Clean Your Plate!

Thirteen Things Good Parents Say That Ruin Kids' Lives

Non-Fiction - Parenting
160 Pages
Reviewed on 11/26/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Becoming a parent is one of the most joyful events we experience but it is also a very tough one. We all want to be the perfect parent and face so many decisions daily. You want your children to grow up to be confident and self-aware but we also want them to be respectful and self-disciplined. Clean Your Plate! by Liz Bayardelle covers the many topics of contention and confusion. How do you persuade your child to complete their homework? Should we offer a child money with no strings attached? How can we motivate a child to reach their highest potential? Should we expect a child to be respectful to their elders? How can we teach a child not to give up when things get tough? How can we nurture a positive mindset in a child? How can we persuade our children to eat healthily? The guide is written for parents by parents and will unravel the many pieces of advice we often give to our children which may be doing more harm than good.

What separated this book from many other parenting guides is the relaxed and humourous way it offers advice. You can definitely tell this guide was written by parents and you feel like you are sharing a coffee with an experienced parent/psychologist. I have learned so much about the differences between what we say and what the child actually hears. This was extremely mind-blowing to think how much harm we may be causing to our child's self-belief and confidence. The cheat sheets at the end of each chapter were brilliant as they educate the parent so effectively on the art of persuasion and compromise. I thought the chapter on the two types of motivation was really helpful. The techniques in this guide will definitely help any child cultivate a healthy and positive mindset about any given situation. I loved the chapter on respect too; the phrase, 'affection is voluntary', was really powerful. I did find myself laughing at some sections, especially some of the references to children. For example spawn of the devil, tiny terrorists, and jerks made the entire guide more enjoyable to read and I didn't feel as if I was being preached at. There are so many helpful tips throughout and my particular favorites were the 7 Principles at the end of the guide, especially the Scaffolding principle and the explanation of neuroplasticity which explains how a child can form more beneficial habits. I highly recommend Clean Your Plate! by Liz Bayardelle to anyone who is facing a parenting roadblock.

Jennifer Ibiam

Clean Your Plate! (13 Things Good Parents Say that Ruin Kids’ Lives) by Liz Bayardelle, Ph.D. is a thoughtful book on parenting. Parenting is a full-time job without leave, transfers, breaks, or paychecks. The highest and only reward that parents will get is seeing their kids thrive as successful, model adults. It begins with how they’re raised, and Liz, being a mother of three herself, draws from her wealth of experience to show parents a better and actionable model for raising kids. She implies that the advice given to kids by their parents is often in good faith, but it could ruin their lives. Hence, it isn’t about what we say, but how it’s said and applied. Where do we draw the line between being indulgent and overbearing as parents?

Our children often grow into adults who possess many of our traits. Also, sometimes when we advise our kids, we’re unconsciously projecting because we want to satisfy our desires through them. Therefore, I highly recommend Clean Your Plate! (13 Things Good Parents Say that Ruin Kids’ Lives) by Liz Bayardelle, Ph.D. to every parent. Liz has expertly navigated the thin line between doing too little and too much as parents. Two topics that grabbed my attention were “Don’t Talk Back” and “Don’t Hit.” These instructions are counterproductive because you may either be raising an emotionally subdued kid or one that will snap and go overboard at some point. I love how she handled these topics among others. I love this book because it is informative and encompasses all kinds of households!

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

When it comes to helping your child become a fully functioning and productive member of society, you may feel a bit out of your league. But then you see all of those parenting books that tell you just what to say and just how to raise your kids ‘the right way.’ But what if those parenting books are wrong? And what if you’ve been telling your kids the wrong things all this time? That’s exactly what Clean Your Plate by Liz Bayardelle is all about. It’s about helping you learn the skills and strategies that you need to help your children in the way that you wanted to in the first place but in the right way.

We tell our kids to never quit, to get straight A’s, to sit still, to not hit others and so many other things in the effort to turn them into good people. But the truth is, those things can do more harm than good if we’re not careful. Bayardelle focuses on the things that parents say (like Clean Your Plate) and the way that you could be influencing your child. But she doesn’t stop there. She also talks about why we say it, what we should be saying instead, and how we can foster the type of behavior we’re trying to get with that little statement in a more positive and productive way. That way, you can set them up for success that they find on their own, rather than pushing them down your own path for success.

Lois Henderson

Admonition and the ready giving of advice to our children tend to lie at the core of parenting for many of us. After all, we are (or, at least, think we are) so much more knowledgeable about life than they are. However, Clean Your Plate! 13 Things Good Parents Say that Ruin Kids’ Lives by Liz Bayardelle, Ph.D. shows how many of the statements that we make are often fallible and handed down from one generation to another without our giving much thought to whether such truisms are, in fact, still as valid as they once were (or seemed to be). In this guide to sage parenting, Bayardelle exposes the hidden illogicality of such warnings as “Don’t be a quitter,” “Waste not, want not” and “Sit still.”

I especially enjoyed the sane and reasoned logic of Liz Bayardelle’s text, blended with her strong sense of humor and perspective. Having three children of her own, in addition to her training, has rendered her an ideal voice for bringing us to our senses and for allaying our fears. Bayardelle’s heartfelt concern for the well-being of children was a paramount motivator for her to write Clean Your Plate! 13 Things Good Parents Say that Ruin Kids’ Lives, and one that I really appreciated. We have to steer a clear course between justifiable concern and over-the-top anxiety when it comes to parenting our kids. Bayardelle’s work strikes exactly the right balance to light the way forward for us to create a happy and joy-filled home environment so that we can help ensure both the mental and physical well-being of our children growing up.