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It's OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids
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It's OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  741 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Parenting can be such an overwhelming job that it’s easy to lose track of where you stand on some of the more controversial subjects at the playground (What if my kid likes to rough house—isn’t this ok as long as no one gets hurt? And what if my kid just doesn’t feel like sharing?). In this inspiring and enlightening book, Heather Shumaker describes her quest to nail down ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by TarcherPerigee
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4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  741 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
1. I think I've been using the concept of taking turns and sharing interchangeably, so really, this concept isn't all that groundbreaking to me. Not taking toys from one kid to give to another or forcing them to give up their turn mid-play seems less about going against the grain and more about Not Being Unreasonably Mean. "Can you give Jane a turn when you're done please? She's waiting." seems completely reasonable to me. Now, whether you take the day-long-turns-are-okay turn approach in public ...more
Adele Stratton
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best handbook for parents of preschoolers. Ever.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all parents
Parenting books are always going to be a mixed bag and people are going to read those that seem to support their ideals, creating a kind of echo chamber. I try to avoid this by reading books that rely heavily on scientific studies rather than on "well everyone knows that you're supposed to...." sort of reasoning.

Shumaker does a relatively good job of referencing the studies she uses to support her work, though I would have liked a stronger bibliography or more source citation. She also tends to
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Terrific book. Parents should always build their own parenting styles and practices on belief and practice--a parent who feel rock-solid comfortable with their own ideas will make their kids feel comfortable, too, knowing that mom and dad stand for something, have some non-negotiables. So--I wouldn't advise anyone to use this as a manual.

With that said, the book is full of different ways to look at common practices ("Say you're sorry!") and can serve as a spur to re-thinking some of the things y
Chris Norbury
Most of one’s success in life is based on using plain, simple common sense. Most of one’s success raising children should be based on common sense too. Ms. Shumaker's book drips with common sense on every page. Her main premise is instead of trying to raise our children to become mini-adults, we should use common sense to understand the why's of their behaviors, and then raise them to become the best children they can be, with appropriate challenges and success at each stage of their development ...more
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenthood
Some of it I love, some of it I will not incorporate into our life. Some of the chapters were not convincing at all even while relying on child development specialists to make her point. While I wouldn't say No to weapon play, I would also not buy my child a toy gun. Just as I wouldn't buy an American girl doll. It is important for me, being the one who buys the toys, that I am supporting what I believe is a good company, a good kind of toy etc.

I loved the overall themes of letting children pla
Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)
If you are a parent, read this book. It is my absolute favorite parenting book now, I can't say enough good about it. It has changed the way I (and my husband) parent, the way I interact with nieces and nephews, even the way I teach my four year old class at church. Everything she teaches is based off of the rights the children (and parents) have, she gives examples of application, shares some specific things you should and shouldn't say in certain situations, and even shares ideas for how to ha ...more
Stephanie Rottmayer
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Must read! :-)
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am loving this book! I wish all parents would read it!
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
I really liked the fresh perspective this book took on parenting, and I intend to utilize several strategies I found here. In many ways, some of these ideas were a huge relief. My son was Montessori schooled through kindergarten, and it was mostly a good fit for him (not, unfortunately, for my daughter), but one thing my husband and I still laugh about to this day is how seriously the teachers took roughhousing and how we were even instructed to eliminate it at our house. My husband's evening wr ...more
Overrated Parenting
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
I reviewed off a free advance reader copy from the bookstore where I used to work.

This book is all about the free play philosophy of child-raising. Basically, the book (and philosophy) maintains that children learn a host of invaluable interpersonal skills through self-directed play with minimal adult intervention. I found the book completely eye-opening. Of course, the book is written for typically-developing, mainstream children, but I still found so many things that were applicable to my high
Rebecca Reid
When I first saw it in the Netgalley catalog, I was startled by the title It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker (Tarcher, 2012). Not share? Isn’t that the first thing we teach our babies during play dates? I was delighted by some of the concepts in this parenting book, not because I agreed with it all, but because it opened my mind to different ways to approach teaching my children about relationships, compassion, and deali ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book didn't really offer me much in the way of new information, but I can agree with most of the information she shared.

*I prefer her solution to sharing to the RIE solution, however, both solutions make more sense for a daycare where none of the toys belong to any of the children rather than moms-at-home with their babies having play dates. I think Super Parents Super Children might have the best solution for moms.*

What drove me insane about this book is that the author is inconsistent and
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I can recommend this book to any parent or care giver. It's especially geared for younger (say the under 5 y/o crowd) child, which is a pivotal time in child development.

The content of the book fits my overall parenting philosophy of allowing a child to develop and learn, and this book matches my weaknesses (I'm less versed in social-emotional areas). I found the ideas novel yet sensible, and before I was done reading the book, I had already tested out a few of the ideas (with success).

