I cannot wait to share this sponsored post with you! When Dr. Stephanie O'Leary asked me to share my thoughts on her new book Parenting in the Real World, I was excited because I knew it would be a great addition to your own personal library! You will also find affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support!
Let me start by saying that I am what one would call a book (shall I say) hoarder?...How about fanatic?...Let's just say lover. I am a book lover. I have my own personal library in my home that consists of anything from spiritual books, to autobiographies, to DIY. I love all kinds of books. But some of my all time favorite books are my books on parenting.
Why? Because I am a parent. And an imperfect one at that. I don't have all the answers and, like most parents, I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself as a mother. It's something I am very passionate about. So, when I came across the opportunity to review Parenting in the Real World, I was all on it!
I'll be honest, I was a little concerned because it IS written by a psychologist. I mean, don't get me wrong, psychologists are very valuable, but sometimes their approach can turn people off. Who wants to open the pages to a bunch of psychological jargon they can't readily identify, am I wrong? Let me just say, there is none of that here! Anywho, lets jump right into it!
The book is called Parenting in the Real World: The Rules Have Changed. Drop the Guilt. Handle Any Parenting Situation in 7 Simple Steps. And Yes, as far as I know that is the full title!
It is written by Dr. Stephanie O'Leary, Psy. D. who, as I mentioned before, is a psychologist. A clinical psychologist to be precise. You can read more about her in the about author section towards to end of this post or here.
I think it is safe to say this is categorized as a parenting book though it doesn't specifically say on the back (you know how some books show the category in the lower right hand corner?) Just for those of us who don't pick up on the "PARENTING" in large bold font on the front ;-)
The title is pretty clear about the gist of what the book offers...7 simple steps to handle any parenting situation!
One thing that I noticed right away upon flipping through the book is that the lines are double-spaced making it extremely easy to read. I personally was very appreciative of this. It definitely made my reading experience more enjoyable! Call me nit-picky but these simple things make a BIG difference, especially since I love to read so much.
This book claims to help you handle any parenting situation by teaching you to:
So, did this book really come through with all these wonderful things it claims to offer? To put it simply...yes. But I got much more out of it than these points covered!
The first thing I will say is that I really enjoyed that this book is written from one parent to another. I have only had the privilege of interacting with Dr. O'Leary on a few occasions, but I do know that she was extended the offer to have her book reviewed by professionals. But she wanted to know what you and I think...those who are actually going to be reading it for the purpose it was written. And I really respect that.
I didn't feel like I was reading a book written by a psychologist. It was more like "I'm getting sound advice from a really good friend and she gets what I'm going through." I love how personable and relatable her writing style is. It's almost as if your not actually reading but in fact having a one-on-one conversation (but not like laid back in a reclined chair in a dark office one-on-one). This made such a big difference!
This book takes a non-judgmental approach while still addressing the real world issues that most of us don't like to face, like being accountable for our words and our actions. It will challenge you to set your pride aside, but lets be honest, pride has no place in a child-parent relationship (or any relationship for that matter!)
Another thing I liked is that you are given PRACTICAL steps and examples to help you through. I happen to be a visual a person so having real world examples to relate to really put each step into perspective for me.
There are also short videos of the author introducing the chapter and what you can expect. These are easily accessed through QR Codes or you can type in the URL to access the videos. I have never seen this before in any of the books I have read and found I really enjoyed them. It helps you to connect with the author and her voice and I think this really aids in grasping the message as well!
Honestly, I loved the book and I got so much out of it that I was a little sad when the book ended. Not because the author leaves you hanging but because, as I mentioned, it was like talking to a close friend who understands my parenting struggles on a personal level. And I'm always in the mindset that I can use all the advice I can get!
So, essentially it was like ending a much needed deep conversation with your bestie and you really just want to keep talking!
As for the content itself, I can honestly say I don't have anything negative to say. I mean, I'm reading the book for the second time in 2 weeks if that tells you anything...
Dr. Stephanie O'Leary is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychology, and a mom of two. For over a decade she has been providing parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing kids for the challenges they'll face in the real world. (Yes, I did get this from the back of the book.) =)
Honestly, I got so much out of this book that covering everything would have you reading for days (you may as well just read the book yourself)...plus it would give everything away. So, I decided to pick out a quote from each chapter that stuck out to me.
