Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family

Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family

by Phillip C. McGraw
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Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family by Phillip C. McGraw

Do you feel that your family is not what it used to be, or what it has the potential to be? Do you worry that the parenting decisions you're making today may be scarring your child for life? Do you sometimes feel you are in a tug-of-war with the world over who will shape your child's values and beliefs?

With Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family, Dr. Phil offers a new classic on family life—and gives parents real answers and a plan for being the most positive and effective parents possible. Starting right now, you can begin to make realistic choices and take day-to-day actions that can make your family phenomenal. You must decide that you will lead your family with strength and love and that peace and joy are not just for the people next door or on TV. They're for your family.

In Family First, Dr. Phil gives it to parents straight: even in this fast-paced world your family should be the center of your life and your child's life. Parenting is the most important and noble act you will ever undertake, yet American families are threatened like never before from the inside as well as the outside—many of us fight too much, don't get involved enough in our children's lives, or get bogged down in life's daily struggles instead of keeping our eye on the big picture of our family's well-being.

Dr. Phil has been working with families for over twenty-five years to help them repair the fissures that have fractured their home lives. In Family First, he provides a proven action plan to help parents determine the strengths and weaknesses of their parenting style. His seven tools for purposeful parenting cover the most important elements for any parent: parenting for success—for the purpose of raising cooperative, caring, and competent children. Exercises, scripts, assessments, solutions for specific problems, and precise directions for implementing the steps you need to take are all included in this landmark work.

Dr. Phil shows parents how to make changes now—how to put a stop to your children's tantrums; talk to them about peer pressure or self-esteem; instill values like integrity, honesty, and respect for other people; and bring order back to your house. If you want your child to have a happy, fulfilled life, you must open your eyes to the crucial role you play in his or her development.

Most importantly, Dr. Phil's new book offers you and your family hope—for a phenomenal home life now, and a productive, fulfilling future for your children. As Dr. Phil says, you are not just raising children, you are also raising adults, and everything you do today impacts what kind of adult your child will become. You are building the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743273770
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 09/13/2005
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 99,685
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

"Dr. Phil" (Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D.) is the host of America’s number-one daytime talk show and is perhaps the most well-known expert in the field of psychology and human functioning in the world today. In his 16th year on television and his 11th year of the Dr. Phil show, he has devoted his international platform to delivering common sense information to individuals and families seeking to improve their lives. Passionately pursuing such topics as family functioning, domestic violence, anti-bullying, addiction and the myths of mental illness, he works tirelessly both on and off the air. Dr. Phil has carried his message from the senate chambers of Washington, D.C. to the suburbs and inner cities across America. He and Robin, his wife of 38 years and counting, along with their "wonder dog," Maggie, reside in Southern California, as do his two sons, Jordan and Jay, along with daughter-in-law, Erica, and two grandchildren, Avery Elizabeth and London Phillip.


Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:



Attended University of Tulsa; B.A., Midwestern State; Ph.D. in psychology, University of North Texas, 1979

