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When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-doh Book Review

Discover a light-hearted and practical guide to parenting in ‘When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons.’ Gain insights, humor, and practical strategies for raising a self-sufficient child while maintaining a sense of perspective and humor.

As the mom I’ve discovered the trials of motherhood can be a hilarious hardship. Kiddos test patience, they force you to be brave they make you question your purpose. There have been many an occasion when I have been in the middle of a lecture or issuing the consequences only to have my child say or do something that had me rolling on the floor in laughter. Jennifer M. Koontz captures these great moments in, When Your Centerpiece is Mad of Play-Doh and the Dog has Eaten Your Crayons. It’s a book that puts the parenting “how-to” aside and writes with light and playful wit to give readers a “Wow! I remember that” read.

When Your Centerpiece is made of play-doh

This is not to say Koontz doesn’t offer valuable and practical suggestions for managing advice, questions, supplies, and challenges that sneak up on a parent. It’s a hilarious take on raising well-mannered children who are self-sufficient, all while keeping your own life in perspective and having a sense of humor!

The sources of wisdom about parenting are boundless; they can be found in the most unlikely of places,” says Koontz. “The main theme of the book is that parents are not alone in the land of parenthood. All parents go through shades of the same issues sooner or later, and it is important to reach out and seek the wisdom that surrounds us.

I love the sub-chapter on “books” on page 86. It really reiterated what my grandmother and my mother have instilled in me, “Don’t worry about what the kiddo is doing now, let’s wait and compare them at 30.” That has been perhaps the best advice I’ve ever received. So often, we get caught up in reading the book to see what someone says our child SHOULD be doing, and we forget that every child is different.

In addition, Koontz includes a tremendous resource for parents who may be struggling with children’s behavioral issues. She presents the Privileges System, which she created for her own daughter after consulting many behavioral management sources. It utilizes counting but does not include the use of “time outs.” The Privileges System doesn’t cost anything to implement, and parents who commit to it will likely see results in a very short time.

When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons concludes with “The List,” which reminds parents of the most important things to remember when they are too tired to remember anything else. Parents deserve to celebrate their achievements and look forward to tomorrow, knowing that they have made a difference today.

With humor and heart, offering a real-life, practical perspective on parenting, When Your Centerpiece is Made of Play-Doh and the Dog Has Eaten Your Crayons explores topics including:

  • Babies, bottles and the truth
  • Who is this little person?
  • What children wish we knew
  • Traditional or trendy parenting
  • The Privileges System for children
  • Practicing parenting
  • and so much more!

“With a lot of humor and a little perseverance,” adds Koontz, “parenting is indeed an experience to be treasured. And the most important lesson of all? Embrace the challengers, celebrate your successes and always remember that the journey is the destination.”

About the Author 
Jennifer M. Koontz earned a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College. She taught secondary Social Studies before earning a J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. Koontz has taught students of every age, from preschool through college. When she became a mother in 2006, she began to make observations about parenting and collect stories that other parents told her. Now that she had been a teacher and a lawyer, she decided to add “author” to the list. Koontz is currently working on her next book.

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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