10 Questions with "Don't Sweat" Author
ANNB: This is your first “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” book in nine years. Why now and why this topic?
KC: The "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff" book series is full of tried and true advice and has been on coffee tables and night stands, and in libraries for 15 years. It’s a small book that helps people make big shifts in their lives. And now their kids are at the age where they are sweating the small stuff too. Every ten years, there is a new group of people ready for the timeless wisdom of the "Don’t Sweat" tradition and that’s why I am adding a new book to the series. "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms" has the same commonsense approach and is current, setting it apart from the "Don’t Sweat" guidebook released years ago. Kids haven’t changed that much but the world has. Technology and the Internet have changed family life and the issues bombarding our kids and moms today are many. This book focuses on how moms can be inspired to be the best they can and also maintain a separate identity as an empowered, modern woman.
ANNB: You’ve been called an 'unyielding believer of living in the moment with an attitude of gratitude and finding happiness in life.' Can that be learned or does someone have to be born with those traits?
KC: I think people are born with a proclivity for happiness or unhappiness, but both of these are impacted greatly by the life we practice. Life is no different than a sport; it takes practice to get good at it. Your attitude can shift with your thoughts and beliefs about life as well as your mental and physical health. Adopting an attitude of gratitude can be learned and is all about noticing what’s right in your life and focusing on those things instead of what’s wrong.
ANNB: How can someone get started “living in the moment?”
KC: Living in the moment is something we are born with, but most of us unlearn this quality and have to practice presence to get good at it again later in life. Our minds get busy as do our schedules. Creating space for stillness and quiet isn’t necessarily practical or part of our American training but it is necessary to learning how to embrace the moment. Being present is one of the keys to true and lasting inner peace and contentment. It is in the spaces between our thoughts that we are present; all it takes is a single breath to bring the moment into focus, and we can all practice that!
ANNB: Your book advises how to be "a mom and not a friend." Is that something you struggled with raising your own children?
KC: I did not struggle with this issue of being a friend over a mom. I knew that my girls had friends to fill that role of ‘girlfriend,' and quite frankly, I had my own girlfriends too. What my girls needed was a solid role model and mother figure that they could respect and trust as a guide and mentor to lead and love them with discipline. Friendship comes later with kids.
ANNB: The term "helicopter parent" is popular these days. What can those who hover too close to their kids learn from your new book?
KC: Hovering too close can disable children and also can lead to a sense of entitlement. I think parents today need to let their kids fall down a little before jumping so quick to save them from every fall. It’s a lot shorter fall and closer to the ground when you are 10, than say, when you are 20. If kids forget an assignment or their gym shoes or soccer cleats, well, maybe they ought to lose the opportunity that comes with remembering their responsibilities. Doing too much for our kids can actually harm and disable them later in life when they have to show up or they lose big.
ANNB: What did you personally learn about being a mother in writing this book?
KC: While writing this book, I was reminded of just how crazy a job being a mom is and all the hats we wear. I learned how much I know to be true sitting from the vantage point of looking back. I know that being a mom will test everything about you bringing out your best and showing you areas of falability too. It’s a big job with small joys leading to endless possibilities.
ANNB: Is this book good for moms of "grown" children? Why or why not?
KC: I think this book is good for all moms because there are chuckles of understanding for moms of older kids and chapters to help her transition too. Once a mom, always a mom!
ANNB: Why do you think this book has a universal appeal?
KC: This book has universal appeal for the same reason all the Don’t Sweat series does. The series of books have principles for happiness based on mental health and well-being that transcend cultural differences and are universal to all people.
ANNB: Where can we see you talk about the book and/or sign books in the Bay Area in the coming weeks/months?
KC: Check out http://www.kristinecarlson.com/healing/dont-sweat-the-small-stuff-for-moms for all the latest information on upcoming events.
ANNB: What’s up next for you?
KC: Living life. Sharing. Loving my grandkids. Joy. -- KB
Last Updated (Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:43)