If I Had a Parenting Do-Over: 7 Vital Changes I'd Make

If I Had a Parenting Do-Over: 7 Vital Changes I'd Make

by Jonathan McKee


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683220671
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/01/2017
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 396,859
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jonathan McKee is an expert on youth culture and the author of more than twenty books, including If I Had a Parenting Do Over; 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone-Obsessed Kid; The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers; and The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over twenty years of youth-ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide. For more from Jonathan, go to TheSource4Parents.com or follow him on Twitter.com/InJonathansHead.


Read an Excerpt

If I Had a Parenting Do-Over

7 Vital changes I'd Make

By Jonathan McKee

Barbour Publishing, Inc

Copyright © 2017 Jonathan McKee
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-68322-164-7



"My seventeen-year-old daughter won't even talk with me."

The middle-aged mom had wandered into my Get Your Teenager Talking workshop looking for answers. She dabbed at her eyes with a tissue, being careful not to smear her mascara. "I don't know what to do."

"Tell me about your conversations," I asked.

After a little digging, I listened as she recalled her last few conversations with her daughter. I use the word conversation loosely. More like interrogation.

• "Did you finish your homework?"

• "Did you clean your bathroom?"

• "What time did you get home last night?"

• "Were you with that boy Chris? I knew I shouldn't have let you hang out with that boy!"

As she unveiled what dialogue looked like in her home, the answer quickly became clear. Her daughter didn't want to talk with her mom because in her mind, her mom was acting like a parole officer searching for malfeasance.

Think about it. Would you want to answer this mom's questions? Probably not. You'd be scared your answers would get you in trouble.

That's why most of the dialogue in this home would be more accurately described as monologue. Mom talked. Daughter didn't.

As this woman shared her story, I immediately recognized her dilemma because I had made the same mistake with my oldest. My focus on boundaries had hindered bonding.

Bonding and Boundaries

At times these two important parenting practices seem almost at odds with each other.

Bonding is playing with your kid, going out for french fries, getting slaughtered by your son in the newest Madden game, laughing and talking together on a comfy couch in the corner of your daughter's favorite coffeehouse.

Boundaries is when we tell our kids it's time for bed, charge their phones on the kitchen counter while they're asleep, or tell them, "No, sorry, you can't stay out that late on Friday ... especially with that boy Chris!"

Both are essential, and most parents tend to gravitate toward one or the other.

Ask yourself, Which do I lean toward? Which would my kids say I lean toward?

Now ask yourself another question: Which of these two parenting practices do I think most parents look back at later and wish they had done more?

Since you read the opening chapter to this book, you probably can guess the answer. In fact, the number one parenting practice moms and dads shared with me where they experienced the most regret was in the area of bonding.

"I wish I would have spent more time with my kids."

It's the number one area where parents wish they could have a do-over. They wish they had connected with their kids more and just "hung out." In contrast, only a small handful of parents (less than 2 percent polled) said they wished they had applied more boundaries.

Let that sink in for a moment. Most parents enter into this parenting thing favoring either bonding or boundaries. Rarely is someone perfectly balanced. And after most parents finish raising their kids, the vast majority of them wish they would have tipped the scales toward bonding.

I know I wish I would have.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not in any way trying to convince you to let your kids do whatever they want. Not even close. Reread what I've written in the previous pages if you must. Both bonding and boundaries are equally important. What I'm trying to communicate is simply this: Don't skimp on bonding! Most parents look back and feel like they missed out on opportunities to bond and connect with their kids.

As I look back at how I parented my oldest, I definitely put too much weight on boundaries. When I walked into the room, I almost felt it my duty to be a drill sergeant, barking orders.

"Alec, shoes off the couch!"

"Put your glass on a coaster!"

Then I'd use the opportunity to question him, checking up on him.

"Did you finish your homework? Room clean? Trash taken out?"

As Alec grew into his teen years, I noticed something. When I'd walk in the room, he'd get nervous. He'd immediately start thinking, What am I doing wrong? I'm always doing something wrong.

Why did he think this?

Because that had become my job. To correct my kids.

My motives were pure. I wanted to teach my kids discipline and responsibility. Sadly, I believe my laser focus on boundaries hurt our relationship.

