You’re not the boss of me!!

by gurumommy on May 24, 2010

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Welcome back to gurumommy expert, Betsy Brown Braun, our resident parenting expert!  I recently got to sit down with Betsy, to chat about her new book, “You’re Not the Boss of Me!

That’s a great title. There must be a story behind it.That exclamation, “You’re not the boss of me!” is a universal.  Everyone I know has a child who said that exact thing at some time or other. (And apparently there are some husbands out there who say it too!).  I wanted a phrase that captured the child at his worst, and that was it!But my book really isn’t about how to deal with brats. It is about how we cultivate in our children the character traits, values really, that are typical of kids who aren’t brats. I am talking about traits like self reliance, respect, empathy, gratitude, honesty, to name a few.

What do you think a brat is?

I know one thing for sure: brats are not born!  Everyone is a brat at some point or other.  Your child is a brat when she or he is not doing just what you want him to do at that moment!  Kids will be bratty because of lousy local conditions (when the environment sabotages his ability to be his best self…or when he is tired, hungry, stressed, wiped out from your errands, etc..) And they will be brats when they want your attention. And most importantly, kids tend to be brats when they feel weak. Brattiness is a behavior of last resort. Nothing else works.  Kids who feel good about themselves, who feel powerful, who know what is expected of them, who have self efficacy aren’t brats.

Do you have a favorite chapter in your book?

Well, that’s kind of like asking if you have a favorite child, isn’t it?! I am really happy with all of them. Each is important for its own reason. And all of them are applicable to everyday life. You know, that’s how I write, with hands-on, practical tips and scripts. So each chapter offers ways to encourage that particular trait in your child.   I think people will really find the chapter on Self reliance, for example,  very useful. But so is the one on Gratitude, and the one on Honesty, and on Respect. Oh dear. I guess I really can’t choose.

How is the book doing? This is your second, right?

Yes, this came after Just Tell Me What to Say. That book was my first, and it did really well. It went into 4 printings after having been out for less than a year, made the best seller list, and even won an award.  You’re Not the Boss of Me may top that.  It went into its third printing after it had been out for less than10 days! And it hit number one in all of its categories on Amazon. That was amazing! It is getting really great reviews. I am absolutely thrilled.  The other day I was thumbing through the book and seriously, I said to myself, “Hey, this is really good. Did I write this?!”   I think people are going to find it useful. My goal is for both my books to become evergreen, to last on and on and on.

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