Kristen LaBarca

"I have an especially unique perspective on this parenting book because the author, Kysa Kelleher, is my teenage son's stepmom. I have therefore seen and experienced firsthand the impact that her parenting style has on my own son. Before Kysa came into my (and my son's) life, I thought I was doing a great job as a parent. I was very loving and always there for him whenever he needed anything. Like most parents to young kids, I would wake my son up in the morning before school, make him breakfast and send him off to school with a lunch that I made for him. Of course, if he forgot his lunch, I would bring it to him at school. I believed that doing all these things for him demonstrated my love for him and my value as a parent. However, when he was at his dad and Kysa's house, I discovered everything was much different for him. He had to count on his alarm to wake him up in the morning. If he didn't wake up, he would suffer the consequences -- even if that meant him running in a panic to school an hour late. If he forgot his lunch at school, he would have to go hungry. He learned pretty quickly to get up at the sound of the buzzer and to never forget his lunch! He also was expected to do two hours of chores on the weekend. I remember driving by their house one cold weekend and seeing him outside raking leaves in the pouring rain. I also remember when he mentioned to me in 4th grade that he had to make his own lunch on the days he was at his dad's house. I must admit, at first I was a little upset at her parenting style. I felt Kysa wasn't providing him with the same love and care that I gave him every day. If she really cared for him, she wouldn't make him do so much and be so strict, right??

Um, no, that is wrong. Saying "no" to your kids and having them take on lots of responsibilities in no way means you love them less. Although it is not readily apparent, kids really do love having structure and rules and consequences in their lives. And if you start them young enough, they absolutely love to do things on their own! After some time, we implemented many of the same rules at our house and my son gained all kinds of independence by getting himself up in the morning, making his own meals, doing his own laundry, cleaning his bathroom and doing weekend chores. I am proud to say he is now a junior in high school and is, for the most part, completely self-sufficient. He manages his own schoolwork and schedule and I know he will head off to college well-prepared for life without parents. I am working on using the same parenting principles that Kysa outlines in her book on my two younger children. I can't say I've adopted every single suggestion she makes in her book but I can say that I agree wholeheartedly with her parenting style and have witnessed how well it works not only in my own son but in all of her other kids as well. I challenge you to go buy the book and empower your kids. Not only will your life get easier and less stressful but your kids will benefit and grow as they prepare for their own eventual adulthood. Thank you, Kysa, for a great book and for helping me to become a better parent to all three of my kids!"

Susan S.
Amazon Review

"Finally, a vulnerable and entertaining parenting book where I don't feel overwhelmed and defeated from the start. Real mom of six, Kysa Kelleher, shares her experiences to give readers straight forward, "you can do it" tips and advice to get you and your children on track to be a happy, empowered and prepared for anything family. Thank you for the honest approach to parenting without the ridiculous fluff. It's ok to stand your ground on routine and responsibilities to get your children to listen, learn, be proactive, and self thinkers. I walked away from the book standing taller and feeling supported to take care of myself first without the guilt. I also immediately began introducing her recommends with success. My kiddos now put their own clean clothes away, make beds and are in the kitchen cooking dinner with me. I can't wait to incorporation more of the endless ideas and tips!!"

Velana Colon

"Hi there. Finished your book. Loved it! Can you please write another one?!?! Took it on my girls trip this weekend to Mexico with 7 college friends and it was often a conversation piece. I love your writing style and how you gave your intro to the book. My parenting style is nearly identical (which I find rare). I have implemented your rule of “no getting up at the dinner table” and it has worked so well. I have a tiny little kitchen also so we are always walking around bumping into one another getting all the things we need. And, now we actually talk to each other more which is great. Less distractions. I was doing the opposite of having my kids get up to get their own things because I get sick of refilling drinks, getting extra napkins, etc. Now we make sure we have everything we need, that everyone has peed and we all sit down together. Thank you!! I am just waiting now to pull over the car when they are all screaming to sit and wait and check my email until they figure it out. I have pulled over though before and asked a kid to get out of the car and they could walk home themselves.They scream and all band together saying “please don’t make him get out of the car". Doesn’t it pay off doing all the hard work when they are little? My kids rarely need consequences for anything now because they are pretty well behaved and just need a warning to get back on track. Anyhow, kudos to you for running an amazing household and managing to have 6 respectful and loving children.  And pretty amazing you also managed to write a book."

Amazon Review

"Absolutely LOVE this book. Kysa Kelleher is the anti-helicopter parent, and it's breath of no-bullsh*t air. Her strict stances on goofing around during mealtimes (kids leave the table and can eat at the next meal), no snacking (except for kiddos 2 and under) and no toys on trips resonates with me on so many levels, but my favorite takeaway is how to empower our littles to do things for themselves, beginning in toddlerhood. After reading this book, I've emboldened my 4 year-old to make her own snack for school (with little interference), put away her clothes, and tidy her room or play area before moving on to the next activity. I don't ask, I politely tell her what it's time to do. Simple and effective. 'Say It Once' is a keeper!"