Do I Dare? Writing on a Provocative Subject

by on April 18, 2011 · 7 comments

in Culture, Media

By Shirley Robinson Sprinkles, Ph.D

“Seven Keys” is a small book that I began writing with my son, Jonathan, about three years ago.  It was to be a mother and son conversation.  In fact, we initiated the project with a tape recording whose format was question and answer; his questions, my answers.  I still have the disc.  After many starts and stops—mostly due to phone call interruptions (he has a “busy” business as a motivational speaker), we decided to table the project until a more quiet time and place could be arranged.  That time and place never materialized.  So, the project was completed as a “stand alone” of which I am the sole author.  That means, of course, that I will have to take both credit and blame for its contents.  Since the book is written from my personal perspective—having spent some time as a single parent—I can report that I don’t mind at all.  All around me I see and hear the need for just such a book as I have written; one based on wisdom that has been forged from real life experience.

In the three years that have elapsed since I began writing the manuscript, I have gained three more grandchildren.  That brings the total to eight, ranging in age from twenty-three years to nine months.  From my front row seat, reserved for grandmas, I observe the pain and the pleasure of rearing today’s children.  Although, admittedly, it’s different in many ways from how things were done in the past, it is also very much the same—parents still have to act authoritatively and responsibly in their role.

My purpose in writing “Seven Keys to Successful Parenting” was not just to focus on the things that I think I did right, it is not a self-serving treatise on my own prowess as a parent (that would take about two lines); but to also acknowledge mistakes that I made out of ignorance.  Parenting is a very hard job—one that you never retire from—but is the single most important endeavor of one’s life.

Not just “good” parenting, but “great” parenting is needed to raise kids who will be prepared to lead us into and through the next millennium.  Fundamentals of ethics and decency in behavior, as well as essential rules for development of positive human interaction and personal dignity must be carefully taught—no, “caught.” As I point out in the book, it all begins with parents.  Children do learn what they live: the spotlight will always be on parents.  So, do I dare write a book on such a provocative subject?  Darn right, I do! I hope you’ll get it and read it.  If you think it’s good, pass it on.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

jettyboy April 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

When did the Rag decide to go into advertising books or anything for that matter? This is a straight up ad for the book. Please get a grip, before the first thing that greets us is an ad from the Army, or AT&T.


dave rice April 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm

They’ve been accepting advertising for a while, I know I’ve had an ad for at least 4 months. I know Shirley has contributed to the site in the past, so I don’t see a problem letting her plug her book – it would be hypocritical, as I have a blatant plug for my business up on every page, as do a number of other contributors and sponsors of the site.


Frank Gormlie April 19, 2011 at 8:28 am

What’s this “they” stuff?


ss April 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

Thanks for telling us about your book I look forward to seeing it and maybe it will point out someof the mistakes I made. Although I think my kids turned out pretty good and avoided a lot of the mistakes that I made growning up. You are right it is a dificult it job and we need all the help we can get Thanks


Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I don’t know Shirley S. from anyone else, but maybe some of us might want to promote our view in the Rag some day. So maybe we should let the publisher/editor of the Rag be the one to decide if a post is considered an ad or just someone showing pride in something they’ve created. It might be something we can all learn from in our endeavor to be good citizens. I could probably write something on citizenship and tolerance and put it the Rag.Hell, maybe we could publish our “collective history of Ocean Beach” through the Rag. I’ll donate.


Shane Finneran April 19, 2011 at 7:46 am

I would have loved to get a preview of at least a few of the seven tips. More discussion of the author’s qualifications to discuss parenting would also have been helpful. It’s certainly an interesting topic.


Ernie McCray April 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I can’t wait to read it as Shirley, one of my dearest friends and amazing human being, and I go back to the 40’s in grade school at Dunbar, an all black school in Tucson. For me, who was a single parent for a while with my three oldest kids, maybe the 7 tips can help me flesh out any apologies owed those guys for the tons of mistakes I must have made – or maybe I’m validated and can say to them, “Yeah, I’m bad” (smile).


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