For as long as I can remember, my parents have always been in the business of helping families.  They raised us pretty deliberately (see my very favorite “deliberate” video of my dad explaining their latest new-fangled family system back in the day back HERE), and they are still deliberate parents as they travel the world to give speeches about the importance of families.  In my mind it’s kind of like they are building “family scaffolding” providing all kinds of concrete ideas and solutions and validation and hope to those of us in the trenches trying to make sense of this whole parenting shin-dig.

Of course, I’m a little bit on the biased side of things, but I think they are pretty awesome.

There are two things going on right now that they are doing from “home” to boost and strengthen families and I figured I better share them:

1)  I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was a teenager they wrote a book called “Teaching Your Children Values
” which became a national best seller.  Parents obviously realized the importance of those values in their children’s lives.  
So, to go along-side the book, my parents teamed up with some pretty outstanding “story-tellers” to teach the values in a kid-friendly way through a program called “Alexander’s Amazing Adventures.”

It is a twelve-set series chronicling a boy named Alexander’s journey as he travels to a magical land and learns the values through all kinds of imaginative adventures.  There is a 30-minute parent guide from my parents with each value that I haven’t actually listened to yet and really should.  I’m in need of a little parenting re-vamping right at this moment in time.
I’ve talked about Alexander’s Amazing Adventures before but here it is again and it’s on sale until the 15th of March.
That’s Tuesday.
I wonder if that would be a pretty good gift for the Easter Bunny to fill Easter baskets with in a couple weeks?  Hmmmm.  It’s a downloadable MP3 file but could for sure be creatively wrapped somehow, right?  I hear the Easter Bunny has skills at that πŸ˜‰
For more info., to listen to a sample and to order if you are interested click HERE.
2)  My parents have started publishing books with this new publisher which somehow allows them to offer books at a pretty discounted rate.  At this point in their lives they just want to figure out how to infiltrate good family ideas any way they can, so they right now they are offering “3 for $30″…you choose three of their four most recent books and get them for that good deal including shipping.
Here’s a flyer with more info:

To find out more, this is the website to go to:
(beware, there are a few cheesy family pictures on there, but I love that site!)
Once you get there, click on that yellowish-orange big tab at the top and it will tell you all about the books.  The friends and family coupon code is eyrealm2016.
The link to get there is HERE.
The great news is that I get to give away one series of Alexander’s Amazing Adventures AND one of the “3 for $30” packages.  
To enter the give-away, just leave a comment with your fav. parenting idea in the comments (i.e. go watch your kids sleep after a rough day to help you remember how awesome they are, getting kids excited about jobs ideas that work for you, morning routine ideas, etc….I know there are so many great ideas out there!).  
If you specifically want AAA (Alexander’s) note that in your comment, and if you’re more interested in winning the books, note that too.  If you don’t care and would love either, just make a comment πŸ™‚  I will pick a winner on Monday night.  
**This give-away is now closed.  Thank you so very much for all the insightful comments that have totally inspired me!  Even though the winners have been chosen, please keep adding to them if you have more tips because I’m sure many of us will be checking back in times of “in-the-trench-trouble” for a little inspiration πŸ˜‰

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  1. Hello!
    My favorite thing right now, is teaching my son to look into my eyes when I'm correcting him. It helps me explain things in a way he understands, and melts my heart to see his big eyes looking at me full of wonder and curiosity.

  2. Awesome deal!

    My favorite thing right now, and something saving me on tough days with my toddler and newborn. Every night after we've gotten the girls to go sleep, my husband and I always talk about the positive things that happened with the kids that day and we list a few things that we love about each of them. We try to always speak positively about our kids and it really helps. Even on those days with the crazy meltdowns, the joy they bring into our lives far outweighs the frustration. It's nice to remember that and keep things in perspective.

  3. Respecting my daughters eventual readiness. We've recently used this approach with potty training. It's been slow and steady, but removes the power struggle.

  4. My favorite tip right now is getting down on their level to talk to them and really connect. It helps so much when I take the time to make that small gesture and let them know that they really are the most important thing in my world.

    I know my elementary kids would love Alexander's Amazing Adventures!

  5. In dealing with my 16 and 13 year old head strong sons, I find if I have the right perspective on who their future selves are going to be/should be, then I don't want to win each power struggle so much. Along with that, keeping in mind that they are already capable spirits and souls and my job is to help bring that out, not squelch it into submission helps too.

  6. The one hour alone time planning sessions that your mom would do on Sunday. I think I read about that in her "I Didn't Plan To Be a Witch" book! A little planning helps me stay calmer and more collected throughout the whole week πŸ™‚

  7. Trying my best to put myself in my daughters shoes and see things from her perspective. Doing this helps me to be more patient and understanding when she misbehaves.

    I'm especially interested in the AAA set for my little ones!

  8. Right now my parenting focus is on doing, teaching, and serving my son in and with love, not just because I need to do it. To help me I do go and look in on him when he is sleeping, and try to think about how he feels and thinks about things in situations. I also try to think way into the future about how he will view his childhood, will he know he was and is loved, will he have been taught the values need to succeed. I want to be more deliberate in teaching him values so either the books or AAA would be great. Thanks is for the chance to win. I am insecure by your family.

  9. Love your blog. It's hard to believe but I did Joy School 30 years ago with my daughter and I still have the tapes. I play these tapes with my grandchildren and they love the songs! Brings back good memories. I am interested in the books.

  10. One of my best ideas that worked especially when my kids were toddlers was to give them advance warning about anything… "We are leaving in 5 minutes", "we are only buying groceries, not candy", "we are going to clean your room after dinner", etc. it really cut down on the tantrums when they knew what to expect and when to expect it.
    Would love to win the Alexander's one!!

  11. With my first baby who is 10 months now- my favorite thing is to go outside with him! If we feel restless or he's getting bored- we either go weed the garden or pack the stroller and walk around the neighborhood. Or we've even taken a picnic to the temple! He always gets the biggest smile on his face when we're outside AND he loves to half close his eyes to feel the wind on his face. Then we both feel refreshed and he naps really well after being outside.

