It's particularly a winning situation for me when the book is a useful and good one. I'm no expert on parenting books, because, frankly, I'm no expert on parenting, but I can recognize when a book has something to offer me in terms of practical advice or a fresh perspective -- something else I find I need when I'm get tired of the hackneyed phrases I tend to use. Like, "Eat your meat, or you can't have any pudding -- how can you have any pudding when you don't eat your meat!" or "Put down the finely-sharpened stick before somebody loses an eye!"
Braun's book is written in an accessible and easy-to-read way and fits the bill as far as being useful and having a fresh perspective. Each chapter has a theme, for example, Independence and Empathy were two of my favorites. After a brief intro on the theme with discussions of normal childhood development and temperament, for example, she will provide "tips and scripts." These follow each discussion and give the reader examples of what to say and/or do in a variety of situations. She references scientific research a little more than I find necessary, but I do understand that that is important to some people. I do tend to gloss over those parts after a while. I prefer the anecdotal, real-life situations a bit more. Something I really liked was her discussion of "brat-proofing" one's child. When one of my kids is really behaving like a, well, like a brat, I'm always kind of taken aback. Because they are definitely not brats, far from it. They can behave in a brat-like manner, of course, which I think all kids (and some adults!) can do. So I like the fact that she's not afraid to use the word "brat" and to realize that we can do something about helping our kids to become independent, respectful, empathetic kids. And to realize that it takes time. It takes learning. And patience. Patience from us as their parents and patience from them when we forget that they're still developing and expect too much.
I found the chapter on empathy (Why is that Girl Crying?) particularly interesting, because it's something that concerns me a great deal with my boys. It's something I value and hope to engender in them, too. I was happy that she actually recommended showing one's kids how to be empathetic in words and in deeds. For example, she proposes volunteering if one has the time so your kids can see that caring for others is important to you.
There is a lot to read, and I did find myself glossing over some of the tips and scripts when I felt that they went on too long. But I do think it's the kind of book that one can pick up and put down as needed. You can focus on a chapter that suddenly becomes pertinent (e.g. No, You Go to Your Room!" Creating a Respectful Child), read the tips and scripts, and then work on putting it into practice. Some things are common sense, but I think it's good to be reminded of particular parenting tools no matter how long we've been parents, since I'm sure a lot of us get mired in repetitive reactions to our children's less attractive behaviors.
All in all, I enjoyed reading You're Not the Boss of Me while I sat a McDonald's waiting for all four tires of our car to be replaced. Yes, all four. It was entertaining and gave me a lot to think about regarding my own parental habits. Anything that makes a parent more mindful is a good thing.