This book answers the question: “How do you raise kind, successful kids when you have no role model to follow?” Or regardless of circumstances, you know that you want to parent differently than you were raised.
Since my parents were too interested in their own drama to notice me, I ended up parenting myself. I knew that when I became a Mom, I would do things in a vastly different way from my parents. This book describes the plan that I developed to turn out amazing kids (this is not just my opinion; countless teachers have told me the same thing.
My plan looks at a family values based system using long-term goals as the guiding force to making short-term decisions.
My definition of family values is based upon treating others with kindness and respect, being goofy with your kids, and consistently applying discipline without anger.
The book is divided into three sections:
Section I: Basic Building Blocks For Your Parenting Plan:
This section lays out the main ingredients in my Parenting Plan, including the definitions and usages of the following terms: 1. Plugged-In Parenting, 2. The 3 R’s: Respect for Self, Respect for Others, and Responsibility for Your Actions, 3. Using Family Values to Create a Discipline Plan, and 4. The Importance of Delayed Gratification.
Section Ii: Parenting During Periods Of Flux And Mastering Change:
This section includes an explanation of The Change Cycle (a Martha Beck coaching tool; terms in brackets are from Martha Beck), and how it relates to raising kids in different stages of their life. I have seen that it’s not as important to maintain control (because that never happens) as it is to roll with the changes in a way that keeps you calm, even in times of crisis. That way you can set an example for your kids of how to navigate through all four squares of the Change Cycle: Square One: Starting All Over [Death and Rebirth], Square Two: Dreaming Up a New You [Dreaming and Scheming], Square Three: Falling Down and Getting Up, and Falling Down Some More [The Heroes Saga], and Square Four: In The Groove [The Promised Land].
Section Iii: Parenting Tweens And Teens And Writing Your Own Plan:
This section demonstrates tools that are especially helpful for older kids, including: 1. Leading By Example Instead of Saying One Thing and Doing Another, 2. The Value of Team Sports, 3. Self Care For Teens, 4. Protecting Your Teen from Emotional Vampires, and 5. The Top Ten Hits Of My Parenting Plan, so that you can create your own.
In case you want to focus on one section of the book…
Or in case you don’t have time to read the whole stinking thing right now!
Introduction: Not That Wolves Are Bad Or Anything…
This Chapter explains the premise of why I wrote the book: if you didn’t have a good parenting model to follow, you may feel lost and ill-equipped as a parent. This Chapter talks about how I was raised by wolves and how it forced me to come up with my own plan…for which I’m eternally grateful.
Chapter One: Plugged-in Parenting:
This chapter lays out my philosophy of parenting: Parenting is not a spectator sport. Plugged-In Parenting requires you to come up with a plan for parenting and then to follow it consistently. Plugged-In Parenting is great, because it feels better than thin thighs and a day off combined. When you are a Plugged-In parent, you are connected to your kids in a way that allows you to support them regardless of age and circumstances.
Chapter Two: Quality Time With Your Children:
This chapter helps you define what you want from your parenting. Until you figure out who you are as a parent, you can’t see your goals for yourself and your kids.
Chapters Three, Four And Five:
These chapters lay out the cornerstone of my parenting life…the 3 R’s. They are 1. RESPECT FOR YOURSELF, 2. RESPECT FOR OTHERS, AND 3.RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. When you parent using the 3 R’s yourself first, and then with your children, your kids will develop into kind, caring, and responsible adults.
Chapter Six: Rules Are Good; Consistent Rules Are Better:
This chapter explains my philosophy of discipline, i.e.: rules make little kids feel safe. They know that someone bigger and more experienced is in charge, and this allows them to just play and be a kid. Rules also prepare kids for working within a larger system, thereby equipping them to succeed in their academic and employment careers.
Chapter Nine: Family Values Create A Happy Home:
This chapter is a blueprint for creating a happy home, using humor as a way to stay close to your kids, something that comes in real handy when they become teenagers.
Section Ii: Parenting During Periods Of Flux:
This whole section is devoted to an explanation of the Change Cycle, the single most important tool in my life coaching belt. The ability to master change trumps maintaining control every time. We can’t control circumstances or other people, including our kids, but we can manage our reaction to change…because the only certainty in life is that things will eventually change.
Chapter Fifteen: Leading By Example:
This chapter lays out the most important issue in disciplining teens: DO YOUR OWN WORK FIRST! If you tell your kids one thing and do another, they won’t listen to anything else you say. Be authentic, and examine your own actions, before punishing your teen for theirs.
Chapter Sixteen: Team Sports: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly:
This chapter describes the importance of shrinking the great big high school down to a smaller unit with extra-curricular activities. This allows your teens to find “their people” for support on the path to their dreams.
Chapter Seventeen: Self Care For Teens: Energy And Time Management:
This chapter lays out how important self-care is for teens; it’s equally important for parents. Self-care in the form of adequate sleep, exercise and nutrition is the first step to a joyful life.
Chapter Twenty: Crafting Your Own Parenting Plan:
This chapter lays out the Top 10 Hits of my parenting plan. You can use the ones that speak to you and toss the rest; I won’t mind!