  12. Taking time to laugh and have fun with my children is one of the parenting advice I'm really trying to get better at. Life really is so much happier when I take time to really enjoy my children. I'm super interested in the Alexander stories!

  13. My favorite parenting idea is SIMPLIFY! Less toys, books, scheduled activities, screens, clothes…..the rewards are immeasurable. Love your blog and love your parents, thanks Shawni!

  14. One of favorite parenting ideas is to let your kids hear you praising them to someone else. I have 3 boys ages 7, 4 and 2 and they just beam when I tell Dad/Grandma/Grandpa something great they did that day. Positive reinforcement works!
    I would love to win the Alexander's Amazing Adventures books for them!

  15. I literally just finished reading "A Mother's Book of Secrets" and decided to come look at your website! Very inspiring book! I would love to win either! There are just way too many ideas to just choose 1! But lately the "secret" I have been using the most is the "let's start over" idea!

  16. Right now I just keep reminding myself that although my kids can talk and say everything I can say, they don't fully comprehend or understand like an adult and that I can't expect that understanding yet…sometimes I get frustrated and then have to take a step back and ask myself if I'm getting frustrated with something because I'm expecting them to function just like me? That may be an obvious one, but it has really helped me laugh off some stuff or just shake my head and smile and move on. I would love those books:)

  17. I love Teaching Your Children Values, we have been working through it this year. I would love AAA to go with it.

    Right now routine is what is working well for us. Everyone is rather stir crazy from months of winter and being inside, that we were using it as an excuse to not stick to our routine. So in the past week we have restarted our normal routine and I am definitely feeling more sane already!

  18. We have always let our kids know what was expected of them since the time the were toddlers. By doing that they have always been polite and helpful to others in public and in our own home! Family is THE MOST IMPORTANT and worth every ounce of effort!!! I would love the books, but would be happy with either!

  19. My husband works away, and is only home 1 weekend a month…so we Skype every single night. Honestly, I really enjoy walking out of the room and letting the kids (10&4) have "alone" time with their daddy. I listen in and hear totally different things than when they talk to me. I could definitely use the AAA right now, would be a great thing to listen to in the car…one can only listen to sooooooo much Kidzbop…and since he'll soon be heading to Farmington, NM to work…we'll have a 26 hour drive from WV to listen to the radio and visit him, the adventures would be neat…desert, here we come.

  20. We are just entering the twos (with the 2nd on the way) and could really use with some intentional parenting and living. I love getting ideas from your site. Thanks for the giveaways! My first choice would be AAA, but either prize would be good for our family.

    When the tantrums start to fly on either side, we all take deep breaths. It's adorable to watch my little guy calm himself down that way and reminds me he is trying. Being little is hard.

  21. I would love to try out the AAA series for my little one!
    One of my favorite parenting "hacks" that I've picked up on is "Say Please!" We're starting to get in the full swing of tantrums over here (the terrible twos are upon us) and when one of those grumpy moments come around, we ignore it until our little one calms down enough. If she's wanting something that she can have IE a banana, then we'll ask her to say please and then give her a little extra enthusiasm about saying please and saying it nicely. If she's fussing over not playing on Daddy's computer, well, then she just has to live with it. πŸ™‚ The "Say Please" has been a great trick to calm down my frazzled mind when she's throwing a tantrum, because she looks so dang adorable signing please with her hands.

  22. I have been wanting the AAA. We have been working on answering each other back when we hear our name. My kids will say, "yes Mom" so I know they are listening and hear what I have said. I am also working on saying their names politely when they are trying to get my attention. Less yelling = a much happier home!

  23. My favorite thing to do is to pray for patience, peace, and perspective every morning before my kids wake up. It helps me have a more deliberate and have a more joyful day in every way.

  24. My favorite thing to do is to pray for patience, peace, and perspective every morning before my kids wake up. It helps me have a more deliberate and have a more joyful day in every way.

  25. I would love Alexander's Amazing Adventures! My favorite parenting tip right now is to turn little things you'd do anyway into fun family traditions. At my house we have Muffin Monday, Waffle Wednesday, and Friend Friday (fun names help). My kids get so excited for each of these!

  26. I am super interested in AAA and my favorite parenting idea is to get kids excited about jobs, which we have only been semi successful with at our house :-).

  27. My kids are 17, 15, 12 and 10. Though they are awesome kids, I sometimes need reminding of that, so I watch short clips of videos from when they were much younger and it always brings a smile to my face. Often one or more of them will stop and watch a bit too:) I'm interested in the books.

  28. I feel like over the years I've grown so much as a parent. My biggest thing is to make sure I feel connected to my kids. I'm not trying to be their best friend, I just want to understand them and for them to understand me. So that when I do discipline them they understand why I'm talking to them and I can talk frankly and really. I had a child with whom, for whatever reason, I just didn't "click" with or understand. I tried doing dates and those were fun but our relationship remained superficial. What finally worked was developing a series of hobbies that we genuinely love doing together. For us that made making lego creations. We needed to work together and we both had a great time. In those little unstressful moments I learned more about this child than in many attempts of trying to pick his brain. Walls came down and we've stayed close.

    I would love the AAA books. I really believe in storytelling and I think this would help my family a lot.

  29. "Tuck time" is what we call bedtime at my house. It is about 10 minutes or so of me sitting on their bed, just listening (having to remind myself to listen-I have a tendency to over-talk things). I learn so much during this time! Bedtime is also the hardest time for me to want to sit and listen-haven't I just spent my entire afternoon in the deep with all these semi-little people! So, I often spend a few minutes in my room or closet, door closed with some deep breathing to get to me ready to patiently and lovingly listen. The kids have to rotate nights for their tuck time because the 10 minutes often stretch much longer, but I think it is a strength to my parent/child relationship and I hope we continue it for as long as we can! I am interested in the books.

  30. My kiddos are only 2, 1 and 1, but I have felt lately how important it is for me to be very deliberate in spending time with each of them individually every day; asking them questions like, "how was your day?", and telling them what I love about them. They babble back at me and even though I don't necessarily understand what they are saying, I feel so happy because I can see how happy they are to know that mom loves them enough to look right into their eyes and have a conversation.

