Interview with Tanya Ward Goodman

The Next Family

Interview with Tanya Ward Goodman by TNF

TNF: How has it been blogging for TNF?

I really enjoy blogging for TNF. Writing about things that are happening in my life and in the lives of my children gives me a chance to really absorb them. By turning these events around in my head a bit before I put them on the page, I find I often wind up feeling them more deeply or differently than I expected. I learn a little bit about parenting (or at the very least, a little bit about me as a parent) every time I write a new blog.

TNF: How is your family like every other family and how is it different?

My family is like every family in that we laugh and shout and leave our dirty socks on the floor. I’m not sure we are different.

TNF: Did your family accept you and your lifestyle? If yes, explain and if not explain what you have done to help them to accept your decisions and your lifestyle.

My family always accepted me and my lifestyle. If anything, they were a bit surprised that I was so straightlaced. Once I got fired from my job as a camp counselor for having one sip of beer and I think my folks were actually pleased to see that I had a teeny bit of a dark side.

TNF: How do you juggle the work at home with your jobs?

My job is my work at home. When I’m not blogging for TNF, I’m working on other writing. When I’m not writing, I’m buying groceries, cooking dinner, doing laundry and playing with the kids. There’s still lots of juggling going on, but it’s all happening at home.

TNF: What lessons do you feel are the most important to teach children in this day and age? Are there any lessons they, or perhaps we as parents, should unlearn?

I work hard to teach my children gratitude. I want them to be grateful for stuff, of course, but I also want them to be grateful for less tangible things like time and space and beauty. I try to help them notice things. We go for walks and look for lizards, we find shapes in the clouds, we take a moment to appreciate a full moon or a great sunset or the way grass grows at the bottom of a chain link fence. I want them to understand that there is potential for greatness everywhere. I am grateful for this.

As for unlearning, I think if I could unlearn something, it would be the urge to say “good job.” It pops out of my mouth at the most ridiculous times. You ate all your cereal? Good job! Got a good grade? Good job! Washed your hair? Good job! It’s meaningless and I annoy myself by saying it so often.

TNF: Any words of wisdom to pass on to our readers?

Slow down. Take more naps. Cook with your kids. Spend as much time outside as possible. Read a lot of books.

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