The Parenting Breakthrough: A Real-Life Plan to Teach Your Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent (Paperback)(edit)
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Fun and practical, author Merrilee Boyack will have readers laughing out loud as well as feeling grateful for her parenting advice. She's a mom who's spent the last 22 years in the real-life work of parenting. “I have four sons, 13, 15, 17 and 22. You know what that means,” she writes. “I'm an absolute expert in raising children 23 and older.” Merrilee offers the “LDS parenting owner's manual they forgot to give you” for training kids — from toddlers to teens — to be independent. It includes ideas for how to teach kids about money, investing, debt, and the importance of earning their own money; how to help children with emotional and spiritual development; and much more.
About the Author
Merrilee Boyack is a crazed woman who loves eating out and taking naps when she can. She is an estate-planning attorney who conducts her law practice from home. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in business management—finance, and from University of Santa Clara Law School. Merrilee is also a professional lecturer, featured for many years at BYU Education Week, and a published author. Her interests include reading, camping, talking, eating, and helping children in Africa. She’s now a pesco-vegetarian and is having to relearn how to cook!
She is the author of several books and talks, including The Parenting Breakthrough, Strangling Your Husband Is Not an Option; Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy; and her most recent, In Trying Times, Just Keep Trying. Merrilee and her husband, Steve, reside in Poway, California, and have four sons, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way!
Finally, an instruction manual for parenting!
by Dorothy - reviewed on January 29, 2007
This is the most amazing parenting book ever written! Merrilee has written the instruction manual your kids didn't come with! I love her down to earth, practical approach. I can't wait to develop the Master Plan!
A WONDERFUL resource!
by Customer - reviewed on August 08, 2005
Thank you for writing a book that not only asserts we must take control of our children so that they can control themselves, but for giving ideas on how to do it. I picked up your book while I was waiting for my mother in a book store and found the chapter I was looking at quite funny, so I decided it couldn't hurt to own one more book on parenting ideas, especially if it was going to be enjoyable. , Well, I couldn't put the darn thing down. I have been praying for ideas on how to raise my children to be responsible for their actions and respectful to those around them. I know that following the scriptures and the counsel of our prophet is the absolute most important way to do this, but a book like this one is a WONDERFUL resource. I have two children, both under four, and finding this book right now was perfect timing. This book has reaffirmed the way I feel about raising children, I feel like a parent taking control of my family. Thank you for sharing The Plan. It has given me a more tangible reminder of what it is I'm doing as a parent. , Bethany Haskett Logan, UT
My kids don't know what's going to hit them!
by Customer - reviewed on August 15, 2005
Your book is an answer to prayer! I couldn't put it down. The funny thing is that it is all so common sense. Thanks for writing such a consice, simplistic, REALISTIC solution for parenting. , Heather Sandy Pocatello, ID
I can't wait to get started!!!
by Customer - reviewed on August 15, 2005
Yay! I just finished The Parenting Breakthrough and I loved it! I thought I was doing pretty well at teaching my kids (2 boys, age 8 and 4, 1 girl, 11 months) to be independent but I can see a few things I might need to start on sooner. I'm making every friend I have read this book-it's invaluable. Just today we had a chat with our sons about some 'changes' that will be happening (evil chuckle). I can't wait to get started!!! , , Kendall Denney Ogden, UT
by Mary - reviewed on November 07, 2008
This book has really made me think about what lessons I want to teach my children and how to go about actually teaching them. It's also made me realiz WHY I feel I need to keep helping them learn the value of certain skills. Some things are easier to teach than others so I'm keeping this book on hand as a reference book!
by chris - reviewed on June 03, 2008
What a fantastic book!!! I wish I would have found it years ago. It is such a great and specific plan to help raise independent children. I love to learn more about effective parenting and this book was so helpful. I wish Merilee was my neighbor so I could pick her brain even more!!!
