How The Parenting on Purpose DVD Series Has Helped Our Family - Pretty Real

How The Parenting on Purpose DVD Series Has Helped Our Family

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Parenting on Purpose DVD Series Review
I have three kids, all in different phases with varied needs, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. They exhibit all of the normal behaviors for their ages-- attitude, bickering, not picking up after themselves, lack of self control, etc. Juggling that was starting to feel overwhelming so I decided to get more intentional in my parenting. When a close friend/mentor suggested Parenting on Purpose, I was all over it. While my kids have some of the best qualities (you can read about those here and here), I know we can do a better job training them to be respectful and responsible. Today I'm sharing what I liked about Parenting on Purpose and how it's helped our family. 

Parenting on Purpose has 8 sessions. They are:

The Power of No!
The I.C.E. Plan
Learning Impulse Control
Raising a Responsible Child
The Decision Making Template
Training Your Child to be Financially Mature
Training Time Management
Personalizing Your Parenting Curriculum

This is a faith based curriculum so Dr. Bob Barnes uses scripture as the foundation of these techniques but in my opinion the advice he shares is relevant whether you are a Christian or not. The main focus of this curriculum is the power of no and that we are raising kids to become successful adults. Here's what I liked:

Parenting on Purpose Manual
What I Liked

It helps parents organize their parenting methods.
So much of discipline is organization. Being intentional requires organization- deciding ahead of time which behaviors warrant discipline, which character traits your'e focused on instilling, and what consequence to administer for which behavior. As life gets busier it gets more difficult to parent "off the cuff." I'm tired, busy, and forgetful. I like that this training manual gives you a method (ICE plan) to attack each issue as it arises.

It helps parents get on the same page.
Joe and I had already began having weekly meetings which has been SO good. But this curriculum encourages you to have "parental staff meetings" where you discuss parenting goals. Being with the kids most of the time made me feel two things: 1) that their discipline fell on my shoulders and 2) the consequences of inconsistent discipline also falls on my shoulders. If I'm being honest, I felt alone in this area. To be clear, Joe does discipline them and is also affected when we aren't consistent but because I'm with them so often it feels like I bear the brunt. Now that Joe and I are talking about it on a regular basis, I feel his support. Even though he's not with them during the day, I have an avenue to discuss problem areas and we brainstorm solutions together. Even when we fail, it feels like we're on the same team. This has made such a difference.
Parenting on Purpose with Dr. Bob Barnes

It gives us perspective.
Isn't it easy to get bogged down in the nitty gritty of everyday life? Listening to Dr. Barnes explain why he parented the way he did and describe the outcome motivates us to put the work in now for the delayed gratification of teens we enjoy later. We know there are no guarantees. We can do everything right and still have wayward children (that's why we need God's grace!) but I want to be able to say "no regrets." Constantly thinking about the type of adults we want our kids to become isn't easy, but it is important. Seemingly meaningless choices become critical. While that sounds like a burden, it's also a motivator. And I don't know about you but I need all the motivation I can get. Otherwise it's too easy to ignore bad behavior which serves as a glimpse into what's going on in our child's heart.

"...It's too easy to ignore bad behavior which serves as a glimpse into what's going on in our child's heart." Tweet This

It's made us aware.
After we watched "The Power of No!" I realized just how many times I say "no," but then allow the kids to talk me out of my no. While sometimes saying "no," was a knee jerk reaction, often I had a good reason but in my distracted state, allowed them to re-frame the issue. When I only had a 2 year old, I remember watching a parenting video (it was this one which is another I recommend) where the kid kept bugging the mom and the mom says yes after saying no. I scoffed. I thought to myself "That would just annoy me and I'd for sure not give in." Fast forward to eight years and 2 more kids later, exhaustion, busy-ness, and in the middle of the witching hour with 3 kids clamoring for dinner, my attention, daddy, whatever...and heck yeah. I sometimes say "fine!" when it's not fine. Not proud of that. Now I stop and catch myself before relenting and changing my 'no' to a yes and thinking through my answer in the first place. Does it really need to be no?

There are many more things I like about it but I'll move on!

