Betsy Brown Braun’s You’re Not the Boss of Me promises to brat-proof your 4- to 12-year old, and so my natural aversion to parenting manuals was overcome by curiosity as to whether such a thing was actually possible. I quickly fell deeply, shamelessly in love with Braun’s no-nonsense, straightforward approach to parenting productively.
“Don’t bother with ‘good job,'” she says. “What does that even mean,
anyway?” A simple change to our automatic inclination to offer
praise — mention how responsible your child was for making that
particular choice, for example — and now you’re fostering good choices
rather than just saying something meaningless.
This book tackles
the big issues with suggestions that are totally doable, as well as
remembering to bring the humor and remind us that parents are humans,
too. And I giant pink puffy heart the places where she gives different
suggestions for different age groups side-by-side, so that you can
really see what developmental changes in your child require on your
I don’t know if I’m ready to declare my children
completely brat-proof, but I definitely feel like we’re getting closer. -Mir