Parenthood. It will test your resolve, your patience, call your courage into question and other times have you rolling on the floor laughing. And above all, it will often make you feel as if you are the only person on earth who can’t seem to come to grips with it. Well, you’re not, and through it all, to help cope with the trials, tribulations and sheer joy or raising our children, what all parents need is not so much a “how to” guide as a “wow, I need to remember that” book.
Enter: When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons: A Mother’s Perspective on Parenting by mother, educator and writer Jennifer M. Koontz.
A light-hearted look at parenting, When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons contains many practical suggestions for managing all of the supplies, advice, questions, and challenges that come along with being a parent. It is a definitive guide to raising a self-sufficient, well-mannered child, while keeping life in perspective and maintaining a sense of humor.
“The sources of wisdom about parenting are boundless; they can be found in the most unlikely of places,” says Koontz. “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.”
In addition, Koontz 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.
When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons 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.
With humor and heart, offering a real-life, practical perspective on parenting, When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons explores topics including:
- Babies, bottles and the truth
- Who is this little person?
- What children wish we knew
- Traditional or trendy parenting
- The Privileges System for children
- Practicing parenting
- and so much more!
“With a lot of humor and a little perseverance,” adds Koontz, “parenting is indeed an experience to be treasured. And the most important lesson of all? Embrace the challengers, celebrate your successes and always remember that the journey is the destination.”
About the Author
Jennifer M. Koontz earned a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College. She taught secondary Social Studies 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 2006, she began to make observations about parenting and collect stories that were told to her by other parents. Now that she had been a teacher and a lawyer, she decided to add "author" to the list. Koontz is currently working on her next book.
My Take on the Book
This was a fun book that brought so many great tips and ideas to the "table" for any reader. The book was so easy to read and full of so many great tips and resources that once I was through with this I shared it with my own mother who watches our children numerous times per week. The author's use of humor makes the reading light and playful which is both fun and engaging. The approach of the author also was fresh and allows any reader to gain some great truths from reading it. Whether you are a new parent or one that has been around the block, you will enjoy this book, I know I did!
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