, 2008 at 11:30 pm

oh, we could so use this!

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85 Taowyn January 8, 2008 at 11:30 pm

This will come in handy for my sister who is a new parent.

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86 valerie mabrey January 8, 2008 at 11:32 pm

please enter me thanks

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87 sandy January 8, 2008 at 11:32 pm

nice

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88 C Duran January 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Great book.

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89 Shay January 8, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Great lets get started.

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90 FireMom January 8, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Sounds good to me.

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91 ELLIE January 8, 2008 at 11:41 pm

count me in – this sounds great!!!!

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92 Vergie Weems January 8, 2008 at 11:44 pm

2 for me

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93 Paige January 8, 2008 at 11:54 pm

I’d like to enter.

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94 Hesper Fry January 9, 2008 at 12:01 am

First time parent here. I would love to win this!

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95 Catrina Pomerleau January 9, 2008 at 12:02 am

Please enter me in the drawing.

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96 Jamie January 9, 2008 at 12:28 am

Would love it :-)

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97 kerri renner January 9, 2008 at 12:35 am

neat book one i really could use my girls are very naughty

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98 Noreen January 9, 2008 at 12:35 am

sounds like a great book

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99 Candi January 9, 2008 at 12:48 am

Count me in!!

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100 Gina January 9, 2008 at 1:07 am

Sweet!

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101 Grace January 9, 2008 at 1:09 am

Good luck!

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102 Linda Lansford January 9, 2008 at 1:15 am

lol to all

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103 America January 9, 2008 at 1:35 am

We all need and want this and me too.

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104 Susan January 9, 2008 at 1:58 am

I need all the help I can get…

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105 Renee Turner January 9, 2008 at 3:12 am

Man, could my brother an sister-in-law really use this one!

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106 Lesha January 9, 2008 at 3:30 am

Thanks for the giveaway :)

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107 cheri January 9, 2008 at 4:32 am

I would love to add this book to my parenting “tools” resources!

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108 Kari Follett January 9, 2008 at 6:15 am

thanks!

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109 Jess Russell January 9, 2008 at 7:02 am

I would love to read this book.

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110 Beth Kuligowski January 9, 2008 at 7:45 am

Sounds great! Please enter me! Thanks!

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111 emily January 9, 2008 at 8:08 am

I would love to hear her speak. I’ll have to check out her website.

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112 Angie P. January 9, 2008 at 8:26 am

Sounds like a useful book. Thanks!

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113 Mama Zen January 9, 2008 at 8:51 am

This sounds like a great book!

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114 Mihaela Day January 9, 2008 at 9:26 am

sounds like a really good book

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115 Erin Daly January 9, 2008 at 9:40 am

This book looks great. I am always eager to read up on parenting advice.

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116 Rebecca Peters January 9, 2008 at 9:41 am

sounds good.

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117 Amy Moore January 9, 2008 at 9:48 am

I wanna win!! I’ve got 6.2 kids. This would be good.

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118 Donna January 9, 2008 at 9:51 am

I’d love to win this book.

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119 Samantha weiland January 9, 2008 at 9:51 am

I’m looking forward to giving this to my sister who is pregnant with her first

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120 Edward Durbin January 9, 2008 at 9:51 am

Everyone Have a Great 2008….

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121 Vicky Boackle January 9, 2008 at 9:56 am

i have a new grandbaby,this will be helpful .

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122 Denise D January 9, 2008 at 10:00 am

I think I could use this!

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123 Marie N. January 9, 2008 at 10:08 am

The formative years are essential for raising a healthy child, both mentally and physically. And as a parent I need all the help I can get.

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124 Karyn P January 9, 2008 at 10:15 am

I have a one and two year old, and I need this!!!

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125 Christine Saulter January 9, 2008 at 10:22 am

YES!!!!!! I really need this!!! Looks like a really helpful book!

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126 Brooke January 9, 2008 at 10:23 am

Please randomly select me!

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127 Sarah January 9, 2008 at 10:28 am

enter me!

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128 Annette January 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

Enter me, please.

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129 Janet M January 9, 2008 at 10:40 am

ty 4 the nice contest!

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130 Bhavana January 9, 2008 at 10:47 am

Enter me please. Thanks!

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131 Vicki Wurgler January 9, 2008 at 10:49 am

I like the comment Bette Davis made – please sign me up

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132 Timothy Sternberg January 9, 2008 at 10:52 am

Neat Book

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133 Kathy Conley January 9, 2008 at 10:57 am

Sounds great

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134 kathy pease January 9, 2008 at 11:11 am

have a great day :)

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135 JoAnn Ulrich January 9, 2008 at 11:19 am

Great prize!

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136 Joan Newman January 9, 2008 at 11:47 am

I would love this for my daughter-in-law

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137 Eileen Burke January 9, 2008 at 12:00 pm

This looks like a great read!

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138 hetal gandhi January 9, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I have two daughters and even though they are the best, there are of course some challenges. I would love to win this book.

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139 Jennifer January 9, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Please enter me and thanks!

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140 Danielle S January 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Good read!
dansan826 at yahoo dot com

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141 veronica sandberg January 9, 2008 at 12:34 pm

want to win this

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142 Stephanie January 9, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Awesome giveaway, count me in.

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143 Tesa January 9, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Sounds like a terrific book!

