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on August 31, 2011
OK, my guess is that the vast majority of people who buy this book are Mormon, or know that it's written by a Mormon Mom, etc. The Deseret Books published would be a hint for those in the know--but as I live far from Utah, I'm not "in the know."

Nonetheless, even though I'm not Mormon, I still found this book quite entertaining and useful. Let's be honest, a lot of great Mormon Moms and Dads have written some great parenting/family books--Stephen Covey, Richard and Linda Eyre, etc.

There's a mix of new and old here. The chores/plan reminded me a bit of other books I have bought such as, "Children Who Do Too Little" and "401 Ways to Get Your Kids to Work at Home." You can also google age appropriate chores, etc. to get an idea what to have. As for skills--when they need them--that's more personal. I really liked the author's idea of having kids responsible for clothing and school supplies as teens (twelve in her book)--and offering a budget. That's a great and important tool to teach.

Where I think this book shines is in the way its written, the humor, and the faith within (even if it's not my faith). I really liked the emphasis on values and a family motto/mission statement as well.

Well worth the money.
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on November 3, 2005
I consider myself an avid collector of "parenting" books. I love being a parent and am always looking for new ideas on how to improve. I also consider a book worth the cover if I take one truly great idea, thought, or tip from it. Well, this book has "paid" for itself DOZENS of times in the past week of my reading it. I've never had so much fun reading a parenting book (I find myself snorting with laughter!) and so anxious to run and implement the ideas. Merrilee has a gift for instilliing confidence in you just by reading her no-nonsense and witty approach. The neat thing about this book is that it covers ALL levels of parenting (from the totally "I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing here!" to the "hey, I think I'm pretty good, doing but could always do better.") If you plan (not just hope!) to raise INDEPENDENT, COMPETENT, CONFIDENT, PRODUCTIVE, HARD WORKING, WELL ADJUSTED, FRUGAL, GRATEFUL young adults...and would like some excellent advice from a smart lady who is...READ THIS BOOK!!! It is soooo readable and doable. Your children will thank you for this one!
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on February 19, 2015
When I was only 40% through the book, I thought that she could end the book right there and I would consider the price worth it. But she didn't. When I was 52% of the way through the book, I thought she could end the book right there and I would be ecstatic at the worth I received. But she didn't. I am currently at 64% and I am over the moon about this book! Read the free preview and the table of contents to see what is included (no point in repeating it here). You'll quickly note the author's humorous and done to earth tone.

A couple of disclaimers:
1. I am a very fast reader, but it has taken me a week to get to 64%. This is NOT a quick read. Also, you will need to read it all the way through once, then read it and apply the ideas one small section at a time. It's that jam packed full of great ideas.
2. This is not a chore chart or how to get your kids to clean hack book. Although it does include some of that, this turned out to be more of a plan for your kids' childhood years.
3. You probably won't be able to read any entertaining books on your kindle if you're reading this on your kindle. Every time I went to read something light, my kindle opened to the last page of the book I was reading when I shut it off the last time, which was this book. A glance at the page and I would surface 30 minutes later, refreshed and still reading this book. The author's tone just sucks you in and you can't help but enjoy it.
4. The author assumes you are LDS. I'm not. I'm not even Christian. However, if you go into the book knowing that, it ceases to matter in the slightest. This is a good guide for any family, whether you want your family to follow her religion, your religion, my religion, or just general morality. Just keep in mind, if you aren't LDS, you may have some confusion when she mentions wards, stakes, various societies, and other things that are common to LDS life. By the way, wards and stakes are not what they sound like. I think they're religious community boundaries. Like school zones and county lines?
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on December 5, 2005
This is the only one you need. Allowance, discipline, work... I didn't realize all of the things that my kids should be able to do and I look forward to teaching them step by step so that they will be prepared for the real world. What a wonderful book. I recommended it to a friend. After she read it, she bought two more copies for herself.
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on March 27, 2012
While I did not necessarily love Mrs. Boyack's writing style (just a personal preference), the advice in this book was good and definitely not common in the world of parenting suggestions. She presents a well thought-out approach to parenting and gives common sense suggestions for how to make a plan to accomplish your parenting goals. My beliefs and goals may not be the same as hers, but the basic advice is great and the plans are easy to modify to your family's goals. I think the main thing that you will get out of this is the idea to make a plan. You ARE teaching your children something about life and their responsibilities all the time - if you aren't consciously working towards a goal and you're not getting the results you want, you need to step back, assess the situation and make changes based on your long-term goals for your kids, not what will get you through the next few weeks or months with the fewest conflicts or challenges.
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on September 5, 2014
The main point I love about this book? It actually gives you a yearly plan on how to teach your children to become independent adults, which is what all parents strive for (at least the normal ones)! It's nice to have a written "plan" that you can follow throughout your children's childhoods. Great, sound advice! Loved the book.
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on May 6, 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.
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on April 17, 2006
This book is excellent not only for struggling parents, but for good parents raising children! It gives you great and realistic ideas on how to better your parenting. Many children are smart or athletic but can't function well as an independent adult. This book fills that parenting weakness and teaches parents how to raise their children better.
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on November 12, 2015
This book is very well written and had a lot of good ideas. I like that the author tells you to take what you like and skip the rest. My kids are still young, so we haven't used all of the ideas yet, but I am going to keep rereading it as the kids get older.
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on November 10, 2014
Read this book with friends for a book club, and had to purchase one for myself. I wanted to apply the principles in my own home. Well, that was back when I didn't have kids yet. Now, I just need to find the time to read it again, so that I can apply the principles in my own home... :)
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