Entries tagged with “Book Review”.

I always love when I get to meet in person someone I have connected with via social media. This September, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Deborah Gilboa (@AskDrG to me on Twitter) at BloggyCon in Cincinnati. Dr. G is as wonderful in person as she is online. I was thrilled when I learned about her new book and you will be too! 

Dr. G provides us parents with an amazing tool in her mini book: Teach Resilience: Raising Kids Who Can Launch!
While this book is not written specifically for stepmoms, it is written for all parents who want to raise resilient kids. I love a lot of things about this book. Here are my top five:
  1. It’s a mini book. Seriously. It is 5 inches by 3 1/2 inches and 62 pages.
  2. You navigate by category: Errands, Self-Care, Crisis Management, Occasional Events, Around the House. 
  3. Tips are also segmented by age; 2 to 4, 5 to 7, 8 to 10, 11 to 14, 15 to 17, All Ages. 
  4. This book offers 50 opportunities to build our children’s resilience and self-esteem. 
  5. Easy to read. Straight forward. Ideas you can use every day to continue to build resilience. 

You may ask “why teach resilience?” Dr. G answers with this “Resilience means the ability to recover from adversity.” Dr. G knows we help our kids and stepkids most by giving them the tools they need to handle tough situations.

As stepmoms, we know our stepkids have walked through tough times and may still be living with adversity. We know as stepmoms that we deal with adversity. Giving our stepkids tools to navigate life is giving them a priceless gift. How often does our heart break for our stepkids as they go back and forth between two homes with two different sets of rules and “climates”? This book will bless everyone!

I carry my book in my purse and flip through it when I’m waiting in line, stuck in traffic, etc… With it’s size, it makes a great gift idea and stocking stuffer.

The book is so practical. I don’t want to give all of Dr. G’s great tips away but I will share one with you that is for all ages. I have actually done this since my oldest was two and it has made a difference with all of my kids. My stepkids were slightly resistant at first but they like to play along now.

PLAY HIGH-LOW-HIGH (For all ages)

Want more than one word answers about your child’s day? Teach resilience by finding the highs and lows of their – and your – experiences. At dinner (or in the car, etc.) ask each person for a high, a low, and a high from the day.

Kids will learn:

  • to express emotions. 
  • to evaluate their experiences. 
  • to find more good than bad. 
  • to listen. 
  • that adults have highs and lows also, and how we handle them!
Doctor G (Deborah Gilboa, MD) is a board certified Family Physician, mom of four kids and founder of AskDoctorG.com, a resource for parents and educators who are working to raise great kids. She gives parenting workshops around the country and offers great free tools for raising kids who are respectful, responsible and resilient!

If you are interested in purchasing the book, please click here: http://askdoctorg.com/buy-doctorg-book/
My twitter: http://twitter.com/AskDocG
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AskDoctorG
YouTube: http://youtube.com/AskDocG 
What are your thoughts on teaching your stepkids resilience? Care to share any tips that work for you?

Love for Grown-Ups! The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying for Life When You’ve Already Got a Life by Amy Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl, and Tish Rabe.

The book’s cover grabbed me and the chapters on blended family living drew me in. At first, I thought this wouldn’t be a book for my audience of stepmoms …. we’ve already met the man of our dreams (and his mini royal family). But the advice on blended family living is so concise and so practical I had to share. We can all benefit from reading stories and gaining advice and this book shares wonderful tips, insight and personal stories from the authors as well as countless other women interviewed.

Take this chapter for instance:

Chapter 3: Who Are All These People? (Friends, Family, Exes and Everyone Else)

I won’t give the book away but one of the topics they tackle is this: what to do when your spouse’s family doesn’t embrace you and/or your kids. Important topic and one that unfortunately, many stepmoms face. Agree very much with their advice that grieving the loss of their son’s last marriage may take them much longer than it did their son. Parents often need to understand and come to terms with many questions ranging from why their daughter-in-law left their son?, to why the marriage didn’t last?, or to why their son left his family?, etc….. Often times, there are no easily understandible answers to the questions in a parent’s heart. In addition, parents sometimes take much longer to grieve and become accepting of a new relationship. Remember it’s your role and not you that many parents struggle with in accepting. Sometimes parents put up a protective wall as they don’t’ want to get hurt again, “what if you leave their son?” may float in their mind and heart. I won’t disclose all their helpful tips and stories, you’ve got to read the book to find out more. And there is much, much more to this chapter.

The other chapter I found applicable is:

Chapter 4: “Nice Roast Beef, Honey, but Did I Mention My Daughter’s a Vegetarian?”