I gave it
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
A friend recommended this, and I'm glad I read it. So sensible! Some of her recommendations I'd have a really hard time implementing, but it was a great reminder to remember where kids are developmentally and not expect too much too soon. If they're not hurting people or property, it's going to be OK! Kids desperately need play to learn. She offers suggestions for helping kids to work towards dealing with conflict on their own, and good reminders for parents to look to the feelings underneath be ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wish I'd had this book when my oldest was about two. A fantastic, common-sense resource full of wonderful advice for parents. I love that, unlike other resources, it actually gives you things to and not to say.
Anna Schubert
Clear, thoughtful, well written. A bit repetitive, but honestly, that's helpful when you're working on changing verbal parenting patterns.
Sarah Casady
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nothing that a typical peaceful parenting / emotional intelligence book won't tell you. Each chapter was incredibly repetitive and went over the same exact idea for far too long. the ideas are all very basic peaceful parenting concepts - essentially have your child learn how to control themselves rather than control them. I'd recommend Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids over this book for someone interested in peaceful parenting.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all parents
I would love to be a "renegade mom" and follow the precepts of this book. Unfortunately, my youngest is already beyond the age this book is geared towards (2-5 year olds). If I ever get my hands on grandchildren, I will definitely implement these ideas.

The only real rule for renegade preschools is something my dad always used to say to us: "You can do that as long as you're not bugging anyone." This book says: "If it's not hurting people or property, it's OK." The other parts of the book explai
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Wow, this took me even longer to get through than I had thought, based on the start date that I had logged here. That's more because of the format rather than the content--this book is organized so that each chapter examines different aspects of the "renegade rule" and then goes through suggested wordings or actions in different scenarios with toddlers. So I think it'll be very useful as a reference, but I would have liked there to just be one summarizing essay at the front that went through eac ...more
Tamara Cassinat
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has a lot of good advice and approaches to parenting that I agree with. A lot I won't be able to apply until kids are older but that's OK. A great reference for later on
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So glad Sham bought this for my birthday so that have it as a reference. So many takeaways and will definitely be rereading. Each chapter has very practical sections at the end of things to say and to avoid saying, as well as invaluable "out and about" suggestions.

For now, I especially loved:
* taking dictation from your tot (writing letters, making signs -- using their exact words)
* sections on creativity and praise (observe, don't judge)
* kids don't have to say sorry (explaining; are you ok?; g
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I agreed with a lot of this book, which embraces a parenting philosophy that can sort of summed up as "Let them be kids." Let them play. Let them learn like kids learn, instead of expecting them to absorb life lessons like "don't hurt people" by simply hearing the words. Learning through play, through pretend, through experience, is much more effective. Let them sort out their own conflicts, with a little guidance if they need it. Don't force sharing, let them exclude and be excluded--those bits ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
loved this book. there were definitely some techniques in here that totally helped me help my daughter through her twos. my god, i would take any help i could get. most everything in this book makes sense to me and helps me meet my kid's needs without having unnecessary battles. i love the communication stuff. it's a quick and easy read, which doesn't explain why it took me 3 months to get thru it, but with a toddler and a baby that's actually pretty fast.

i've used the advice and philosophy in
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarybook, ece
I found this to be an excellent guide for teachers or parents. Much of it falls in line with what I have already been practicing as a teacher, but Schumacher backs it up with research, and gives real and accessible tips and language to try. Often I find that either I or the parents I am working with know WHAT they mean, but not how to convey it to a young child. Books like this are invaluable if only for supplying that dialogue.

I did feel like, in part of the book, she was writing from a very pr
I liked and agreed with all the concepts in this book. My rating is only three stars, though, because I wasn't super fond of the presentation of those ideas. The author is very repetitive. This book could have been half as long and still gotten all the points across. Additionally, I was a bit put off at the constant reference to "my childhood preschool." I get that she got a lot of her parenting ideas from the ideals of that preschool, but I was nonplussed the idea that this book was based on th ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A refreshing and practical book that I think could work for a variety of parenting styles, but that draws from Alfie Kohn and similar people I deeply identify with and draw from as a parent. I have some minor quibbles and things I need to reflect on a bit, but the general ideas are good ones, based in understanding child development and in respecting kids as having rights just as their caregivers do.

There are ideas in here that I think work better in a group or preschool setting, but they provi
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really good book on parenting. All the ideas were laid out very well. I didn't get a chance to complete the book since I needed to return it to the library, but I did read through the highlighted sections. As I was reading it I applied some of the rules with my daughter and they actually did work, so I am working on applying some of the other ideas and mixing them with my current parenting style. It was a good time for me to read a parenting book because whoever coined the p ...more
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books-read
I won this book in goodreads givaways. It's a wonderful handbook for parents to have. It talks about many of the "rules" we follow as parents and often suggests how to move away from those rules and opt for something better. For every topic there are suggestions on best ways to deal with issues regarding children and very thorough explanations of why certain ways of parenting may be more beneficial than others. At the end of the book there are several pages listing books that both parents and ch ...more
Tasmin Brown
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
I was turned off by the title of this book, but its really referring to kids taking turns (even if all day) instead of a parent making them alternate every 5 minutes or play together. I tried that concept, including a few of the others and its working out really well. The main tenet of this preschool's philosophy is that "its ok if its not hurting people or property" and thinking of that has helped me stop nagging so much with the little things that annoy me but really aren't worth arguing with ...more
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