Bernadette Defontes

Acknowledgments xi

Note to the Reader xiv

Introduction: What Is a Real Mom? 1

Part One ■ how Can a ReaL Mom Give Her

ChiLdren Love That Lasts for Always? 17 Chapter One ■ From the Sacrificial Mom to the Child Who Can Thrive Without You 19

Chapter Two ■ What Is a Real Mom These Days? 23

Chapter Three ■ Why Being a "Sacrificial Mom"

Is Bad for Your Kids 33

Chapter Four ■ Can Our Kids Make It on Their Own? 45

Part two ■ The 12 Simple Secrets of ReaL Mothering 59

Real Mom's Secret 1 ■ A Mother Who Loves

Teaches Worth 61

Real Mom's Secret 2 ■ A Mother Who Is Firm and

Fair Gives Her Children a Moral Code to Live By 77

Real Mom's Secret 3 ■ A Mother Who Listens

Shows Her Children They Matter 93

Role Model Gives Her Children an Example

Worth Copying 107

Real Mom's Secret 5 ■ A Mother Who Teaches

Values Inspires Character 125

Real Mom's Secret 6 ■ A Mother Who Supports Her Children's Strengths Builds Their Confidence 143

Real Mom's Secret 7 ■ A Mother Who Encourages Independence Cultivates Self-Reliance 161

Real Mom's Secret 8 ■ A Mother Who Applauds

Effort Nurtures Perseverance 177

ReaZ Mom's Secret 9 ■ A Mother Who Accepts

Her Children's Shortcomings Nurtures Resilience 193

ReaZ Mom's Secret 10 ■ A Mother Who Takes

Time for Her Children Helps Them Build

Strong Relationships 213

ReaZ Mom's Secret 11 ■ A Mother Who Laughs

Teaches Joy 231

ReaZ Mom's Secret 12 ■ A Mother Who Takes

Care of Herself Holds Together Her Happy Family 249

The Last Word 269

References 271

About the Author 283

With love to the most extraordinary example of real mothering: My mother, Treva Ungaro acknowledgments

One of my favorite quotes is by François Rabelais: "A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit." This book could not have been written without the remarkable mothers who told me their stories. They are the ones who inspired in me the notion of "real mothering." In particular, special love goes to George and Bonnie Englund, Don and Marilyn Perlyn, and Jim and Anamarie Anthony for sharing their parenting secrets and touching my own life in more ways than they can ever know.

Special appreciation is extended to the following women who offered personal insights, wise perspective, and just plain great tips on real mothering: Kappy Tobin Armstrong, Catherine Ayala, Judy Baggott, Joan Baker, Andrea Bauman, Aubria Becker, Kathy Been, Lorayne Borba, Jane Mills, Marion Card, Marj Casagrande, Daisy Chan, Bernadette DeFontes, Karen Dischner, Margaret Dwyer, Maureen Ferriter, Andrea Funk, Debbie Gibson, JoAnne Gill, Louise Hampton, Lana Hannas, Anne Kalisek, Barbara Keane, Anne Leedom, Kathryn Livingston, Lenore Markowitz, Gaye McCabe, Carole Morgan, Susie Morrison, Cindy Morse, Barbara Namian, Kim Plumley, Michelle Price, Cheryl Rinzler, Murf Ryan, Joan Saunders, Jane Schneider, Patty Service, Lottie Shivers, Margie Sims, Julie Snyder, Shellie Spradlin, Sue Summit, Cathy Tippett, Barbara Turvett, Treva Ungaro, Bong Ying, and Winnie Yiu. Appreciation also goes to Bob Worswick for telling me the story about the boy and the dog and tracking down various facts for story authenticity.

There is also an incredible group of moms who years ago first helped me learn about the power and love of mothering. They were the mothers of my first special education students. I watched them in absolute awe and have never forgotten their influence on their children. A few who could have written the true manual for mothering include Judy Bartee, Mary Grace Galvin, Diane Long, Laurie Mobilio, Rita Pacheco, Mrs. Speciale, and Bindy Wood.

Every book is a group effort, and there are a number of people whom I gratefully acknowledge for helping me make this book possible. I thank Jossey-Bass/Wiley executive editor Alan Rinzler for his friendship, superb insights, exemplary skill, passion, and guidance through every possible step. At Jossey-Bass and Wiley, Alan is surrounded by the finest publishing staff around, whom I thank for their support on all six of the books we've now worked on together: Jennifer Wenzel, Catherine Craddock, Erik Thrasher, Meghan Brousseau, P. J. Campbell, Paula Goldstein, Carol Hartland, Michele Jones, Sophia Ho, Lori Sayde-Mehrtens, Jennifer Smith, and Karen Warner. In particular, I thank my publishers, Debra Hunter and Paul Foster, for the privilege of writing for them over these many years together.

To Joelle DelBourgo, my agent, for her stellar competence and warm friendship, and for lending an ear at always just the right time. Believe me, every writer should have this woman in her corner.

To the staff of Parents magazine, especially Diane Debrover, for the honor of serving on their advisory board and the opportunity of speaking with many of their writers about several of the parenting issues in this book. To Rose Carrano, publicist extraordinaire, it's just been a privilege to work together. To Anne Leedom, president of, for continuing to be the best backseat cheerleader, and to Steve Leedom, president of, for creating and up dating my Web sites and www.

Once again, no writer could have a better support system than her own family. To my husband, perpetual supporter and best friend, Craig, and the three greatest sons, Jason, Adam, and Zach, thank you once again for putting up with me. This is the twenty-first book we've written "together," and I would never have been able to do this without you.

And finally to the memory of Max Englund: a child whose life was far too short, but who still taught me so much about the power of love and resilience. I swore I'd someday write about this remarkable boy. So Max, here's to you! I hope I told it right.

Michele Borba

Palm Springs, California note to the reader

All stories in this book are about children and their mothers whom I have interviewed, known, or worked with over the last twenty years. A few stories are composite cases of children I have treated. Actual children's and mothers' names are included, except in those instances where a parent asked that her name be changed to protect her privacy. The exceptions are mothers interviewed for newspapers or written about in books, and those are noted in the References.

Unless otherwise noted in the References, stories and tips are based on interviews I conducted face-to-face, by phone, or through email exchanges with 150 mothers while writing this book. I also surveyed over five thousand additional parents in my workshops about what they felt mattered most in real mothering. Many of their responses are included in boxed tips. A sample of the U.S. cities where these interviews took place includes Albany, Aspen, Atherton, Berkeley, Chattanooga, Chicago, Coco Beach, Dallas, Diamond Bar, Essex Falls, Hays, Kalispel, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York City, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Palm Springs, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Clarita, Seattle, Tulsa, and Palm Springs. Canadian cities include Bonnyville, Brandon, Calgary, Cold Lake, Edmonton, Kelowna, Lac la Biche, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Simcoe County, Toronto, Vancouver, Westminster, and Winnipeg.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment