Book Review: Parenting with Purpose by Nina V. Garcia

My son had an Oscar-worthy meltdown in our public library and I decided that my parenting strategy needed a little fine tuning.

James wanted to push the stroller, not ride in it. This is usually okay but in the small space of a library, he just kept running into shelves. I picked him up and he screamed as loudly as he could (my head is still ringing) so we quickly left.

My husband and I are gentle parents. Our own relationship thrives on a foundation of respect and you will rarely (if ever) find us shouting or using a strict authoritarian approach with each other or our son. But James is still a passionate, naturally developing boy who sometimes throws a good tantrum.

Obviously, he can't run rampant but I don't want to just raise a respectful, well-behaved child. I want to foster a close relationship him. How do I connect with my son while still maintaining the role as a parent?

Parenting with Purpose is like the answer to every modern day parent's prayers! Nina V. Garcia wrote the book after finding success with her blog, Sleeping Should Be Easy. (Pssst! Here are my favorite posts: 9 Warning Signs You're Raising a Spoiled Child and Useful Techniques to Help Your Child Wake Up Happy)

I'm fortunate enough to know Nina through our own blogging group and was able to read the book before the release date and interview her about it. Besides being a genuinely sweet person, she's a treasure chest full of wonderful parenting advice. Her book includes tactics on communicating with your child and preventing/diffusing tantrums.

This quote is golden:

"You want to build a relationship with your child where he can tell you anything and you would still support him no matter what. That can only happen when you allow your child to talk without judging his thoughts or actions. Don’t call his dreams silly or go on and on about a mistake or accident he made. In fact, thank your child for telling you the truth even if it means he’s in trouble. He was brave enough to tell you the truth and admit his faults when he could have easily kept the truth from you to avoid punishment."

Parenting with Purpose is a practical, eye-opening and action-oriented book that explains how to use connection to raise well-behaved kids and strengthen your parent-child relationship.

Thank you for the opportunity to interview you, Nina!

Tell us about yourself.

Hi! My name is Nina and I’m a mom to three young boys—a six-year-old and two-year-old twins. I live in Los Angeles and work in graphic design. I met you, Allison, through a blogging support group on Facebook and we became quick friends soon after :)

How did you get started with your blog?

I started Sleeping Should Be Easy (sleepingshouldbeeasy.com) in March of 2010 as an online parenting journal. My eldest was four-months-old at that point, and the blog was my way of writing about things we did during the day. More importantly, I also wrote down lessons I learned as a mom and the parenting advice I read about and applied. Soon, other parents wrote in with positive feedback, saying the advice they found on my blog was very helpful with their own parenting journey.

What inspired you to write Parenting with Purpose?

Namely, my readers. I love getting a response from a reader saying a post I wrote had helped them. I figured I could help more people with a book. I also like the idea of having one central place that contains all the themes and principles that guide my parenting.

How does Parenting with Purpose compare with other parenting books?

Parenting books out there have shaped so much of how I raise my kids (I list my top picks in the resources section in the back of mine). And to be honest, I hesitated writing a parenting book. I’m not a doctor or hold a PhD. Still, I’d like to think Parenting with Purpose speaks to “regular moms” much in the same way my blog resonates with those of us “in the trenches.” It’s relatable, honest, and I hope doesn’t make anyone feel guilty but rather inspires them to be mindful and intentional in their parenting.

Another key factor in Parenting with Purpose is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You won’t do the things I recommend in the book and suddenly have perfect, well-behaved children all the time. Rather, I advocate to do what works for you, your child, and that particular moment using tools I recommend in the book. Because what works one day may not the next, or what works for your eldest may not work for your youngest.

How does writing a book compare to writing a blog?

Both are equally exhausting! Writing a blog is like telling someone the fantastic new ideas you came up with. Writing a book is like gathering all your overarching ideas in one place.

This is my first book and I’ve been blogging for five years so this may not be a fair comparison, but writing for a blog seems much easier than writing for a book. There was that self-imposed pressure to come up with enough words to make a book. You have to proof for quality and edit over and over. You also need more people on your team when writing a book, such as a an editor, a book designer, and web and ebook coders.

How did you get your ideas for the book? How long did it take you to write the book?

I wrote an outline of the top themes that guide my parenting and that I often talk about, such as empathy, connection, and parenting calmly. I then divided the book into three parts, sort of like the “before,” “during” and “after” the struggles with our kids. The first part talks about how to prevent outbursts and conflict to begin with. Part two is what to do when they happen (because they still will). And finally the third part is the important stage where we self-reflect on what we can learn about what happened.

As far as how long it took, I did a crazy thing and gave myself 30 days to write the first draft. I knew if I didn’t, I would stew on this idea, let excuses take over and it would never get done. So within 30 days, I had the first “garbage” draft, where I wrote without editing and it was almost too embarrassing to even show anyone.

After that, I self-edited for about two weeks so that it looked presentable. Then, I sent that draft to the editor, and we worked on it for two more weeks. During that time, I also had the book designed, the landing page coded, and I made my media kit. Now, it’s the marketing phase where I try to get the word out there before the book launches next month. So I would say about three months total from start to finish.

Where can we buy the book? Will there be a Kindle version?

Parenting with Purpose will be available October 18 on Amazon on paperback and Kindle. In the meantime, you can stay in the know by going to my landing page here. You can also take a sneak peek and download the Bonus Chapter free when you sign up for the newsletter.

What’s next for you?

After Parenting with Purpose launches, I’m going back to my blog to focus on all the tasks I’ve since neglected :) But after a month or two of that, I plan to write another, probably shorter book about sleep training twins (which is one of the most popular topics readers come to my blog for).

Where can my readers connect with you online?

You can find me here:

SSBE blog | Parenting with Purpose | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+

What is some of the best parenting advice you've ever received?