Four Highlands Ranch and two Littleton mothers, who came together at a bilingual playgroup for their children six years ago, have spent the past two years collaborating on “How in the World … can I Parent Through This?”
The book, subtitled “A toolbox to empower parents of young children,” became available on Amazon.com this April and offers parents an array of suggestions and techniques to help raise their kids.
Joan Tarud, Nilanja Dutta, Satoko McCoy, Kyoko Okada, Orine Sakabe and Ester Zwier represent four different cultural backgrounds, five if you count Tarud’s husband’s native Colombia.
“I love the multicultural aspect of our group,” said Tarud, who came up with the idea for the women to get together and write a book on parenting. “We just started learning so much from each other, and it was very special and very neat, just handling daily troubles from all of our toddlers at the time. Everyone was doing things very differently, it was all different but it was all good, it was all great actually.”
Tarud is the lone American-born author, while the other five hail from India, Japan and Brazil respectively. Those cultures are far from the only ones represented in the book. The authors interviewed close to 50 families from across the globe as they assembled a collection of parenting tips and time-honored child-rearing traditions from a grand total of 20 countries counting their own.
“We wanted to have a lot of ideas in the book,” Tarud said. “We tried to get big families, small families, adoptive families, even different generations, parents and grandparents for different ideas.”
One thing that is a constant throughout the book is the use of positive reinforcement.
“We tried to make sure all of our ideas were positive and loving and made for a happy family environment. If ever a suggestion was too negative or potentially hurtful we didn’t include it in the book,” Tarud said.
The book – which touches on everything from potty training to discipline to healthy eating habits – is laid out in an easy-to-use alphabetical style so that parents can find what they are searching for in a hurry, using it as a guide book.
The authors took great care in pulling in multiple cultural philosophies because each one of them realizes that there is no one-size-fits-all method for parenting.
“We all have different ideas,” Dutta said. “Coming from different backgrounds we could all share how we had been raised differently. There is no right or wrong way. One thing can work perfect for one kid, but it isn’t going to work for the next kid.”