Book Review: The Parenting Breakthrough

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The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent

I have mentioned The Parenting Breakthrough by Merrilee Browne Boyack several times on this blog, but I haven’t yet done a review on it. I absolutely love this book. A couple of different readers recommended this book to me, so I bought it and am so glad I did. The intent of the book is to give parents a plan for teaching children to work, save money, and grow to be independent adults.

Boyack is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS–as am I), and her audience is obviously other people who are LDS. When she wrote it, she definitely wrote it with them in mind because she makes references to things in the Church without explaining them. I will say if you are LDS and like this blog, you will love this book. I think most people of any faith will like this book.

Here is what is included in this book:

  • Chapter One: A pep talk to encourage you to work as parents.
  • Chapter Two: A “why” chapter. This chapter talks about why you are going to put forth so much effort to teach your child to work, save money, and be independent adults.
  • Chapter Three: The plan. This chapter outlines things I have posted about in setting long-term goals and establishing a plan to meet those goals.
  • Chapter Four: Getting kids to work. This chapter talks about chores and work. It talks about the importance of work, different methods for motivating work, and implementation tips.
  • Chapter Five: All about money. Teaching money management, allowance, tithing, spending, and jobs.
  • Chapter Six: Advanced money. Here we have discussion on savings, investing, borrowing, investing…admittedly the hardest chapter for me to get through. It has great info, but kind of turns into text-book reading.
  • Chapter Seven: Focus on family. This talks about different ways to train children through the family dynamic. It includes establishing a family identity, developing family mottos, talking about family lore, decorating your home to train, having good music in the home, and setting family goals.
  • Chapter Eight: This chapter is on emotional and spiritual development. This chapter is the most focused on things specific to those of the LDS faith.
  • Chapter Nine: Developing parenting skills and mindsets.

About The Author
Boyack is an estate-planning attorney in California. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Business Management–Finance. She has four sons and very active in her community and globally.

This book is full of wit and humor. Boyack has a blunt personality that shows through her writing. The principles in this book are written for ages 3-18 and are harmonious with -wise principles.

Not everyone who reads this book loves it–not even all LDS people. Anyone who slants more toward attachment parenting or who doesn’t like to teach children to work will not like this book. Those against schedules will not like this book. She also makes some poor references toward those who do manual labor–declaring them undesirable jobs. Not every manual labor job, but things like the person who holds a sign for road construction. She doesn’t say terrible things about them; just that they didn’t go to college.

Now, I come from a line of manual laborers. I mostly come from farmers. I am the first person in my family to get a college degree. So, I have nothing but respect for those who do manual labor, but my hope for my children is that they will get college degrees, as was the hope of my parents.

But I think anyone who likes to schedule and who wants to be proactive in training their children will love this book and find the information invaluable. It is definitely one of my top five favorite parenting books I have ever read.

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Carrie
    April 15, 2010 / 8:36 PM

    I just ordered it! I've been looking for something to help me teach my kids about chores and allowances, so this book looks great!

  2. Louis & Heather Verzi
    June 8, 2010 / 2:53 PM

    Love it, Love It, LOVE IT!! Even for those who don't want to teach their kids to work, it explains in exact detail how to teach kids. The watch-practice-responsibility model is perfect for teaching anything. And eventually you are going to want- no Need to teach your kids, maybe when they aren't kids anymore, how to be independent for survival in the world.

  3. Plowmanators
    June 16, 2010 / 5:44 PM

    I am glad you like it Heather! I really like this book.

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