Family Toolbox Review

AJ and I were recently given the opportunity to review a new program for families with kids ages 10 to 18 called Family Toolbox. The Family Toolbox was created by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN from the National Center for Biblical Parenting. It is meant for kids and parents to work together and learn 16 life principles.

What is the Family Toolbox exactly?

It is a video based program that includes 8 different videos that are each 2 to 3 minutes long. The videos show a realistic real life situation between parents and teens. To go along with the videos there is a workbook designed for both the teens and the parents to complete. In each video two different life success principles are addressed. Some of the life success principles include; avoiding arguing, developing internal motivation, accepting no as an answer, viewing the family as a team, and so many other useful skills. The workbook includes thought provoking questions about the video along with Bible verses that go along with the topics being discussed. There is also a second set of videos that are each about 10 minutes long. They are designed to be watched by the parents. These videos go along with the short videos and include great parenting advice and practical solutions. 

How long is each lesson?  

Each lesson lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. The lessons are divided into four steps. The first step is the introduction where a little bit of background information is provided to set up the scene for the video that you are about to watch. Step two is to watch the video.The third step is the discussion. During the discussion there are questions the teens are to answer in the workbook about what they watched on the video. This is where the life success principles are addressed and the teen is asked thought provoking questions about each principal. After each success principle there is a Bible section. In this section there is a Bible verse along with an explanation as to how it applies to the success principal. The final step is conclusion and prayer. In this step the teen is asked how they can apply the principles to their own life, and then they pray with their parents. There are a total of 8 lessons in the program. Find out more about what is covered in each of the lessons here.

What did we think?

After reading through the workbook and watching some of the videos I was surprised. I usually stay away from parenting books and anything that tries to tell me how to raise my little one, but the video here made me want to try the program out. I wasn’t sure what to expect…. but I was pleasantly surprised. The videos weren’t preachy. Watching the videos actually made me feel like a friend was sitting down giving me a little bit of practical advice. 

I really enjoyed the short video clips. The scenes were believable and unfortunately I saw myself in a few of the parents in the clips. While not necessarily doing something wrong, they were not making the best decisions in some of the situations. I liked the fact that the blame for the difficult situation in the video was never put on just the parent or the child. In the discussion section we were asked questions about the behavior of both the kids and the adults in the videos. 

Both AJ and I appreciated how short and too the point the lessons were. While the workbook is designed to be written in, we decided to just discuss the questions. She hates to write so I figured that the lessons would work better if we just completed them verbally.
Overall I feel that this is a solid program that can help teach great family values. While it is too soon to tell how the program is going to turn out, I think it offers a lot of great advice. I have already learned quite a few tips that both AJ and myself can use to make the coming up teen years a little smoother. 
The only thing that I disliked about the program was the price. For a downloadable copy of the program it is $79.95 and for a physical copy it is $99.95. While it is a great product I personally could not justify that price. However I am a cheapskate. If you were to go to parenting classes or workshops you would more than likely spend way more, so if you and your teens are butting heads, this may be the perfect program for you.

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