Never judge a book by its cover. With that sage advice out of the way, I have to admit that I loved the packaging of this book. The miniature hard cover with cute cover art makes it ideal for a tabletop or gift basket to a mom with young kids. Fortunately New York Times best-selling authors David Borgenicht and James Grace didn’t skimp on the inside matter either.
How to Con Your Kid: Simple Scams for Mealtime, Bedtime, Bathtime—Anytime! is geared for children between the ages of 2 and 7. At 16-months, my daughter is short of the age range, but there is no reason I can’t start building my arsenal now.
The book is divided into sections like Grooming Cons, Getting Ready Cons, and Mealtime and Bedtime Cons. The authors present the con (desired behavior), for example, get your kid to let you leave. Then move to laying the groundwork, in this case, letting your child know in advance that you are going out, and normalizing the experience by enlisting neighborhood kids to talk about how great it is to be at home with a babysitter.
The book offers basic cons and short cons for every situation. Basic cons for getting your kid to let you leave include things like saying goodbye positively and quickly and making sure you have everything ready to go (keys, wallet, bowling ball) so that you can make a clean get away. The short cons focus more on the language to use with your child—“Do you want to give me a goodbye kiss or a goodbye hug?”
Kids are clever little beast, which is why each chapter ends with advice on what to do if your child is on to your scam. If your child won’t let you leave in peace you might have to head out anyway. The babysitter will manage to calm your child. Mama needs to have her fun too.
The layout made the book easy to read. The authors offer concrete advice without taking themselves too seriously. Need to get your little one over their fear of the doctor? They’ve got you covered. Is it time to face the barber’s chair? That’s in there too.
My primary takeaways include:
Takeaway No. 1 – Give kids a warning when things are about to change. For example, if they have to stop playing and take a bath don’t blindside them at the last second.
Takeaway No. 2 – Try to give your child a say in the matter. “Do you want to put on the pink lotion or the green lotion?”
Takeaway No. 3 – Parenting is hard work. Sure, I already knew that, but this book of kid antics was a sobering peek at the road ahead of me.
Ready to pick up your copy? What is your best kid con?
Enter to win a copy of How to Con Your Kid courtesy of It’s a Mummy’s Life.
The publisher provided a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.