Interview with Author Traci Dunham – The Oyster’s Secret

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Below the waves and into the deep sea, Mr. Oyster is quietly, but confidently being himself.  Author, Traci Dunham debuts her first children’s book, The Oyster’s Secret with vibrant and engaging illustrations and a clever stroke of curiosity.  TURNING STONEchoice had an opportunity to talk with the author and listen to her insights on this soon to be children’s classic.

What inspired you to write this book?

Inspiration hit me last summer while sitting down by the water in my hometown of Wildwood Crest. I  wrote the book on the beach that day on the back of a crossword puzzle.

What was your goal in writing The Oyster’s Secret?

I wanted to let children know that their self-worth comes from what is on the inside.  It doesn’t matter what you look like or what you do.  Beauty comes from the inside out.  Raising a daughter that is handicapped has shown me that every person has value and a purpose. I love books that have a message and too many children’s books today do not.  With so many children being bullied, I want every child to know that even though they are different it is ok.  I am hoping this book teaches children at a young age to accept those with special needs.  I don’t think that there are many books out there that reach the younger age groups about children with special needs and I wanted to do that.  I’ve experienced firsthand the lack of education young children receive in regards to this topic.

Do you have any other works in progress?

Yes – My Sister Lu Lu and Me, a story of two sisters, one who is handicapped.  It is written from the point of view of the sister who is not handicapped. She talks about their differences and let’s everyone know that even though her sister is different it is ok.

The Oyster’s Secret is a delightful story, geared toward the juvenile reader with an incredible message of acceptance, self-confidence, and inner beauty. To enjoy your own copy please visit The Oyster’s Secret.

For more information about TURNING STONEchoice and our process please visit www.turningstonechoice.com.

Sammy@TSC

 

 

Arguing With Your Child

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“Boy, get out of that tree!” I hollered at Nicky.  “I’m not in a tree, Mama,” he hollered back.  Hmmm?  Are you looking at the picture above?  Is Nicky in a tree, or have I completely lost my vision?  And, yes, because I had been baited into arguing with my child, I took a picture to have solid evidence of his presence in that Japanese maple, just to prove that he was wrong, and I was right.  FYI:  Physical evidence still proved ineffective in dissuading him from his position.

I wish I could claim this as an isolated incident, but I argue on a consistent basis with my boys over ridiculous issues, like basic reality:  Is he in the tree or is he not?  Timeframes:  theirs or mine.  Words I never said (or did I?):  “Mom said we could have cookies for breakfast.” 

I know, in my heart of hearts, I never even mentioned cookies, much less eating them for breakfast.

My sanity is often on trial here, and, in an attempt to defend it, I go there and engage in a verbal tennis match with my seven-year-old.  Not wise!  The truth is, it drains my mental and emotional reserves and benefits no one.  His reasons for arguing with me are generally rooted in a need for my attention or understanding.

My husband claims our children know they can get away with it with me.  I think he is right, but my big fail is that I entertain and engage where I have no business.  I mean, which one of us is the adult?

I often tell my older son when he is locked into sibling bickering with his younger brother, “Do not engage with a seven-year-old.”  Looks like I need to take my own advice!

How do you handle arguments in your classroom or home?  Please share your comments in the box below.

For more information about TURNING STONEchoice please visit www.turningstonechoice.com.

Sammy@TSC

 

Would You Allow Your Child to be Verbally and Emotionally abused?

Yelling Dad

No!  No, you would not!  But then, again, maybe you would.  Think about the sideline dynamics during children’s sporting events and the way some coaches choose to communicate and to motivate their teams.  The yelling, the screaming, the cursing, the drama–and I’m just talking about the parents not just coaches.

A professional coach once said these words to me:  “We don’t yell our kid’s name and scream at them while they are learning to color.  Why do we feel it is acceptable while they are learning to play a sport?  Can you imagine [in a sports-fan-like, crazy voice],  ‘No, no, not the blue one!  Get the red one and STAY in the lines!’”

Yet, we do accept behaviors from coaches and parents that pertain to sports that, plainly, are unacceptable anywhere else, then we turn around with condemnation when we learn of abusive behavior on the collegiate and professional level.  Recall former Rutgers Basketball coach Mike Rice?  I just watched again the video footage of his behavior, letting loose on a player, verbally and physically abusing him up and down the court.  His rampage is forever accessible in cyberspace.  Or how about former MLB player, Mitch Williams, banished from multiple sporting events in which his children participated, for yelling at coaches, screaming at referees, and yelling a vulgar slur at a ten-year old boy, all while coaching his son’s baseball team (also on video).

This type of behavior has not just suddenly appeared.  There is license given here, and we, parents, are issuing it freely with our silence or participation.

Former NBA player, John Amaechi, said it best, “What I think is stark here is how we can be surprised, at this point, by this [Rice].  You can walk on any sideline almost anywhere in America . . . on any given weekend and see similar behaviors.”  I concur, Mr. Amaechi, but I respectfully ask, “Why?”

Why do you think this type of behavior is accepted on the sidelines of our children’s sporting events?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

For more information about TURNING STONEchoice and the process, visit www.turningstonechoice.com.

Sammy@TSC