The lovely Jodie Benveniste from Parent Wellbeing is taking over the palace today as part of her week-long Virtual Book Tour for her latest release. I’ve already devoured her two previous books – Full Belly and Little Bundle – and am now enthralled by her The Parent Manifesto: How to create a parenting approach that’s perfect for your family.


The Parent Manifesto

As a first-time mum, I devoured every book possible on parenting, to the point I became so confused I wasn’t quite sure whether I was laidback Kate Hudson or strict Julia Roberts. According to my acting skills, I’m neither. The fact is, I didn’t trust my instincts enough.

Funnily, the past two weeks I’ve had my head buried in yet another parenting book. The difference is this one doesn’t tell me what to do. Instead Jodie has put together a nurturing and encouraging step-by-step style book that empowers mums and dads to create a parenting approach that’s perfect for their family. I mean, seriously, nobody else is quite like The O’Briens.

It doesn’t matter what age your children are, anyone can put themselves back in control by using the tools Jodie provides. The AAA Parenting Tool is my fave. And no, it has nothing to do with using batteries. We’re now creating our own little O’Brien Parent Blueprint.


Here’s an extract from the book which particularly resonated with me:

This is what I value, this is what I believe

Not so long ago, I had a major meltdown

I was de-motivated about my work and I felt uncertain and unsure. This was confronting because I’m normally highly motivated, goal orientated, and very sure about what I want to achieve.

But I was forced to stop everything, sit back, reflect and make some decisions. Difficult decisions.

This process involved a number of stages.

Firstly, I had a major freak out. The freak out was the warning sign that my life wans’t how it should be. Freaking out wasn’t a pleasant experience, but, as I later realised, it was necessary.

Secondly, I went through a stage of feeling incredulous. I didn’t believe there was anything wrong with my life. What could possibly be wrong? THERE IS NOTHING, I REPEAT, NOTHING WRONG! But there obviously was.

Stage three involved avoidance. I wasn’t motivated to work hard so I created distractions like reading and re-reading the Twilight books. It was enjoyable and indulgent, but only for a while.

It was time to face facts. I realised that working too many hours and putting too much pressure on myself at work and at home was not sustainable. I had to be honest. I had to get real.

Next, I spent time reflecting on what was important to me. I asked myself some tough questions and really listened to my gut. Why was I working so hard? For what end? Who was benefiting? Me? My family? Is there another way to do this? How can I make this better?

Then, I made some difficult decisions. They included selling my corporate business to focus on Parenting Wellbeing, and scaling back my working hours so I didn’t miss out on my kids.

Finally, I moved onto a happier stage where I felt physically healthier and more fulfilled. I was still working hard on my business but in a smarter and more sustainable way and I had more energy and emotional capacity for my family.

Turing a meltdown into a valuable learning experience involved me assessing my values and beliefs.


Jodie is also running a new 12 week Parent Manifesto program

Parenting Manifesto


a free webinar next week:

Parenting enemy #1: Everyone else knows best (or do they?) During the webinar I’ll be providing valuable information such as:

· The 5 parenting pressures that are keeping us from having a great family life

· The top 5 things that parents really want

· The 3 things kids really need from us as parents

· How one parent overcame her struggle with dealing with others’ opinions about her parenting (including her own mum’s)

· How you can separate helpful and unhelpful parenting advice, and parent a little more confidently

It will take place at 8pm AEST time on Thursday, 26th April. Visist:

So, what was the worst piece of parenting advice you received? And what was the best advice you were given?

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6 Responses to The Parent Manifesto: Book extract

  1. Lisa wood says:

    I too got so confused by parenting books so I stopped reading them.
    Our boys are different – we are not your normal family – and we have to be very careful with what they eat! Actually if they eat the wrong type of foods we can tell within hours (they are literally jumping up and down!).
    I am still struggling with trying not to let other parents thoughts affect my style of parenting….as I need to be the Mum my boys need.
    Sounds like a great webinar to listen to – so wished my skype was working!!
    Lisa wood recently posted..50 Must Do’s On The Sunshine CoastMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      Oh Lisa, I know what you mean about all those differing views and trying not to let them influence you. It can be tough.
      Just a note, I don’t think you need Skype to listen to the webinar if you’re still interested. Just so you know. x

  2. Hi Kellie! Sorry, I missed a day of the tour – eek! I’d have to say the worst advice I received was from a particular baby book (UK) that was so regimented. Routines down to the minute, leave your baby to cry etc etc. Needless to say I got rid of it! Jodie’s book is amazing. I’m looking forward to spending a bit more one on one time with CrashHubby working on our own parent manifesto.
    Laney @ Crash Test Mummy recently posted..Crash Test Mummy of the Week #5 – Stacey-Lee from Get On With It AlreadyMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      Don’t apologise, Laney. I’m a tad behind too. I have lots of reading to do this week.
      I have a feeling I may have read the same UK book as you! Jodie’s book is a breath of fresh air!

  3. Good to see we are all playing catch up, loved the book too and just such an easy peasy read with no judgement and no do it this way Nx

  4. […] Wow Kellie said this about the Parent Manifesto: ‘A book every parent should read’ Thanks Kellie! Plus, she’s published an extract from the book which most resonated with her. Find out what really had an impact. […]

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