Spreading Good News (Post 669 – EXCERPTS FROM MY BOOKS: “Mother’s Dozen: An Easy Recipe for Raising GREAT Kids!”)

The goal of Spreading Good News is for readers to:

GET INSPIRED and/or GET MOTIVATED and/or GET INFORMED and/or GET AWE-STRUCK and/or GET A BREAK FROM ALL THE NEGATIVE NEWS and to tell readers about our good, short books and our online store.













ANNOUNCING MY NEWEST NEW BOOK!!  My Simple Quotes to Live By.  Many have asked me to put together a book of my quotes that I post here on my blog and on social media.  This book contains 169 of them on 90 pages.  

It’s available through http://www.GoodShortBooks.com

My “Constant Quote” (above) was chosen to appear in the 2013 Women’s Advantage Shared Wisdom Calendar that is available at http://www.womansadvantage.biz/prod_cat.php 


ANNOUNCING MY NEW BOOK!!  Dear Bully:  A Collection of Poems about Bullying.  I’m reading six poems from the book at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3sdKM-yl2M.

I love to read your comments!!



It’s Wednesday!!  Time for “Excerpts From My Books.”

I have written seven non-fiction books and one children’s fiction book.  I’ve just released my eighth one.  My mission statement is:  “I write books that inspire people on their journey to make this world a better place.”  You can read the preview and reviews for all my books at http://www.GoodShortBooks.com.

Every Wednesday, I will share an excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you will enjoy it.  Writers really appreciate comments from their readers, so please leave a comment on my blog!  Thank you!

Mother’s Dozen:  An Easy Recipe for Raising GREAT Kids!
by Joyce Fields

My son was born in the 1970’s.  He was delivered by C-section, so I was in the hospital for six days.  For the first two or three days, he did not have a name.  He was born during the “Black is Beautiful” awakening—big afros and African-inspired clothes.  His father (his name is Frederick, but everybody calls him “Pap”) and I wanted our son to have an African name.  We chose “Mkonto,” which means “spear” in Swahili.

On the day he was born, my mother was at the hospital. Six days later, when I brought him home, my two sisters came to see him.  Within the next couple of days, all four of my brothers came to see their new nephew.  Everybody talked to him and showed him lots of love and affection.

I had already learned that, when your baby is born, it must be trained to live the way its family lives.  You don’t drastically lower the volume on the television or radio; you don’t sleep with the lights on; you don’t tell everyone to be abnormally quiet.  You do acquaint the baby with its family’s ways of doing things.

For the first few months of Konto’s life, we lived with Pap’s mother, brother, and sister and their children, so he was surrounded by family.  When Konto was five months old, we moved to our own townhouse apartment.

Babies can’t talk, but they are super intelligent.  They learn what they live.  I was going to train Konto; he was not going to train me.  I wanted him to learn things that would enhance our living and growing together.  I wanted him to learn things that would serve him well throughout his life.

If it was naptime or bedtime, I did not pick him up when he cried.  If I knew that he was full and dry and had been burped, I let him cry himself to sleep.  Of course, I tested him. He’d cry, I’d pick him up.  He’d stop crying.  I’d do that a couple of times.  Then, I’d gently tell him that he had to go to sleep, kiss him and put him back in his crib.

He learned that crying would not get him picked up.  It was a battle of wills, but he finally learned that he was not going to win.  He stopped.

When I started him on baby food, I made sure that he got plenty of variety, especially fruits and vegetables.  Some vegetables he initially didn’t like. I am not a picky eater, his father is not a picky eater, and I was determined not to have a child who was a picky eater.

When he spit food out, I would spoon it all back up from his chin and bib and put it back into his mouth.  We would go through this routine several times, but he eventually learned that he was not going to get away with it and that he might as well swallow the stuff and get it over with.  He learned to like virtually all fruits and vegetables.

When he started crawling, I did not rearrange our house.  Of course, I kept dangerous things out of his reach, but he had to learn what he could and could not mess with.  I freely used “stop” and “no.”  And everyone is familiar with that famous short-vowel sound that mothers (and other female caregivers) make.  It’s the dragged-out sound of the letter “a” as in apple—aaaaaaa!  That sound seems to be universally recognized by babies as meaning “DON’T YOU DARE!”  And it’s usually enough to stop them in their tracks.