  31. I've got three littles right now (4, 2, and 1) so we are in the thick of toddler tantrums and patience and being as consistent as we can. But my favorite current tidbit of parenting advice is to realize that sometimes when the littles are out of control, they just need a tight hug to calm themselves down. πŸ™‚ thanks for doing the giveaway–since I already have the books, I'd love aaa! πŸ™‚

  32. 9 most important minutes of the day (POM article), wake up, after-school and bedtime focusing on these times sets the tone for the whole day! I have AA, I would love more Eyre books to add to my collection.

  33. So many wonderful parenting moments! I think my favorites have to be seeing my kids playing so nicely together or deciding to forgive each other for something instead of choosing to fight about it. And watching them while they sleep is also pretty great :). I would love to win either option!!

  34. I would have to say right now I am thinking on giving grace. How many times do I need grace a day? A lot! I need to give my kids grace too. I want my children to be obedient and respectful and kind – and all of that is wonderful, but they are still learning. There are times when I need to back off of the consequences or lectures and just give them grace in that moment. When a hug would go a lot further than a serious chat about being responsible. I need grace, and my kids do too.

  35. Unfortunately I am not a parent yet, but my favourite "aunting" tipp is to play with the children and really pay attention to them (and not only to their parents). I have done that with my actual nieces and nephews, but also with my friends' children and I have a special bond with all of them.
    If that qualifies me for the giveaway, I'd prefer the books.

  36. I feel so inspired after reading these comments! I have also been reading and doing Teaching Your Children Values with my 3 year old. I have really been trying to be better at making sure we all sit down for family dinner in the evenings together. This takes time, preparation, and sacrifice on my part, but it has made a difference in all of our family relationships, especially with our kids.

  37. I'm trying to really make a big deal of good behavior. We just started the penalty bucket and the bonus bucket- with a list of ideas we all agreed on. So when good and bad things happen we can have our kid take ownership and choose a consequence from the can.

    I'd love the AAA books. πŸ™‚

  38. Yay to your giveaway! I'm still sticking to the advice of napping when they nap, even though my youngest is 2 1/2 (but doesn't sleep through the night). Some days I need a nap to get me through the long days- and it really helps me be a better mom in the evening when I'm not counting the hours until I can crawl into bed. (AAA- but I'm sure I'd love the books too).

  39. I think it is important that children (and grand children) have clothes that are what we call, "our dirt clothes". It allows us to get right down in the grass to look at bugs, dig holes, climb trees, explore in the creek, or roll down a hill, all the while exploring and not worrying if we are getting our clothes dirty. It is the best! It is a wonderful time to connect through an adventure outside, by listening to your little one(s) more than you yourself doing a lot of talking. Children tell you all types of things when you get them out of the rush and hustle of life, where they can feel free and relaxed.
    I already took advantage of the 3 book deal a few days ago off of Charity's blog. So, I would love to have Alexanders Amazing Adventures. Thanks.

  40. One thing I really try to do is apologize to my children when I have done something wrong. I hope it shows then how much I love them and is a good example of humility.

  41. We are loving these comments and parenting tips and wish we could give ALL of you our latest books. You are all awesome parents and awesome blog readers!

  42. One thing I really try to do is apologize to my children when I have done something wrong. I hope it shows then how much I love them and is a good example of humility.

  43. I'm trying hard to stop, listen and soak up all my children bring into our family. They grow up so so fast. I would love to win either of these giveaways.

  44. I am trying really hard to notice when my children need a little extra love and attention. It is usually noticed when they are grumpy. Instead of getting frustrated with them and adding to the anxiety that bad attitudes bring, I have been trying really hard to evaluate the situation before I react negatively. Their attitudes are usually trying to tell me they need something. Usually more love.

  45. My favorite parenting tip right now I got from Essentially, if I am working, the kids should be working too. It makes me much less frustrated and as they understand new tasks they are so proud of themselves!

  46. My favorite parenting tip right now I got from Essentially, if I am working, the kids should be working too. It makes me much less frustrated and as they understand new tasks they are so proud of themselves!

  47. What an awesome giveaway. Thanks! What I've found to be the best is we use marble jars to focus on positive reinforcement coupled with job charts to emphasize our routines. It's brought a lot better spirit to our home.

  48. My favourite parenting tip right now is teaching my children to develop and foster a love for each other which will hopefully last forever. It's helping them to deal with conflict, by using the "repenting bench" method, helping them to think of others and not be self-serving and providing opportunities and family activities to help their (and ours) bonds grow. It's hard, but I know it will be worth it πŸ™‚
    I would really love the AAA series πŸ™‚

  49. My favorite parenting tip right now is paying our kids to do their "jobs" like practice the piano, do homework, make their beds, the things they have to do anyway, but they need to do it happily without any nagging from me or my husband. If they don't do it once, they get only 3/4 of the money, if they don't do it twice, they only get 1/2 the money. This method has resulted in my kids being responsible for themselves, their business, and their money. I would mostly love the Alexander series, but I would also love the books.

  50. I love having my four kids assigned for a week to each of the four main areas in our home. They love taking turns in the kitchen especially and I love all the extra help. =)

  51. I really try to let my daughter see me do everything with enthusiasm. I put special emphasis on greeting her with the same excitement I see from her when I arrive to get her! I would love the AAA series.

  52. My husband is fantastic at explaining the 'why' behind the rule/action. Instead of just saying "Don't touch that.", he says "This is a stove and when we turn it on it gets hot. When it's hot and we touch it, it can hurt us. So we shouldn't touch it." (Just as an example) I love that A) he takes the time to explain it to them B) he views them as intelligent enough to understand the why and C) what a great teaching moment those things can be. I need to do much better at it but my husband is wonderfully marvelous!!

    3 for $30 please! πŸ™‚

  53. Right now, I am Focusing on teaching my kids the value of money, and how we work for things we want- we have chores to make money, and chores for being part of a family. It is hard with teens who want everything!

  54. I try to see things through their eyes, their Veiw and they're understanding. Sometimes I see things through an adult lens but when I look at things through their lens, I see so clearly why they do the things they do or say the things they say they do or act the way they do and it helps me so much to not be so hard on them or so quick to say no!

