Parenting in the Real World: A Full & Honest Book Review

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the company, author, or any affiliates. This post also contains an affiliate link to the book, this does not change the cost to you in any way.

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“The Rules Have Changed.

Drop the Guilt.

Handle Any Parenting Situation in 7 Simple Steps.”




“Have you every found yourself staring up at the ceiling in the midst of a chaotic family moment thinking, “This is not the kind of parent I want to be,” but you have no idea how to change? Do you yell more than you want to, or feel like you’re stuck in a repeating loop of dysfunction? Do you feel like it’s too late to undo what’s going on between you and your child and maybe even have some guilt about choices you’ve made up until now?

Maybe you’re getting by when it comes to parenting or even feel like you have things under control, but you want to simplify and optimize your approach. If you can relate to any of these perspectives, and if you appreciate that your chance to have a positive influence on your child is fleeting because time moves fast and old patterns repeat themselves–then Parenting in the Real World is for you.”


Parenting in the Real World was written by Dr. Stephanie O’Leary, a clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychology and fellow mom herself. She truly breaks the mold for parenting books with this one.


In 7 simple steps, she teaches you how to become a better parent and improve your relationship with your children at the same time. Not only is this book written with a conversational tone, but it is also interactive! This is not your garden variety “shrink talk” or “how to” parenting resource, Dr. Stephanie O’Leary even shares with you and admits to her own parenting “fails” and stories through out.


Why we love it


It’s Conversational

She took a different approach. Most books written by someone in her field are often difficult to follow and honestly, they tend to come off a bit stiff and judgemental. That is not the case here. Her book is written in a conversational tone in such a way that you feel as though you are having brunch with her on a Saturday afternoon. No big wig psych terminology, just simple guidance through scenarios and relative stories.


It’s Interactive

To be honest, I don’t believe I’ve seen a book done like this before, it’s brilliant! Every chapter has a scannable QR code that will bring you to a video lesson with the author herself. At the very end of the book she even includes two more QR codes to scan that will bring you to exercises she touches on in chapter 6 of the book.

The two bonus scans are guided exercises to help you rediscover joy and reconnect with your child.

♦ Bonus 1- “Walk Down Memory Lane”

♦ Bonus 2- “Into The Future”



Not only is it non-judgemental, but you will feel as though she really understands you. Unlike the traditional setting of sitting down with a psychologist and feeling the enormous pressure that entails coupled with self doubt and a sense of judgement toward your capabilities as a parent, Dr. Stephanie O’Leary shares back!



There are no dramatic life changes necessary. No advice that requires extra time you don’t have, or any of the psych “mumbo jumbo”. As many like to refer to it as. She does not tell you to sit down and journal out your feelings or start asking, “How does that make you feel”.

Every step is simple, realistic, and requires no effort beyond your will and patience to minimally change reactions, perspectives, and limits.


The Give and Take

As I touched on before, Dr. Stephanie O’Leary takes a different approach unlike the traditional psychologist/patient scenario. You know the one, where it’s extremely uncomfortable because you are expected to share all this personal information including failures and they just listen and react. Sharing no personal failure themselves. Well, the tables have turned. She humbly shares with you her own personal triumphs and “failures” through out the book and shows you how to better handle them yourself.


Non-Age Specific

Everything in this book will work for children of all ages! This is not geared toward any specific age group, and will apply the same across the board.

Want to know a little secret? There are steps in this book that will actually improve your marriage as well! Or any given relationship you feel could use a little help.


It’s NOT All About The Kids

I am a firm believer in the importance of self care as a parenting tool. If you are tired, worn down, and irritably busy all of the time, you will lose your patience, and hinder your relationship with your children and spouse as well. You must learn to carve our time for you. This is not something that you should feel guilty doing, in the end, it is for your children. They will benefit vastly from a parent that is happier and less stressed. Dr. Stephanie O’Leary dedicates an entire chapter to self care and gives you an actionable “flight plan to meet those needs”.


Parenting in the Real World offers a roadmap to rediscover joy in parenting, a way to not only love your child but to really like him or her even if things are way off course.”


The Takeaway

If I leave you with nothing else, let me say, I read this book in one sitting and it took me on a retrospective journey where I had quite a few Ah-Ha moments. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever love and everyone has their own take on it. Each with their own experiences, beliefs, and expectations. Though, if parenting has taught us anything, it has taught us to expect the unexpected and constantly adapt. Parenting in the Real World leaves you with a simplistic set of steps to start carrying out in your daily lives, and can be initiated immediately. There are no preperations, planning, or anything of the sort in order to begin using Dr. Stephanie O’Leary’s 7 steps to handle any parenting situation.


My absolute favorite chapter of the book was Chapter 2! If nothing else, read this chapter. It is a simple 3 stage step that will stick with you and change the lives and relationships in your home.

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17 thoughts on “Parenting in the Real World: A Full & Honest Book Review

  1. I keep hearing AMAZING things about this book and I need to look into it when my daughter gets older! It sounds so helpful and REAL, which is what we all need, right?!

  2. Sounds like a great book! I so prefer when authors include their own stories of being a hot mess too instead of being stuffy and pretending to know it all. It makes the material easier to relate to. Thanks for the review!

  3. This really seems like the type of book i NEED in my life. I am actually in the market for new books so this post could not have came at a more perfect time.

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