It’s the nature of kids to grow. It never stops, they are always growing and changing. It’s keeping up that is the hard part. If you are a parent I’m sure you’ve felt that just as you think you’ve finally got your child, they go and grow up another year and it’s feels like you back to square one. It’s easy to see how their bodies are changing, but not so easy to understand how they are changing on the inside. Every year a lot is changing for your child. They are changing in 6 fundamental ways – Physically, Mentally, Relationally, Culturally, Emotionally, and Morally. And these changes affect how they think, learn, feel and relate.

So how do we help them navigate these changes when it often feels like we are always one step behind? We proactively get ahead.

But with so many resources available where do you start? What is worth your time? What helps you where you’re at right now? Let me introduce you to the best parenting resource we have found that has something for every year from zero through to 18…

 

THE PHASE GUIDES

Created over 4 years through a synthesis of personal experience, academic research, and gatherings of leaders and educational experts from across the child development spectrum in the US these guides are designed to help you parent your child through every year.

Here are three reasons these guides are worth your time:

  1. They’re concise, because you’re short on time.
  2. They’re clear, because straight-forward and simple are two concepts you crave.
  3. They’re customizable, with lots of room for your thoughts, because your experience is different than everyone else’s.

“You have approximately 936 weeks from the time your child is born until he or she graduates from high school. It goes by fast, and kids change and grow quickly. It’s as if they shift or move on just as you’re starting to figure them out. It all makes the responsibility to shape a child’s character feel overwhelming.

 

Phase Guides are an 18-part series of concise and interactive journal-style books that simplify what parents need to know about each phase of a kid’s life and give them the opportunity to discover more about their children—so they can make the most of every phase. Discover…what’s changing about your kid over the next 52 weeks, the 6 things your kid needs most, and 4 conversations to have in this phase.”

I have no doubt that as a parent you want the very best for your child, no one knows him or her like you do or could love him or her more than you. And that is something that the authors have cleverly incorporated. These guides are intentionally designed to help you combine things about children at that phase with what you know about your child, to guide you through the next 52 weeks of parenting.  

These guides are also all about practical, relevant and interactive use – this means there is minimal words and plenty of thought-provoking questions and space to write, as well as books to read with the kids, ways to have fun with your child, words to speak to him or her, and ways to make the day to day more intentional.

The guides build on each other, so as your child grows and changes your approach changes along with them. For example, in every book there is a section on the ‘4 Conversations to Have in the Phase’. This section gives parents scripts to have crucial conversations on four key areas, Healthy Habits, Sexual Integrity, Technological Responsibility and Authentic Faith. And they don’t just add this section in the book from age 5 or such. The very first book ‘Parenting Your New Baby’ has scripts for these key areas. Navigating these areas is already hard enough in a rapidly changing world, let alone trying to change the angle and approach to grow with your child and reach him or her at their level. These guides ensure a foundation is laid from the beginning and age-appropriate approaches build on that foundation every 52 weeks.

Being a parent is an ever-changing job like no other and they say nothing can quite prepare you for this job. Sometimes it might feel like your child or teenager has gone nuts, but let me tell you, you will be encouraged as you pick up the guide you need right now and read the cover caption – you will see that your child is not the only one that is like that, they are in a significant phase and there is hope and a way to parent proactively in this phase. These books are separated into a book for each year, and are meant to give you what you want to know right now. Not what you need to know when your child is 6 months, 6 years and 16 years and all the rest in one massive terrifying parenting book. When let’s be real your child is 15 and you just want to know what your child needs at 15.

 

NEW BOOKS THIS YEAR….

18 PLUS – PARENTING YOUR EMERGING ADULT 

This book is a follow on from the Phase Guides. Described as “The phase when your emerging adult pulls away more, needs you again, does things for the first time and you both keep asking, “What now?””

You’ve parented for 936 weeks, and your kid has graduated and moved on to what’s next. Whether they still live at home or you’ve already converted their room into a workout studio, you might be in the best phase of your kid’s life. While parenting won’t look the same anymore, it isn’t over yet. Your kid still needs you.