    I would love AAA!

    Thank you!

  55. The "tip" helping me with my two toddlers right now is to treat them with the respect I want them to show me and show others. If I remind myself that they're people too, I treat them kinder. Even when I'm so annoyed. Id love either the AAA or the books!

  56. Remain consist and follow through….both tough for me, but my high anxiety daughter needs me to stay strong. Also, I try to remember my kids are entitled to a bad day and deserve my patience.

  57. When I find myself angry over something, I try to stop myself and say "is this something that adults struggle with too? (Usually followed by a yes" it helps me calm down and remember that no one is perfect and to not hold the children to a double standard where they have to be better than me.

  58. I would be so excited to use AAA! We have 5 kids 6 and under so we have to be really intentional about one on one time. We call lots of things "dates" … One child going to the grocery store with me or another child driving to music lessons or a even a quick "lets do whatever you want for the next 10 minutes while while the littles are naping" or a "cooking dinner date" with mommy or whatever. Doesn't have to be scheduled but just spontaneous! Im loving all of Amy McCreedy's parenting ideas in her awesome book "If I have to tell you one more time"

  59. My favorite parenting tip is making sure I tell my three year old son how grateful I am to be his parent, and how God intended him especially for our family. This is helpful for both us, especially on days when he is more naughty than nice–he needs to know he is still loved and cherished, and I need to remind myself of the great gift I have been given! …I would love a copy of AAA.

  60. One parenting tip I'm utilizing right now is to schedule specific play time with my baby, so that I don't feel guilt when I let her entertain herself while I work on some of my own things. I would love the 3 for $30!

  61. We started doing dish nights different recently- just one kid does dishes with mom or dad that week, and the other two set the table. It's been so much better than trying to keep 3 kids engaged in the dishes till the job is complete, plus it's become a savored one on one experience. Win win! I'd love the 3 books!

  62. My favourite parenting idea is definitely the idea (from your parents) of enhancing family traditions by making a calendar with traditions on it and actively finding ways to make the whole family excitedly anticipate traditions. That's such a great idea for taking the whole 'making traditions' thing a step further! I'd really love to read the books!

  63. One of my fav parenting ideas is to have a "live list", kind of like a bucket list, but one where each season we get together and brain storm ideas to do together. It helps in building memories and making life fun among the daily mundane duties. Creating memories helps us draw closer together! I am interested in the AAA!!!

  64. Every night we tell each one of our children why they are special. It ends the night on a positive note and each night it has to be something unique- do we are always looking for the good!
    I love your families ideas!

  65. I really like the habit we created of reading a book aloud to our kids before bed every night. Both are great readers but it is a drama free time all in my big bed! The kids beg to read just a little more each night. I am interested in the AAA!

  66. AAA! I've been wanting them for months now!!!!! My favorite that I learned from the teaching values book is reinforcing the good! Always making the good things your kids do huge and important and a big deal so they remember those!

  67. I have read almost all of your parents books. I am interested in the AAA for my 7 yr old son. One of my favorite parenting advice I received from your parents was "the repenting bench". It worked with my older children and was a great way to instill accountability for your actions!

  68. I guess I will enter twice because there is so much I love about the Eyre's books.
    I very much loved Three Steps to a Strong Family and have used Family Laws, Family Economy, and Family Traditions faithfully for the last 20 years. I have been so inspired by your parents and their devotion to family and teaching how to be a deliberate parent. I would be interested in more books also. Thank you for the great give away!

  69. I have used many of your parenting tips over the years. My personal favorite is writing 5 things that I love about my kids on their fingers! They grin from ear to ear. I have recently started to read scriptures outside my kids bedroom doors after I have put them to bed. My voice reading helps calm them and me, plus I'm sure they listen to the words I'm reading, right? And I get in my daily scripture reading too! It's a win, win!

  70. I have used many of your parenting tips over the years. My personal favorite is writing 5 things that I love about my kids on their fingers! They grin from ear to ear. I have recently started to read scriptures outside my kids bedroom doors after I have put them to bed. My voice reading helps calm them and me, plus I'm sure they listen to the words I'm reading, right? And I get in my daily scripture reading too! It's a win, win!

  71. The best thing I have done, so far, is to teach my children how to work around the house. Having my children learn at a young age how to work helps so there is less yelling, as the kids already know the rules of the house. P.S. I would love the Alexander books!!

  72. For me right now, it's getting up an hour earlier than my kids so that I can get my things finished before they wake up. When they wake ip, I am organized and ready to start the day without feeling frazzled and in a hurry. Morning routines run much smoother, so we can all start the morning happier.

  73. So excited for this give away! At this point we are young clueless parents of a toddler and a baby. Life seems so nonstop crazy right now and honestly our toddler can run us dry. So my favorite parenting technique right now is when life seems rough and the kids are wild stop everything and have a dance party! Seriously we did this tonight. Bought some glow in the dark sticks turned on some music and just danced our hearts out with our little girl. There were sparkles in her eyes I tell you. Our hearts were full and our minds cleared. Reminded us of why we do what we do. I would love to win either one but I think the Alexander mp3s would be awesome:)

  74. I have really loved using gratitude throughout my parenting journey. Realizing God's hand in it all and counting my blessings that I am even able to have this journey has helped me enjoy being a mother!

    I am really interested in the AAA (Alexandar's Amazing Adventures). My oldests are twin girls that just turned three and I really want to start them young with listening to such great values!!

    Thanks for all you do!

  75. I need all the help I can get in the parenting department! I don't feel like I really have any good strategies or tactics…nothing works on my stubborn/independent 2- and 4-year-olds. But we try to have weekly family home evenings and I hope that is at least sticking somewhat in their little minds.

  76. Our kids are 5, almost 7, 9, and 11. I try to physically love them everyday ever since I realized at the beginning of the school year that as they've gotten bigger we touch way less the older they get. I'd love the Alexander's Amazing Adventures as that is our almost 7 year old's name and as a middle child he gets a little lost in the crowd sometimes.

