This months inspirational mom is a well respected parenting and youth development expert, Deborah Gilboa, MD, who is the founder of AskDoctorG.com. Popularly known as Dr. G, her passion for raising kids with character makes her a favorite family physician, media personality, author,speaker and social influencer. A mom of four boys, she inspires audiences with relatable stories and easy tools to develop crucial life skills in children ages 2-22.
Dr. G is a board certified attending family physician at Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill Health Center, caring for diverse patients from 100+ countries, speaking 47 different languages. Her work with the deaf community has received national recognition and was the focus of her service as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. (Source: AskDoctorg.com)
We had a chance to interview Dr. G. about her work with Old Spice, parenting and balancing work and homelife.
As a busy mom of four boys and a career woman, what are some tips you could provide other moms on maintaining a balance between your home and work life.
Decide, delegate and… ditch! Decide what matters most to you and make those priorities clear to the people in your world. The biggest struggle for me is saying “No” when I’m asked to do something, personally or professionally. But every time I say yes to something, I’m saying no to something else. So I have to be willing to live my priorities as often as I can.
Delegate! I don’t mean hire a whole bevy of folks to do stuff for you – though if you can afford it, awesome – I mean don’t do anything for someone in your life that they can learn to do for themselves. Most importantly, I apply this to my kids! They can (and do) their own laundry, school lunches, cleaning, forms, morning routines … I need my kids to work at the leading edge of their ability at home, not only at school. That frees me up to do the things they can’t, and there are plenty of those things.
Ditch … whatever isn’t actually necessary to your happiness or your family’s well being. For me, that means (shhhh….) my house is a mess. I know you’re picturing a totally clean house with a few things out of place, but that ain’t it. Picture a stuff-shoved-into-piles and 5.2 thousand things-I-mean-to-get-to-
What inspired you to write parenting books?
My patients. Most of the questions I get asked in the office aren’t actually medical. Parents of asthmatic kids rarely ask “Is my child on the correct medicine.” Instead they ask “How do I get my child to TAKE his medicine?” Or “How can I get my child to actually go to bed when I tell her? Eat healthy things? Do their homework?” Most of what I do is help with parenting strategies. Enough people asked me to write a book that I started looking deeply at the parenting books that exist, and they didn’t fit my needs as a parent either. There were chapters of philosophy, and not enough 3 page chapters that I could read in the space of the time it took my child to eat a snack that answered my actual question in a developmentally appropriate way. So I wrote a FAQ book, with each question (65 of them) answered by age. I don’t always know if it’s a great book, but the title is definitely spot on. “Get the Behavior You Want … Without Being the Parent You Hate!”
What advice do you have for parents with teens?
I feel you. 🙂
Seriously, I have been liking the teen years so far way better than the toddler years. My best three pieces of advice are, no matter what the topic:
Before you lecture, ask. Ask what happened. Ask what they believe or know already. Ask why.
Listen more than you talk. I have to remind myself of this all the time!!
Tell them what you admire about them. Send a text (right now!) with one thing you really appreciate about something they did or tried. That’s all, just do that a few times a week. Makes it kind of impossible for them to believe you don’t see them or like them.
How did you get involved with the Old Spice School of Swagger campaign?
Old Spice’s School of Swagger gives guys (and their moms) really useful information in the way that boys want it – funny! The research they did is right up my alley, helping adults understand better the beliefs and needs of teen guys, and I’m honored that they asked me to help parents understand those results so we can use them to build even stronger relationships with our guys. And to help them stink a lot less often!
Anything you would like to share with our lovely dandelion moms?
You’re an expert in the kids who live in your home. Enjoy them and give them a chance to value you and their whole family. 23% of sons in the Old Spice study said that they don’t mind physical affection from their parents in public. And 59% said it’s acceptable as long as it’s at home. So don’t believe the stereotypes that boys don’t want or need that love – they do and they know it!