Your Parenting Questions Answered! Interview With Susan G. Groner- The Parenting Mentor

January 27, 2018

A couple weeks ago I was gifted the book Parenting: 101 Ways to Rock Your World by Susan G. Groner. I loved how easy it was to read- the book is broken up into categories : Parenting Golden Rules, Family Time, Rules and Respect, Perspective and Judgment, Gratitude and Attitude, Food and Dining, Forbidden Phrases, Life Skills, and Family Management. Then within each category, each page is numbered with a different tip or idea. I love this because sometimes I just don’t have time to read! I wish I did, but between being a childcare provider, blogger, and taking care of my family, reading is often put on the back burner. It is so easy to just read a few pages at a time and really get something out of it. You don’t have to read a chapter at a time for it to make sense. This book is definitely designed for the busy parent! The book is packed full of suggestions tips and strategies to help make life easier for parents. I highly recommend this one! You can purchase your own copy here. (affiliate link. You can read my full disclaimer here.) There is also a few pages that are blank for notes at the end of the book and I have started writing down simple ways to make better changes for me and my family. I used little sticky notes to mark the pages that really resonated with me and I am keeping this book right on my nightstand so that I can flip through and read it whenever I have the chance!

I learned a LOT from this book and I have been already making small changes and implementing Susan’s words of wisdom in my own home. Two pages that really stuck in my head and my thoughts on them….

Page 131:What were you thinking? ‘Why would you do that?’ or ‘What is the matter with you?’ serve only to belittle your child and make her feel terrible about herself. Chances are she is not really thinking at all. When your children make mistakes or do things they should not have done, instead of accusing or yelling, ask them what they might have done differently. Give them time to reflect; they may not figure things our right away. Asking this question gives them an opportunity to problem solve and to revisit a poor choice without making them feel any worse than they already do.”

Thoughts: Ouch. This one hurt my heart a little. Why? Because I am oh-so guilty with saying these exact phrases to my child. My son is a wild-child. He has always been full of energy, likes to play rough and walks to the beat of his own drum. This makes parenting sometimes so difficult for me! I have definitely yelled “What is wrong with you?!” to him before when he decided it would be fun to put a blanket over our Yorkie and then sit on his head. I thought he was trying to kill our dog and I panicked. He was just being Liam, of course. Playing some game he thought up in his head and saw nothing wrong with the situation. What I yelled to him probably made him feel just terrible. I am promising myself and my family right now those words will not come out of my mouth again!

Page 146: Teach your kids to hydrate Got a headache? Drink water. Feeling tired? Drink water. Hungry even though you just ate? Drink some more water. A glass of water first thing in the morning is a great habit to instill in kids. Don’t wait until the thirst sets in. Few of us drink enough water, and when we are not sufficiently hydrated, nothing in our body works as well as it could or should.”

Thoughts: OK, this may seem like common sense but I am terrible at drinking enough water! Some days I am great at it, other days I realized its dinner time and I have not had a single glass. This is not something I want my child to do. I know we both are not drinking nearly enough water! I am going to set alarms on my phone throughout the day to remind me to give him water. I’ll do this until it just becomes a habit to drink water.

Last weekend I asked my followers on Facebook to submit their parenting questions. I had the pleasure to interview Susan Groner, the author of Parenting: 101 Ways to Rock Your World, and she has been gracious enough to have answered some of your questions!

About the author:

Susan G. Groner is the founder of The Parenting Mentor where she provides coaching sessions for parents of toddlers through teens. She offers private and group sessions as well as phone, email and Skype sessions. She helps parents foster and maintain a more fulfilling and stress-free experience in parenthood. She lives in New York and has two children of her own.

 parenting questions answered

How long have you been mentoring parents? And why were you drawn to becoming a parenting coach?

I have been mentoring parents for a about six years but I’ve been doing it professionally for a little over two years now. Friends, cousins, even my physical therapist, would ask me how to handle difficult situations they were experiencing with their children. My thoughts and strategies were well-received and were working! When a number of people told me I should turn this in to a business, I took their advice and did!  I feel strongly that parenting should be more joy than stress, and I’ve been able to refine my overall concepts in to some pretty simple strategies. I wish I had me around when my children were younger! Believe me – I get the stress and anxiety that’s part of parenting and I love helping other parents so they can relax and enjoy this amazing thing we get to do!