  77. My favorite line is " I love you too much to argue with you". It sure helps to diffuse the situation along with a big hug. I also love the mother daughter journal that my oldest and I have started. We both can write better, so it has been great to get out what we feel, so that we can talk about it calmly later after we were able to read. It has kept us connected. Would love either win πŸ™‚ I also live in MN, and work with a family whose son goes to BYU. I talk about you all the time as my favorite blogger and tell her to follow along as you both have kids the same age. You inspire me to be a better mom! – Pennie

  78. Model how to properly conflict resolve.
    We need to say sorry to our children, admit when we're wrong, ask for forgiveness, and talk about how we can do better next time.
    Self reflection, putting aside our pride, listening to understand, and forgiveness are such important skills to having healthy and happy relationships.
    I want my kids to learn this now over small things rather than later over big things.
    Kids ages: 6,7,8 &11
    We'd love the AAA!

  79. I lay with one of my children right before bed about twice a week and we talk. I love our discussions because my kids open up to me and we problem solve and talk about relationships. I'm able to listen, encourage and give loving advice while we cuddle.
    I have 4 kids, ages 10, 7, 5 and 1. We would love the AAA books.

  80. To help my husband and I look for good behavior and in an effort to stop "rewarding" negative behavior with more attentiob we started a bean jar where we will acknowledge the good things our son has done while going about his day. He uses them to earn screen time. We've seen a definite decrease in negative behavior and have been very pleased with it!

  81. My calm and peace has lately been coming from the time that I get reading the children's Bible with my 4 yr old and devotional with my 9 yr old. It brings on great thought and conversation!

  82. I'm working with my two stepsons and toddler daughter right now to understand importance of doing things right the first time such as chores. Instilling the value of taking pride in their work is something that will help them go far. I would prefer the AAA book.

  83. Distraction! My kids are still little so I often use this when we are having melt downs and tantrums. When I need parenting advice I can always trust your parents to come through for me!

  84. Distraction! My kids are still little so I often use this when we are having melt downs and tantrums. When I need parenting advice I can always trust your parents to come through for me!

  85. My favorite thing is to remember that no one is a perfect parent and sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. But kids are pure and resilient and we are figuring out this journey of life together.

  86. We only have one kiddo right now and he's 5 months old. But my favorite thing right now is to just spend time as our little family each night and morning. He loves that time with daddy before and after work.

  87. I love reading all these comments for ideas! I also love your blog and your parents' advice and powerofmoms. Your family seriously inspires and motivates me so much. Thank you for sharing so much wisdom! I have four kids, ages 6,4,2 and 6 months. It sounds so easy but I'm trying to really listen when they're talking to me and respond in a thoughtful way. Taking time to look them in the eyes and feel of their sweet and innocent spirits helps life slow down which is much needed right now. πŸ™‚ We would love AAA. Thank you!

    1. I love this. It remindes me of this quotes,

      "Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff."
      Catherine M. Wallace

  88. Oh wow! I'd love either! I think my favorite is to spend one on one time with each kid. It's great to do things as a family and we try to do that every day, but getting that one-on-one time with each kid…giving them your FULL attention. Letting them know just how important they are to you is priceless. And it builds up that relationship you will always share with them your whole life through.

  89. My tip: keep a mantra ready to run through your mind when the kids are being hard. Mine is "be calm and remember the big picture." That helps when my preschooler is throwing a fit about something:). My kids would like AAA. Thank you!

  90. AAA if I win, please! A favorite tip is to try to start right where a child is (and you are!) and not where you think they *should* be. An "Ok, where do we go from here?" mentality instead of a comparison mentality.

  91. My favorite parenting reminder/idea is to really look children in the eye. I find myself moving too quickly and not stopping to really notice the way their eyes shine or light up. It's pretty amazing and I am reminded what precious souls they are when I take the time to do that. I would love the Alexander series!

  92. I have never realized that I have absolutely no parenting advice until this very moment. I try all sorts of things and I still have no idea what I'm doing and I worry endlessly over my kids!! I do so much appreciate the advice of others, though, just like the advice I find on this blog!!! Any of these prizes would aide me in my endeavor of deliberate parenting!

  93. I've learned to make things that are important to my children important to me! Get excited with them and try to learn what you can about their hobbies. I would be so thrilled to have Alexanders amazing adventures, but I'm not picky 😊

  94. I've learned to make things that are important to my children important to me! Get excited with them and try to learn what you can about their hobbies. I would be so thrilled to have Alexanders amazing adventures, but I'm not picky 😊

  95. I did Joy School with all eight of our children and loved all of the good things they learned from that! Now the youngest will be leaving for college this Fall and it's a new stage for us. I learned so much from your parents' books over the years. We had Family Laws and a Repenting Bench and our own money economy (Mom Dollars πŸ™‚ So many favorites but I love asking each child their Happy and Sad at the end of the day and do that with my grandchildren when I visit or they are here.

    I would love the books. (We have AAA on cassette tape!)

  96. I love learning. I love to see ideas and learning come alive in my children. Some of my favorite times are when they ask questions and we discuss and explore new things and ideas together. I love to read with them too and it is fun to now have 2 of my 5 children who read. Love of books was instilled in me early and I love to see them have a love of books also. I have read your parents books and especially loved the one your mom wrote about not planning to be a witch as a mom. I helped me realize that I am a work in progress and luckily each new day is a new day to start anew with your husband and children.

  97. getting down to eye level when talking to my children has made a world of difference. And also having them tell me 10 things they're good at and writing the initials on their fingers. LOVE that!

  98. With toddlers try to catch yourself before you say "no" and evaluate if there is a better way to explain to your children. For example is you child asks "can I have some candy before dinner?" Instead of saying now say, "we don't eat candy before dinner because it makes us feel too full to eat the healthy food, but if you eat all your dinner you can have a small piece."

  99. cleaning with my young kids instead of expecting them to do it perfectly themselves, helps them learn and helps me be more patient while still getting things done!

  100. cleaning with my young kids instead of expecting them to do it perfectly themselves, helps them learn and helps me be more patient while still getting things done!

