We admit it…

Sometimes our kids make us proud. Sometimes we are left scratching our heads wondering how they manage to think their infuriating behavior is anywhere remotely acceptable. Today, on Mother’s Day, of all days, we had infuriating behavior in spades.

Now we know being a parent is no easy task. But after talking with teachers and our parents, siblings, and friends we have come to the conclusion our children rate a little higher than average on the difficulty score.

Getting the guide

Positive Parenting with a Plan, by Matthew A. Johnson, Psy.D.

Let me cut to the chase: we decided to give Positive Parenting with a Plan, by Matthew Johnson a try.

Figuring out which edition is the current one was not the easiest task. If you like, you can take advantage of the fruits of my labor:

My wife bought the paperback, and I bought the Kindle version. My long commute makes for long work days, and would have made it hard for both of us to finish reading a single copy quickly. Plus, this allowed us to compare notes as we progressed through the book.

Rather than bore you with gobs of detail about the book here, I’ll let you explore the book’s website and reviews available on the bookseller sites. Or if you prefer, you can come along for the ride on my blog, where I will explain more in future posts.

Starting the plan

We read the book and prepared most of our kit (tokens, list of rules, etc.) accordingly. Though not completely prepared, the kids’ behavior today demanded we start today. They were not too pleased about all the new rules. They were pleased to hear my wife and I have to follow the rules as well or incur the same consequences (one or more Good Habits cards–a set of punishments and non-punishments meant to encourage better behavioral habits). Following the rules earns reward tokens that can later be exchanged for one of the rewards from a list both kids helped make.

As I said before, I’ll explain more about the book and how we are doing with the plan as we make our way on this adventure. Wish us luck!



I can still hear the words my parents used to say out of sheer frustration with my siblings and me. “When you have kids, I hope they turn out to be just like you.”

My children often do what they know they shouldn’t, and they often don’t do what they know they should. And they behave this way repeatedly, even though they know there will be consequences.

Children are called a gift from God. But I am convinced they are also a lesson from God. “You are just like your kids.”


Shoes that won't stay tied

Shoes that won't stay tied

I have a pair of shoes I do not like to wear. They look fine enough, and they weigh considerably less than either of the pairs I regularly wear now. But I do not like them because they will not stay tied. I can even double-knot them, and they will still come untied.

My children, as many children do, often need to be told to do this and reminded to do that. On more trying days, they need to be told and reminded more than once. Sometimes many times. Frustrating. Like shoes that won’t stay tied.

I have another pair of shoes that I wear more frequently. Until now. They are in for repair, because the soles started coming unglued and separating. Not very attractive.

Sometimes I get angry when my children misbehave. It’s not pretty when I come unglued.