Friday, June 11, 2010

Blog Tour: Momology (Review & Interview)

What does it take to be a good mom? What could make a mom go from "good" to "great"?

Shelly Radic, chief of staff at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers, Intl)  hopes provide the answers in her newest book "Momology: A Mom's Guide to Shaping Great Kids."

The book focuses on four, interconnected areas which Radic believes - based upon research - that develop and shape "great kids" and develop "healthy, resilient moms and kids": core, finesse, circle and grandscape.

"The research being done on parenting and families is extensive," Radic said. "To shape the content and better understand what moms are most concerned about, we spent several months reviewing research done by agencies and organizations such as the YMCA, Search Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as reviewing the thinking of multiple parenting experts, current university and government research as well as mom websites and blogs.

"About 1,800 moms of preschoolers also responded to surveys specifically for Momology. Momology is also based on what MOPS has learned in over 35 years of working with moms."

Exploring The Four Areas
Radic said the process of developing great kids (and moms) actually beings when the mom create her "core."

"To be healthy and resilient, a mom needs to know and grow who she is, her personality, experiences, passions and potential," explained Radic.

Once the core is cultivated, Radic said, a mom then develops her "finesse" or the ability to successfully interact with her children "caring for them, disciplining them and shaping who they are becoming."

"Circle" the third aspect, explores how a mom needs to develop a "circle of relationships" for support.

Radic said those people often include service providers, neighbors, friends, extended family and most importantly, if married, a husband.

"If [the mom] is not married, having a parenting partner makes a huge difference," Radic continued.

The circle is complete, Radic said, as the mom strives to develop her relationship with God, engaging in His "grandscape" or plan for her life.

This relationship helps the mom develop purpose and hope for both the present and future.

"That relationship positively impacts her core," explained Radic. "You can see how the four areas are both critical for success and interconnected with each other."

The final aspect - developing a "grandscape" - may be one of the key areas for moms.

"There are quite a few studies which support the idea that children who are engaged in a spiritual community have healthier outcomes educationally, emotionally and spiritually," Radic said. "Some I utilized were Search Institute’s Asset research, YMCA’s Building Strong Families study, Promoting Healthy Families in Your Community study by the US. Department of Heath and Human Services and Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability.

"According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, resilient parents and children are likely to feel that they are important and valuable to someone who cares for and about them; life is basically good even when bad thing happen; and there is meaning to life that is bigger and greater than “me” and “now”. In my experience, those things happen best when a healthy church community is supporting both a mom and her child in growing a relationship with God."

Radic believes several things, including the extensive research which went into Momology, sets this book apart from other resources currently available.

"One thing that’s different is that Momology was written in a community of moms, to be lived out within a community of moms," Radic explained. "Not only did I utilize a team of novice and experienced moms to shape the content, I incorporated stories from about 30 very different moms throughout the book.

"Knowing a circle of relationships is critical for mom success, I wove that concept into the content. There is an online community, mom-ology.org, as well as information on joining a mom group.

"Moms are encouraged throughout the book to talk through the concepts with a mentor, peer, friend or within a mothering group. No mom should mother alone."

Another difference, she continued, is that there is no single expert in Momology.

"Moms are encouraged to consider research, opinions and best practices of other moms to become the expert for her own family," Radic said.

Through it all, Radic said, its important that a mom remember to remain confident that she is "uniquely designed to mother her children."

What I Thought
I liked this book. As a "minister to families with children," one of the things I strive to do is find resources that  moms can not only read, but utliize in their families.

Considering how many things bombard moms for their time and energies, most of my moms are looking for practical resources that can make a difference - and well, are realistic and not just "book smart."

I think Radic has created such a resource.

The four areas highlighted in the book: core, finesse, circle and grandscape, provide tangible ideas and ways moms can strengthen not only their children, but also their own lives.

I think Radic's idea that moms develop their own spiritual foundation first, before striving to impact their child's spiritual development is crucial. Faith development begins at home, and it's not just limited to children - parents play a vital role in helping their children grow in the faith.

In all, I believe this is a strong "keep around" resource, that moms will refer to in a variety of ways.

More About The Author
Shelly Radic is Chief of Staff at MOPS International, author of The Birthday Book, and a regular contributor to MOPS publications. Her writing is informed by her education, mothering her four children, and twenty years of MOPS experience. She lives in Colorado.

Read An Excerpt Online:
Click here!

Buy It Online:
Amazon,
Christianbook.com,
Barnes & Noble.com
or your local bookstore.
Bulk discounts on orders of 20+ available from www.direct2church.com

About the Publisher
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet. For more information, visit http://www.revellbooks.com/.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. 

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