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Interview: Author and Parenting Advisor Clayton Paul Thomas

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Clayton Paul Thomas is the author of Tantrums, Troubles and Treasures: A Parent Guide to Parenting in the 21st Century, which is one of the most innovative books I’ve read on parenting. What impressed me most when chatting with Clayton Paul Thomas was his love of family, being a proud father of two adorable boys and his passion to work with youth and their families. Thomas has worked with kids for about 16 years from three different settings. The first was at St. Joseph Children’s Home, a place where abused kids went after permanent separation from their parents. “Most of my parenting skills were developed here,” states Thomas. He explained that the kids he worked with ranged from ages 3 to 15. However, Thomas didn’t stop there; he later became an elementary school teacher. He taught from first to fourth grade for 7 1/2 years. Now Thomas has two boys (ages 7 and 3) to learn the rope on when it comes to parenting — or should I say practice the skills he has learned over the years from working with kids.

However, his parenting skills were mostly learned at St. Joseph, Thomas said, “My wife has been the inspiration to writing Tantrums, Troubles and Treasures and sharing insights with all I meet. To her, I am eternally thankful.”

When chatting with Thomas, I was not only sharing experiences I’ve had a parent, but also taking in what he calls “tools in the parenting tool belt.” I may be a mother of three, but I’ll be the first to tell you any new tricks to the trade are greatly welcomed. Thomas believes every parent, and teacher, can be even better than they are now. “If you think there are areas where you could improve, please use any idea presented in my book. There is a saying that insanity is doing the same thing again and again while expecting a different result,” he states. “We can all be better parents and I believe my book will help you take the next step.”

One thing I wanted to know was the back-story to Thomas’ book, so I asked. “My wonderful wife had watched how I interacted with children for years as a house parent at St. Joseph Children’s Home, and then as a teacher, and finally as the father of our two boys. Over the years, she’s even thrown parenting scenarios my way just to see how I would react. I used to think she did this to amuse herself. Well, as it turned out, she was impressed with the answers I would give, and why I felt the way I did. In addition, my wife convinced me to write a book in order to share with others what I’d learned through working with children over the years — specifically what has worked for me and what hasn’t. Brainstorming the book turned out to be a lot of fun.”

After Thomas shared this with me, I started thinking about my parenting style vs. my husband’s and if we ever really talked about why we react the way we do with our children. I realized we didn’t and added this to my parenting “tool belt,” but also made it a point to grow the relationship between my spouse and me, too.

I also could relate with Thomas and his experiences because I wasn’t an easy child and tended to test the limits with my parents. I also hated school…one trait most troubled children have in common. Tantrums, Troubles and Treasures is a book designed to help good parents maximize the potential in their children. Something my parents would have loved to have when raising me. There are 25 chapters full of hot button topics such as bullying, discipline, modeling and setting goals.

Before we ended our conversation, I asked Thomas what his goal is now. “My goal is to get the book in the hands of the people who want to read it. Every time the book is sold, I have accomplished my goal. I am really trying to help parents so whether they are reading my blog (http://www.claytonpaulthomas.com) or my book — that’s all I need. My next goal is to get a small speaking tour lined up. It’s something I am really looking forward to so it’s not difficult. Working towards this goal isn’t difficult because it is based solely on my passion to help others.”

Clayton Paul Thomas is so interested in helping and sharing with others he added, “I’d also encourage anyone with questions about me, my book Tantrums, Troubles and Treasures, or about speaking to a group of parents to contact me at tantrumstroublesandtreasures@yahoo.com. I truly believe Thomas is someone we can all learn from an as I have stated before, I am not the perfect mother nor do I kid myself in believing I ever will be. However, I do want to be a better parent to my children so they can be successful adults. After speaking with Thomas and reading Tantrums, Troubles and Treasures, what I can tell you is my home is more peaceful now. I was able to reflect on things I was doing as a parent that just were not working and found new approaches, which ended in a better and less stressful result.

Clayton Paul Thomas is currently part of the July ‘11 World of Ink Author/Book Tour. You can find his schedule here. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Thomas will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour. In addition, he was interviewed on the Stories for Children show on Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network July 4, 2011. Thomas shared parenting tips, the trials and tribulations of dealing with difficult kids and what it was like writing his book. You can listen to the interview on demand here.

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