“You can learn more about a person
in an hour of play than in a year
of conversation.”
~ Plato

It's OK Not to Share…

And Other Renegade Rules

It's OK Not to Share book cover

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It's OK Not to Share…
and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids
Published by Tarcher/ Penguin, 2012 (978-1585429363).

Named one of the Best Parenting Books of 2012 by Parents magazine reviewer.

It’s OK Not to Share… questions standard parenting adages and offers a brand-new set of “renegade rules” for raising young kids (ages 2-6). Rules like:

  • “Kids don’t have to say ‘Sorry’ ”
  • “Bombs, guns and bad guys allowed”
  • “Let your kid swear”
  • “ ‘I hate you’ is nothing personal”
  • “Boys can wear tutus”
  • “Paint off the paper”
  • “Only punch your friends”

Book illustration from It's OK Not to Share

Although it flips convention on its head, It’s OK Not to Share… is based on child development and emerging neuroscience research. Discover concrete skills to help your child prevent bullying, channel active energy, express feelings appropriately and much more. It’s designed to make you rethink what you thought you knew about parenting and give you saner days.

Book illustration from It's OK Not to ShareWhat experts are saying…

“Bold. Unconventional. And downright useful! Through science, stories, and her Renegade Rules, Shumaker beautifully shows us why letting kids be kids may be the single most important thing we can do as parents.”
~ Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D., coauthor of The Art of Roughhousing

“Renegade Rules will resonate with what you know to be true, speak to what you want most for your children and teach you how to achieve it. Don't let this one slip off your reading list.”
~ Dr. Becky Bailey, author of Conscious Discipline

“Provides immediate, sanity-saving answers to tough parenting questions. I highly recommend it.”
~ Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys and The Good Son

“From "Bombs, guns, and bad guys allowed" to "'I hate you!' is nothing personal," the table of contents alone is music to my ears. Heather Shumaker is a healthy mom I can relate to — and I'll bet you will too, when you hear out her logic.”
~ Paula Spencer Scott, author of Momfidence!

“I fell in love with it… If you are planning on having children, currently have children, or work with children, this is a book you will want with you all the time.”
~ Daniel Hodgins, author of Boys: Changing the Classroom Not the Child

Did you know…?

It's OK Not to Share… is based on the philosophy of the School for Young Children (SYC), in Columbus, Ohio. The author is an alumna of this unique school where kids engage in true free play and learn stellar conflict mediation skills. This "playschool" believes true free play is freely chosen, child-initiated and child-directed, and encourages children to:

  • Run and rough house
  • Mediate conflicts with peers
  • Climb trees, paint trees, explore mud, sand and water
  • Play with other kids in boxing and wrestling games
  • Get messy and dirty
  • Dress up in any costume

  • Share only when they are ready – long turns are OK
  • Take risks
  • Explore creativity to its limit
  • Express all feelings – mad, sad, happy, frustrated, lonely
  • Make friends and cope with rejection