Sunday, November 15, 2009

Interview and Review for The Birth to Five Book

Brenda Nixon 's The Birth to Five Book


When should we start our baby on solids? What do I do if my toddler bites another child? Will the "why" questions ever end? Ask any parenting question and you're sure to get lots of answers--from magazines, your in-laws, your sister, even complete strangers! But with all the conflicting advice, what's a busy parent to do? The Birth to Five Book gives you practical, down-to-earth help and success strategies for this big res
ponsibility. Forget the ivory tower childrearing theories and the old wives' tales. Whether raising an infant, toddler, or preschooler--or all of them at once!--you'll love this collection of commonsense advice from a parenting expert. From feeding and reading to discipline, toilet training, and play, it's all here in simple terms that any parent can put to work immediately. "Child problems need parent solutions. That is exactly what Brenda Nixon helps you create for your child. Her easy-to-read style calms you as you learn to guide and support your child."--Sally Goldberg, PhD, early childhood author, educator, speaker, coach "Brenda's practical and wise advice will give great peace and knowledge to every parent."--Kathy Collard Miller, speaker, author "Nixon cuts to the core of exactly what parents need to know in a balanced way that is rooted in wisdom."--Debra White Smith, author, speaker, mom Brenda Nixon, MA, is a frequent media guest sharing childrearing insights and encouragement, and a popular speaker to parents and professionals who work with children. She has spoken at MOPS International and Hearts at Home national conventions, AEYC conferences, and citywide parent expos. A member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and a CLASS graduate, Nixon is a contributing author to dozens of books and has extensive training in child development and parent empowerment.


The Birth to Five Book is a must have for all parents. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. I have young children so I can relate to the book and the information in it perfectly. Many times I found myself nodding my head in agreement. The book was informative and interesting. The information listed in each chapter is there to encourage, help and support parents. Brenda does a wonderful job incorporating the parent into the parenting process instead of making them an outsider of it. She guides parents through each step of a child’s early development, helping them to be the best parent and child they can be. Every parent has questions and it is nice to know there is a book out there that has the answers.


Welcome, Brenda. It’s great to have you with us.

Thanks for the invite, Renee, and for reading The Birth to Five Book.

Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
Here's what one press release says; As the former Kansas City FOX TV4 parenting expert, Brenda is the author of the award-winning The Birth to Five Book. Recently quoted in Parenting and Good Housekeeping magazines, she is a frequent media guest and popular speaker to parents and childcare professionals. From schools to synagogues, businesses to bookstores, conferences to churches, audiences rave that Brenda "engages, educates, and encourages!" As a writer, Brenda is a contributing author to 25 titles, is co-author on A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, and a freelance writer for family publications. She often instructs at writers conferences. In September, Brenda was named "Mom of the Week" by Lifetime Entertainment. She lives in Ohio with her husband and near her two grown daughters.
Quickly, I’m a mom, an educator, and it’s my passion to build stronger families through parent empowerment. I fulfill this passion through my writing and speaking coast-to-coast. If you want more info you can go to

How did your writing career begin?
In 1996, as I was speaking to audiences I realized the marriage between speaking and writing. People wanted something beyond the platform. That's when I went to work writing my first book for parents.

Tell us about The Birth to Five Book and what inspired you to write it.

When I was starting my parenting career, I felt dumb as a doorknob. I had questions and doubts. We can have all the academic, book knowledge in the world but, that "Mom" confidence comes from experience and support from others. Well, since I speak to and work with parents, I know many feel vulnerable to doubt. So I gathered the most common issues in raising a tot from the crib to kindergarten and wrote The Birth to Five Book. The subtitle, Confident Childrearing Right from the Start, is my goal. Hopefully it will inform and inspire parents, giving them not only knowledge about child development but practical solutions and guidance in childrearing right from the start.

In what forms is your book available? Is it available in e-book, hard cover or traditional paperback, or all?

Funny, you should ask; a friend of mine just told me she saw it on her Australian friend's bookshelf. There is a kindle version. The paperback edition is available at bookstores nationwide, online, and anyone can order an autographed copy by contacting me off My publisher also tells me that there's a contract for a Korean-language edition of The Birth to Five Book. Translation is in progress. I'm grateful this book is making its rounds internationally.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us about them.