  101. I am trying to work on having more family traditions that help my kids to enjoy and want to serve each other as well as notice the service that is being done for them. SInce Easter is coming up I went and bought 4 stuffed bunnies that we call service bunnies. We started with one bunny. when one kid does a service for someone they put the bunny on their pillow and then it is that person's turn to serve someone. EAch new week before Easter we add another bunny – because bunnies multiply!
    When they recognize something someone has done for them they get to write that down and put it in a jar so that awesome bunny will turn them into jelly beans!
    I love your parents work. I'd love AAA but the books would be wonderful too.

  102. My advice is simple: step back, enjoy and let them grow on their own pace. I wish someone would tell me this when they were younger and I couldn't imagine they will be able to reach the stars as they do today. I stressed way too many things and let the beauty of the moment pass me. I am trying my best to soak every second of their fleeting childhood.

  103. Lighten the mood. I have three ages four and under and they are still so young direction following takes a lot of work and patience. I am definitely working on trying to lighten the mood when we all hit frustration points. Tickle. Sing. Dance. If I can remember in time, it's great! I want the Alexander books SO BAD to go with my joy school curriculum! Thank you!!!

  104. I am interested in either!
    Best advice–as my kids hit tween years is more important than ever–listen. If they know you care about the little things, they trust you with the bigger things. Love love love that the payoff for more Lego Star Wars conversation than I ever wanted to have is insight now into what's happening in other parts of life!

  105. Talk about the hard and deep things with our children. Things like their hurt feelings, disappointments, frustrations, insecurities, anxieties, and sadness. Don't gloss over them, or think they aren't experiencing these emotions. Verbally discuss them, initiate the conversation because sometimes children and teenagers won't talk about them out loud. If they can learn to work through their feelings at a young age, they will be able to handle negative feelings throughout their life. Sometimes we want to just focus on the positive feelings because we think they will somehow compensate for the negative, but dealing with and overcoming our heartaches is part of life and will help us find the joy.

    I would love the Alexander books!

  106. Hi! I would love either one! I'm a mom of young ones ages 2, 5, 7…so whatever you think is best! I'm just grateful for the offer. Thanks, Shawni!

  107. Hi! I would love either one! I'm a mom of young ones ages 2, 5, 7…so whatever you think is best! I'm just grateful for the offer. Thanks, Shawni!

  108. I heard your parents speak today! It was wonderful. When I was on my mission I found AAA. I would love to win those to share with my children. My favorite tip would be to always ask yourself if this situation will matter in a year and did they do it intentionally. It helps me clear my head and not get so upset about things.

  109. I love every parenting tip, but the one we use a lot around here is the bench which so happens to be the 5th stair in our home. I love that they have to think about what they did wrong and think how they could have gone about it differently, then of course apologize. I would LOVE the AAA. I have always wanted to purchase them for my kids.

  110. I just came across this idea tonight and that is to fill your children with positivity before they go to bed. Talk about the good things that happened that day, what you are proud of them for, what they've done good that you noticed, etc… Those happy thoughts can really improve your child's thoughts about themselves and strengthen your relationship with them. And I would love ether ☺️ Thank you for this opportunity!

  111. It the short 11.5 months I've been a mother, I've learned to show love, be patient and never forget how fortunate I am to be my little guy's mother. I helps me stay calm when the dog's water bowl gets tipped over for the tenth time that day. What a journey I have ahead of me in being a mother and sure could use either of these books to help guide me. Thanks for the opportunity.

  112. I try to simply remember who these wonderful kids of mine REALLY are–to see them in Heavenly Father's eyes. Also that some of their weaknesses are really and truly their strengths. I would love the ALexander stories for my 6 young kids!

  113. I really try to take moments throughout the day to connect with my kids. Just little one-on-one moments that pop up to talk with them, ask questions, give compliments, etc. I would love either of the giveaways!

  114. I really try to take moments throughout the day to connect with my kids. Just little one-on-one moments that pop up to talk with them, ask questions, give compliments, etc. I would love either of the giveaways!

  115. I always try to model the behavior I want my kids to have. If I notice they are misbehaving in one area, I examine myself first- have I been a good example?? (AAA)

  116. I always try to model the behavior I want my kids to have. If I notice they are misbehaving in one area, I examine myself first- have I been a good example?? (AAA)

  117. I have a three year old and I love the idea of giving her chores. Initially I thought she was too young for chores but I am amazed how helpful she can be and that she glows with pride after helping around the house.
    I would love any of your parents' books!

  118. As my kids start having to make more choices, instead of giving them answers as to what I think they should do, I encourage them to pray and start listening for the Spirit to guide them. We then talk about what they are feeling and I help them sort through ideas and feelings and help them recognize promptings. I might, at that point, give my own recommendations, but I try to let them make their own decisions as much as possible. This has worked exceptionally well for my college freshman daughter who has had years of practice now, and I hope it works as well for her seven younger siblings! (AAA)

  119. I have learned so many great things from other moms and my own trial and errors. We all love our precious children so much and have so many hopes for them. One piece of advice you gave that I love is, "don't take it personally" when they argue with you or disobey. It helps keep me from getting angry and I can focus on helping correct the behavior without getting hurt feelings. We would love Alexander's Amazing Adventures.

  120. At the end of the day no matter what has happened, make sure our kids know we love them. How will they believe Heavenly Father loves them if they don't feel that from their earthly parents? Alexander's Amazing Adventures would be my choice!

  121. One of our families new years resolutions right now is to have a teaching activity every Sunday. We each take a turn to teach something were interested in. My husband loves art so he teaches that, I love to cook so I once taught everyone to make your whole wheat bread! Today we carved soap per my 7 year olds request ☺ Its been fun and helped us enjoy time together more!
    I would love the '3 for 30' deal! We have Alexander and LOVE him so much! We listen where ever we go almost!

  122. I thought of two good books your family might like! One you can find @ Paper Source called "Maps' it illustrates different countries for all ages. We have learned so much! The other book is called "The Book Thief" it is also really good! Anyways just some good suggestions! (We would love AAA!)

