Thursday, May 31, 2012

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

I am constantly looking for books about parenting, after all it is a never ending learning experience. I think even parents of adults would agree. I am the parent of 3 children that are 4 years old and younger and were all born in quick succession (I have a pair of two year old twins) I don't know if that exasperates things for me or if it is common for any parent of a young child to have a need to seek out as much information as I can get my hands on!

Jennifer M. Koontz's book When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play Dough and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons got my attention mainly for the title. I thought that was a really cute title and with pre-school and toddler kids in my house, it sounds about right! For me, this book was more observational than advice, Koontz even mentioned in the first chatper about being a teacher and a parent and not an expert. It was nice just to take a peak into another mom's brain and know that we all struggle with a lot of the same issues and feelings. Not to say there isn't some good advice in this book. I found the list in the last chapter particularly helpful! Some of Koontz's tips struck me as odd. The privileges system seems like a great concept to me overall and I like the main message it sends of teaching kids to be responsible for their actions, but some of the suggestions of priviliges are things I would never take away from my kids, as I consider them learning experiences and growing tools, not priviliges, such as reading a book together or doing a puzzle or playing outside together. A few of the examples were great examples of privileges such as not getting to watch a tv show or play a video game or get extra time in the bathtub or getting a toy taken away. I think the overall idea is wonderful, but might need a little tweaking, at least in my house. I will chalk this up to a difference in parenting styles...and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. We all do what we feel is best for our kids! I like that I can take a look into another person's percpective and pull out ideas that will work with my family. It is so great learning from others!

Something I really loved about this book was the use of humor and personal stories. I loved each time the author thought back to a member of her family. I loved reading about her father's grandpa and the close relationship they had with each other and about her aunt and how she is her super hero! That is how I feel about my aunt as well! Personal stories do make a book more endearing.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty good read, if for nothing more than a peak into someone else's thoughts on motherhood. I have definitely come away with some thoughts on parenthood and some new things to try with my kids!

*Disclaimer- I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Christi,
    I'm glad you enjoyed taking a peek into my brain! You saw the book for exactly what it was: a light-hearted parenting book with a lot of observations and a bit of advice tucked in! It often occurs to me that parents feel alone in their experience and I wanted them to see that we all go through shades of the same issues. As for the Privileges System, you are exactly right ~ it does need to "fit" your children. At our house, we read about 112.5 books every day (no, I'm kidding, but it's a lot), so for my daughter to lose that privilege once in a while isn't detrimental to her learning. For the Privileges System for work (and it does, I assure you), it's essential to select privileges that mean a lot to your child. What I have seen is that the results of the system are usually quick, and a child doesn't need to lose a privilege very often for them to understand that unacceptable behavior has consequences. Again, thank you for pointing out to your readers that privileges are different in every household. The key is to use the ones that really matter.

    I invite you and your readers to join me at for information on how to purchase the book and to read articles that I wrote for various publications.
    Thank you for your kind words. Happy Parenting!

    Jennifer M. Koontz, Author
    When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons: A Mother's Perspective on Parenting