Ready, Set, Parent: A Realistic, Friendly Parenting Guide

BY  |  Monday, Dec 30, 2013 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (3)

Ready, Set, Parent“Sometimes just knowing that parenting isn’t always easy or perfect helps.”

That line, taken from the conclusion of Ready, Set, Parent, a helpful guide written by parenting Ph.D.s Dr. Elizabeth M. Vantre and Dr. Samantha L. Dawson, underscores the healthy attitude this parenting book shares. With a caring but firm tone, this book helps parents find their own style and stick to it with realistic and recognizable examples throughout.

The parenting advice found in Ready, Set, Parent isn’t particularly new, but it’s refreshing in that it acknowledges differences in children’s temperaments, family priorities, and the inevitable disappointments – as well as joys – along the parenting path. There is a bit of snark, perhaps influenced by on-line furor, but overall the tone is one of an understanding, slightly more together friend.

The Dr. Moms have created guides to assessing the needs of your child(ren), your needs as a parent (and human), and maintaining consistency in parenting style, no matter which route you choose. They also provide realistic and easily adaptable information and suggestions for handling discipline and power struggles. Phew!

The most in-depth section by far is “How to Be a Proactive Parent.” With sections focused on sleep, sharing parenting responsibility, routines, meaningful activities, and making unpopular decisions, the authors arrange advice and examples by your child’s age as opposed to topic. They even tackle sibling rivalry and avoiding the technology trap.

Dr. Elizabeth Marsh Vantre, Ph.D. and Dr. Samantha Levine Dawson, Ph.D.  are both from New Jersey. Vantre grew up in Montclair and Dawson in Princeton.

Readable, actionable, and nonjudgmental, Ready, Set, Parent makes a helpful, open-minded parenting guide for a friend — or for yourself.


  1. POSTED BY walleroo  |  December 30, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    Parenting “Isn’t always perfect”? Are you kidding me? It is NEVER perfect. It is, in fact, always far from perfect–very far. Parenting is the only job in which you are guaranteed to fail. Remember the old saw about how baseball is the only sport in which you can be successful if you fail only 2/3s of the time? Well, parenting has a far worse success rate than that. Try 0 percent. ZEE-RO.

  2. POSTED BY Conan  |  December 30, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

    Walleroo, that doesn’t sound like a soon-to-be 103-year old Marsupial, with a Harvard education and probably multiple Joeys scattered around the Outback.

  3. POSTED BY Conan  |  December 30, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    Full disclosure alert: I know Liz Marsh Vantre: her dad, Bill Marsh, was a lifelong friend of mine until his untimely passing last year. Bill and Liz’s mom, Ronnie, were real estate agents in Montclair and two of the originators of First Night Montclair. They relocated to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where they successfully continued their real estate careers and where we visited them almost every summer. I have also met Liz Vantre’s children, and if they were raised according to the principles outlined in her book I suggest that everyone with kids — including Walleroo — buy a copy and read it now!

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And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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