  123. Oh I LOVE this giveaway! Thank you for offering it! I'm especially interested in AAA!

    I have a 6 year old girl and identical twin 4 year old boys along with my 6 mo old baby girl caboose. On the days when things are getting a little too out of control and the noise level has reached its max volume in the house, one of our favorite things to do is have a family wrestling match. We pull out all the pillows we can find and just wrestle and throw pillows at each other and giggle and tickle until our stomachs hurt from laughing. Although it may seem counter productive, that physical contact and playfulness seems to hit our restart buttons. We all walk away feeling calmer, happier, more connected to each other and refreshed and ready to get through the final bewitching hours of the late afternoon before bedtime.

  124. I think the biggest thing that has helped me was to realize that my kids weren't going to magically do the right thing. I had to train them. that is why I am here…to train them and to teach them how to behave and how to make good choices. Once I figured that out life with my kids was so much more doable and WAY less frustrating!

    ps.I love your whole family. You all inspire me so much! I would love to win the 3 for $30!!!

  125. Advice I'm trying to follow is in my prayers ask for help to parent with love. Makes it so much easier when raising teenagers…ages 13 and 16. I would love the 3 for $30!

  126. The best advice that I'm following right now (and have been ever since my Daughter was born) is to live each day with highest potential possible. I tend to worry as all moms I'm sure do. But I've learned that time is short and goes by so quickly. I blinked and now my daughter is almost 2. I've been filling her days with teaching her how to love and serve, how to try new things and exposing her to worthwhile experiences that make life fun. I'm enjoying every stage of her—even on those days where it's rough and things don't go as planned.
    I love your blog. I love you and your families principles and traditions. It has helped me have the perspective of living in the moment of this joyous ride called motherhood/parenthood. Thank you for Doing this giveaway.

  127. I just had my 4th child a few weeks ago so my favorite is soaking it all in. Each stage is so full of good and hard things but I'm trying to enjoy it all- because I know it goes fast. I would love AAA.

  128. Alexander's adventures sounds so great–I've been eying it for about 6 months. One of my favorite parenting ideas is training and certifying a child in a job they can do. It's one of my most favorite ideas I learned from you and your sister in your power of moms training you did in the fall!

  129. Sing a song to them at night when tucking them into bed. My kids will sometimes save "hard to say" things for that time of day, which I am grateful that I am there when they are ready to talk.

  130. Sing a song to them at night when tucking them into bed. My kids will sometimes save "hard to say" things for that time of day, which I am grateful that I am there when they are ready to talk.

  131. 10 minute clean up every night. It helps me not nag so much about picking up things during the day/after school drop and leave in the middle of the floor. My other favorite tip is music. Music can almost always change the mood in the home. I would love AAA.

  132. Now that I have two kids, I make sure to set aside a few minutes every day for each of them individually to have my undivided attention. I also love talking with my oldest before bed each night and asking him what his favorite part was about the day and what he didn't enjoy much.

  133. I have a secret code word for my 7 year old daughter, when I catch her doing something good, I say CYBG and it puts the biggest smile on her face.
    CYBG is Caught You Being Good!
    I work hard at trying to reinforce the good behaviours that I want to see more of, some days it comes easy and some days not so much but it fills my heart up when I see that huge smile on her face.
    I would love to learn more about Alexander's Amazing Adventures!

  134. We're in the midst of toddlerhood here. Recently a mom gave a talk and she talked about how much of what we do influences our kids and shows them what is important even at such a young age. i had stopped praying before each meal long ago but my two yr old recently started folding his arms before he would eat any meal. He is now showing me what is important. I downloaded a sing a long primary song app and have been amazed and what he's learned and the sweet spirit it's brought into our home. His new favorite word is temple. Now any time he's going wild all I have to do is say songs and he stops what he's doing. He's actually taught me that I need to focus more on bringing the spirit into our home. I'd love the books.

  135. We created a family cheer. It is one of my kids favorite things! We all put our hands together and do our cheer and then sing our family theme song and a big family hug. Kids LOVE it and it is super simple…hopefully it is a tradition that can keep our family strong and focused on each other.

  136. My favorite thing right now would be watching my children grow and change. Life can be difficult navigating through all the challenges but oh so worth it! I would love the Alexander series!

  137. Right now I am so thankful for parent child interviews. One of my daughters is having a tough time at school and having real time set aside to talk with her about her life has been such a blessing!
    Thank you for offering these products. I would love AAA.


  138. I am a mommy of 4 (12, 10, 7, and 2-eyars-old) and 2 of my best tips are #1. Staple your day with prayer! Our kiddoes need a mother who to talks to her Heavenly Father first and then to them. #2. If you have more than one child, give them a "special day" that is theirs every week. On that day, every week, they get to help pick out a meal-menu, have a special alone devotional/prayer time with mommy, get in and out of the car first, get to play a favorite game on the computer, and are the family member to pray at every meal.

  139. It's best to end each day on a good note – So in addition to hugs and kisses, I love to tell my girls something I was proud of them for doing that day. And it's great to see their faces shine in response. I'd love the AAA.

  140. Thank you for offering this giveaway πŸ™‚ I try to "be present" as much as possible during the day and give our children my undivided attention. As most can imagine, that is sometimes hard to do and we are pulled in many directions…I find that taking a walk with just one of them at a time or the time before bed is when they talk freely and know that they have my undivided/uninterrupted attention. Those are the times I cherish most. I would truly love the 3 for $30 books. I could really use the knowledge and inspiration!

  141. My children are grown and have children of their own now. They have been through Joy School, and the Teaching Children Responsibility and Values programs. I try to be a deliberate grandmother as well. I would love the books to reinforce what is being taught in their homes. I enjoy spending time with them reading and they are at the age that they love to be read to as well.

  142. This year we are focusing on a value each month. My kids love AAA, so I would prefer the books. I'm hoping it gets easier as kids get older. I have five kids between 8 and 2 with six due in three weeks. If your parents can do it with nine kids, I can do it with six.

