Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Keep It Real and Grab a Plunger: 25 Tips for Surviving Parenthood" by Julie K. Nelson

The Book
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.


Praise for Julie Nelson
"Julie Nelson is a master at 'keeping it real' as she gives sound advice amidst terrific stories of her own failures as well as successes as a parent. Her topics include the crucial importance of family rituals and teaching values while kids are young as well as how to stay positive amidst the chaos of raising a family, how to lift family members who make mistakes, and even how to successfully co-parent after divorce. Every parent can benefit from Julie’s extraordinary wisdom." -Richard and Linda Eyre, New York Times #1 bestselling authors. 

From Keeping it Real
Parents. We are quite good at sitting as Judge with gavel in hand. We're also expert players at the game of Comparisons. The rules of this game are:

1) Parents observe each other's children and make judgment statements

2) Parents of a trophy child feel superior but are resented by everyone else

3) Parents of lesser performing/achieving children feel like losers

4) Loser parents berate themselves and their child with "Why are you not more like so-and-so" and

5) Everyone feels worse.

By the way, there are no winners.

We can't help ourselves. Parents are taught early how to play this game. "What a good baby you have," is pronounced if he is even-tempered, sleeps through the night at three months, and rarely cries. If a toddler is not demanding, we jealously express, "You are so lucky to have such a sweet child." A young child who hides behind her mother's skirt is called "shy." We hang labels on our children such as "good" "wild" "easy" or "hard" like they were articles of clothing.

"Good" vs. "Bad"?

Why do we use labels in front of our children? Labels stick. I had a three-year-old student who, after misbehaving, often said, "I'm a bad boy." The child who sits quietly and doesn't create a disturbance is said to be "such a good boy." Doesn't that create the impression that the "bad boy" is the one who is highly energetic and gets into all sorts of mischief? Maybe we should think twice before quickly identifying the calm, quiet baby as the "good" one when the crying, colicky baby isn't the opposite. Can a baby be "bad?" Of course not.
We anxiously leave labels intact per the instructions printed on the mattress tag: "DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF LAW." Haven't you ripped one off just to see what would happen? Nada. Fear no longer! The Mattress Tag Police do not come knocking at your door.
Removing negative labeling is a good start in parenting. Just like the pillow or mattress tags, let's liberate ourselves and our children by ripping off unnecessary labels.

About 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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