If our kids see us as drill sergeants, bonding will be hindered. Who wants to hang out with the parent who is making their life miserable?

Take this a step further. Who are they going to go to when they mess up or are facing a moral dilemma? Surely they won't go to the person who seems ready to pounce on them every time they do wrong.

If I share with Dad, I know he'll freak out!

If I ask Mom about this, she won't help meshe'll just bust me!

Here's where the parenting strategy becomes a little counterintuitive. We think strict boundaries will help teach our kids values. But if we put too much weight on boundaries and neglect bonding, then our kids won't feel safe to open up to us and we'll miss key opportunities to walk through life with them and teach them discernment. In other words, when Mom or Dad doesn't have a relationship with their kids, their kids tend to glean values and behaviors from other sources.

The parent who bonds with their kids has more opportunities to dialogue about real life. The closer the bond, the more they'll absorb.

Bonding opens the doorway to applying boundaries.

So do parents still need to provide boundaries?

Absolutely. Just not like a tyrant. Parents don't need to jump into inspection mode every time they see their kids.

So what does this actually look like day to day? How can we tip the scales toward bonding?

Connection Venues

The best way to tip the scales is by seeking out settings I like to call connection venues. This has become increasingly difficult in a world where people connect with screens more than they connect with human beings. And I'm not just talking about kids. The overwhelming majority of American moms and dads actually spend more time staring at a screen than talking with their spouse or kids. And now that most of us have access to mobile devices, our screen time is increasing, and good ol'-fashioned face-to-face time is decreasing.

What's the result?

Sadly, it's exactly what I shared at the beginning of this book. A huge number of parents are looking back in hindsight and wishing they had devoted more time to simply hanging out with their kids. "I would have worked less and played with them more!"

Have you ever spent time with someone lying on his or her deathbed? Those final moments often bring clarity to what we truly hold dear. Rarely do you see someone asking for their laptop so they can check their work e-mail. The typical request is to be surrounded by family and friends. Sometimes lifelong grudges are forgiven and forgotten in those final moments.

I've never heard someone say, "I wish I would have spent more time at the office!"

I've never heard someone say, "I wish I would have streamed more Netflix!"

People value connection with the people they care about. And we don't need to wait until our deathbed to initiate this kind of connection. We should be searching for any opportunity to connect while our kids are still young and in the home.

Think about the last time you engaged in a meaningful conversation with your kids. Where were you? What initiated that conversation? Is that something you can duplicate and try again?

Note: I didn't ask when you last "exchanged words with your kids." I want you to think about the last time you sat down and truly talked, laughed together, or cried together. What was it about this venue that kindled that kind of conversation?

When I ask parents where this kind of meaningful dialogue occurs in their home, the setting I hear more than any other is the family dinner. In fact, in my survey of what parents would do over, I kept hearing moms and dads say, "More family dinners."

The family dinner is one of those staple connection points for families. Most people use their hands to eat, so that typically means setting the phone or tablet aside ... for a few minutes, at least.

Our family even declared family dinners tech free. We called it "No Tech at the Table." Funny ... more conversation happened at our family dinners than in almost any other setting. Think about that for a second. In this particular situation, our boundary of "No Tech at the Table" opened the doorway to bonding moments. As you can see, boundaries can help create an atmosphere where bonding takes place.

We need to be on the lookout for places where meaningful communication occurs in our homes and be proactive to seek out these venues.

Where are these connection venues in your home?

In a world so full of distractions, parents are beginning to take notice of these venues where their kids almost naturally open up. Another one of these settings is bedtime. An empty-nester parent shared with me:

I wish I had cherished bedtime more than I did. I used to pray with my kids and tuck them in when they were young, but the routine eventually faded. However, every once in a while when I'd take the time to tuck them in, it usually resulted in a pleasant conversation. Something about them being tucked neatly in their bedsheets. It's like the sleepiness made them chattier than normal.

It's interesting to observe which of these connection venues work with your own kids. Different young people will respond to different venues. I became so fascinated by these kinds of settings I wrote an entire book on the subject, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid, providing dozens of ideas for connecting with today's kids who typically won't pry their eyes from their mobile devices.