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144 Rhonda CLEMENS January 9, 2008 at 12:48 pm

THANKS FOR THE CONTEST–hAVE A GREAT YEAR TO ALL!!

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145 Sandy January 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Could sure use this book!

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146 Janice Golden January 9, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I have a 3yr old that could benefit from this

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147 sarah inselman January 9, 2008 at 1:28 pm

This would be helpful. Thanks for the contest.

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148 Cindy Ortiz January 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I can’t wait to read and implement these strategies!

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149 Patricia January 9, 2008 at 1:45 pm

I do not believe in “by the book”, but information cannot hurt………might even help!

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150 Aliah D. January 9, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Seems like an informative read! I’m in!

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151 Racheal January 9, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Wanna win

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152 Carissa Davis January 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Sounds like a great book.

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153 susan January 9, 2008 at 2:04 pm

sounds very interesting, a good read for any parent…

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154 Aimee B January 9, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Looks like a great book that I’d love to read. Please enter me.

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155 Wendy January 9, 2008 at 2:32 pm

sounds like a wonderful book. Please count me in!!

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156 Corina Smith January 9, 2008 at 2:37 pm

sounds like something everyone could benefit from!

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157 Bess January 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Count me in! :)

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158 Anita Yancey January 9, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Sounds like a good book. Please enter me.

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159 Sarah Stern January 9, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Love to win this – I can always use more guidance as I raise my little guy!

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160 tracy holcomb January 9, 2008 at 3:37 pm

this sounds great- sign me up

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161 Amanda January 9, 2008 at 3:46 pm

MOPS has been such a great outlet for me since becoming a mom to twin boys and choosing to stay at home with them. I’d love to read this book!

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162 Michelle H. January 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm

I would like to read this.

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163 Diane S January 9, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I have a friend who would just love this book. :)

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164 Alix Stephens January 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I could use this book. Pleas enter me!

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165 Angela White January 9, 2008 at 4:19 pm

I would love to win this book.

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166 Monique January 9, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Please enter me :)

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167 Rhonda Grable January 9, 2008 at 6:22 pm

I’d love to win!

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168 Timothy Selig January 9, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Sure would like to read this.
Also say a prayer for our troops.

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169 oh amanda January 9, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Sounds great!

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170 Pamela White January 9, 2008 at 7:37 pm

sounds like a winner I hope I am

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171 Steve Scott January 9, 2008 at 7:37 pm

My wife loves to read.

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172 Sandra January 9, 2008 at 7:47 pm

I would love to check this out.

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173 Tina H January 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Thanks so much for a great stop on the tour!

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174 Naghma Husain January 9, 2008 at 8:08 pm

thank you!

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175 Brenda Nixon January 9, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Wow, so many responses! I wish all of you could win a free copy of my book, Parenting Power in the Early Years. For those who don’t, you can find it at Amazon or ask your local public library to order a copy for you.
Thanks again, Jennifer, for allowing me to share a bit with your readers.

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176 Crystal Gleason January 9, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Looks great!

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177 Kathy Davis January 9, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Great Book……….

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178 Shaun Wallner January 9, 2008 at 9:03 pm

This is an awesome book, id love to read it

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179 Terry Burns January 9, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Great interview Jennifer, I enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.

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180 Amy Pedersen January 9, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Like the book

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181 Donna Kozar January 9, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Looks neat.

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182 Kerry January 9, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Great contest! thanks!

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183 sarah woods January 9, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Best of Luck to ALL who enter the contest

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184 samantha miner January 9, 2008 at 9:56 pm

awesome.. count me in

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185 Amy January 9, 2008 at 10:18 pm

This looks like a great book!

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186 Barb Wild January 9, 2008 at 10:32 pm

parenting is a ball of fun. I have twins and i would like this book to give to my friends son and daughter in law having their first child.

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187 Lily Kwan January 9, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

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188 sherrie lindner January 9, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Pick me! My daughter is having a baby and this would be good reading for her.

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189 Lisah January 9, 2008 at 10:51 pm

I could use this!

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190 B DePoy January 9, 2008 at 11:00 pm

My wife and I are expecting a baby girl in Feb 08. We could really use this to help us with our parenting skills. Sounds like a great book.

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191 Cindy S January 9, 2008 at 11:08 pm

I need this for my twin toddler grandchildren!

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192 Cathy Messecar January 9, 2008 at 11:38 pm

I’m the mother of a 37 and a 33 year old, and everytime I read Brenda’s advice, I’m in awe of her wisdom and her strength in communicating it to parents. Thanks for hosting Brenda.

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193 Taryn January 9, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Sounds great!

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194 Melinda W January 9, 2008 at 11:58 pm

I could use this with my 4 kiddos!!!

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195 Heather C January 9, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Sounds interesting.

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196 Doreen January 10, 2008 at 12:35 am

this would be a great gift for a soon-to-be-firsttime-mom friend of mine!

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197 Jessica McKelvie January 10, 2008 at 2:26 am

this sounds interesting!

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198 Terra January 10, 2008 at 11:19 am

Great interview, and I like the idea of children being as unique as snowflakes. I have a copy of Brenda’s book and it is full of tips.

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199 Mandy January 10, 2008 at 11:25 am

Enter me Please!

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200 Christine Stewart January 13, 2008 at 6:07 pm

count me in, this sounds like a very interesting read.

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201 Colleen Palat January 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm

This sounds wonderful! Count me in.

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202 DARIJA January 17, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Nice prize

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