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Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review: Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger by Julie K. Nelson


Book Description:

Get the parenting results you want without stepping into the battle zone. Popular radio personality, university professor, author, and TV expert Julie K. Nelson combines her professional expertise with her personal experience as a mom of five in this book. Humorous, insightful, and authentic, this must-read will help you enforce rules without manipulation or coercion and addresses a wide variety of essential parenting topics.

Book Trailer:



Rorie's Review:

I haven't had a chance to finish this book yet, but I am about half-way through it. I know it's not the intent of this book, but boy, what a guilt trip! I have so much to work on as a mother. I would read each chapter and think "Yep, that's me." or "Boy, I really need to do better on that." That being said, this book is presented well and gives a lot of good advice on parenting. None of us are perfect parents and none of us have perfect children. I'm pretty sure that most, if not all parents can relate to at least one topic in this book, and can (hopefully) learn something from it.

One chapter that stuck out to me a lot was "Keep it real and learn your ABCs." All of my children are awesome of course ;) but one of them in particular is so much like me that we tend to butt heads a lot. Reading this chapter helped me realize that sometimes (OK, maybe a lot of the time) the way I react to his actions is most likely making the situation worse. As the popular saying goes, "Knowing is half the battle." This book is one that I can refer back to over and over again (because I'm stubborn and sometimes take a long time to learn things) as I'm trying to figure this whole parenting thing out.

Tarah's Review:

Ah parenting books....we have a love/hate relationship. I tend to avoid them for a couple reasons. 1-It's not mind candy. Apparently I like fluff stories. I can whip through those in hours, no problem. Non-fiction books I slog though and hope to eventually finish because it's good for me and I should be doing something better with my mind. 2-The guilt issue. I tend to avoid things that make me feel guilty :)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I'll admit that it was the plunger that grabbed my interest. That, and the use of the word "surviving" in the title. They both seemed very apropos for my current parenting experience.

The very first thing I read in this book was chapter 9. Yes, I know that's weird, but that's what I did. It's the chapter on how to stop yelling at your kids. Again, very relevant to my current situation. I've actually read that chapter twice now, and since I'm going to be watching my nephews for a week this chapter gave me some great ideas on how to calm everyone down (is that possible with 8 kids under 9 in your house?)

I actually finished this book very quickly (very unusual for me...see reason number one above). Although, I will admit to skimming chapters that didn't relate to my current situation. I enjoyed the real life stories, the humor, and the reminder that we aren't perfect, but we can keep trying. A couple things that stuck out to me were when she shared the quote, "Right is right, even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." Amen, sister! Love that. And this quote I felt was basically the premise of her book. "In the long run, the only thing of lasting value you can give your child is your time and the memories of the time you shared together." -Ibid, xxiv

 There were so many topics covered in this book, it really seems like it had something for everyone. Everything from potty training, to blended families, to vacations, to honesty and values, and a whole lot more. It was well written in a non-guilt inducing way (although, let's be honest...I'm a woman. Isn't guilt hardwired into me somehow?)


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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 Title: Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger
Author: Julie K. Nelson
Publisher: Plain Sight
Published: March 2015
ISBN: 1462116329
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.