Ask yourself: Where do my kids tend to open up more and engage in meaningful conversation? How can I create more of these opportunities in our typical weekly schedule?

I'll be honest with you. Bonding takes time. That's why you shouldn't overthink it. If you see an opportunity ...


Just say yes to any opportunity to bond, no matter how inconvenient. I call this the "yes factor." I tried this with my younger two kids, and the results were revolutionary.

No joke — this morning, as I write this — my eighteen-year-old daughter, Ashley, came up to me and asked, "Dad, do you want to go on a bike ride?"

Allow me to put this into perspective. This is an eighteen-year-old asking her parent to do something together. This isn't a four-year-old. When my kids were four, they asked me to do something with them every ten minutes.

"Daddy, will you play Barbies with me?"

"Daddy, will you watch Aladdin with me?"

"Daddy, will you play Velociraptor with me?"

When our kids become teenagers, everything changes. Many parents can count on one hand how many times their teen asked them to hang out in any given month ... or year.

Ashley is pretty social, and we hang out quite a bit. So when she asked me to ride bikes this morning, I hesitated. Not because I didn't want to ride bikes and not because I didn't want to hang out with Ashley, but probably for the same reason many of you would have hesitated. My schedule is jam-packed right now! And when life's to-do list is stacked to the ceiling, "hanging out" seems to get shoved to the back burner.

I easily thought of twenty plausible reasons why I should say no: I've been gone the last three weekends in a row speaking, I have two book deadlines in the next forty-five days, I have two articles due in the next four days, I've got a stack of administrative tasks in my inbox, and work aside, my backyard is a mess, I promised my wife I'd help her shop for a present for my other daughter, Alyssa, today ... the list goes on. My guess is you have a list that rivals mine.

Every ounce of wisdom in my body was saying, "Jonathan, it's completely reasonable for you to say no. She'll understand."

So I gave her my answer.

"Yes. I'd love to."

So we ventured on a one-hour bike ride on a trail that parallels the American River not twelve minutes from my house. And it was one of the most rewarding times I've had with Ashley in months.

Maybe it's because I actually listened to my own advice from my previous book about connecting with the smartphone generation. One of the ways to connect with today's overconnected kids is seeking out settings where kids naturally break free from their devices to enjoy their immediate surroundings. Bike rides are a nobrainer. It's hard to text while riding a bike.

That's probably why Ashley and I literally talked for an hour without a single interruption (well ... besides the squirrel I almost hit as it darted across the bike path). We talked about movies, music, college, friendships, conflict, and personality types. We even talked about parenting. It was probably one of the deeper talks we've had in a while.

All because I simply said yes.

I didn't always say yes.

Sadly, this experience with Ashley only happened because I learned the hard way that saying no is a mistake. My parenting repertoire is filled with stories of feeling too busy, too overwhelmed, burning the candle at both ends; you probably know the feeling. It's these times I answer with the most logical response when a person doesn't have any time. Like the time my son Alec asked me if I wanted to play video games with him. I can remember the moment like it was yesterday.

He was in his late teens, working almost every day after school, and had an internship at church. It was an extremely busy time in his life. My schedule was very comparable. I worked full-time writing and speaking, was attending graduate school, volunteered at the church, was raising three kids — not a lot of free time.

Alec poked his head into my office one Friday and simply asked, "Dad, do you wanna play Xbox?"

I was finishing some last-minute prep for a parenting workshop I was teaching that weekend. The next morning I was going to leave the house at 3:30 a.m. on the first flight out. With time in airports, two planes, and a rental car, I'd travel over ten hours across the country (the problem with living in California and frequently speaking on the East Coast) then teach a two-hour workshop Saturday night, preach the morning services at a church Sunday morning, then teach a parenting workshop that afternoon. I had about seven items to finish on my to-do list, and playing video games just didn't seem wise, if even possible.

I can't remember my exact words, but they were something like, "Sorry, Alec, but I've got to finish my workshop helping other moms and dads be good parents."

Yes, the word irony comes to mind.

He wasn't brokenhearted. He was actually very kind about it. I can still see the expression on his face. "That's okay, Dad. I understand. I know you'll do a good job."