When Konto would reach for something that I didn’t want him to touch, I would make that sound.  He would stop and look at my face as if to say, “Do you really mean that?”  My facial expression would be stern, and my tone of voice would be firm and cold as I said something like, “You heard me. Leave it alone.”  He would blink and head off into another direction.

Sometimes he’d ease back toward the forbidden object, then turn to look at me to see if I was still watching him (which I usually was).  When our eyes met, I might give him a verbal warning or I might let my expression do the talking.  In either case, he usually got the message and went off to do something else.

On those rare occasions when nothing else worked, I would use corporal punishment.  Not severe beatings.  Not floggings.  Not child abuse.  I’d grab his fat little hand and give it a good whack.  Or I’d pop him on his leg or his behind.  It was always the last resort, but it always worked.

Children naturally try to (as the old folks used to say) “stretch their wings.”  If the parents/guardians don’t clip ‘em, the kids will fly all over the place—totally out of control. Today, far too many children have wings like 747’s!!

A lot of parents are saying, “I want my kids to have it better than I had it.”  Why?  I reasoned that, since I think my parents did a good job of raising their children, I will raise mine the same way.

Based on my observations, the parents whose kids “had it better” are not very proud of their kids because they act spoiled and inconsiderate.  That’s what usually happens when children are undeservedly given everything they want, when they want it.

Giving children designer clothes, gym shoes that cost one hundred dollars or more, gold jewelry, etc., can (and too often does) lead them to place too much value on “things,” with little regard for the old saying that “the best things in life are free.”

There is no cost for those things that help to develop children into decent human beings, starting with manners.

Mother’s Dozen:  An Easy Recipe for Raising GREAT Kids! is available at http://www.GoodShortBooks.com.

Remember:  Mother’s Dozen makes an excellent addition to (or as a stand-alone gift for) all baby showers or as a gift to new parents.  Only 41 pages; $7.99, plus shipping.  E-book is $1.99.  It’s available at http://www.GoodShortBooks.com and http://www.amazon.com!



Share your comment about this post.

NOTE FROM JOYCEIf you enjoyed and/or learned from this blog, please leave a comment and send the link to others.  Thanks!!

If you’re interested in reading all about “My Breast Cancer Journey,” those posts start with post #334.


~ Joyce Fields



Joyce is an author who has written eight books.  If you enjoy this blog, you will, undoubtedly, enjoy all her books.  Her sister, Anita, is also an author.

BE INSPIRED!  You can read about and order their books AND order merchandise from their online store at this link (or click the “BE INSPIRED!” button above):


Thanks for your interest AND support!!

Contact Joyce at goodshortbooks@yahoo.com.



I visit these blogs and leave comments regularly.  I think you will enjoy them all!

http://www.lenasledgeblog.com  Books, reviews, give-aways, interviews.

http://living4bliss.com  Believing Life Is Set up for Success (BLISS)

http://goss-coaching.com/author/gosscoaching  A professional writer and wellness coach helping people connect thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and action to create optimal health and a vibrant life.

http://www.thebirkineffect.com  Musings of a “want it all” 21st century woman

http://www.thesweetsensations.com  A baking, entertainment, and lifestyle blog.  Fantastic recipes and food photography, too!

http://www.pennilessparenting.com  A rich life on minimum wage.  Plus fabulous, healthful recipes!

http://www.rumpydog.com  I’m a dog with a unique perspective on human life.

http://www.davidkanigan.com/  Lead.Learn.Live.  David Kanigan:  Inspiration, Ideas & Information.

http://callingoftheheart.wordpress.com  Spirituality, Psychology, and Political.

http://www.petedenton.wordpress.com  Writer of short stories, Flash fiction, and some scripts.


About Line of Serenity (Joyce Fields)

As a thought leader for today's generation, I choose to be part of the solution and am doing things that positively impact people's lives. In addition to being a happy, married (since 1967!) woman, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, I have over 40 years' experience in "Corporate America": Stenographer, Secretary, Supervisor, Analyst, Office Manager, Executive Assistant. I am also a professional proofreader and the author of eight books (seven non-fiction; one children's fiction--http://www.GoodShortBooks.com).
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6 Responses to Spreading Good News (Post 669 – EXCERPTS FROM MY BOOKS: “Mother’s Dozen: An Easy Recipe for Raising GREAT Kids!”)

  1. Sandra says:

    Old school parenting at its best!

  2. Common sense parenting too! Lovely work, Joyce. Thank you.

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