Five by the Sea

Follow up! An Interview with the Author of MOMOLOGY- Shelly Radic
June 11, 2010, 6:21 am
Filed under: Interviews | Tags: , , , , ,

I was given the opportunity to interview the author of Momology, Shelly Radic, and jumped at the chance. I am always intrigued by interviewing authors as so much goes into the thought process of putting together and writing a book, editing the book, and then finally publishing it. There is always a “story behind the story” that fascinates me. Shelly was gracious in answering my questions about how Momology came about, and what she hopes to express to Mom’s through her book about the most important job in the world- raising our children.

Here is the interview, thanks Shelly! 

Can you share a little bit about the research that went into Momology?

The research being done on parenting and families is extensive. To shape the content and better understand what moms are most concerned about, we spent several months reviewing research done by agencies and organizations such as the YMCA, Search Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as reviewing the thinking of multiple parenting experts, current university and government research as well as mom websites and blogs. About 1,800 moms of preschoolers also responded to surveys specifically for Momology. Momology is also based on what MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers, Intl.) has learned in over 35 years of working with moms.

From your research and extensive surveying, you found that there were four essential elements that result in the best parenting. Can you share what those essentials are?

After considering the research, we identified four areas that most contribute to shaping great kids which are: Core, Finesse, Circle and Grandscape. They’re quite interconnected, one supporting another to shape healthy, resilient moms and kids.

Starting within herself, there is a mom’s CORE. To be healthy and resilient, a mom needs to know and grow who she is, her personality, experiences, passions and potential.

From her CORE, a mom develops FINESSE, the ability to successfully interact with her kids, loving them, caring for them, disciplining them, and shaping who they are becoming.

Every mom needs a CIRCLE of relationships to support her and her kids. Having people we can count on, the service providers, neighbors, friends, extended family, and most importantly, if a mom is married, her husband. If she’s not married, having a parenting partner makes a huge difference.

A relationship with God, engaging in his GRANDSCAPE or plan for life gives a mom purpose and hope both now and in the future. That relationship positively impacts her CORE.

You can see how the four areas are both critical for success and interconnected with each other.

How can a mom handle the effects of culture on her children?

In the eight years between my oldest and youngest children, my experience is that this has become increasingly challenging but I still think the same three principles that can guide moms.

  • Immerse in excellence. Engage kids in the best culture has to offer. Share opportunities for them to participate in and with the best music, art, literature, science and media your community has to offer. Surround your kids with a circle of supportive, positive people of a variety of ages and ethnicities. Include kids in doing good- host an International student, pack groceries in reusable bags, grow vegetables and share some with a soup kitchen.
  • Instill discernment. Identify negative influences and discuss why they are harmful. For instance, if litter is a problem in the neighborhood, talk about how this can hurt birds and our water supply. Teach evaluative skills. Is this real or pretend? Safe or scary? Practice safe responses such as how to say no, move away, tune out or seek assistance.
  • Be aware. Keep up with new technology, media and cultural trends and the impact they have on children. This is one place a mom group can be really helpful.

What little tidbit or nugget of information can you give to my readers that you have learned from writing this book?

I need to share two!

1- As I wrote Momology, I became more convinced than ever that mothering should be done in community so invest each week in time with at least one supportive mom friend. Meet at the park or at your house to talk while the kids play. Chat on the phone. Do some errands or make a meal together.

2- I am specifically designed to match what my child needs in a mom and so are you.  I had some kid challenges while I was writing Momology and spent some time beating myself up for who I wasn’t. It’s easy to go there as a mom. While every mom screws up at times, our “who” is no mistake. Be confident in the mom God created you to be and use all that he’s given you to be the best mom possible.