Elizabeth is a mom of seven-, five-, and two-year-old sons and an author and publisher. Her publishing company is Sweet Tooth Communications, LLC, and her bookstore is “Three Birds Books.”
How did you come up with the idea for your company? My children inspire me in endless ways. Not only do they see the world in a way many adults have forgotten, they also believe I can literally do anything. Having that kind of support makes tough tasks worthwhile. I feel I’m able to tackle challenges! And in addition to the joy I get from my children, they do offer up plenty of challenges. My first two children’s books are the direct result of parenting challenges, specifically managing the tough emotions of anger and frustration and managing picky eating. I have a third book in production that focuses on the challenges of being the youngest/smallest kid in the group.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Treat your children the way you want them to treat you! I’m not saying children are the equals of their parents in the household hierarchy, because my husband and I both firmly believe we are parents first and not our children’s friends. But we do work hard to model the behavior we want from our children – including listening, making the right choices, no belittling or hurtful words, taking turns, honesty and admitting when we’re wrong. If I want my children to respect me, I need to respect them.
How do you get your family to eat healthy food and/or exercise? These are two big priorities in our house and we encourage these behaviors by modeling them ourselves! My husband is a talented runner and qualified for the 2013 Boston Marathon in his first ever marathon! My children were thrilled. I’m also a long-time runner and this summer attempted my first triathlons in 13 years. Every day our boys see my husband and I doing some form of exercise and they come with us to competitive events like road races and triathlons. We do not force them to run or work out but we show them how much FUN we have doing these things! All summer as I swam, biked and ran, my children freely chose to participate in these activities, too. I also coach soccer for my boys (under 8 league) and we play outdoors even when it’s cold. My boys celebrated just as much as I did when I found out I was selected as one of the two Social Runners for the 2013 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile run!!
Finally, experimenting with new healthy foods is a key part of our family. We belong to a CSA and each week make a big deal about the wonderful things “The Farmer” has sent us to try. My second book, “My Food Notebook” was created to encourage not just my boys, but all kids, to explore new foods and think about the foods they like & don’t like in a new way.
How do you recharge your batteries? Travel with my husband, and just my husband, is a great way to recharge. I also make time for regular massages because I do work out a lot. Reading an excellent book or even writing in my journal gives me a boost. And frankly, I’m not too shy to ask for a nap when I need it! My boys will help me out then by covering me with a cozy blanket!