Fast-forward two days later when in the middle of my parenting workshop I gave the parents a "self-quiz" that helped them look introspectively at how well they knew their kids. As they sat in their seats, pens and pencils busily scratching out answers, I read through the questions myself while standing onstage waiting. As a joke, I played the famous '70s folk song "Cat's in the Cradle," in which a dad expresses his parenting regrets. I jested that they shouldn't feel guilty if they did poorly on the quiz.

That's when it happened.

I began reading my own quiz questions and my eyes rested on question number 13: "When is the last time you played with your kid?"

The lyrics to "Cat's in the Cradle" resounded in my ears: a kid asking his dad to throw a ball and the dad saying, "Not today."

I started full-on weeping.

I turned my back to the audience in hopes they wouldn't notice. I had forty-five seconds to pull it together. But first things first. I whipped my phone out of my pocket and texted my son:

Alec, I'm a turd! You asked me to play Xbox with you and I let my work interfere. I'll totally play Xbox with you when I get home tomorrow! You got time?

Not ten seconds later I got a text back: Sure. We'll blow away zombies!

The next day I got up bright and early and flew home (another ten-hour journey with a layover), and when my son walked in the door I was sitting on the couch with the controller in my hand. "You ready to show me how to play this thing?" And we played for almost two hours until he finally had to go to work.

Let me be very clear. Say yes to any opportunity to connect with your teenager.

Single-Parent/Split Homes

I have countless friends who are either raising their kids by themselves or shipping kids back and forth to a different parent because of a divorce or separation. These friends always ask me, "Jonathan, how does this work in a split home?"

I have good news for these parents. Everything I say about bonding in this book is 100 percent applicable to kids in split homes. Bonding is potent. The connection between parent and child is powerful. And single parents will want to strive to make these connections just like any other parent. So the first four vital changes we walk through in this book apply to all parents regardless of their family's makeup.


Excerpted from If I Had a Parenting Do-Over by Jonathan McKee. Copyright © 2017 Jonathan McKee. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Where I Messed Up,
Change 1: Tip the Scales,
Change 2: Let It Go,
Change 3: Notice,
Change 4: Press Pause,
Change 5: Segue,
Change 6: Add a Question Mark,
Change 7: Walk With,
What Now? 25 Ways to Apply What You've Just Read,