Loved the honesty and genuine truths throughout this chapter. The Garter Brides interviewed numerous stepmoms and these women really let down their hair. I was particularly drawn to a story where a stepmom’s wise counsel to her husband helped heal his relationship with his son. The story really touched me because I felt it is one so many of us can relate to. A stepmom saw the disrespect and hurt her stepson was causing his father (her husband) and gently helped her spouse see how enabling this treatment was good for no one. The father enforced “tough love” and in doing so the son cut off contact for a time but came back around after seeing the error of his ways and now the father-son duo have a tight bond. “Instead of losing his son by setting limits, as Sam had feared, now they talk nearly every day,” shared the loving stepmom.

As the Garter Brides write “Even adult kids and their parents sometimes need the path smoothed by a wise stepmom.” We do have so much to offer our stepkids and our spouse.

There is much more in the book. I appreciate the conversational style in which the book is written and the tips scattered throughout the book. I had the chance to interview the ladies on October 5th on my weekly web show, The Stepmom Connection. If you want to catch the interview, please click here…..

While the majority of the book is about finding your true love and getting married when you’ve already got your life, the information on blended families is definitely worth reading and learning from. One of my biggest pushes in our stepmom community is the power of community itself and in the importance of not feeling alone on the journey. The stories and tips in this book help you to feel a sense of connection while living and navigating the role of stepmom. That is not only enlightening but also empowering.

The Garter Brides would like to send one lucky reader a free copy of their book.

To enter:

please leave a comment below (a stepparenting challenge, comment on the review, etc….)

sign up to receive CafeSmom RSS feeds so you don’t miss another post

Follow Garter Brides on Twitter

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Each counts as one entry. Make sure to leave a comment for each entry. Thank you!

I’ll pick one winner randomly and announce Thursday, November 3, 2011. Contest ends at 1AM EST on November 2, 2011.

The book can be purchased at any national retailer and as always through Amazon!

Look forward to receiving your entries and also to hearing your thoughts. Thank you!

Allow me to leave you with this sentence in the book which I think speaks to every co-parent out there “one thing everyone can agree on: battlegrounds aren’t good places to raise kids.”

Love, love, love how the internet has made if possible to meet and connect with so many wonderful people in the stepfamily community. I also love how our technologically advanced world has made it possible for great writers with a wealth of information to write and sell their books online.

It’s with great pleasures that I introduce you to one such author, Jim Cunningham, and his clever and wise book for stepfamilies titled Mine Are From Heaven, Yours Are From Hell.

If you are in a stepfamily, the title itself makes you want to read because your thinking “this guy gets it. My kids are great but my spouse’s kids are well……”

And Cunningham does get it and he offers 7 key ingredients for successfully blending your stepfamily.

What I like most about his ebook is his honesty, his creativity, and the action steps he lays out for you to work on the ingredients he lists to “cook” a successful stepfamily. In his introduction, Cunningham writes “there is hardly an experience that comes with more fantasies (thank you Brady Bunch) and at the same time more frustrations than this battleground of blended families.” And Jim is right about that.

The action steps will challenge you to personally examine the topics in this book as it pertains to you and your stepfamily. These action items make this book a great study for pre-remarrieds and a great read for couples who are already in a stepfamily. This book would also make for a great book discussion for two to three stepfamily couples.

If you have a hard time discussing your concerns about your stepkids with your spouse, this book is a great resource to read together. The topics regarding the role of the children will open a door to discuss these matters. The book will force the topic not you. You’ll also learn about the Big Three – these are three components you must instill in your children. Cunningham writes “these three are not optional, but crucial to family harmony.”

I’m a firm believer in reading everything you can regarding stepfamily life and digesting the information through the lense of your particular situation. Personally, I read everything with an open mind and try and learn as much as I can and then apply the wisdom gained to me personally and to my role as stepmom in my family.

I learned from Jim. I had many “ah ha” moments while reading. At $9.95 for his book, I believe it is money well spent. How much do we spend on house insurance, car insurance, etc.. to protect the material things in our life that matter to us?  I consider money spent on books, tools and stepfamily coaching as blended family insurance. And nurturing your marriage, keeping your family running and running well is priceless.

Cunningham’s ebook is 28 pages in length and can be purchased via paypal through his website www.livingforkeeps.com

Jim is so sure you’ll love his book, that he offers you a free chapter download. Visit his site today and check out the book for yourself.

Please come back and post your comments here to share with others. Thanks for your feedback:)

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