Today’s featured debut author is my friend and colleague Denise Schipani, who has written a nonfiction book about the importance of doing the “hard stuff” when it comes to parenting. Here, Denise also discusses working through the “hard stuff” of writing – how she took on the longest and biggest writing assignment of her career and came out a published author, and the mother of two very proud little boys, on the other side.
Name of book: Mean Moms Rule: Why Doing the Hard Stuff Now Creates Good Kids Later
Book genre: Nonfiction/Parenting
Date published: April 1, 2012
What is your day job? I’m a writer and an editor; I write for magazines and websites, and my own blog. I’ve been fulltime freelance for seven-plus years, and before that was a consumer magazine editor for 16 or so years.
What is your book about? It’s pretty much as the subtitle says: That parents are wise to do the “hard stuff” (teaching values, saying “no” where appropriate, teaching skills, remaining in control) early on, with the end goal of raising good kids later. It’s a reversal of sorts of the more loosey-goosey parenting style that’s been in vogue the last couple of generations, and that to me seems centered on the here and now. That said, though I’m clear on what I think and what I mean, my tone is neither didactic nor dull (I hope!). In fact, I go for the funny as much as I can.
Why did you want to write this book? I started blogging in 2009, because – and I mean this literally – the idea leaped into my head and “spoke” to me. Turned out, I had a lot to say. I wasn’t necessarily thinking “book,” but a couple of agents got in touch and got me thinking, and eventually I turned out a book proposal.
C’mon, you can tell us… Do you really consider yourself a Mean Mom? I do. I knew I would be before I had kids. But I am careful to point out that I’m “mean” not because I’m harsh, unkind, or not affectionate. I’m mean because my style of parenting is out of the mainstream a bit. And because there are times it’s harder (for me to do, and for my kids to receive), but not because it’s not benevolent. I’m a big hugger, and my kids don’t want for anything. The thing is, when I say they don’t want for anything, I’m the one who decides what they need, not them (because they think they need Club Penguin cash and an iPod and a 10 p.m. bedtime, none of which they are getting right now).