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If I Had a Parenting Do-Over: 7 Vital Changes I'd Make 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I Had a Parenting Do Over by Jonathan McKee has a great premise - the opportunity to learn from a REAL parent about REAL mistakes they made and how they would do it differently if they had a second chance. The book is written under the operative that hindsight is 20/20. McKee is a trusted author of other books I have read and would heartily endorse. Do Over is also endorsed by Jim Daly from Focus on the Family. McKee isolates the top seven changeable areas/issues that he has not only experienced as a parent of three but also heard about in his parenting seminars - circumstances that other parents have said they would have handled differently, in hindsight. Without giving away the seven areas for change (that would be a spoiler!) I will say that McKee provides real-life examples, conversations, and internal monologs that candidly illustrate some do's and don'ts without making parents (the readers) feel uncomfortable, shame, or regret. He then provides some simple "Live It Out" suggestions and questions for parents to consider, so they can apply what they learned and address issues that are cropping up in their own family circumstances. At first, I was not a fan of the book, because I am not the type of person who learns much by way of anecdote. I would just prefer straight-forward guidance. However, upon reading the book as a whole I would say there is a decent balance between story-telling, guidance, and application. I also appreciate that McKee includes adjustments and alternatives for different family situations, including single-parent families, adolescents, and families with younger children. Overall, I would generally recommend this practical book to any parent looking to make some positive changes to their family relationships. I need to mention, however, that there are very few biblical references in McKee's book - I only found Scripture on 6 pages out of 174 total pages. However, he includes references to Diane Sawyer, Gandhi, Stephen Covey, and The Washington Post. Don't misunderstand me - I realize that the Bible doesn't say anything about Netflix specifically, but I believe the Bible can provide guidance for EVERY area of our lives and we can apply that guidance to situations like watching too much TV. I mention this because this book is billed as a Christian book, endorsed by a Christian organization, and published by a Christian publisher. Just my two cents. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
PamMooney More than 1 year ago
A very well written and fun book on parenting with an emphasis on connecting with your kids. The best thing about this book is the practical advice that you can use immediately. I also enjoyed the "Living it out this week" section at the end of each chapter as it helps to discuss what you learned. I especially recommend this book to parents of teens where the connections are most tenuous and parental guidance is needed the most. A great book to read and share with others.
BHoward2 More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend the new book by Jonathan McKee, “If I Had a Parenting Do-Over”. The title piqued my interest right away. How many times have I thought this myself, if only I could go back and do things differently with MY kids. Jonathan McKee focuses on “7 vital changes” to make. In this day when we are often running from one activity to the next, and when so much free time is spent staring at our smartphones and other digital technology, McKee encourages parents to slow down and pay attention to their kids. “Just say yes to any opportunity to bond — no matter how inconvenient.” (p. 26) “By the time your kids are tweens or teens, I’d go out on a limb and say if they want to hang out with you, say yes every time.” (p. 34) Just this suggestion alone has made me pause and reconsider when my own kids ask me to join them in an activity. The years our kids are in our home go by so quickly. Every change the author discusses has the potential to make a difference in our relationships with our kids. He talks about “letting it go”, picking our battles, and postponing our reactions. He writes, “the simple act of pressing pause suppresses stupidity. . .We don’t have a do-over button, but we do have a pause button.” I was impressed by his challenge to “segue”, to have an end goal in mind and work to decrease our boundaries and limits for our kids over time so that we are helping them to become more independent and to be ready to make good choices when they are older. At the end of each chapter is a list of questions that we can use for our own reflecting or for discussing with a spouse or other parents. After reading this book, I am looking forward to reading other books by this author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
If I Had a Parenting Do-Over is a great parenting resource! Using his own expertise and experiences along with that of other parents, Jonathan McKee has identified 7 vital changes he would make if he had a parenting do-over. Thought-provoking and insightful, these “do-overs” offer practical actions and applications, as well as questions to use in discussions with your spouse or other parents. I really enjoyed McKee’s candor, appreciate the suggestions and tools he has provided, and look forward to implementing some of them in my own household. While everyone’s experiences are unique, If I Had a Parenting Do-Over offers helpful strategies and sage advice for all parents. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
elejw More than 1 year ago
If Only I Had This Book When I Began Parenting... This is by far one of the best books I have read on parenting in my twenty years of being a parent. My only regret is that this book was not published sooner. Jonathan McKee gives an insightful and honest look at parenting. He brings to the forefront the very issues we struggle with when trying to be good parents. He is spot on in describing the mistakes we make with our children, while attempting to the best parents for them. This is a book I will be sharing with family and friends who are still parenting. I definitely would recommend this book to all parents, but especially to parents of middle school and teens. It is the tool you and your child will benefit from as you make the vital changes suggested to your parenting style. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
kvwriter More than 1 year ago
