Monday, April 4, 2011

Ain't Misbehavin - Book Review & Giveaway

Catchy title, right?  Well hopefully you won't be too disappointed to find out this post is all about a review of parenting expert, Alyson Schafer's third book "Ain't Misbehavin".  Actually, I know you won't be disappointed because like me, most of you struggle with finding ways to deal effectively with your "misbehavin" children. 

Funnily enough, at one point last year I was so stressed out with this whole parenting thing that I actually took out parenting books at the library.  Crazy, right?  Okay, maybe not to those of you who like to read the manuals to your gadgets but crazy to me who is more of a fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal.  Unfortunately, that approach was not working with my kids.  Well, they just happened to be Alyson Schafer's first two books, Breaking the Good Mom Myth and Honey, I've Wrecked the Kids

So before I get on to today's review, I just have to drop in a quick word about the first two.

Honestly, I tell you the sense of relief I felt after reading Breaking the Good Mom Myth was incredible.  It's amazing how twisted our perception of what makes a good mom.  It was freeing to know that I didn't have to referee each and every argument between the kids. It was a good reminder that my marriage should never take a back seat and just how important self care is.  Honey, I Wrecked the Kids, showed me how to stand back and assess their behaviour and what could be causing it.  Were we in a headlocked situation or was my child crying out for attention any way she could get? 

So when Mom Central asked me to review Alyson's latest book, Ain't Misbehavin, I was very happy to receive a copy.  In fact, I don't think it sat on my counter more than a day before I had read half of it.  You see, while I feel I had benefited from her advice earlier, lately I've been sliding back into the yelling and having more and more of those "bad mommy moments".  Reading her book was like a refresher, reminding me and motivating me that I can do better, there is a way to do this. 

Alyson explains why kids behave the ways they do and then offers real suggestions on how to resolve the issues and promote family harmony.  Her book offers a quick Parenting Primer covering the concepts she bases her recommendations and techniques upon and then quickly moves into specific behaviour issues.  Don't have time to read the whole book?  You can simply flip to the appropriate chapter. 

Obviously, it makes sense to at least read the first bit in order to get the full benefits of understanding the parenting concepts.  For me, I found the book layout easy as there are some behaviours that my kids have already moved passed and so I can simply skip those sections. 

Every family is different but something that struck me personally this read is her repetition of "in a firm and friendly manner". Well, I can tell you there is very little in my parenting repetoire that I handle in a "firm and friendly manner".  Yelling is a common occurrence in my house and it's little wonder that my oldest has started to shriek at her siblings. After all, she's learning from the best.  Oh, I try not to yell but it's a slippery slope and it's amazing how quickly one slips especially when the kids aren't listening. 

So I've taken myself in hand, once again, and have been working at my "firm and friendly manner" and while I have failures, I have plenty of successes. I'm not going to change overnight but I am working at it.  AND it's making a difference.  We have definitely had less conflict in the house thanks to some of Alyson's techniques and we are planning on instituting family meetings.  Definitely a handy book to own because if you're like me, you will want to go back and reread specific situations.

Think you need this book?  Well, you can buy one of Alyson's Books through or or could enter to win a copy of Ain't Misbehaving here.

Simply leave a comment telling me why you'd like to read Ain't Misbehavin.

For Extra Entries: (leave a comment for each entry)

  • Become an In the Mommy Trenches follower on Google Friend Connect
  • Follow @Zeemaid on twitter and tweet about the giveaway
Contest open to Canadians only and ends April 21st. 

Disclosure - I am participating in the Ain’t Misbehavin’ program by Mom Central on behalf of Wiley Publishing.  I received a copy of the book to review and gift card as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.


  1. Don't you love when you find out that you are a normal mom?!?! So refreshing! And then to get some good tools, too ... awesome!

  2. Sounds like a good one for when my little one gets a little older...

  3. I totally get the whole fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants parenting. But now I'm looking into new techniques and trying not to mutter once a day how I plan on killing my boys.

  4. Quite seriously, I need all the parenting help I can. This sounds like my kind of book. Thanks.


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