A Year of Intentional Parenting by Julie Freedman-Smith and Gail Bell

Review of A Year of Intentional Parenting by Julie Freedman-Smith and Gail Bell

Title: A Year of Intentional Parenting
Authors: Julie Freedman-Smith and Gail Bell
Genre: Non-Fiction 

The back cover of this book points out that there are days when you "love - but don't LIKE - your kids." OMG BOOK YOU GET ME. 

Here's what I hate about most parenting books: they tell you there is a RIGHT way and a WRONG way to do things. And they imply that if you do things wrong, you are fucking up your child and he will probably grow up to be a serial killer. Fuck you, parenting books!

Julie and Gail, on the other hand, believe "there is more than one right way to parent." There's a difference between having shitty parenting moments and actually BEING a shitty parent, and this book makes that distinction. I think I will put this on my fridge: "Making mistakes in parenting does not mean that we are failing as parents." I know SO MANY parents who need to hear that. Don't worry, you are not raising a serial killer!

The best part is that their suggestions for improvement are actually manageable. The book is made up of 52 very short chapters on various topics, so it's easy to digest. As you can see from this picture, I flagged a few of my favourite parts to share with you. 

Review of A Year of Intentional Parenting by Julie Freedman-Smith and Gail Bell

I can't reproduce the whole book here, so here is one part I fucking loved. Tantrums are a pretty frequent occurrence in our house, and none of the strategies I've tried so far have worked. Gail and Julie say, "If it is parent versus child, turn it into parent and child versus the situation." I tried this the other night at 10 pm with my daughter. "I'm sorry that you can't fit 400 stuffed animals on your bed. What can we do instead? Let's think of some solutions together." My daughter got a kick out of being part of the process, AND I taught her about problem solving. I'll take my MOTHER OF THE YEAR award now.

There are a few parts of this book where the writing is a little lackluster (a dictionary definition, for instance), but overall it fucking rocks. There's a lot of practical information and NO filler, which is awesome for busy parents. 

Buy it


4/5 Brass Knuckles

Full disclosure: The authors provided me with a copy for review purposes. Given some of my other reviews, I think that was pretty damn ballsy.


  1. This book sounds awesome! I am so like you...I hate the whole right way/wrong way tone of most parenting books. Great review!

  2. "It's not me against you...it's us working together against the problem."
    Discipline Without Distress, Bestseller published in 2008
    Hmmmm....sounds like familiar advice...


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