I instantly knew I was going to buy it!
by Customer - reviewed on August 08, 2005
I love any book that gives me new ideas on getting my kids to work. The clerk at the store began raving about this book to another customer, saying, 'Of all the new releases, this is the one book I have eagerly anticipated reading. The author is so funny and the book is fantastic. You will read it laughing, saying, I know EXACTLY what she is talking about!' I knew I was going to buy a great book. Anyway, this is a fantastic book and I am now sitting here working on my 'PLAN'. I took this book to the pool with me while I watched my kids swim and about 6 other mothers came to ask what I was reading. Needless to say, I got them really excited about getting their own copy. Great job! Becca Farley, Roosevelt, UT
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!
by Stephanie - reviewed on June 05, 2006
I absolutely loved the book! I found myself actually bursting out loud laughing at times as, of course, I could relate. My children would say, 'Mom, you're scaring us.' It was such a joy to read and my children are already on 'The Plan' and happy and excited about their new road to independence. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
by Customer - reviewed on March 30, 2008
Its been said before, but this is the best parenting book I have read. It is practical, fun to read, and full of ideas which will change your life. It provides your children with ways to gain experience, knowledge and direction. I hope my children will have many friends who were raised by parents who used this book. If I had to describe it in one word I would choose empowering.
This Is The Instruction Manual That Hospitals Should Give To Every New Parent
by Elizabeth - reviewed on May 07, 2008
Awesome! This book should be the instruction manual that comes with every new baby! Parents will benefit greatly from Boyack's straight-forward style that encourages action, not guilt! So glad I read this! I am a better parent because of this book.
Brilliant and FUN!
by Marilee - reviewed on May 06, 2006
What a delightful book to read on a topic that can be more than overwhelming. I laughed, I plotted, I planned... all so I can raise great children. Thanks for the practical, smart ideas. My sister recommended this book to me and I've passed it along to several friends already. There are several more I can't wait to share it with. Thanks Merrilee for sharing your wisdom and wit with those of us wanting to raise truly independent children.
by Sarah - reviewed on July 20, 2010
I was given this book by a mother I adore and admire and she told me it was "a must read" to teach your children to work independently and to become self sufficient. I had already been using a great system called, Accountable Kids, so I was excited to get more information of what I can add and implement! I just got more and more excited as I read in finding out that I had already been doing some of the same things but didn't properly "train" my children to do the work the way it should be done. I highly recommend this read for us parents who want independent children and to train them to be accountable for their actions!
by Gina - reviewed on March 23, 2006
This book is absolutely amazing! I cannot wait until I can implement The Plan with my children. I am so lucky to have found this while my kids are still really young. I AM going to raise independent children who know the value of work. This book is for everyone, a must have!
Don't miss this one!
by jeanie - reviewed on January 17, 2006
Oh how I wish I would have had this book in my hands a few years ago! One of the best parenting books I've read. A book for the parent who is serious about raising children to become capable leaders. The book is packed with great ideas easy to implement, as well as encouragement to be strong to the resistance and tacktics of our children. Best of all Merrilee keeps it fun and light with her great sense of humor. The book is truly inspiring.
by Nikki - reviewed on October 30, 2008
I have four boys, just like Merilee, so I loved the common sense advice and ideas! I especially am grateful for the mission savings program she outlined. I am doing this with my own boys now.
The Toilet Book
by Dina - reviewed on April 18, 2007
My 5 year old refers to this book as 'the Toilet Book'. He will say 'Mom, will you look in the toilet book for what I need to learn next?' This works and it is incredible. I have a whole plan for my boys and they actually like it. Of course, they are only 3 and 5 years old. By the time they are teens, I'm hoping they will keep asking 'Mom, what do I get to learn next?'
An Amazing must have for all parents
by Dina - reviewed on October 03, 2005
I have read this book twice through in a weeks time. I have 2 boys, a 4 and 2 year old. My Aunt has raised 3 amazing boys and I am constantly asking her 'how did you do it' and she can never give me any specifics. Well, I am so excited to finally find someone who pinned it down and wrote it up. This is an incredible book with tons of great ideas about raising independant, loving, intelligent kids. I have already recommended it to 3 friends. I am so thrilled to be able to start this with my children who are still young...maybe I won't mess them up now!!!
