May 082015
 

Keepitreal Product Description:
Title: Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger:
25 Tips for Surviving Parenthood
Author:Julie K. Nelson
Genre:Nonfiction, Parenting
Paperback, 176 Pages
March 10th 2015 by Cedar Fort, Inc.
FTC, FYI: Received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Review by: Sheila
Book Description:
As a popular blogger, a college professor, and a frequent parenting guest expert on TV, you might suspect Julie K. Nelson is immune to the realities of actual parenting. But in fact, she’s been there—through all the late nights, huge messes, and tough moments.
Now she combines her expertise with her experience as a mom of five in this entertaining and pragmatic book. Learn how to overcome your natural manipulative, authoritarian tendencies and foster your child’s self-discipline, respect, and emotional maturity.

Humorous, insightful, and authentic, this book will get you through the sticky stuff with grace so you can enjoy those parenting moments that make it all worth it.
 
Book Trailer
My Review:
This parenting book covered each stage of parenting, from infants and toddlers to elementary age and teens. Regardless of which stage you may be in right now, you will find something useful to you as a parent. There are chapters for new parents about establishing good bedtime routines and also a chapter about potty training. As I’ve been parenting for going on 17 years now, these chapters are no longer useful for me. (Thank goodness!)
 Julie also uses a lot of humor in her writing which made this book an enjoyable read. For example, at the beginning of one of her chapters this is what she says, “What should be one of our main parenting goals? Survival? Yes, and that’s enough some days.” I couldn’t agree more!
 
As always when I review a non-fiction book with tips of any kind, it is too hard to list everything that I liked and learned. So here are some things I really enjoyed reading in this book.
Eight Values That Are Common to Strong Families: Some of those values included: Choices and consequences,Hard work is good for you, Integrity, Serving Others and Love.
Lifting Children Who make Mistakes:“How we react to mistakes directly correlates with the degree a person feels
self-worth and confidence to rise above those mistakes.”
 
How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids: Some of the ideas were to take a break, go for a walk or write down your thoughts. Whatever it would take to calm down and not yell at your children. This is a skill that all parents can work on.
 
Strategies for Keeping Siblings Close: I liked the ideas of how you need to teach your kids to support each other, give them opportunities to do things together (whether they want to or not), and learn to make happy memories from doing things with each other.
 
Co-Parenting After Divorce: I have to say that I was VERY happy to find a chapter about this in a parenting book. So many times the past six years I’ve felt like I was all on my own, and wandering through the dark trying to parent as a single mom while still parenting with my ex-husband. Gatekeeping was discussed where one parent or the other tries to keep the children from the other parent whether physically or emotionally, or finding ways to have the other parent look bad in the children’s eyes. The tips to avoid this were to 1-Share information between parents so both parents stay actively involved, 2-Discuss the noncustodial parent with the child:It is helpful to remember that although the other parent may not be physically present, he or she is still ever-present in your child’s heart and mind, 3-Share custodial responsibilities:(I LOVED this next part)Remember that you divorced your spouse; your children did not divorce their parent. Research studies report that if both parents live nearby, it maximizes children’s post divorce adjustment. Welcome the time your children spends with your ex, unless you need to address safety issues. Avoid showing hostility at exchanges. Be flexible when schedules have to be adjusted from time to time. Shared parenting gives you an emotional and physical renewal while the children spend time with another person who loves them like you do.”
Using Technology Wisely: (With two teens in the house this was very relevant too!) 1. Time-out from technology,
2. Avoid anonymity and intolerance,and 3. Check, pry, and supervise. I feel every parent with tweens and teens needs to read this chapter.
In the end I feel like this is a good parenting book that would benefit new and experienced parents. Even if you pick out a few things to try and use with your family, I feel you will see some good changes. This book can be read at several different sittings or when you specifically need information about a certain topic. This book would be a great Mother’s Day present or a gift given to new parents at a baby shower.
 
Meet the Author: 

Julie K. Nelson is a wife and mother of five children, raising them in Illinois and now Utah. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from Utah State University in marriage, family and human development. Her scholarly research and creative writing have been published in journals and anthologies, and she has won numerous state and national awards for her writing. Julie has enjoyed teaching children in public and private schools and currently teaches at Utah Valley University.

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