October 30, 2009

The Birth to Five Book (by Brenda Nixon) : Interview & giveaway

TheBirthtoFiveBook*Comment below to enter for your own copy! One winner will be selected at random.org (please see interview question #9 for the entry requirement). Giveaway ends on November 5th.

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thrifty Jinxy was selected as the winner (at random.org). Congrats and thanks to everyone who entered!

While on a recent trip to Oregon I had the pleasure of reading “The Birth to Five Book” by Brenda Nixon.

Our kids have about 300 books throughout the house, I would guess. Between my husband’s collection and my collection we probably own close to 3,000 books in total (some are in storage). In an effort to keep our books nice, I typically have a rule against dog-earing the pages. As I read Brenda’s book I found myself dog-earing every other page. It was a bit ridiculous, actually. Half the book is dog-eared now.

I ended up highlighting some pages and circling the text on other pages, in an effort to draw my own attention back to concepts that really stood out for me. However, with so many pages written on now, I’d have a hard time choosing.

One of the things I was thrilled by was an endorsement on the back of this book, written by Dr. Sally Goldberg. Dr. Sally and I worked on numerous projects together between YMCA and DS Network workshops and book designs to various ideas for early childhood education. So, in all fairness, the book was an easy sell for me even before I began reading it…knowing that Sally had already endorsed it :-)

Between encouraging parents to hold their newborns when feeding, to fostering quality play time and hands-on activities, to using real photos in learning, my own educational philosophies certainly seem to mesh with those outlined in The Birth to Five Book. I have no doubt this book would be loved by preschool teachers and parents across the globe.

Two thumbs up.

On with the interview!

BrendaNixon1. Tell our readers a little bit about your background.

I earned a Masters degree in education – I’m a teacher at heart – and have raised two girls. Besides the formal training and the “Mom” experience, I’ve served as a certified parent educator, preschool teacher, and substitute teacher in the public schools.

In 1996, I launched a professional speaker career; speaking to parents and childcare providers at schools, churches, and conferences. In 2001, my first book was published. Since then I’ve contributed to 25 books and in 2009, my second parenting book, The Birth to Five Book was released. I’m excited to learn that it was awarded the 2009 Good Parenting Seal.

2. What prompted you to write this book?

Building stronger families through parent empowerment is my passion and profession. I fulfill this mission through education in child development/behavior and encouragement.

While being on the speaker circuit, tons of parents ask me about a book. The first book sold out and The Birth to Five Book, giving parents a jumpstart on a successful parenting career, was needed. New research, answers to commonly asked questions, examples, stories, and guidance for everything a parent needs in childrearing from the crib to kindergarten is in The Birth to Five Book. I truly hope to give parents confidence and competence in their enormous and sacred task.

3. If you had to name your favorite chapter, which one would it be?

Oh dear, that’s a tough one! Since I love helping parents know what’s normal – and not – in development, I guess any of the chapters where I sprinkle on a bit of development information. Oops, but wait, I do like the potty training chapters because that’s a huge angst with parents. “The Power of Play” is a potent chapter and I so wish today that children had more opportunities to just run outdoors and play without structure or adult interference. The value of free play cannot be overestimated, for one thing it helps a child with emotional stability. Well, now you see just like a family, I cannot pick one favorite chapter anymore than one favorite child.

4. What is your #1 tip for expecting parents?

Read all you can, ask questions, be a learner. “Children are complex and unique beings, yet they do have much in common. From the moment they come into our lives they bring us exhilaration and exhaustion. And raising children is the greatest – most challenging – career any person can attempt,” p. 199 The Birth to Five Book.

5. What is your #1 tip for new parents?

Respond immediately – and calmly – to your newborn. Research show that in the first 6 months if a baby feels his cries are validated by a caring parent, that baby will not cry as much or often later on. The first six months build a strong bond and trust between the baby and parent plus those are the months a baby’s brain is laying the pathway for emotional control.

6. What is your #1 tip for veteran parents?

Trust your gut. Do what YOU feel is right for YOUR child; don’t copy other parents, stand in line with government agendas, compare your parenting skills, or compete with anyone else. Just do what is right for your unique child(ren).

7. Are you an empty nester now?

LOL – some people call it “free bird” rather than empty nester. In a way I am but, since we have a college daughter who comes home during breaks and holidays, I don’t feel “empty.” I’ve been blessed with two fabulous daughters and a great husband, so I’ll never be empty — if anything, I’ll always have full memories.

8. How can people contact you?


9. Are you giving away a book with today’s review?

If I’m provided with a winner’s address, I’ll see she (or he) gets a complimentary copy of The Birth to Five Book. The only thing I ask in return is an honest review posted to amazon and bn.com.

10. Any final thoughts to share with us?

I once saw a bumper sticker that said, “Childhood is a journey, not a race.” Are you prepared to be your child’s journey mate? Rise above your doubts, fears, or busy schedule and walk through each day in this short season in your life. Those words are my final thoughts in The Birth to Five Book.



Brenda Nixon, M.A.,  Building stronger families through parent empowerment
Speaker / Author of the Award-Winning The Birth to Five Book (Revell)
My life & work in 140 characters or less : http://twitter.com/BrendaNixon

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