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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Author Chat: An Interview With Richard and Linda Eyre

Today, I'd like to welcome Richard and Linda Eyre, authors of The Entitlement Trap and other parenting books, to BBB. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Me: Although I've been hearing your names for years, I'm not familiar with how exactly you came to be known worldwide as parenting experts. Care to enlighten me? Beside on-the-job-training from your nine children, what led you down this unique and fascinating path?

Eyres: I am a Harvard Business School trained management consultant and Linda is a musician and teacher. We wrote an explatory book trying to apply management techniques to parenting and it did so well that we gravitated more and more into writing. When our values book hit #1 on the NY Times bestseller list, we became so busy with writing and speaking that we closed down the consulting company and became full time writers and presenters.

Me: What is "values parenting?" Why is it such an important concept for modern families?

Eyres: Everyone wants their children to follow sound values. We all understand that it is the ultimate way to protect our children. The site collects good ideas for raising responsible kids and makes them available to parents. It also gives parents actual "programs" to keep families on task in the business of improving relationships and reaching family goals.

Me: Tell me about your "Influence Triangle." Which corner of the triad seems to be the most effective as a teaching tool?

Eyres: They work together for us. The books lead to speaking opportunities and media appearances which in turn sell the books and drive awareness up that there are ways that parents can improve and become more deliberate in the raising of their kids

Me: You've given hundreds of presentations on parenting and other subjects throughout the world. Which stick out in your mind as the most interesting, funny, and/or memorable?

Eyres: The amazing thing is that, though the cultures change, parent's basic instincts are the same everywhere in the world. Love of and concern for our children unites everyone who is a parent. A fellow in Indonesia said "My definition of a conservative is a flaming liberal with a teen age daughter!"

Me: Since my husband and I are seriously considering making reservations for an upcoming cruise on which you're the featured speakers, I just have to ask: How often do you take on *tough* assignments like this? And what's the most interesting speaking/teaching opportunity you've ever been offered?

Eyres: What we like about cruises is that there is lots of time on board to talk to individual parents and get into their personal questions and interests.

Me: What's the best parenting advice you've ever been given and from whom did it come? As your children became parents, what advice did you give them?

Eyres: I love the older couple who once told us that the best thing we could do for our kids was to love each other. We have tried to pass this same concept to our kids. That as important as the parent-child relationship is, the MOST important relationship is husband-wife. We are aware of how many great single parents there are, but if you are a two parent family, your relationship with each other has to come fires.

Me: What's the most valuable parenting lesson you've learned while "in the trenches" with your own children?

Eyres: To have a sense of humor. We have found that, with parenting, crisis plus time usually equals humor!

Me: In terms of both the world and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (to which we both belong), your nine children have matured into successful adults, all of them earning college degrees, serving church missions, doing humanitarian work, and either marrying and raising their own families or planning to do so in the future. To what do you attribute this truly phenomenal accomplishment?

Eyres: Lots of it is luck. We were blessed with wonderful kids. Some parents have much harder challenges. Perhaps God didn't think much of us as parents--sending us all those easy kids, and perhaps He thought a great deal of some other parents, sending them such challenging kids. We try never to judge ourselves or others when it comes to parenting.

Me: What inspired you to write your new - and very timely - book, THE ENTITLEMENT TRAP? Why do all of us, as parents and just members of society, need to worry about this growing problem? How do we stop it?

Eyres: We think it is the biggest single problem that parents have today. We wrote the book to help parents solve it.

Me: In talking with parents all over the globe, parents of all different colors, creeds, and financial level, you've noticed something remarkable: Parents everywhere want basically the same things for their children - safety, good values, a good education, and the opportunity to reach their full potential. What, in your opinion, is the single most important thing parents can do to ensure this happens?

Eyres: Have actual goals for their overcome entitlement attitudes and to create, in its place, a true sense of responsibility.

Thanks so much, Richard and Linda!

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