From Kirkus Reviews
“Debut author Hughes writes of “transforming the world,” via better communication with children.
Once an unwed teen mother herself, now a Ph.D. running a behavioral health center, Hughes writes frankly about how to discuss and model appropriate behavior on tough topics that routinely baffle both adults and children: obesity, education, sex and, above all, learning from mistakes. Her approach is simple, direct and honest. “If we don’t talk about [sex], our kids will find a way to talk about it anyway,” she writes, urging the reader to take the path of greatest benefit instead of least resistance. But discussing those tough topics with young people doesn’t mean treating them as adults. “They’re going to be adults soon enough. Let them be kids while they can. In fact, insist upon it,” Hughes states. She reinforces the importance of connection and social responsibility with interviews of other community-centered professionals, occasionally punctuating her points with stories of extraordinary individuals who’ve chosen to step up and make a difference in a young person’s life. Hughes has a knack for reducing complicated concepts to their basic principles, as when she explains that “influencing” kids boils down to being present, open and acting responsibly. She’s a strong voice speaking from within the community—not standing apart—to reassure readers that they’re in a position to do real good, right now. “Children, especially young children, learn through observation,” Hughes writes, reinforcing the importance of owning one’s own actions. “Your words have value, but not as much value as your actions.”
Hughes’ straightforward, honest approach makes potentially intimidating topics manageable.”
About the Author
With an amazing story of transformation, hope and triumph over difficult odds, Danita Johnson Hughes is a healthcare industry executive, speaker and author. Through her professional work, keynotes, writing and philanthropic activities, she inspires people to dream big and understand the role personal responsibility has in achieving success. Danita’s early life was filled with desperation and hopelessness. As a high school dropout and unwed teen mother, she was the statistic that many considered doomed for failure. Refusing to give into her circumstances, Danita made a decision that changed her life: she decided to take personal responsibility for her situation and turn it around. She enrolled in classes at Indiana University Northwest and earned two degrees, a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Public Administration. She continued her education earning a second Master’s degree in Social Service Administration, a graduate certificate in Health Administration & Policy from the University of Chicago and finally a Ph.D. in Human Services from Walden University, Minneapolis. Armed with education and hope, she set out to change her life and the lives of those around her. Today, she is dedicated to helping people of all walks of life establish and achieve lofty goals. The only female African American CEO of a certified mental health center in Indiana, Danita leads a team of dedicated professionals at Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living, Inc., an organization that provides behavioral health and child welfare services for the citizens of Gary and Northwest Indiana. She is certified to provide leadership, consulting and motivational speaking engagements. Danita has received many awards for her work including awards from the two most recent governors in the state of Indiana.