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An interview with Shanta Everton

18/09/2010

When I first entered the blogosphere I was a bit daunted to say the least. I was lost but I knew I had to do something and decided to research other blogs. I found British Mummy Bloggers and signed up immediately to become a member. There, I met many other women who also shared a passion for writing. I joined various groups on BMB and in one of those groups I read a post by Shanta Everton who was writing a parenting guide and she was looking for mum’s to discuss various aspects of parenting a toddler.

Fabulous, we got in contact and I answered her questions and shortly after she wrote to say my quotes had been included in the book! A claim to fame at last!

Her book  The Terrible Twos – A parent’s guide went on sale on the first of September with Need2Know Books and I think it would be an excellent addition to the bookcase of all parents with two year olds.

Shanta has been doing a blog tour during the month of September and today is my day, I host the answers to questions I put to her and if you pop over to her blog you can see my answers to her questions. A swop which has been an immense honour to be part of.

So here goes with my very first interview…

1. How did you end up writing for a career?

I actually trained as a primary teacher but drifted into working for charities. I found I was good at writing and ended up writing and editing publications in the voluntary sector.
My way into writing creatively was to study for an MA Creative Writing at MMU, for which I wrote my debut novel, Marilyn and Me, and received a distinction in 2006. Narrated by a young woman with a learning disability, the novel draws on my experiences working in community care.
Since then, I’ve been published in a range of genres from poetry to novels to parenting books!
 
2. What sparked your interest in the ‘Terrible Two’s’?

My interest was sparked by the trials and tribulations of parenting my own two-year-old, who used to have traffic stopping tantrums! I found it very challenging parenting an overwhelmed, frustrated two-year-old and I guess I became an overwhelmed, frustrated parent!
I talked to a lot of people about it and read everything I could but I couldn’t find a book that met my needs. I found a lot of parenting books very formulaic and prescriptive and I didn’t feel comfortable with the simplistic quick fix solutions often presented. I didn’t identify with them at all. So I thought I’d write one that I could identify with and maybe it would help others too.
 
3. What was the most interesting fact you came across whilst writing the book?

Probably the most surprising fact was that the greatest number of children ever born to one woman is a staggering 69! And I thought I was stressed!
 
4. What was the most difficult part to write? How did this challenge you and how did you get past it?
Getting started was the hardest part and overcoming the nagging insecurities I experienced, like, ‘Who am I to write this book?’ I overcame this by giving myself a kick up the backside and a stern talking to! I reminded myself that I’m a parent and a qualified early years teacher and I’d been writing for years so I should just believe in myself and get on with it!
 
5. What would your biggest tip be for mothers of Terrible Two’s?
 
Can I offer 5 tips?
 
1. Observe your child and look out for triggers. Perhaps they always ‘act up’ when they are hungry or tired, bored or frustrated. Try to pre-empt and therefore prevent things escalating.
2. Praise your child when they are behaving in ways you want to encourage. Make sure you have one-to-one time with your child every day playing together and doing fun things. Sometimes, children ‘act up’ because they need your attention and don’t know how else to get it.
3. If your child is behaving in a way that you do not consider acceptable, for example, banging doors and throwing things, come down to their level, and explain that it’s not acceptable. Make sure you share a hug when the tantrum has finished.
4. Try to remain calm. The calmer you are, the less tantrums are likely to occur and the quicker they are likely to end. Walk out of the room and count to ten before returning if you need to.
5. Remember that like all stages of parenting, this too will pass. 🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 21/09/2010 10:25 pm

    Ah, this too shall pass. Such an essential mantra for parents. I had one of those days with my four-year-old pulling his best terrible twos impression! Hey, sometimes even hubby does a good toddler strop!

    Nice interview. Thanks for coming by on my SITS day, I’m honoured to have been your first SITS comment 🙂

    • 22/09/2010 1:09 pm

      …now you mention it my OH does quite a good strop too 🙂
      Thanks for the coming by. I love your blog

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