It all started with a little boy named Kyle. His parents had asked me and John to babysit, even though we had no children of our own and had no idea what to expect. They explained that Kyle was very predictable and assured us that it would be an easy way to earn a few bucks. They were absolutely correct.
Kyle’s parents laid out the whole evening for us when we arrived. We would give him his last bottle of the night, keep him awake to play for a while, and then when he got cranky, it was time to put him down for the night. They explained that he would lay in bed and cry for just a few minutes and then would fall asleep and we probably wouldn’t hear from him again. We could spend the rest of the evening watching a movie, and that’s exactly what happened.
How did they know this about their son? Were they just incredibly “lucky” to have been given an “easy baby”? Or was it something else?
Turns out it was a program called “Preparation for Parenting” (aka “Babywise”). And when we found out that we were expecting our first child, we knew that we would be signing up to take the same class. And when Joshua was born on 6-14-02, we applied the same principles that Kyle’s parents had and Joshua turned out to be another “textbook” baby. He slept 8 hours at 5 1/2 weeks and 12 hours at 8 weeks (and still does, at 17 years old, when given the opportunity). 🙂
We went on to take “Preparation for the Toddler Years” and “Growing Kids God’s Way” and then started leading classes at our home. We were surrounded by like-minded parents, not only those who came to our home for classes, but also with fellow class leaders who got together once per month for dinner, training and fellowship. Everyone’s kids played together at these monthly gatherings and our community grew stronger together.
Jordan Rose was born in 2006 and she was not the “textbook” baby that Joshua and Kyle had been. However, the fact that she wasn’t sleeping helped us to figure out that she had food allergies. If we hadn’t known what was “normal”, it would have been much more difficult to figure out that something was “abnormal.”
In 2007, we moved from Clawson to Clinton Township and continued to lead classes. But it seemed that it was getting harder and harder for families to find babysitters, carve time out of their busy schedules and fight the traffic to get to weekly classes. In 2011, we opened a bait and tackle store and it became impossible to keep leading classes with John working two jobs. So, we stopped leading, but we kept applying the principles we had learned and occasionally we were able to attend National Conferences held by Growing Families International.
In 2017 and 2018, we attended the National Family Camp in Carlinville, IL. In 2018, they announced that all classes would now be available for free on their brand new website: https://growingfamilies.life . That was a beautiful step in the right direction, but something was missing. Watching videos from the comfort of your own home is great, but what about the community of like-minded parents?
Well, just 2 weeks ago that issue was solved. Now you can join a Growing Families class from the convenience of your home (or anywhere you are) using a phone, tablet, or computer: https://growingfamilies.life/find-a-class-home?rq=Find%20a%20class
“Participants watch each week’s video lesson prior to class time and then come together online using the Zoom® group meeting platform. Class time is dedicated to discussion, questions and answers, and additional teaching from experienced, certified class facilitators/mentoring coaches.”
Yipppppeeee!!! No more issues with babysitters, busy schedules and traffic! 🙂 Below, I’ve listed upcoming classes available as of today, 8-20-19. Please use the following link to find the most up-to-date class info: https://growingfamilies.life/on-line-find-class-by-course?rq=On%20line%20Find
And while you’re waiting for your class to start, check out the on-line videos here: https://growingfamilies.life/parenting-video-master-page
Scroll down that page to get to “Most Popular/Viewed Short Segments” for information on the interrupt courtesy, couch time (preventing childhood insecurities), the five minute warning (encouraging first time obedience), gaining self control (folding hands), emotional touchpoints (love languages), choice addiction (“Red cup, blue cup”), bribing, threatening and repeating parents (“Are you listening to me?”), encouragement for dads, potty training and much more.
Here’s a little preview of what you’ll find there:
Blessings to you and your families.
Preparation for Parenting
- Thursdays beginning October 17, 2019 at 7pm EST
- Tuesdays beginning August 6, 2019 at 7:30pm EST
- Tuesdays beginning September 3, 2019 at 8:30pm EST
Tree of Life, Part 1
- Sundays beginning September 8, 2019 at 5:00pm EST
- Mondays beginning September 16, 2019 at 8:30pm EST
Growing Kids God’s Way
- Tuesdays beginning October 15, 2019 at 7:00pm EST