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Author teaches parents that it only takes a ‘minute’ to teach children life lessons

Oct. 25, 2013

By Molly O’Neil


WEST SPRINGFIELD – Connie Hebert, Ph.D., of West Springfield, is determined to help inexperienced parents raise their children.

Hebert was motivated when she saw a 5-year-old and his mother talking together at Friendly’s. The mother and son had a 45-minute conversation, and as Hebert recalled, “never once did [the mother] look up from her cellphone to answer questions ... I found that incredibly sad.”

A mother of three children who are “smart and appreciative,” Hebert shares her tips on how she raised them with “The Teachable Minute: The Secret to Raising Smart & Appreciative Kids.” Especially for young parents, the book will teach adults by giving suggestions on what to show, ask, or teach their kids in 77 different places.

Hebert believes that “all children, no matter how old, are capable of being taught, and they are surely worth at least a minute of our time in a variety of settings.”

To address the pain that she felt, Hebert made up a goal for herself and other parents to “limit the use of devices when kids are with us and make time to show, ask, and teach them something, wherever we are. Kids will learn that technology is a good thing but is not the most important thing. They are!”

The digital age is creating a gap between parents and children, causing them to miss many important chances to interact with their kids.

Hebert wants parents to find “more spontaneous fun, increased self-confidence in the role of ‘parent as teacher,’ numerous opportunities to interact with kids in memorable ways, unpredictable benefits that will lead to lifelong learning,time with kids so they feel important, valued, and special,” and “endless waves of satisfaction that come when we make a difference in the life of a child” by “catching” teachable minutes.

Hebert is hoping to “reach at least one million parents” through “The Teachable Minute.” From there, she plans to “keep going” by writing more and sending her new book around the world.

Hebert has shared her advice in 47 states and three countries. A Longmeadow High School graduate of 1974, she became a teacher and then the director of reading for West Springfield Public Schools. Hebert also wrote “Catch a Falling Reader,” “Catch a Falling Writer,” and “Sight Word Phrases.”

For more information about Hebert and her books, visit www.conniehebert.com. Her new book is available online at www.theteachableminute.com.

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