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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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Family Leadership in Times of Crisis – Book Trailer

Leaders have one thing in common: they come from a family. Family leadership is one of the most important concepts of life because family is the source of human ingenuity. With good family leadership, we can push for greater justice and racial equality in the United States and around the world, and maintain a more just and loving humanity. Family leadership is even more essential during times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic when this book was written. When difficult situations threaten to weaken the strength of your family, you need a solid structural foundation of leadership. Family Leadership in Times of Crisis provides this foundation through five practical principles, relevant scriptures, counseling skills/techniques, and biblical teaching to equip you and your family with the skills to successfully navigate any crisis.

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The Symmetry of Life

Hector M Rodriguez
H.M. Rodriguez Author Interview

The Path Taken recounts your compelling father-son journey to Santiago de Compostella. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I felt it was important to recount the story for my son Simon. My hope is that he will one day look back on our trip with good memories. I hope he sees how human we all are and that we all go through life as best we can. The Camino is a strong metaphor for life. Once you complete the walk, you realize your journey has not ended, it continues. Everyday we complete short journeys as best we can. If we can help people along the way, guide some to find happiness, safety, friendship or love, then our journey has been a good one. It has been said we are all connected to everything. We are the sum of all our experiences through all time. I think the Camino helps one see the symmetry of life. I hope this story captures some of that and encourages people to seek challenging adventures. I hope those adventures enable spiritual growth and subsequently understanding and acceptance of each other, regardless of our differences.

What is one memory that you find yourself often going back to about this trip?

I find myself going back to the solitude when walking alone. I think it was a time of great reflection, self-realization and peacefulness. Silence can be so rewarding. One can find one-self when you give yourself the time.

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

I hope people will find inspiration to challenge themselves to take risks and indulge themselves in uncommon adventures. I would want people to muster up the courage to go and do things that can change their perspective on society and what is truly valuable. I think family is one of the most valuable things we have. Family does not have to be by blood. It can be the people you meet along your Camino of life.

Do you have any future trips planned?

Yes! I find myself going on adventures all the time. I do a lot of bike riding and hiking. I started a trip across the US from San Diego to St. Augustine FL. last March. Then Covid became an obstacle. I hit Del Rio, Texas (1600 miles) and decided to postpone the completion. I plan to continue the ride in March. Then I plan to take passage on a freighter ship to the east. I want to go to outer Mongolia by foot. I’ll keep you posted on that adventure. I typically travel alone…but I am open to like minded travelers. I like to travel lite!

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

This is a story about an aging boomer and his young sons’ pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago. In the summer of 2016, they set out from their home in Oregon and embark on an adventure that reeks of humanity and humans. The story captures everyday people, events, laughs, cries, dinners, the pain of blisters, the healing of the soul and the opening of the mind. It’s about the people they met along their forty-four day journey. It is said miracles happen on the Camino de Santiago, and people along the way provide opportunities to share experiences and humanity in the rawest sense. Miracles do happen on the Camino and this story is a peek into how life’s journey and adventures can touch the soul.

After All …

After All ... : A Memoir by [Maria Trautman]

After all… by Maria Trautman is the author’s story of the abuse she endured and her path to forgiveness. Maria was born to a mother who simply didn’t love her. To her mother, Maria represented a time in her life she couldn’t get past. Maria was a source of pain for her mother and her mother let that pain bleed into every moment of her child’s life. Maria’s grandmother was the only one who showed her true love in her childhood. After her grandmother passed away Maria went back to live with her mother. Throughout her stay with her mother, Maria long suffered abuse and manipulation from the hands of people that she should have been protected from in the first place, starting with her mother. Through desperation and conscientious acts, Maria moved to Canada to live with her aunt.

Despite knowing this is a memoir, nothing could have prepared me for the harsh reality that the author faced. The story of Maria is a heart wrenching story that will make you feel helpless, anger, and empathy with every word. Trautman’s writing is powerful, raw, and inspiring. I commend her for being able to share her traumatic story with the world and still find peace through faith. Her story gives hope to readers and shows us that no matter what we face we can still be a better person. The first half of the book is difficult to read and I had to put the book down a few times to compose myself. Don’t let this stop you from reading the book as this shows just how shocking Trautman’s story is and just how effective her words are.

This book hits close to home for many readers but there is hope and Maria is proof of this. Through faith and forgiveness Maria is able to rebuild herself as a person and start a life. You get a feeling of redemption and happiness when you finish reading the book.

Prepare yourself for the harsh reality of this book. The raw anguish, the struggles, and strife. After all.. It just might be worth every heartbreaking moment.

Pages: 221 | ASIN: B08KBSH81R

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Weirdo 2.0

Reading Christopher Wheat’s Weirdo 2.0 will make you understand how different everyone is. The author uses his condition and real-life stories to tell of his experiences as a teacher and tutor living with Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition that is now shoved under the autism umbrella. The reader gets educated on the condition and autism at large. Reading this book made me aware of how autistic people live. Christopher Wheat writes in a calm and gentle tone. You can read his sensations through the text he pens in the book. I appreciate the author for talking about some encounters that not many people would be comfortable talking about.