A must read!
by Atzimba - reviewed on August 02, 2006
So, this is overdue! I read the book 9 months ago. Need to say that the principle of accountability behind what this book teaches makes it great and useful! Written in a fun, casual yet profound way. It's a must read if you really want to show your children how much you love them and to keep you sane and enjoy the journey! Thanks for sharing your insights Sister Boyack!
Best book on raising independent capable children
by Robyn - reviewed on November 11, 2008
We have read many, many parenting books and learned from them all, but this one has some things we never encountered in the others: a wry wit and sense of humor (Merilee-style), a list of activities/chores that children can/should learn to do at every age from 3-18, a realistic financial plan, including how to help your kids save about $12,000 between the ages of 11-18, service ideas, home life...the list goes on. It is fantastic and changing our family incredibly. Thanks, Sister Boyack!
by Hyrum - reviewed on January 05, 2007
I LOVE this book! It is practical and down to earth. The common sense approach is exactly what I needed to hear. Sometimes as parents we tend to be swayed by what 'everyone else is doing'. I used to feel a little uneasy because my kids were the only ones on the block making their own lunches and doing chores after school before they could play. Not any more- this book made me realize that I am giving my kids the greatest gift- the ability to get along without me! Plus the financial plan is WONDERFUL...something I plan to implement soon. THANK YOU!
A must read for all Moms (and Dads)
by Wendy - reviewed on March 10, 2006
This is one book that all parents should read, and impliment - even if in a version modified to your own family. Too many kids these days are self centered and unprepared for life. The book is enjoyable to read and gives simple to follow, valuable advice.
This is THE book to read for ideas on raising kids!
by Carrie - reviewed on October 01, 2008
I so wish I had discovered this book earlier before my first child had left home. There is still hope for the other three. Merrilee has written the definitive plan for raising independent, responsible, intelligent, compassionate and hard working kids who will grow up to be valuable members of their own families and contribute to the good of the community. Parents who follow this plan will create children who are not a burden to society. And she does it all with such great humor and common sense that you truly believe that anyone can do this! This book should be in the new parent packets they hand out in every hospital!!
This book is wonderful!!!!
by katie - reviewed on May 21, 2006
I own a ton of parenting books and haven't actually finished one until I bought this book. It was like talking to my sister or my best friend about how to solve our problems. I have actually bought this book twice, and I would buy it again, and definatly read it again and again.
by Customer - reviewed on November 21, 2008
This book was an easy read, with lots of practical advice.
This book is going to save my kids..and my sanity!
by Alisha - reviewed on July 18, 2006
I now realize that I can raise independent responsible children and I am SO looking forward to that! I am excited to teach and train my children in the skills that are needed for them to function as adults. This book gives the tools and knowledge needed so that those of us who have no clue (like myself) can rest assure knowing that I have something to follow and work with through the years. Merrilee is so funny and it sound just like a best friend filling you in on some of the best ways to raise your kids! I love the book and have started telling everyone about it. A DEFINATE need to read!
by Lorinda - reviewed on April 09, 2007
This parenting book is not your typical book that deals with discipline. It is a straightforward approach to raising independent kids and she (the author) even outlies a 'plan' for you. This is a must read for parents.
Every Mother Should Read This Book
by jenny - reviewed on September 13, 2006
This book was definatley worth reading. If you are a mother at any age, this book is a must!! I learned more from reading it than from any other parenting book I have read in the past. It was very easy to read and gave easy implementing ideas!!
If you only read one parenting book this is the one!!!
by Brandee - reviewed on September 14, 2007
My childrens and entire family future will be foever incredibly improved thanks to the information, insights and logic outlined in this one book. A thousand thanks to the Merrilee for creating and sharing such a incredible foundation!! AMAZING!!!!
by Annabeth - reviewed on October 06, 2007
Sister Boyack is inspired! Spend the money, buy the book. You will not be disappointed!
Very organized, yet funny and flexible!
by Cynthia - reviewed on August 24, 2009
This is just what I needed. I kept trying to do some kind of plan on my own, but this is much more organized which will help me be more flexible with my kids. Lucky me; they are still young. She includes things I never thought about, so now I have time to prepare to teach them.