  143. First off, I'm LOVING reading all of these comments! I'm going to write a mini journal right now and go on a little rant. So I've noticed that there is a huge preschool epidemic going on right now. Kids are being put in preschool as young as 2 and 3. I've got a 4 year old, and the past two years I had a lot of mom guilt because of seeing how other people's 3 year old's could write already, and my daughter wasn't yet. I feel like I'm one of the only one's (in my area) that refuses to put my kids in preschool. Here's how I look at it, we have only 5 or 6 super short years that we have them to ourselves under our influence. I already don't want to release them to the "world" at such a young age. My feel they have their whole lives to learn, they are only a kid once. I do my own little lessons at home for letters and what not, so she gets a little learning in :). This year I have been doing Joy School with my daughter and we are LOVING it! I did it when I was a kid, and LOVE the lessons that are taught, and I love being a part of the teaching. This is kind of all over πŸ™‚ But I'm going to soak up every second with my littles, and let them enjoy…being little. (I would love AAA)

    1. If i may be so bold and comment—-I did the same thing that you are doing with your four year old. I knew our children would be gone all to soon into school and activities. Those first 5-6 early years were ours! I have four children. I was told all to often by other parents that my children would be WAY behind and would not be able to catch up, or that they would not have the social advantage–whatever that was at the time. ha! I loved doing my own thing at home…playing, singing, dancing, teaching our "at home" preschool, having our own field trips, library days, etc. I felt like I was the only one with children 5 and under at home, at the time. But, we did it our way. It was the best way for our family. My children have excelled. There was never any catching up or being behind. Two have graduated from college with honors, two are in college. They have earned scholarships, received honors in middle school, high school and college, for academic's, music and sports. They are well rounded individuals. They all have worked part time during high school and worked or are working to put themselves through college. They have worked hard and studied hard. But, everything turned out just fine. So, be true to yourself and enjoy your daughter.

    2. Sydney, I'm so thankful for your follow-up because I feel the same pressure looming, but I have a two-year-old and one-year-old twins and I want them with me until they go to kindergarten. Socializing with other kids is fine, but I really want to do preschool and field trips and all that fun stuff together before they all head off to school and in different directions. I guess I want to maximize the amount of time that I have influence on them. I just really appreciate what you had to say. πŸ™‚

  144. Get outside for 30-60 minutes every day! I haven't always been great at this, since we live in a condo, but I can tell a big difference when we do it. I've love the AAA, but would be happy with the books too.

  145. I have really little kids (5, 3, and 1-year-old), and I think it's important to bend down to their level, look them in the eye, and hold a conversation at "their" level sometimes. That eye contact and getting down to their level (I think) shows them I am 100% in the conversation and ready to listen to them. They are little, but they've got a lot to say, and they want to be heard! I would love any part of the giveaway. All of these resources you and your family have created are so, so helpful!

  146. Lately I've been working on learning to laugh with my kids. It's easy to get caught up in the "busy" and feel the stress of things and instead of finding moments amusing, find them annoying… especially with two boys between 8 and 10 πŸ™‚ So I'm learning to laugh more with them and I can see the difference in my kids. Enjoying the moments instead of worrying what I'll say about it. We'd love the Alexandar series, but would be excited about either!

  147. Oh man, I would love AAA! Right now, what is helping me in my parenting is looking for the good. It helps me have a more positive attitude, and it helps them feel noticed and loved.

  148. I would love Alexander's Amazing Adventures! (I love the teaching your children values book!!)
    A parenting tip I like and have used over the years is from the "magic 123" book- where when the child is not listening to what they need to be doing you count- that's one, that's two… Actually, I got that tip from reading your blog- I'm almost positive! Haha!

  149. We love the parenting tip about giving toddlers choices. Always with your end result, but giving them choices makes them feel empowered. Need the seat belt buckled? Do you want to buckle your seat belt? or do you want Mommy to? Either way you win, and they get to chose! We would love to try the AAA if chosen!

  150. I'd love the AAA series! I've got a litter of kids 6 and under and I'd love to teach them values through books! Advice…listen and be present.

  151. Do they value families with same sex-partners? Two Moms with kids, two Dads with kids? Mom and Dad with no kid? Single Mom with kids? Single Dad with kids? Mom, Grandma and kids (no Dad)?

    If they valued all families, UNCONDITIONALLY, without trying to fix or change them to fit your Mormon mold, I would buy their books, because you probably have some good ideas.

    But I will not finance their prejudiced, one-sided view of families.

  152. I hope you saw my mother's answer to this identical comment you left on her blog post. Check out that website she mentioned and maybe read one my parent's books? You may find something very different from what you imagine you would find. They are not religious, just trying to strengthen all kinds of families from all kinds of religions.

  153. Didn't ask if they were religious. Asked specific questions for YOU to answer, Shawni. YOUR views. I know, hard.

    1. Sorry, the "Mormon mold" part made me think maybe you were worried about the religious part. My parent's books are absolutely for families with same-sex partners and single moms and every kind of family imaginable. Their books are to strengthen families. Period. They don't talk about what kind of families, they just offer all kinds of suggestions to strengthen what you've got. And I love that. We need more people like that in the world who are trying to strengthen and build up others in any way they can and I love it.

      I'll be honest and tell you (like I have before) that it's sometimes really difficult to answer your questions because in most cases it doesn't seem like you really want an answer, it seems like you're just trying to vent some anger. Maybe your comments are coming off all wrong to me, and I totally apologize if that's the case but let's take this question here for an example. If you really want to know the answer, it seems like you would maybe ask in a different way? Or maybe read one or two of my parent's books to figure it out for yourself? If you want to know my views you get them every time you read. And if you still think after you read that I have some sort of ulterior motive to the things I write and do in my life (or if my parents and other family members do) after you read what we have to say then I really am sorry. Not much I can do about that.

      I am curious why you read our blogs. Very genuine interest here. Through your comments over the years it seems to me that you are searching for things you can be mad and frustrated at us about. I know that may sound silly and is probably way off base, but I'm just trying to figure you out a little bit. Maybe you are really trying to figure out why we're kinda weird. (Seriously, I think we're weird too so I totally get it πŸ™‚ If that's the case maybe just ask in a slightly less aggressive way. I think that would help bring up some great discussions (with other readers too). I do love that you have really made me think over the years. Really. I love that you bring up different points from different views and I have learned a lot from you. I know my way of thinking is super narrow on some things and I love to try to figure out where others are coming from. But in my mind, working kindness into the way we try to figure people out makes a world of difference.

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