Author: Julie K. Nelson
With her refreshing sense of humor and a “let’s be real” attitude, Julie K. Nelson has written a fun and fast read to help parents in any stage of raising children. Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger: 25 Tips for Surviving Parenthood is written just as described. Each tip is a little mini chapter—perfect for reading while waiting in the carpool, waiting for dance lessons to be over, or even (ahem!) sitting in the bathroom.
What I Liked Most:
I loved Julie’s conversational style of writing and her shared experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly that we can all relate to. I also loved the breadth of her tips. She covers everything from potty training to helping teenagers find their greater purpose in life. She also shared sobering and difficult personal experiences of how to navigate parenting during divorce and re-marriage. Her tips seem doable and non-intimidating. This book was always interesting, even when I felt a particular tip was not applicable to my family’s stage of life.
How This Affected My Mothering:
I enjoyed the real nuggets of wisdom in this book. For example,the difference between praise (compared to a Pop Tart) and encouragement (compared to fruits and vegetables), and the related topic of being process-oriented versus outcome-oriented as you guide your children, really struck me. It made me pause to examine myself and how I was communicating with my children. I realized that giving praise on an outcome was passing judgement on a child, while giving encouragement through a process is much more loving, motivating, and character building.
Lastly, I love it when other mothers are candid. I feel that it gives me permission to do the same, something that can be scary for me. This book helped me feel comfortable in admitting, and sometimes laughing about, the craziness that is sometimes in my home. I came away with little suggestions that did not feel guilt-inducing, but just something that a good friend might suggest. This is a great book, with something in it for everyone.
View a trailer for the book here.
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Edited by Aubrey Degn