Stories from the classroom and in the school were intriguing to read. As a person living with a condition that is related to autism, Christopher Wheat’s experiences were a little different from others. I was not pleased reading about the bullying and mild disrespect shown by some. The author is a strong individual for penning some of his most painful experiences as such things would easily break anyone with a fragile heart. I empathized with him on many occasions but also applauded him for remaining firm and standing up for himself.

Not many people understand the world of people living with autism and related conditions. From the book, I learned that there is no better virtue than kindness. Be kind to everyone, and not just the people you know or interact with. Christopher Wheat is an excellent writer. His style of narration and way of introducing new stories is one of the best things about the author. He takes his time when explaining situations and one can tell that he is happy writing his stories. The memoir is an amazing read for people who want some encouragement and inspiration as they face day to day challenges at work. Christopher Wheat’s story is moving and motivating.

Weirdo 2.0 evokes strong emotions. Reading about the harsh boss almost brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate the author for the lessons in the book. Once you are done with this book you get to realize how ungracious the world we live in can be and why some people choose to quit without saying a word. The author however urges all to speak up no matter the situation they are in. Apart from the touching stories, I enjoyed reading about Christopher Wheat’s happy days. One can draw powerful lessons in both his professional and personal life. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy thoughtful autobiographies and uplifting real-life stories.

Pages: 259 | ASIN: B083G1P5B3

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The Ultimate Love

Nadeem was just 25 years old when he passed away after a short, but painful illness, however he lives on in the tireless efforts of his mother, Sherine Anniruth, to memorialize his life. The Ultimate Love is as much about Nadeem, the central figure that binds together the chapters of the book, as it is about his mother’s grief over his loss, in all its unimaginable dimensions. Anniruth’s grief comes in waves, some that reduce her to tears, others that almost obliterate her ability to continue with daily life. And her work serves as an open letter to anyone experiencing the same pain, wondering how they could possibly live on after their child has gone. 

The Ultimate Love is a work of deep and startling honesty, but not one likely to fly off the shelves. Anniruth struggles to keep her emotions down long enough in order to analyze and discuss her grief, rather than to be caught up in the depths of it. Perhaps it’s not possible to capture such a deep sense of grief in words, let alone review a work that details a mother’s unending love for a lost child. As Anniruth herself says, “each person’s struggle is different”, and her experience of grief is hers alone. The Ultimate Love is less a novel and more of a guide to living through loss, authored by a loving, abundantly caring mother who asks how the world could dare to move on, when she’ll never be able to do the same. She tries to find positive affirmations and an overarching meaning for what happened to her son – a young man we sadly, barely come to know in the book, falling back on her faith for support. 

What Anniruth has written is more a testament to the fragility of life, to its cruelties, and to our natural, built-in resilience to continuing on in the face of loss. As she carries the ghost of her son with her, she is herself transformed by the act of keeping him close to her heart. It’s not an easy read, for more reasons than one, but a book that’s bound to touch those who find themselves in the same position as Anniruth, and trying to cope with what feels like an insurmountable loss. Her parting gift to us as an author is to try and face it all, her grief, her hopes, her fears, and the small ways in which life does go on, while memory never fades.

Pages: 125 | ASIN: B0871MW1M9

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What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection

What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection by [Michael Brown, Ilham Fatkurahman, Michele Mathews]

What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection is an educational resource for children, adults and educators. It teaches the reader through simple rhymes that danger lurks in the world and one must be prepared for it. It shows how different people, young and old, can get into scary situations that may be harmful to them. It then empowers them with the knowledge that they can protect themselves by fighting back, but also that it is okay to run away or call the police. It gives readers the tools necessary to take their safety into their own hands.

This is the most pragmatic picture book that I’ve read this year. It teaches children and adults valuable skills that might literally save their lives. It presents readers with various situations where the characters are in danger, and then shows them different ways they could protect themselves. Either by being aware of their surroundings, or dialing 911, running away, or by simply saying No and Stop. The art that accompanied each scene was clean, bright, and emotive. It reminded me of the D.A.R.E comic books that used to be distributed through schools. This is a great book for parents or educators to begin a conversation with kids about self-defense and when it’s acceptable to defend yourself. I appreciated how varied the talking points were. At end of the book readers are given a list where they can write down the contact information for different self-protection resources, which is a good resource to keep handy, or at the very least it’s a great opportunity to begin a discussion about each resource. Simply knowing that those people and services exist should help children understand that there are people in the world that will help them when needed. The book also provides a summary of a self-protection law case that helps give the books topic a real world reference, but may be more suitable for older readers. What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection provides practical advice that is easy to understand and simple to implement.

Pages: 30 | ASIN: B08BCNV9RB

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