7 Tips for Parenting in the Real World

I'll be the first to admit that parenting isn't always easy. While trying to raise amazing children there's many bumps along the road. It can be exasperating! But there are ways to handle it all.

Parenting in the Real World Book

I recently connected with Dr. Stephanie O'Leary, Psy.D., who is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychology, mom of two, and author of Parenting in the Real World. Dr. O'Leary provides parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing their child for the challenges they’ll face in the real world.

And boy do we need it!

Not only did Dr. O'Leary share information with me about her book, but also 7 tips to help parents deal with most issues that come up. I KNEW I had to share them. These are such helpful tips that I also plan to start using with my family.

7 Simple Steps to Handle Any Parenting Situation

By Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D.

  1. Listen. Pause and listen to your child before springing into action or firing back a response. This means zipping your lip, biting your tongue, and accepting that a little parental silence can go a long way.
  2. Let your child know you “get it.” Validate your child by repeating back a bit of what he or she said, even if you disagree or know they’re completely off base! This will open your child’s ears so your great suggestions are actually heard.
  3. Be respectful. Talk to your child the same way you would to a friend or to someone else’s child. Use this rule of thumb: If, in the future, it wouldn’t be okay for your child’s significant other to say it, you shouldn’t say it either.
  4. Set limits and boundaries. Choose limits that you’re willing to keep based on the situation at hand, not what happened yesterday or last year. This teaches your child that limits and boundaries are flexible, necessary, and that he or she can handle them.
  5. Take responsibility. Own your successes and apologize for your mistakes. Give yourself a do-over if you need it. Know that genuinely apologizing to your child is one of the most powerful things you can do, and the best way to teach your child to be accountable.
  6. Have fun! When things get busy, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the routine and overlook the fact that your kids are fun. Don’t be afraid to stop the daily grind to laugh or get silly. Take time to notice the little things your child does or says that bring you joy.
  7. Practice self-care. Take great care of yourself so you can take great care of your kids. Know that even the best parenting plan or strategy won’t work well if you’re always exhausted or depleted. Make self-care a priority and do it unapologetically—your kids are counting on you!

Parenting in the Real World Book

These tips are taken from Dr. O'Leary book "Parenting in the Real World", which is not the typical parenting how-to manual.

The book outlines 7 trusted steps with Chapter Titles that read, "Listen: The Art of Biting Your Tongue," "Validate: How to Tell Them You Get It, Even If You Don't,” and “Respect: Because What Goes Around Comes Around.”

Dr. O’Leary shared, “The rules have changed and these powerful tools will allow parents to confidently handle whatever situation comes their way and raise respectful, capable children who know how to appreciate successes and handle set-backs that are part of the real world.”

These practical strategies are the same tools Dr. O’Leary uses at home and in her private practice. She has seen these tried and true strategies successfully transform parent-child relationships time and again, creating unbreakable bonds and helping parents like their children as much as they love them.

Not only can parents can opt-in for Dr. O’Leary free tip list on how to get kids to listen, but they can also use interactive QR Codes that allow them to quickly scan a page with their smartphone or tablet and view Dr. O’Leary’s videos offering even more insight and a deeper reading experience.

Parenting in the Real World is available on Amazon for $9.97.

To learn more about Stephanie O'Leary, Psy.D., visit www.stephanieoleary.com

  • (1) Parenting in the Real World Book


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  1. My favorite tip is # 7: Practice Self-Care. Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others that we forget to care for ourselves.

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  2. I like the tip of validating your child. Patricia