Tips for living: 'Reality Parenting' encourages, prepares parents

By Wendy Jessen

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 26 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, June 25 2014 4:51 p.m. MDT

Treion Muller, the author of "Reality Parenting: As Not Seen on TV," with his wife and children.

Provided by Cedar Fort

Parenting is no easy task, and real life is not like TV families. Author and parent Treion Muller shares a realistic view of parenting in his latest book "Reality Parenting: As Not Seen on TV" (Cedar Fort, $12.99).

A father of five children and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Muller has compiled "realities" that parents will likely face.

• Be prepared to not be perfect. Muller explains that there are no perfect parents, and that is OK. He suggests finding the "functional" part in the dysfunctional that every family has and do what works to run the family.

• Be ready for gross. Starting with childbirth, parenting has some pretty gross moments. Diapers, potty training, puberty, injuries and illness all come with the territory, Muller writes.

• Stock the pantry and plan for friends. "We think it is better having our children's friends hanging out at our house, where we know what they are up to, which is why we try to stock up on foods they like," Muller writes. And, be ready for big teenage appetites!

• Learn to speak text. A factor in communicating with and monitoring children is speaking their language. Muller includes various texting acronyms that parents ought to learn. LOL, BTW, IMHO and TMI are just a few to be aware of for effective parent-to-teen communication.

• Get ready for "talks." Topics like sex, pornography, cellphone use and puberty are all conversations that Muller says parents ought to have with their children. He also includes tips on how to go about this. Parents are responsible to educate and protect their children from danger.

Parenting is not as simple as sitcoms portray. Muller's "Reality Parenting" can help parents handle their realities with simple tips and checklists.

Wendy Jessen is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and frequently does media reviews. Her email is wendyjessen26@gmail.com and she blogs at mormonmomofsix.blogspot.com.

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