We have to quiet down and just listen to what our kids have to say without judgement (p.28)
With our busy schedules, it's so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and at the same time rushing along those important conversations that need extra attention. Reading this was a much needed reminder that, no matter how busy and crazy things get, these little people NEED me to stop. They NEED me to listen...truly listen. And they NEED me to listen without interjecting my two-cents every 2 seconds.
Big picture, it's not always about the outcome, it's about the process. (p.42)
We as parents are always looking at the end game. Unfortunately, we often ignore the path we take to get there. This quote stuck out to me because I don't want to get so caught up in my vision for my kids future that I lose sight of the now. I don't want my children to lose out on the joy of childhood while I pursue MY ideals for their future. "At any cost" is not my M.O. This quote is a reminder that I need to be more present in the moment to guide and support them through their emotions! I want to enjoy every second I have with my babies =)
Respect is not about doing more or less, but about going through your day differently. Thoughtfully. (p.58)
I truly believe that the premise of respect has been so skewed (particularly here in America) that people don't even know what respect really looks like anymore. We are so quick to demand respect without giving it. Parents are no exception. Unfortunately, respect isn't a habit many of us possess these days. So, to presume respect will just happen...well it's not likely. Especially if you've spent much of your time being disrespectful. I have a habit of speaking words in haste, especially when I'm flustered. I really like this quote because it is a reminder that my words need to be calculated and well thought out particularly in those moments when I have a strong urge to speak out.
The stakes at that point will also be much higher, so taking steps to prepare your child for the future of limits is important. (p.87)
As with most parents, I would love to be able to give my children every one of their hearts desires. Unfortunately, that isn't realistic and it is a gross misinterpretation of what they can expect in the real world. In the real world, you have to work for the things you want. And even then, it's not a guarantee. I don't want my children to have a rude awaking when they realize that the world is not going to serve their wants or even their needs on a silver platter. This quote is a reminder to me that though we should enjoy our children, we have a responsibility as well. And we are doing them a disservice if we don't take these responsibilities seriously.
Let's be clear, your child does not make you do anything. There is nothing he or she can say, do, or be that makes you respond in a way you are not proud of. (p.117)
Wow! I know a lot people won't like this one but hey! there's no point in fighting facts. This quote is probably my favorite out of them all. Mainly because it has had such a significant effect on me. It was a brutal but much needed reminder that I am the adult...I am the one who is responsible for controlling MYSELF. It is juvenile to hold my children responsible fore MY actions. So, yes, their whining may drive me batty and their seeming lack of consideration for my hours of house cleaning may upset me, but I, and only I, can make me act out on these feelings.
"Wake up every morning and decide to love your husband. Decide to be in love with him,, to stay in love with him, and to fall in love with him again and again. If things ever get off track, come back to this." (p.126-127)
I love this quote because I recently posted something on my Instagram and this reminded me of it =) Plus, I wholeheartedly agree with it and, like the author, I realize that it can be applied to my children as well! Loving your kids comes so naturally that you wouldn't automatically think this applies but the truth is that every single one of us has "unlovable" moments. It is in those moments that we have to choose to love.
No pressure, but you are one of the most powerful influences in your child's life-perhaps the most powerful. (p.141)
Ok, though there is definitely some pressure in this statement, it is so powerful! To think that I have the "power" to either build my children up or completely tear them down is incredibly empowering and terrifying at the same time. Keeping this at the forefront on my mind will help me to be more mindful of the things I say and how I respond to my children.
I absolutely do! If you are a parent who is committed to being the best you can be for your children, then this book is for you.
If you are willing to face the not-so-pretty things about being a parent in order to have a solid child-parent relationship built on a foundation of trust and strong communication, then this book is for you.
In fact, I am so convinced that this book will help you that I reached out to the author and asked her permission to do a giveaway! Not only did she say yes, but she is going to send the winner a personalized signed copy of her book!
To Dr. Stephanie O'Leary, your words have blessed me immensely and I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to read and review your book. Please know that your words are having a lasting impact and I pray that other families will have the opportunity to receive this wealth of information as well. A huge thank you from the Marshall family for imparting your wisdom and sharing your expertise with the world. We will forever be grateful for the impact you have had on our family! <3
I really hope you enjoyed this review and that it encourages you to check out Parenting in the Real World. Remember to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy and share the giveaway with others!
Until next time, Blessings to you & yours,