For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Parenting Made Practical - TOS Review

Parenting is hard. Anyone who has or is raising kids will tell you this. There is no way around making it easier, it is just what it is. No matter the age your kids are a , there are challenges to being a parent. That said, learning to deal with kids and raise them the best way possible, can definitely be helpful and make the whole process less stressful as well as more purposeful.

This is where this resource I was given the opportunity to review comes in. I was not familiar with it until it came up for review, but I must say it is a good one. Parenting Made Practical offers parenting resources to help parents navigate those parenting waters and challenges. Its goal is to equip parents with tools to help children become responsible adults. They offer a wide array of books and DVDs.  I chose to review the Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting your Kids to Think video download.

There is lots to say about the video I watched. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very helpful. Some of the material was not new, but put into a different light and presented in a quite enjoyable way. It made the material fresh again, and renewed the challenge for me.

The material at Parenting Made Practical is put together by a couple used to dealing with youth and families in church and other contexts (the husband having served as Youth and Family pastor and the wife being a social worker). As such they know the challenges and needs of families. They are able to come up with resources that address exactly those needs. Their  material offers help in parenting children from age 2 to college. Here is a list of books and videos you can find on their website:

Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave?
Navigating the Rapids of Parenting
Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate... What Works?
What Every Child Should Know Along the Way

What I liked about the video I watched

I do not know about you but lecturing my kids is second nature and is a very easy trap to fall into even if we know better. In this video Joey and Carla Link explain and demonstrate to you the failure of lecturing (or nagging or yelling), your kids as well as how to avoid doing it by showing what to replace it with. They take your hand and show you step by step a better way. The better way being to lead them to think about their behaviour and owning it. The lecture has a lot of aspects that make it enjoyable to watch, as well as very helpful:
  • They cover a lot of topics in a 50 minutes video. They manage to include a description of temperament types which is helpful to take into consideration when learning how to avoid lecturing
  • The husband and wife team-teaching is very effective as it becomes a dialogue. They even included a live example with the help of their daughter, making it more interesting
  • They do try to include some humor, even of the whole lecture looks and sound pretty scripted and somewhat rigid
  • The video is just the right length. Though 50 minutes sounds long, I can guarantee you that you won't see the time pass, that is how engaging Joey and Carla are more because of the content that is covers than the style itself 
  • A good addition is how they include extra resources for the audience to check out to complement their teaching.
  • The style of teaching is very direct yet gentle. They say things the way they are, while in the same breadth giving you hope and solutions to correct the problem or bad habit.
  • The advice and tips are very detailed and practical.
  • I also love how the steps appeared on the screen as they went through them.
This video was very helpful to me as I was reminded of some habits that I had neglected, such as not accepting certain types of answers or putting off doing something to a later time. I had already been doing some of the things they talked about, such as the whole questioning approach, but it was nice to be given extra tips and advice on how to do that even more efficiently. Joey and Carla rightly put the emphasis on the heart of behavior and not just external behavior change, and for that they are a resource I would definitely recommend. That said, like every parenting  resource, every parent has to see for himself how to best apply the principles being advocated, and not necessarily apply them blindly.

Find Parenting Made Practical on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and make sure to check the reviews of the other material they offer.

Parenting Made Practical {Reviews}

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