A lifelong Virginian, graduate of Sweet Briar College, and assistant editor at The Virginian-Pilot. I had 3 miscarriages and later spent 7 months of a pregnancy in bed. I have 2 very dear children... a son who is married and is a surgeon and cancer researcher and a daughter who is married and has two grown daughters.
I love life. My parents helped me appreciate nature in all of its forms. I live near the ocean and enjoy it with a passion. I love my family and my friends and also enjoy solitude. Writing and thinking about parenting have taken up much of my time all of my adult life.
A director of Norfolk Academy where my children went for 3rd grade through 12th grade asked me what I had done with them before they ever went to First Grade. That became my first book.
Why am I spending so much time thinking about, talking about, and writing about parenting? Maybe it is just to clarify it for myself. Or maybe, also, it is because, after my marriage I had the miscarriages and then thought I would never be able to have a child. I spent at least a year, crying, sobbing, and watching parents with their children. I stopped crying, but have never stopped studying parenting.
During that sad year when I thought I might never have a child, I would hear a mother complain because her baby had kept her awake the previous night. When I would hear such a comment, it would feel like a knife was being stuck in my heart. I would hear parents complain because a toddler was asking so many questions (trying to learn!) It was terrible. I would hear parents complain about their teenagers. I would see parents in stores being mean to their little children. It was awful. I wanted those children that other parents were complaining about. So did my husband. It was a time when I could not help watching how parents treated their children and how their children treated them back. That was predictable, I realized.
Watching parents being unkind to their children, I thought maybe the parents were not even considering that they could be kind to those little children who were so ready to learn whatever that parent would teach them.
There is another reason that I have kept thinking so much about parenting. It is surely at the top of the list. When a mass murder takes place, when a single murder takes place, when a business man is dishonest, when a teenager becomes hooked on drugs, when a child in elementary school is a bully to other children, and so forth, on and on the list could go ... and many wonder what is wrong with people, what can we do ... I think ... what we can do is not a mystery... the answer is parenting. In my books I write about the one word for a parent to remember that will make a difference.
When the director of Norfolk Academy asked me to write I had no idea that I would keep it up for years! But it has been thrilling to me to have numerous articles about parenting published and to be on tv and national radio shows and also to win honors. Most importantly, most of all, it is thrilling to find that more and more parents seem to be accepting the philosophy that parents should work with their child instead of against their child. More writers and speakers about parenting are teaching this; some only partially still. But my hope is that more will realize that kindness is the answer always. Right?!
||Author of 3 books:
- A Present to the Newborn
- Parenting without Punishment
- Choosing Happiness
To email Author Emily Slingluff@aol.com