Book Review: Just Tell Me What to Say by Betsy Brown Braun.
HarperCollins Publishers, http://www.harpercollins.com/, $15.95 US
As a parent I was very interested in hearing what Braun had as answers to the everyday dilemmas parents face.Â Braun is the mother of triplets and a child development specialist.Â Her voice throughout the book it one of first-hand experience and straight talk. She often uses anecdotes to illustrate her points, many times she commiserates with the reader and other times becomes a cheerleader for new parents.
The advice found in the book is solid and spelled out in a simple readable fashion.Â She begins by recognizing parenting is a difficult job and that parents need to take care of themselves in order to be up to the challenge.Â She reminds parents that they are not their child's friend and sometimes they will not even be popular with their children, but the long term benefits make these challenging time worth the effort.
Chapter by chapter, Braun lays out issues like sibling rivalry, temper tantrumsÂ and other day-to-day parenting issues.Â Each time she defines the situation and provides straight forward strategies to handle the problem.Â When there is clinical evidence such as coping with sensory issues or ADHD, she provide the information is an easy-to-read format and lists related resources for further information.
Braun also covers some very serious situations including sex education, death, divorce and coping with life-threatening illness. In each case she paints a scenario that might confront parents and logically talks the reader through the questions parents may face.
The book is really for parents of pre-school age children.Â In some cases she provides advice for children up to age 6, but in general it is the preschoolers that are her focus.Â As a parent of older children, I was a bit disappointed and the cover of the book really does not indicate that this book is for a certain age group.
Overall, it makes a good resource for parents of very young children, and at under $16, it would make a nice baby shower gift.