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13 Common Parent-isms

Liz Bayardelle
Liz Bayardelle Author Interview

Clean Your Plate! is a fantastic parenting guide that helps well-intentioned parents avoid troublesome mannerisms. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I think that every parent has had that “oh crap, I just became my mr” moment when something comes out of our mouth we swore we’d never say. There’s a reason for parent-isms like “clean your plate”, “get straight A’s”, or “go give your aunt a hug”, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have negative side-effects. (Kind of like how your headache medicine may get rid of your headache, but it could also cause nausea, vomiting, or spontaneous combustion.) This book goes over 13 common parent-isms and gives a research-based look at what negative side effects they could be causing and how to get the intended message across in a more positive way.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about parenting?

I think people believe there is a Don’t mistake my meaning here, there are plenty of clearly and obviously wrong ways to parent, but the only right way is the right way for you and your kids. So many parents try to parent “by the book” only to unnecessarily force themselves into something that feels unnatural and makes either them or their kids (or both) unnecessarily stressed.

What is your paring experience and how has that helped you write this book?

I’m the step-mom of a teenage girl and the bio-mom of a 5-year-old Navy Seal trainee in an Elsa dress, and a 1-year-old raccoon noise impersonator. Our household also features a cumulative 200 pounds of dog and a rabbit of unusual size.

When I was first attempting to “learn how to parent” (as if such a feat is really possible) I kept finding so-called parenting books that were so full of information yet little-to-no practical help. I knew what meconium was, but I had no idea how to bond with my baby. I could tell you all about teen hormones, but I didn’t have any clue how to handle it when my step-daughter went into her room for days at a time. I happened to be working on my PhD in business psychology at the time and realized that the most helpful information for my day-to-day parenting issues was actually coming from my PhD research rather than the parenting books I was reading.

This book is an attempt to bridge that gap.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

The three main take-home messages from this book are to parent for the long term (not the short term), to parent for skills (not results), and to parent like you and your kids are on the same team (because you are…no matter what it feels like in the moment).

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Parents mean well, we really do.

We want our kids to get good grades, stop hitting their siblings, and, yes, clean their plate at dinnertime. It shouldn’t be that hard, right?

Wrong. Sometimes these harmless sounding statements don’t work. Even worse, they often backfire to cause unexpected and unwelcome side effects for us and for our kids. (Just like your prescription for headache medicine may accidentally cause vomiting or make you spontaneously sprout a leathery tail.) 
This book takes 13 of the most common parent-isms and walks you through the ways they can go wrong, why they could negatively impact your kids, and what you should say instead. 

Includes parental greatest hits like: 
Do You Need Any Money?
Get Straight A’s
Don’t Be a Quitter
Don’t Talk Back (to Your Elders)
Waste Not, Want Not
Be Nice to Your Friends
Give Your Aunt a Hug
Win Your Game Today
Finish Your Homework
Don’t Hit
Sit Still
Don’t Watch TV
Clean Your Plate

Clean Your Plate! Thirteen Things Good Parents Say That Ruin Kids’ Lives

Preparing our children for their inevitable independence as self-sufficient adults is a full-time job that begins long before our kids ever realize the complexities that lie ahead of them. From managing money to teaching them how to treat others, parents have a never-ending list of skills on which to instruct children and numerous opportunities throughout each day to do so. Parenting never gets easier, but listening to and learning from others who are living the same struggles helps.

Clean Your Plate! 13 Things Good Parents Say that Ruin Kids’ Lives, by Liz Bayardelle, lays out the most commonly uttered phrases we, as parents, say to our children as they grow. Bayardelle provides sound advice for how to make some of life’s most challenging struggles go more smoothly. Many times, just stating the phrases we have been told by our parents is far from sufficient. The author gives readers wonderful how-tos in order to meet the changing needs of their children.

My own two children are grown, but I can say I would have greatly appreciated the advice on chore charts. I haven’t been as on top of chores over the years as I should have–of that I am well aware. Bayardelle’s common sense approach to the chore chart is an excellent take-away parents can put to immediate use.

I love the breakdown the author gives in each chapter. She doesn’t simply tell us the bit of advice; she analyzes the psychology behind why we say what we do to our children. In addition, Bayardelle explains what the research reveals our kids actually hear when we utter those famous words over and over. It’s a fantastic approach to parental reading. One of the most spot-on aspects of Bayardelle’s writing is the parenting-versus-reality tone she takes. Both the writing and scenarios are incredibly relatable and will be appreciated by readers in all stages of parenting.

I highly recommend Clean Your Plate! 13 Things Good Parents Say that Ruin Kids’ Lives, by Liz Bayardelle to any parent interested in stepping up their game or to anyone interested in understanding the science behind our kids’ reasoning–it’s a fascinating read, indeed. Peppered with humor any parent will appreciate, Bayardelle’s book is a must-have.

Pages: 160 | ISBN: 1950328791

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