- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
Family First: Your Step-By-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Familyby Phil McGraw
I want to talk to you about family: yours and mine. I'm writing this book as an adult child of loving but sometimes ill-equipped parents, as a current father and husband, and lastly as a career mental-health professional. It is as a fellow concerned parent that I would like to talk to you now, one on one.
I know and feel that, as parents, you and I share some very important priorities. Just like you, I love my family more than anything in this world and I want us all to be safe, healthy, happy and prosperous in everything we do, both within our family and as we go out into the world. It's a day-to-day challenge, but most days it seems to be going "pretty well" at my house. (With two boys, one of them a teenager, living at home, that could have changed in the five minutes since I started writing this letter!) I hope that you are enjoying some harmony as well. However, as parents, it is our job to be aware of everything that can even potentially impact our families. We must be particularly sensitive to those things that can threaten our peaceful and joyful existence, whether those threats come from the outside world or from within our own homes, hearts and histories.
People enter our family's world from all walks of life: teachers, coaches, extended family, school bullies, the all-powerful peers and others. Some are well-intentioned and some not. These people may have priorities and values that are different from our own and they can tremendously affect how our children think, feel and behave now, as well as who they become as adults. Bombardment from a massive and slick media can undermine morals and values in even the strongest of families if purposeful care is not taken to control and counteract those messages. Television, music and movies manufacture heroes and icons with an utter disregard for what is being glamorized. It is our duty as the leaders of our families to make sure we are counteracting rather than contributing to the craziness. We must make certain that we do not threaten our own families from within due to our own lack of adjustment, poor priorities and absence of leadership or by using the negative products and techniques of our own upbringing. As parents we are certainly not the only influences in our children's lives, so we absolutely must make sure we are the best and most persuasive influence in our children's lives.
Cynics will tell you that in our fast-paced society "family" is becoming obsolete, that it is just an old-fashioned, lost concept, getting buried in a busy world of "enlightened" people. I'm here to tell you that that is not right, not even close. Family is even more important today than in generations past, and its erosion is unacceptable. This is a fight we can and must win. This is a fight we will win if we just do our homework and plug in. As a parent you have the power to set your child on a course for success. You may or may not feel powerful right now, but if you have the courage to rise to the challenge your child can and will be blessed beyond belief.
I'm here with a message of hope and optimism, because I believe that families in America, your family and mine, can thrive, survive and in fact flourish! What's more, I believe that you, specifically, can assume the noble role of leading your family through this modern maze, and turn up the volume on the values and beliefs that define what you want for your children and family. All you need is energy and a really good plan. As to the needed energy, you have only to look to the love in your heart to know that you have the power and energy to meet this challenge of creating an environment in which your children and your family can rise above the noise of a world that I sometimes think has gone absolutely mad. That love you have for your children and family is the necessary fuel for your efforts. Now comes the plan, the detailed step-by-step plan that you need to win this tug-of-war with the world and ensure that you have and maintain a PHENOMENAL family!
What I intend to do in Family First is tell you with great precision what you need to stop doing and what you need to start doing to lead your family with such a pure purpose and power that the competing messages and influences are drowned out. I plan to help you define success for your specific child or children and then take the steps to create and claim it for you and yours. Your children are the stars in your crown and it is time for them to shine; it is okay for them to shine and, if you do your job, shine they will.
It is time that as parents we say, "Hey, I do not surrender, I do not give up. I will not be intimidated by all the forces tugging on my children and family. I will not accept that disconnected children are just 'how it is' these days. I do not accept the epidemics of oral sex, drugs and alcohol in the middle and upper schools. I do not accept a child that appears 'deaf' when I say, 'Pick up your toys and don't hit your sister in the head anymore.' I will not continue to parent out of fear that my kids won't like me if I require more from them behaviorally, academically and spiritually as I teach them that relationship-building is important in life. I will not feel guilty and go into debt trying to keep them in designer clothes and toys from preschool on up! I am not charged with being their friend, I am charged with being their parent, their protector, their teacher and their leader. I will 'rise above my raisin',' if necessary, to break any family legacy that may be contaminating how I lead my family and deal with my children. Give me the specific tools, guidance and techniques and I will work to socialize my children in a way so that they become immune to the many seductive promises of instant gratification, false realities and provocative lifestyles of today's fast-paced world. I will not let the television or Internet 'babysit' them as I communicate only through e-mails, pagers and cell phones. I will instead plug in the old-fashioned way and prepare them to deal with the distractions that assault them and blur their vision of self. I will create the pride, unity and loyalty and 'team spirit' that is so critical to a phenomenal family."
As fellow parents, Robin and I prayed about this important challenge and made a pledge to each other, to our family and ultimately to God a number of years ago, and I now invite you to do the same through the reading and application of Family First and any and all of the many resources listed in the bibliographical references. What you are about to do — whether it is part of an effort to get your family out of the ditch and back up on the road of life or to strengthen and protect the wonderful family you now enjoy — is give your family the greatest advantage that you can.
So buckle up and hold on, as we do this together, hand in hand!
P.S. Your kids just got lucky!
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like