Saturday, October 18, 2014

Family Toolbox Review- Teaching 16 Life Success Principles

Let's face it, parenting is hard.  And parenting preteens and teens can often be even more difficult.  But there is help out there to help us navigate the difficult times and issues we often face.  The Family Toolbox,  produced by the National Center for Biblical Parenting, for ages 10-18, is one of those resources.  And a GREAT one at that!

I recently had the pleasure of being on a promotion team for The Family Toolbox and able to use the resources in my own home with my family.  This DVD based program is meant to teach parents how to handle issues with their kids as well as help children learn to modify their behavior.  Each of the 8 video lessons teach two Life Success Principles.

Each lesson taught is broken down into two separate video clips.  This first clip for each lesson is a 10-12 minute discussion with authors of the program, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joannne Miller, RN, BSN.  These discussions are meant for parents to view alone.  In them, they discuss the two life principles being taught and strategies for teaching those lessons.  Biblical background and examples are used when applicable.

The second video clip is 1-2 minutes long and intended to be watched together as a family.  That video is a dramatized family scene, highlighting two Life Success Principles that need to be addressed.

Once your family watches the videos together, you turn to the accompanying workbook.  In there you will find a few different resources for each of the 8 lessons.  The first is a general overview of the lesson, telling you what two Life Principles are being taught and what to look for in the video.  You as the parent should read through this section before beginning.  The next thing you will find is a teen success worksheet.  On that worksheet is a scene introduction and discussion questions.  The discussion questions are broken into two parts, one for each of the Life Principles.  These questions cover things from "what did you see?" to "what would you do?" type questions to help facilitate family discussion.  Each of these life principles is related to a bible verse and a question is tied to that part as well.  The lesson concludes with some thoughts and a prayer.  

The final resource you will find is a parent page.  This page helps you as a parent to think about and respond to not only things you heard in the parent portion of the video but also the family video clip.  It allows you to work through some of the strategies and put your thoughts and plans on paper. 

What did we think?
Wow!  I have to admit I am impressed.  Many years ago my husband and I taught a parenting program that we loved and this reminds me of it in many ways.  Powerful ideas but in an easy to learn format.  I like that the video clips for the family are short, but can be used to get a conversation flowing.  They do portray some pretty harsh scenes with arguing  and harsh words, so I would suggest you preview them beforehand to make sure you are comfortable with them as well as be careful using them with younger children in the room.  The questions are good, solid questions that will be helpful if you feel you need guidance.  Otherwise, I would encourage you to listen carefully to your children and let them help direct the conversation.  As the authors state, "Behavior is a symptom of a heart issue", and I think we all often get so caught up in just "fixing" the problem that we forget to fix the heart.

My favorite lesson?  Lesson 6- Accepting No as an Answer! The authors point out that we must teach our kids to live within limits.  After all, that is a skill that we will take with us into adulthood.  By teaching kids to accept no as an answer and by teaching kids to be problem solvers rather than whiners, we can say goodbye to arguing, badgering and whining.  Sign me up!  I love that there are real life solutions taught as well.  In this chapter an example is saying to your children, "That's whining, come back to me with a solution."  By equipping ourselves with simple statements like this, we are helping children take control of their own behavior and responses.

The Family Tool box can be purchased for $99.95 or downloaded for a suggested donation of $79.95.

You can also connect with the national Center for Biblical Parenting-

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