Barbara Unell

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A devoted mother and adoring grandmother, Barbara has been an author, publisher, educator and social entrepreneur for the past 35 years, passionately translating behavioral, social and neuroscience research into practical pathways leading to the greater good in health, learning and behavior. To that end, she has authored 15 books, including  Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking, which has sold over a million copies worldwide; Getting Your Child from No to Yes; How to Discipline Your Six to Twelve Year Old Without Losing Your Mind; 20 Teachable Virtues; The 8 Seasons of Parenthood; and Discipline with Love and Limits, all with Jerry Wyckoff, Ph.D. She has also been a columnist for The Kansas City Star; writer/host of the nationally syndicated radio feature, “Kid’s Stuff”; community partner of “The Baby Buffer” online parenting project of the Kansas chapter of The American Academy of Pediatrics; and, with her husband, Bob, co-founder and editor of national and regional magazines and newsletters, including TWINS Magazine, Caring Parent, and Kansas City Parent.

A proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Barbara has appeared on numerous national and local radio and television programs cheerleading for the mission of her books, as well as the national and regional character education and social-emotional health programs she co-founded, including: “Kindness is Contagious…Catch It!”; the award-winning “Sunflower Ambassador” program; and “Uncle Dan’s Report Card”. In 2000, she founded the national nonprofit organization, Back in the Swing, which launched the first clinical breast cancer survivorship center in the United States at the University of Kansas Cancer Center in 2006. She and Judith Fertig co-authored the IACP award-winning lifestyle cookbook, The Back in the Swing Cookbook: Recipes for Eating and Living Well Every Day after Breast Cancer, in 2012.

In 2016, together with Bob Unell and Dr. Wyckoff, Barbara co-founded the national nonprofit organization, The Raised with Love and Limits Foundation, focusing on filling the gap in the parenting education of nurses, pediatricians, teachers and social workers who work to improve and protect the mental, physical and emotional health of children every day. As a contributor to the new national movement of healthy parenting in primary care, the Foundation is on the front line in the prevention of toxic stress in children and supporting caring, protective adults with the 2019 launch of the innovative clinic-delivered, parent skill-building tool kit, Behavior Checker; the new completely revised edition of Discipline with Love and Limits; the companion, groundbreaking online education course, Parenting is Healthcare; and BehaviorChecker.org.


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