Yes. The easiest way to answer your question, Renee, is to invite people to "Brenda's Bookstore" To date, I've contributed to 28 books and am contributing to another one now. Although, I love to speak and write to parents, I try to expand my craft to writing in other genres. For example, I'm co-author on a popular holiday giftbook, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, and to several Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, and women's devotional books.

Parents often doubt that they’re doing a good enough job in raising their children. What do you say about that?

Join the club. LOL Seriously, trust your gut. Even though parenting is a doubt-producing profession, usually what you feel is the best for your child really is.

Parents often have a hard time getting small children to mind. Why is that?

Youngsters are egocentric, they hate it when adults thwart their agenda, and curiosity driven. These two combine factors combine to produce most of the discipline battles. Although their behavior may be normal, it's not always pleasant. For anyone who wants discipline encouragement I offer a free Discipline Tip each week via email. To subscribe send your email address to

How can parents encourage their children to love reading?

A couple ways; be a good role model by reading in view of your kids, and begin reading to your children even when they're babies to nurture their love of literature. In my presentation, "Read to Me!" I talk about the multiple benefits of reading aloud to children and suggest ways to make reading more fun. Often parents think they must sit down every day for 20 minutes to read to their kids, but that becomes work and loses it's luster. Parents can read aloud when they receive mail, their recipes as they cook, read the road signs as they drive. Basically, by reading everything aloud it shows to kids that being literate is a key to success and functionality in our society.

What role do fathers play in their child’s development? How can they make sure that they’re involved and their children know that they love them?

Thanks for asking this question Renee. It's amazing how and how much of an impact fathers make on their children. I encourage several ways to be involved in a child's daily care (plus it gives Mom a break) and reveal the research on pages 71-73 of The Birth to Five Book. I've found that men never regret being involved in their child's life.

What aspects of a child’s behavior may parents not be aware of are completely normal?

Oh my, usually all the behaviors that drive us nuts are normal - the tattling, thumb-sucking, biting, tantrums, whining, back-talk, power struggles. However, that doesn't mean we sit idly by and allow the behavior. It is our job - our responsibility - as parents to teach our children appropriate ways to gain satisfaction and how to be self-disciplined.

For any parent, raising a child is stressful, what can parents do to relieve some of that stress so they don’t take it out on their children?

Just as no human parent is perfect, so no child is perfect. We need to remember that kids have bad days just like us. One way to relieve stress is to give yourself and your kids permission to mess-up. Humor is another way to relieve so stress - find the humor in a situation, or at least tell yourself, "When they're teens this'll make a great story." Speaking of humor, on page 185, I write about the "Am I a normal parent?" syndrome and list comical ways we're all pretty much the same. On a more serious note, I list ways to be a "successful" parent on pages 183-184.

How do you suggest parents teach their children to be grateful, rather than greedy?

An attitude of gratitude starts with the parent. I encourage moms and dads to demonstrate thankfulness to others - including their kids - by saying "thanks," and by commenting on how blessed they feel. There's something to be thankful for in every situation. Also, parents can teach children to share excess clothes and toys by donating to a shelter. And the big one is to remember that a birthday or Christmas list is a suggestion only list - never a Mommy-do list! Don't get kids everything their little heart desires; it isn't healthy nor realistic.

How long did it take you to write The Birth to Five Book and how much research did you have to do?

I gave "birth" to this book in 2000 when I wrote a similar book (now sold-out). My agent learned that I wanted to revised, update, and refresh that book, For about a year, I reviewed my information, research, and statistics plus added more chapters and we sold this manuscript to Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The Birth to Five Book released in January 2009 to strong reviews and sales. In October, it was awarded the 2009 Good Parenting Seal. I bring it with me on speaking engagements so I can autograph copies for audiences.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to our readers today. Good luck in all of your future endeavors. Please check out this amazing book by Brenda Nixon.

Thank you Renee, it's a pleasure chatting with you. Continued good wishes on your service to readers.

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