Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review: Family Toolbox

Do you agree with me that parenting must be the most challenging and the most rewarding job in the world :)? My husband and I have been doing this job for over 21 years; yet we are still learning, growing and figuring things out. Our two sons who are still at home are 16 and 13. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to review the Family Toolbox, a fantastic parenting resource from National Center for Biblical Parenting. The Family Toolbox is a DVD program that helps parents and teens engage in meaningful discussions, equips parents with valuable tools, and trains teens to embrace 16 life success principles. I really enjoyed using this friendly format. It gets teens' attention and encourages their interaction. There are 8 two-minute video clips that show family members having arguments, problems, conflicts, complaints, tempers, all sorts of issues that take place in typical households with teenagers. Parents can also watch the 10-minute teaching videos for each session and learn from the two parenting experts, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (pictured above). The DVD comes with a Parent and Teen Discussion Manual which includes worksheets for teens and parents, main takeaway points, and relevant Bible verses. 

I appreciate the Biblically-based heart approach in this program. I agree that focus on behavior modification appeals to children's selfishness and that a true lasting transformation requires a heart change. The behavioral problems are symptoms of heart issues. We don't want to train our kids up to be a bunch of Pharisees who are perfect on the outside but rotten on the inside. This program offers practical advice and strategies that aim to help teens mature and develop heart qualities such as self-control, responsibility, thoughtfulness, respect, honor, diligence, cooperation, and more. The life success principles taught in the DVD are essential principles that will serve teens well for the rest of their lives. The lessons are filled with parenting wisdom and insights that affirm what I've been doing right and remind me what I need to improve on. I really like the emphasis in the last lesson on honoring one another above ourselves (Romans 12:13). I came up with an acronym for H.O.N.O.R. 
Humbly value others above selves
Obey with a good attitude
Never put others down
Offer others the best
Respect others in words and deeds

16 Life Success Principles:
  1. Be Respectful Even When It's Hard.
  2. Develop Internal Motivation.
  3. Develop Healthy Habits for Following Instructions.
  4. Look for Ways to Contribute to Family Life.
  5. Solve Problems Instead of Generating Conflict.
  6. Instead of Sarcasm, Develop the Skills of a Peacemaker.
  7. Learn to Value Correction.
  8. Apologize Well.
  9. Develop a Plan for Being Responsible.
  10. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes.
  11. Train Yourself to Accept No as an Answer.
  12. Avoid Arguing.
  13. View Your Family as a Team and Look for Ways to Work Together.
  14. Learn Self-Control to Manage Anger.
  15. Practice Flexibility When Plans Change.
  16. Learn to Handle Unfairness Well.
I highly recommend the Family Toolbox to all families with children ages 10 and up and youth ministry leaders. It is one of the best Biblical parenting resources available.

National Center for Biblical Parenting:
Hashtags: #familytoolbox #heartparenting

Note: You're invited to The Family Toolbox Facebook Party today (10/16) from 5-7 p.m. Pacific time. There will be an opportunity for you to ask your parenting questions and win great prizes. They'll be giving away a copy of the Family Toolbox, the Christian Parenting Handbook, $50 and $25 gift cards plus other Biblical parenting resources.

Family Toolbox Facebook Party

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