Saturday, January 12, 2013

When Your Centerpiece Is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons: A Book Review

About The Book:

This is a light-hearted look at parenting that also contains many practical suggestions for managing all of the supplies, advice, questions, and challenges that come along with being a parent. It is the definitive guide to raising a self-sufficient, well-mannered child, while keeping life in perspective and maintaining a sense of humor.  The main theme of the book is that parents are not alone in the Land of Parenthood.  All parents go through shades of the same issues sooner or later, and it is important to reach out and seek the wisdom that surrounds us.
The sources of wisdom about parenting are boundless; they can be found in the most unlikely of places.  One of the most important ways to learn about parenting is to listen to one's own children!  Children are constantly communicating with us ~ we just need to learn how to understand them.  Even when they don't speak, they are communicating.  This book includes a chapter that tells the reader what children wish their parents already knew.
In addition, the author includes a tremendous resource for parents who may be struggling with children's behavioral issues.  She presents the Privileges System, which she created for her own daughter after consulting many behavioral management sources.  It utilizes counting but does not include the use of "time outs." The Privileges System doesn't cost anything to implement, and parents who commit to it will likely see results in a very short time.  Koontz believes that the most important thing you can teach your child is that you truly mean what you say.  You will earn the respect of a child by modeling respect, and the best way to teach kindness is to be kind.
The book concludes with "The List," which reminds parents of the most important things to remember when they are too tired to remember anything else.  Parents deserve to celebrate their achievements and look forward to tomorrow, knowing that they have made a difference today.

About The Author:

Jennifer M. Koontz earned a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She taught secondary Social Studies in Maryland before earning a J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. Koontz has taught students of every age, from preschool through college. 

When she became a mother in 2005, she began to make observations about parenting and collect stories that were told to her by other parents. Now that she has been a teacher and a lawyer, she has decided to add "author" to the list.

In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, swimming, and reading with her daughter. She loves crafts and remains hopeful that her daughter will join her one day at the craft table. Koontz currently resides in Pennsylvania with her family and is working on her next book.

My Review:

Let me say right out this is not a textbook about raising children, discipline or child development.

However, it is a fantastic, engaging and witty look at the journey called parenting. Particularly the journey of parenting children birth to five years of age. You will laugh and find yourself nodding repeatedly throughout the book. I know I did. I absolutely loved many of the ideas for discipline (as there were a number that were not your typical time out style, which I appreciated), and I have adapted her priviledge system to fit our family. So far so good, and my girls are loving that they get to do chores! I have read a lot of parenting books in my six years as a parent but this is definitely one of my favorites to be sure.You will be encouraged and challenged in your walk as a parent with each step read in this easy to read and well-written book! I will definitely be looking to purchase a physical copy of this book to share with friends and family.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons online through Amazon

***I received an electronic copy of this book, courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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