Parenting Made Practical {{REVIEW}}

parenting made practical
I'm always on the look out for helps when it comes to parenting, and Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave by Parenting Made Practical is just that. Why Can't I Get My Kids to behave is the instruction book I had wanted years ago because it offers logical, practical solutions that are based in the Bible, and that really work.  
Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave?
Mr. B and I have been working on behavior modification in some way or another for a decade. We have done programs through the local university dedicated strictly to autism, we've tried medicines, and recently we had a stint with a great behaviorist with a children's hospital located more than 3 hours away. 3 hours, one way, twice a month is hard to manage, so as successful as that was, I had to take a break for both of us. I was eager to get my hands on this book to see if we could implement some of the strategies within it in our own lives.

I read the first page, and knew this was going to be a winner. The first page showcases what I think is one of the biggest mistakes ALL parents make. They give in, they overlook, they are inconsistent. A lack of consistency is a HUGE problem, especially in today's world. It's so easy to stand on the outside and see others as being inconsistent in their parenting, but it's very hard to see your own inadequacies here. So you tell your child to pick up his toys a couple of times and he doesn't. You think to yourself, "Oh..I'll do it this time. I'll model the behavior. He's only little. That's really too much for him..." Or a million other justifications to do it for him because, let's face it, it's just plain easier to do sometimes. Sound familiar? I know I would boast about being 100% consistent, until I had to answer direct questions. That's when I realized, whooooa. I'm not. THAT is a MAJOR issue. The book points this out indirectly in the first few pages, but what struck me in those first few pages, and made me continue reading long past the point I had decided to stop for the night, was when I got to the part that discussed the difference between obedience and compliance. I decided to go through Mr. B's notes from my visits with the behavioral doctor. Each visit I would be given notes from the visit about what we were going to work on next, our goals, etc. I noted that not one time was the word obedience used. Instead our goals were for Mr. B to comply with mom's orders. Wow...harsh much? I never noticed. 

Moving on through the first chapter I was hit again with another word: CHOICE. Now, this is a lesson I was taught many years ago by one of Mr. B's great speech therapists: Give your child a choice to behave. Make him aware his behavior is a CHOICE. Now I can truly say I have always made him aware that each action on his part is a choice, and as a direct result each consequence is also a choice. So if he chooses to run in the house, knowing that is a direct violation of our house rules, then that means he is choosing to be given a punishment, too. 
Moving on through the book I found REAL examples and the strategies used with those examples, and why it all matters. There's an example of a 4-yr old boy who is killed when he doesn't respond to his name being called and a neighbor accidentally backs over him. There's the story of counting to 3, and the author's daughter responding when he got to 3-not a good thing by the way. Even though we may think it is, you have to read the book to find out why it's not! And one of my favorites, the story of "Fun Daddy" vs. "Mean Mommy."

The book is full of real examples, and these examples are ones I'm sure any of us can identify with to some degree. For example, a child not remember? Yeah...I could have written this part. That's Mr. B! Just last weekend he had a full on meltdown because he forgot his Atlas at home. Now, keep in mind, he knew for DAYS in advance he was going to be spending several days with Auntie and Mamaw. He knew for HOURS before we left that he had to pack his things. I also reminded him that if he didn't pack it, it wasn't going. I even asked him again before we walked out of the house AND when we were in the car in the driveway- "Did you get everything? Are you sure?" His reply? An attitude filled "YES! Now please stop asking questions!" Well, we get 45mins from the house to meet Mamaw and what happens? Full on meltdown because Mr. Attitude forgot his beloved Atlas. Now, any other time I would have said tough luck kid, deal with it. But, my dumb self spent $50 on other stuff to appease him so that they wouldn't have a rough 4 or 5 days with him. He begged for another Atlas, and he didn't get one. But still, I gave him a LOT more than I should have! I didn't listen to what I learned from the book-make him realize the consequences so he doesn't forget again-so I wonder if he really learned a lesson at all. 
In addition to the real life stories, and the real strategies presented in this book, I very much appreciate the biblical grounding it has. And I LOVE how it even directs you to the chapter/verse! 

It's also important to note that while the book focuses on a husband/wife relationship, there are tools for the single parent, as well. 

See what I mean?! 

It's not too late. 

I wondered if it was too late for us to use a book like this. But no, it's definitely not, and the end of the book tells the story of a 15-yr old boy. It is never too late. 
Overall, I really like this book. I think it presents REAL, true, meaningful tools to help today's parents get back the respect and obedience lacking in today's youth and families. It has helped us immensely as I am seeing a definite change in Mr. B's attitude. I am seeing more respect, and more true obedience, instead of mere compliance. I really think you should give this book a try, and read it for yourself. 
Members of the Homeschool Review Crew where given several different products from Parenting Made Practice. Please click the banner below to read more of those reviews! 
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