If I Had a Parenting Do Over: 7 Vital Changes I’d Make by Jonathan McKee should be on every parent’s nightstand, on a kitchen counter or kept in the car for reading while at soccer or dance practice! This is by no means a typical parenting guide type of book. I’ve read so many of those when my boys were younger and found them to be heavy on the theory and science behind certain behavioral techniques and suggestions, if not quite heavy on lecturing the reader on “how to do it the RIGHT way.” This book was different and I noticed it immediately in the first chapter. It was a refreshing talk with a trusted friend, family member or neighbor. It felt like I was listening to that same friend share their struggles with parenting—what went wrong and what went right. So much I could relate to! The dialogue is very readable and enjoyable. It makes for a quick read yet one that you find yourself turning down pages and highlighting to remember. Full of practical advice, I was amazed at the sound advice presented throughout the book. Gone are the lectures or the “right way” or parenting as “one way only”. Instead the reading parent is moved by the overall premise of the book—no parent wants to look back and be full of regrets for not spending more quality time with their children. It really is that simple. And, it really is that important. What follows are countless suggestions for how to avoid that pitfall. I found that as I read, this is a book that is applicable at any stage of parenting—whether you are a new parent or an expecting parent…whether you have toddlers, preschoolers…elementary schoolers, middle schoolers, even high schoolers. All ages are applicable because the down to earth suggestions in this book are so easy to implement, yet so profound that parents can make an impact in the relationship with their child, regardless of age. There are so many pages in this book that I have folded down; for example: “looking for connection venues” with your child where you look for where it is that your kids are more likely to open up and engage in meaningful conversation. Understanding Social Media and how “likes” on a Facebook page or Instagram affect a child’s image. A four-step process to “let it go” including pausing, empathy and picking your battles. This method of dealing with potential conflicts isn’t just something to apply to parenting but is wonderful to use when communicating with anyone! I am truly so thankful to have had a chance to read this book. I feel that I am aware of things I want to change in my own parenting style and can’t wait to see the affects. This is one of the very best parenting books I have ever read—again, easy to read, short chapters, very practical yet backed by research, and leaving you with questions to ponder and suggestions to implement at the end of each chapter. This book goes on my recommended reading list for everyone I know for sure! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
What a great opportunity for us parents to learn from this author and all the feedback he has received about what they would change if they had to do it all over again, blessings and failures. The author shares a lot of his experience from years of youth ministry and being a dad himself. I loved that he shared personal experiences and he finishes the book really well (with Scripture). Personally, I have found a couple of things I’m looking forward to applying and in God’s grace and timing with His power at work in us; there is encouragement to press on for the glory of God. If you are completely discouraged or just looking for a great parenting book or somewhere in between this might just be the one. There’s always hope in finding a take away to start applying today.
gccbookworm More than 1 year ago
Parenting Do Over Have you ever had a day that you wished you could do over? Especially when it comes to your kids? I know I do. That's one reason why I wanted to read Jonathan McKee's book If I Had a Parenting Do Over. The book is neatly laid out in chapters of seven parenting changes if you had a do-over: bonding, don't sweat the small stuff, and pressing the pause button are examples. The last chapter talks about how to apply these changes which I found to be helpful. I would recommend this book for parents of tweens and teenagers to read before their kids enter these stages. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
SusanS More than 1 year ago
Jonathan McKee admits in his book If I Had a Parenting Do-Over he made some parenting mistakes. However he and his wife were not afraid to make changes, and he shares seven of them in this book. Each has its own chapter complete with examples, personal experiences, and how to improve our skills. One of my favorites is to hit the “pause” button. Looking back at my own parenting, I can see where there were times it would have been better to pause, think, regroup and then discipline. In addition to giving us seven things we can change, Mr. McKee also gives us twenty-five ways to apply the advice he gives in the chapters of his book. Additionally, the questions at the end of each chapter help us think through the information and advice he has provided. I recommend this book to anyone seeking to improve their parenting skills. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
LynlovesGod More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a fabulous book! When I first received If I Had a Parenting Do Over: 7 Vital Changes I'd Make, I thought it would be just another parenting book. And I've read countless of those! Was I surprised! First, the author Jonathan McKee comes to us from a place of "been there, done that." His tone is down-to-earth, real and understanding of how enormous and important the task of parenting is. He doesn't talk at us, but to us and with us as he humbly shares mistakes he made looking back, and then provides easy and doable corrections for those mistakes. For the average parent, this book won't have you completely deconstruct your parenting, but rather it will remind you of those things that are so very important but yet so easy to push to the side that effect our relationships with our children. The ending chapter, 25 Ways to Apply What You've Just Read, is a wonderful summary of 25 easy to implement ideas to change the tone of your home and parenting. It's easy to read a parenting book and get so flooded with ideas that you just don't know where to begin, therefore, not much gets implemented and nothing changes (ask me how I know!). This book will change that. It's an easy read, and will provide much encouragement and motivation to fine-tune our parenting, both for married parents and those flying solo. Happy parenting! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