 We are expecting our second baby this year and are worried our first born will not cope well with the changes! (He gets jealous when mommy shares any of her attention with anyone or anything else) Can you give me a couple tips on how to help him with these changes?

 Sibling or no sibling, let your child know that you understand how they are feeling. “I see you are frustrated that Mommy is talking to…”. “ ‘ It’s hard to wait for Mommy to finish her work, isn’t it?”  Validation is key! 
I think it’s important to be very clear with your child about how he or she might feel when a new sibling comes home.  Everyone tells the older sibling how great it will be to be a big sister/brohter  and asks if they are going to be mommy’s helper and yet, they may not feel that way. Mommy is taking care of a crying infant who isn’t fun. Tell your child (as often as you want before and after you have your baby), 
“Sweetie, sometimes you are going to get frustrated/annoyed/sad when mommy is taking care of the baby. Mommy may feel that way sometimes too, and that’s totally okay! It doesn’t mean that we don’t love (insert name).” 
“You are always welcome to be with me when I am feeding the baby. I love having you around. But if you’d rather do something else, that is absolutely fine! I don’t ever want you to feel badly about not wanting to be around the baby.” 
“I love spending time with you. It’s one of my favorite things to do! As soon as I finish changing this diaper, let’s read a book together/build a fort/ play dolls, etc”
Try your best to have even 10 minutes of quality alone time with your older child a few times a day.

 My son just cannot sit still for a meal. He jumps all around and won’t eat dinner. He just wants snacks and I am about to lose it! Help!

 Little ones have control what and when they are willing to eat – and they know it! It’s one of the few things they can control. At this stage, the important thing is for your child to get enough nutrients and calories, not whether he can sit properly at the table. If it works for you to give him his food as snacks, do it. If he wants to stand at a kid-height table and eat from there, do it. The stress it causes you to follow some made-up mom rule about how little ones need to eat, just isn’t worth it. I promise you, your son will eventually sit nicely at the table and eat his dinner!
My child goes to sleep with no issues but cannot stay asleep. Do you have any advice on what I can do to try to keep her in bed?
It seems like rather than getting your child to stay in bed, the focus may need to be on helping her learn to fall back asleep on her own. When you say goodnight to her, do you stay in her room until she is asleep? If not, then you are off to a good start. Explain to her that everyone (including Mommy)needs to get a good night of sleep and just because she wakes up, doesn’t mean she needs to get out of bed. Can she sing herself the song you sing to her at bedtime? Believe it or not, counting sheep (or bunnies, or unicorns) is proven to work!
I end up raising my voice and yelling at my children often. I feel terrible afterwards and I am really trying not to yell so much. I feel that this is the only way my children will actually listen to me! Can you give me a tip or two on how I can keep my cool and get my kids to listen without yelling?
 I have the perfect tip for you! It’s #26 in my book:
Speak softly: When you really want your kids to listen, keep your message to a few words and deliver it more quietly than your normal speaking voice. The quieter the voice, the bigger the impact. 

If you have your own parenting questions or you just need to talk to someone about your struggles or stresses as a parent, you can email Susan at

What are some things you struggle with as a parent? Let me know in the comments below! No one is the perfect parent and knowing that we aren’t alone in this can be incredibly relieving. What can you improve? What are you AMAZING at? Parenting is an ever-changing and evolving job that will continue to face new challenges and struggles over the years. Pat yourself on the back, and other mamas, for doing your best and loving your children fiercely.

Want to win a copy of your own ?! Head to my instagram to enter!

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a beautiful day

New Momma Survival

  1. I definitely need to check this book out. Just from what you have shared, it seems like such practical, but overlooked advice. Thanks for this great read!

  2. I love that you did an interview! Such a good idea, I really agree with the quiet voice, whenever I talk that way instead of yelling I have my kids direct attention and they always listen better.

  3. I am guilty of saying the wrong phrases regularly to my 11 year old. I have been trying to be more aware of the way I say things and could definitely use more of this information. I will look into the book, thanks.

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