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Hingham mom speaks about her book on children's manners

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 23, 2012 03:24 PM

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A month after Hingham resident Beth Brainard released her children’s book about manners, the local mom has received accolades for the work, winning the international Mom’s Choice Award for the project.

With her book, “Soup Should Be Seen, Not Heard!” available on and in RSVP and The Paper Store in Hingham, Brainard said the award has provided her and her businesses a step in the right direction.

Boston Globe: Speak to me a bit about writing this book

Beth Brainard: It actually came about when I was a corporate consultant. I was teaching business etiquette and social skills to corporate groups, and it struck me one day that these people would be so much better off if they learned these skills as children…their mothers should have taught them this.

I wanted my work to make a difference, so I stopped working with corporate clients and became what I call a civil kids advocate. I wanted to help parents and young children to begin a conversation about life skills and building character...

BG: Do you have young children yourself?

BB: When I first wrote "Soup," my children were young. The first edition was self-published in 1988...

Now my kids are 36 and 32. And I have grandchildren. I’m happy to say, they ... are both happy, successful, well-adjusted young men, but that’s luck as well as good parenting, and I’m very proud of them…

BG: So how did you win this award. Was it something you applied for?

BB: You submit an entry, and then they have a panel of judges...

[Judges included Dr. Twila C. Liggett, 10-time Emmy winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling author; Priscilla Dunstan, creator of the Dunstan Baby Language; Patricia Rossi, host of NBC’s Manners Minute; Dr. Letitia S. Wright, D.C., host of the Wright Place™ TV Show; and Catherine Witcher, M.Ed., special needs expert and founder of Precision Education, Inc.]

They judge each product against a set of criteria that they have for family-friendly products...

BG: Were you surprised to have won?

BB: I was delighted, because I feel that "Soup" is a good book, and it was thrilling and exciting to know that a group of judges who are very involved with children and also one judge who also is an etiquette expert looked at the book and thought it was worth ... a gold medal, which is the highest honor they bestow.

BG: Are you hopeful book sales will increase? What does this award mean for you?

BB: ...It’s a good indicator that it’s a quality product and I think that will make a difference with parents.

I’ve seen a huge uptick on the Facebook page since the award was announced. The number of likes has quadrupled. And it’s growing every day. The reaction from people is very interesting.

To learn more about Beth Brainard, visit her website.

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