Practical and Real
by Brianne - reviewed on June 05, 2008
I have great kids, but I am not a very well trained parent. I find myself always wondering how do I handle this sitution? I am too much of this and too little of that. Merrilee's book is amazing. I first listened to her CD 'Teaching Your Children to Fly.' I really enjoyed it so I bought her book. She is practical, real, funny, and understands real family's. I think I can really implement her ideas into our life-which means her advise is worthwhile. Thank you
Very Useful Book!
by Kerri - reviewed on August 12, 2007
I loved it! I have prepared my kids that tomorrow we start a new program around here and we are going to teach them lots of stuff that will help them in life. I even let my daughter crack eggs today which resulted in two 'almosts'--I gritted my teeth and smiled because 'I'm training her and this will pay off' ) and then a perfectly cracked egg resulted. So, I can see the results already. Thanks Merrilee!
Wish I'd Had This Earlier!
by Elizabeth A - reviewed on October 29, 2007
I am so impressed with the complete thoroughness the author addresses her topic. I have never heard of such a 'plan' before--always of the various things we should be teaching our children, but never a bonafide, ordered, age-appropriate PLAN! The Plan IS a bit awe-inspiring, and I admit I'm feeling a little overwhelmed (especially as my children are ages 3, 8, 11, 14, and 18 years old already, so I am BEHIND), but I figure 'better late than never' so I'll shoot to teach them ALL of it while I still can! All in all, this is DEFINITELY THE BEST HOW-TO PARENTING BOOK EVER WRITTEN--and I wish I'd had it years ago! --Elizabeth (San Jacinto, CA)
The most useful parenting book you can buy
by debbie jo - reviewed on February 11, 2008
Fabulous. Every baby shower should include a copy of this book. The most useful book I've read in years. Not just theory but stuff you can really use now and forever. Buy one for everyone you love.
by Heidi - reviewed on June 02, 2008
I have been thinking of how I can teach important life skills to my kids at each age, and 'The Plan' was a perfect fit! I couldn't agree more with Boyack's perspective in terms of the importance of teaching kids how to work and be independent! So many parents bypass chores in favor of activities and other things, but chores should be one of the most important activities our children do!
by Heidi - reviewed on March 19, 2008
This book has changed my parenting mentality and has made sense of the mundane. I now have a clear goal and the rational behind many parenting challenges, making them much easier to follow through with. This book has changed my attitude and has been life altering for my children in a very positive way.
BRINGS IT ALL TOGETHER
by Customer - reviewed on June 02, 2008
I am loving your book! My son recently turned 10 years old, school just let out, and we are ready for some independence. Your ideas are direct and clear. My husband and I, both psychologists, have been implementing behavioral principles for years, but we've lacked the future vision, i.e. 'plan,' that you so thoroughly elaborate - the missing link for our only child!
This Is What I've Always Wanted
by Cindy - reviewed on March 24, 2009
As the parents of 4 children I feel like I'm doing the best that I can, but didn't have a focus. This book, I feel, gave me a focus. I'm recommending it to all of my friends!
So good- bought it twice.
by larina - reviewed on May 24, 2011
Love the book. Loaned one out. Bought again. Love the book! I love how accessible all the information and ideas are.
Perspective changing - Loved it!
by David - reviewed on June 13, 2009
So few others give good, concrete, actionable advice for parenting that I found this incredibly helpful. This book gave me a fresh and appreciated perspective of our role as parents and stewards of our children's education. Thanks!!
This book is helping me to become the parent I want to be.
by Amy - reviewed on July 28, 2009
I am not much of a parenting book kind of gal, but I received this book as a gift and knew it was love from first read. I've re-read parts of this book over and over because it offers such clear, practical suggestions of how to raise responsible children. Merrilee's sense of humor and reality are a great combination in this invaluable book on training your children to work and feel good about themselves because of it. A "must read" for anyone with whiney children!
by Customer - reviewed on July 20, 2011
I am still reading, but am loving the information, ideas, and format!
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