MamaDuck661 More than 1 year ago
When my oldest child became a teenager, I made this comment to her during a discussion, “Unfortunately, when you were born, you did not arrive with an owner’s manual in your little hands. I wish you would have because it would make moments like this so much easier.” Talking to friends and colleagues, I know that I am not the only one that has felt this way. After reading Jonathan McKee’s book, If I Had a Parenting Do Over: 7 Vital Changes I’d Make, I think parents and educators might have an opportunity to read something that comes close to being an “owner’s manual” for communicating, mentoring, and parenting kids, especially teenagers. As a parent, educator, and administrator of middle school students, I found Mr. McKee’s advice positive and valuable for making connections with kids. This book will find a permanent home on my bookshelf so that I can reference it in the future. I will also recommend it to fellow educators, parents, and anyone that interacts with children. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Sylvia17 More than 1 year ago
This book takes an honest look at the power, privilege, pain, and panic of being a parent. The author offers a look at 7 changes he learned to make and included examples from his own parenting failures and successes. He also shares experiences from teaching seminars to both parents and teenagers. A truly wonderful set of lessons on raising kids, I wish this guide was handed out to every parent before they left the hospital with their newborn. No matter what age your kids are, this publication offers a glimpse at true-life applications on building a meaningful relationship with an individual you can not only love, but like and respect. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, Jonathan McKee is a wonderful author, this I say because his book was so easy to read, it flowed and generated ones interest from the get-go. His information was so well stated and enjoyable and true that I just sat there and agreed with all his words of wisdom. If I had parenting to do over again-after reading this book-I realize I'd be a much better mother and eventho I did think I did well, well, there was so much I missed.] His ideas, tips, were wonderful-such as spending more time with your children, just say yes, and take the time to be with them. By finding out what's taking the most of your time, you can cut out some stuff, ie.tv, social networks, sports, to use that time for your kids. I enjoyed his statement that teenagers are argumentative-boy, that was my girl, not so much the boys. To deal with that, just let it go as long as they're not rude. His advice was numbered 1. spot it 2. press pause 3. step into their shoes\hear their side. Be quick to listen\slow to speak 4. pick your battles. All and all I'd say every parent could gain a helping hand by reading this book. I enjoyed it and thank Barbour Publishing for giving me a complimentary copy of this book to read with no obligation to review. But how could I not it was so good.
Wanda_M More than 1 year ago
A fascinating book on a parenting do over, especially for those just starting a new family. This book would give them a heads up on the 7 vital changes. I especially like what McKee's dad said on page 97 in the opening discussion at one of the workshops, about anger. It showed me he had those managers thinking before they took any action on anything. In this awesome book, IF I HAD A PARENTING DO OVER: 7 VITAL CHANGES I'D MAKE, Jonathan McKee shows some wonderful courses of action on parenting by actually using some great phrases from the Bible to bring his point across. The title sent such a strong message it compelled me to read further. We all want to do our very best when it comes to raising our children to be strong adults, and to try and teach them the wisdom and experience to be able to raise their children to be strong adults too. In this parenting do over Jonathan McKee shows the reader, through his own parenting, what worked and what didn't work. To me, that showed an amazing skill in writing, and how the rules showed through when he talked about bonding time. I often ask myself this question. What other good choices could my husband and I have made with and for our children that might have made us better parents? And, speaking of questions, there were some wonderful questions throughout this book to help parents have great discussions with each other. When Jonathan McKee talks about anger and mentions Proverbs 15:1, I really like that. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." We should always strive to speak with a soft voice when talking to our children as much as possible. That, to me, cuts down on angry words that might lead to an argument which later on might lead to regret of spoken words. A great must read for all parents. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
DChatley More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend this book to parents of teenagers or preteens. Think of it as wisdom from experienced parents who have learned lessons in the trenches. And what a valuable resource as this book shares vital things the author and many of us parents would do differently as parents if given the chance. This a a true gem as most parents don't want to admit their mistakes but these true life lessons are timeless for today's parents. A couple of key takeaways for me were the focus on bonding versus boundaries and finding the right balance and taking time to notice. On bonding and boundaries I'm going to paraphrase two sentences by the author: bonding opens doorway to applying boundaries. And boundaries create atmosphere where bonding can take place. We need both in our relationship with our kids. On taking notice, the secret to better communication is to listen before we utter a word and to be intentional about seeking out natural conversation times like car rides. A couple of key features in this book help us patents in applying the wisdom found within. First of all each chapter ends with questions to help us process the chapter and apply it to our lives. My favorite part is the last chapter which gives 25 practical ways to apply what you just learned. So this book is not just theory, it comes to where the rubber meets the road and tells us how to be better parents. Note I stated that I recommended this for parents of teens and preteens and that is where the focus is. However it would be a good read for parents of younger children to prepare them. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.