How We've Implemented Parenting on Purpose
An Honest Review of Parenting on Purpose

We've outlined chores our kids are responsible for.
Gosh I've been a mess in this area. We ask our kids to help out and typically they do, but there was no consistent approach in place. We now have a chore chart and they each have a couple of things they are responsible to do daily and one weekly chore. They don't get paid for their chores; they get to live here. ;) We have offered cash for "extra" tasks but so far no one has taken us up on that (which proves they aren't desperate!). Eventually we will offer an allowance (this is discussed in session 6), but aren't quite ready to do that yet.

We stopped constantly reminding them and warning them.
This is SO difficult for me. Some people are natural disciplinarians. I am not. I'm also tired which affects my parenting. This is defined in the book as:

low battery authority: Your discipline is gauged by your energy level. The children learn this is the best time to take you on. #guilty.

There was some anxiety once I resolved to stop warning and reminding them, but then there was peace. I hate repeating myself over and over again and even I know my threats are empty half the time. So now, I can just let the actions speak for themselves. The book describes it as the child vs. the child rather than the child vs. the parent. In other words when you do X, Y happens. It has nothing to do with mom or dad. When you forget to make your bed, you go to bed early. The end. No negotiating, no guessing, no arguing. It seems counter intuitive but it brings peace.
Parenting on Purpose Review

We "go crazy" celebrating their successes.
While we definitely encourage our kids, somewhere along the way I got it in my head that I shouldn't be jumping up and down every time they listen to me. They should listen to me! But the fact is I don't want my parenting to be all consequences, no affirmation. Just today, I heard an author say "parenting is half boundaries, half bonding." If there's a way to bond over boundaries, I'm all over it. We "go crazy" when they remember to take their dishes from the table. I make a point almost every day to tell them "great job for remembering to make your bed today!" or "Wow, thanks for listening the first time!" etc. Sometimes we literally jump up and down. We hug them, kiss them, call out to one another "hey Joe! Genevieve just did a GREAT job cleaning the bathroom," etc. They get a kick out of it and it ensures that we aren't focused solely on the negative.

"Parenting is half boundaries, half bonding." Tweet This

Our 'no' means 'no.' 
This is just what it seems. No more arguing, bickering, back talk, etc. When I say "no," I mean it! I've seen a difference in behavior- especially Genevieve when I say no. She accepts it more readily than she used to. The purpose of this is to train the child to tell herself no. That way when we aren't there dragging them out of bed in the morning or out of that wild party, they are responsible enough to do it themselves. They've learned to tell themselves no, and mean it.

We feel more peace and unity in our home and in our parenting.
There's more work to be done in terms of consistency but having a plan is half the battle and now we have one! Talking about it regularly (without me feeling like a nag) is another important component and we have that too! So though things aren't perfect, I'd say they've improved and I feel so much better about where things stand. Of course we're just coming back from a weekend away and my kids are just awful when traveling (excitement + late bedtimes + lax parenting + too much junk food is just not a good combo!) so I'm feeling like we have to reel things back in but we're just getting started!
Parenting on Purpose Review

I should say we still have 2 sessions to do. I'm especially excited to do the final session. I should also add that there was nothing we didn't like about this but there were a few things that are worth mentioning.

1. This works well for older kids. I love this for elementary school aged kids. When our kids were younger we did "Growing Kids God's Way" which built a great foundation for toddlers. Though I think this would be a great tool for a parent of kids at any age, I think it's especially helpful for parents of  kids 5 and up.
How the Parenting on Purpose DVD Series has helped our family

2. While the author uses scripture, the training isn't as steeply rooted in scripture as other parenting books we've read. If you're looking solely for advice on shaping your child's heart or growing their faith, there are other curriculum that are stronger. That said, there is plenty of scripture and character building. In addition, it is from a biblical worldview.

The fear of publicly stating that you are working on your parenting is that a mom friend sees your crazy kiddos in Target and thinks to herself "well it's not working." ha! Regardless I'm putting it out there for a couple of reasons- 1) I can't be the only who struggles. 2) Working on it is better than being indifferent. 3) It might help someone else! Speaking of someone else, I hope something here has been useful to you. If you struggle with intentional parenting, you're not alone! And if you're looking to expand your toolbox when to comes to parenting methods, I'd encourage you to consider this curriculum! I purchased it here but you can read more about it and also purchase it here.

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