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Family First 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While a lot of Dr. Phil's 'reveleations' are obvious to many of us who have dedicated ourselves to parenting our children, they may be precisely the same things those of us who are not so into parenting (and who don't want to listen to those who are better at the game) are not aware of. Phil's sometimes bombastic way of communicating can be just the right thing to cut through the noise in one's head. I was looking for something simple and basic to give to my husband for Father's Day and he's getting 'Family First' on audiocassette so he can listen to it in his car -- no excuses!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Getting divorced is a real challenge when you both share custody of your 2 precious children. Ours are only 3 and 5 years old. We each have recently remarried and both deeply love our children unconditionally. Dr. Phil's advice in this book was just what we needed. His down-to-earth 'tell it like it is' style asked the questions of us that we needed to answer from the perspective as to what is best for the children. His comments are thoughtful and practical and get down to the real nitty-gritty of the issues at from psychobabble. His insight and teachings are truly simple (however, not necessarily easy to do) involving developing better ways of communicating and understanding one another. I really appreciate that he respects this particular blended family constellation which he does not view as 'broken' and that gives us more motivation to let go of our guilt and anger and make the right choices for the best life possible for all concerned. As far as the deep, detailed probe into the specific 'whys' and 'hows' of what has happened in each of our lives is not as important to us as the immediate focus in learning how to make our lives 'work' where we're at right now. Dr. Phil was just what we needed...and we actually found him to be a kinder gentler man in the book than he appears sometimes on TV. Because of his advice, we now communicate...getting together as '4' parents every 3 weeks at a restaurant and are surprising able to discuss things as they come up relating to our children. It isn't always easy or without argument, but we are develping the confidence to take ownership of the problems and are trying to work out the solutions...and WE ARE DOING IT!!! Thank you, Dr. Phil...It is amazing that we all all getting along better and see positive changes in our behavior as well as in the behavior of our children. If you have children 2-6 years old, I also wish to recommend a compatible book called 'The Pocket Parent' which is an easy reference A-Z guide for all of us. This book clearly addresses the most challenging toddler behaviors that test our sanity such as: sibling fights, disrespectful attitude, lying, bedtime and mealtime refusals, the gimmes, not listening and whining. FAMILY FIRST and POCKET PARENT have helped us gain better control of ourselves as well as the children...far more than the expensive family therapy we tried for four months that seemed to only add fuel to the fire of the feuding families rather than guiding us to more understanding, cooperation and peace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Just get over yourself. Your family has to come first.' - Dr. Phil McGraw. That says a lot about this book. Dr. Phil's no-nonsense approach and insight coupled with his 'ABC Steps' make this a valuable guide for parents to restructure their priorities and relationships. Dr. Phil always has told it like it is. In 'Family First', Dr. Phil tells you specifically and directly what to say, what to think, and how to act. Follow the guidelines in this book and you will see a difference - I have. It is almost like having Dr. Phil for your very own guide and mentor - more like a parenting/marriage coach. In 'Family First', Dr. Phil talks about the rhythm of the family, or family traditions, rituals and patterns of predictability. For example, he had a ritual in his own family of putting his boys to bed with a story. It sounds so simple, but once I started that with my own children, I saw immediate and powerful changes in our relationship. Thanks Dr. Phil.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book for parents whoose kids are just starting out at school and who might need alittle encouragement for some family values.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw Dr. Phil's 2 Hour TV special and immediately bought his book. What I really like is that he helps you recognize the problem and gives you guidance in making 'a plan' to change for the better. Although Phil's style is to tell it like it is, each scenario holds hope for a positve change in behavior to better the communication and cooperation within the family. He explains many practical strategies that actually work on people of all ages. I really liked the point he makes regarding how many times we automatically tell young children (who often tune us out) what they CAN'T 'Stop that!'...'Don't touch that!' rather than telling them specifically what they CAN do in a calm voice...Although this technique does not come naturally and takes thought to works! I have a 3 and 5 year old and have found this tip to be extremely effective. If you have toddlers or preschoolers I would also like to recommend 'The Pocket Parent' written only for moms and dads of 2-5 year olds. I really like these two books filled with insight, tons of practical things to try and a sense of humor which have served to jump start the positive changes in our family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found Dr. Phil's common-sense, tough-love advice for putting your family first very appealing and helpful. Dr. Phil tackles the issue of putting your family's needs before your own, which is a difficult thing for men (and women) to understand, since we equate success with happiness. My other favorite book about family life is the hilarious 'I Sleep At Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets,' by Bruce Stockler, about a man discovering his priorities under extreme pressure.
JasonBrinn More than 1 year ago
I was NEVER a fan of Dr. Phil in the past. At least not until I started reading his work and actually listening to what he had to say. The moment I did I realized that this man is not just another talk show fly-by-night pseudo "know-it-all." This man and his work is relateable and just plain real. He writes in a way that is easy to read and not full of five dollar words to make him look smart either. Even if you do not have a Family, this book is worth the read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think every family of every age needs to read this book to bring back family values. Dr. Phil talks about all different situation in family lifes. This book sure made me look in the mirror and see myself and see where changes need to be made.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I wanted to find out what all of the buzz about Dr. Phil was all about, and because I thought it might actually help me and my family become closer. Well, I can honestly say, that I have no idea why people pay any attention to this guy. The book is a non-stop stream of easy answers, condescending retoric and plain old pyschobabble. If you are really interested in helping your family's relationship I would recommend investing in a book by an established and reputable doctor rather than a TV hack. Leave this book to the Oprah set, they deserve it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book complicate things and I did not enjoy it at all. Yes it expound on some needed topics, however, it is not realistic as one would think. It has more of a description of family for hollywood or rich people, I look for a book that is real for all people and cultures.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Phil is right on with the values that today's families are trying ot instill. Raising kids today is not easy, given today's culture, however, Dr. Phil makes you feel that it is possible to resist the pull to be like all the other families out there chasing what they think is the the American Dream. We can't give in to our children so easily and abdicate responsibility. Dr. Phil is a Texan who means what he says and says what he means. We need more of his folk around here!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phil states the obvious then claims ownership to ideas that are intuitive to many parents and families. Let's summarizing the pertinent points of Family First: 1. Your family is important. 2. If you prioritize your family you will experience healthy consequences and have healthier children. With that said, how do you achieve this if, by chance, you lack the critical skills and experience to incorporate this belief into your familial relations? Well, this is where Family First comes up short. This is a complicated process and goes well beyond Phil's over simplified 'step-by-step plan.' Sure, read Family First if you are a Dr. Phil fan, then quickly move on to other more competent books such as 'Systemic Parenting: An Exploration of the Parenting Big Picture' (Gaskill) and 'Parenting from the Inside Out: How A Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive' (Siegel & Hartzell). These books were written by seasoned therapists who seem have greater experience working the real life challenges that face families and parents. These authors may not have afternoon TV shows - that's probably because they recognize there are few 30 second soundbite solutions, or simple step-by-step plans, that effectively address the real life situations we all encounter. I've read all three and would suggest that you forego Family First and go straight to the parenting and family resources that are more likely to be helpful. One person's opinion.