 

Eighteen Plus is a guide to help you parent in this new unfamiliar phase. You will discover how your emerging adult is changing, how their world is changing, and what they still need from you (besides more money.)”

EVERY PARENT’S GUIDE TO NAVIGATING OUR DIGITAL WORLD 

This is one book I am very excited about! I just recently read this book and was so encouraged by the well rounded and positive approach they have taken to the help families navigate the unknown, fast moving and overwhelming world of digital and social media. One key quote that stood out to me was, “They are trying to make sense of the only world they know.” For this generation they don’t know what it was like before the digital world existed, this is their world. But even though this is their world, they still need us to help them navigate it. So this book is a great tool, it’s not a “do’s and don’t’s” book, it’s a guide with information and discussion questions and it’s well worth the read for sure! 

“Feel like your kids are drowning in a sea of new questions, apps, and devices? Want to talk about digital media more with your kids, but aren’t sure how? Help is here. Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating our Digital World helps you think and talk differently about digital media, as you learn from inspiring and creative parents like you who navigate these ever-changing waters day after day.

 

How to teach your kids to use social media responsibly.
How to handle the tough stuff: inappropriate sharing, bullying and porn.
How to set limits on when, where, and how much you use devices in your family—without isolating your kids from their friends.
How to make digital media a force that knits your family together rather than ripping you apart at the seams.”

 

We want to give you the opportunity to get your hands on the books you need. So, at LifeSwitch they will be available for ordering, with the last day for ordering being the 3rd November. Keep an eye out for The Phase Guides desk in the foyer and have a look through our box set of books available for viewing. The Phase Guides are $20 each and the two new books are $25 each. And they are worth every dollar, the benefits to your parenting in this stage of your child’s life will be immeasurable. Ordering is simple, just pick up an order form from The Phase Guides desk, fill it out and return to The Hub. Payments can be made via eftpos, cash or internet banking. 

Please Note:

  • Your order will not be processed until payment has been received.
  • Eftpos is available at the LifeSwitch Café, please note on your form if you paid this way.
  • Account details for internet banking can be acquired by emailing laurel@lifeswitch.org.nz.
  • The books are not available immediately as they will be shipped from the US and will take a few weeks to arrive. We will get in touch once your order is available for collection.

Whether you child is a baby, toddler, or preschooler, at primary school, intermediate or high school or now an emerging adult there is a Guide for you. I can’t recommend these guides more highly – with minimal words and a whole lot of practicality, they are worth it. And more importantly your child is worth it. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch by emailing melinda@lifeswitch.org.nz.

BOOKS AVAILABLE:  
NEW BABY – THE “I NEED YOU NOW” PHASE
ONE YEAR OLD – THE “I CAN DO IT” PHASE
TWO-YEAR-OLD – THE “I CAN DO IT” PHASE
THREE-YEAR-OLD – THE “WHY?” PHASE
FOUR-YEAR-OLD – THE “WHY?” PHASE
KINDERGARTNER (5-YEAR-OLD) – THE “LOOK AT ME!” PHASE
FIRST GRADER (6-YEAR-OLD) – THE “LOOK AT ME!” PHASE
SECOND GRADER (7-YEAR-OLD) – THE “SOUNDS LIKE FUN!” PHASE
THIRD GRADER (8-YEAR-OLD) – THE “SOUNDS LIKE FUN!” PHASE
FOURTH GRADER (9-YEAR-OLD) – THE “I’VE GOT THIS” PHASE
FIFTH GRADER (10-YEAR-OLD) – THE “I’VE GOT THIS” PHASE
SIXTH GRADER (11-YEAR-OLD) – THE “WHO CARES” PHASE
SEVENTH GRADER (12-YEAR-OLD) – THE “WHO’S GOING?” PHASE
EIGHTH GRADER (13-YEAR-OLD) – THE “YEAH… I KNOW” PHASE
NINTH GRADER (14-YEAR-OLD) – THE “THIS IS ME NOW” PHASE
TENTH GRADER (15-YEAR-OLD) – THE “WHY NOT?” PHASE
ELEVENTH GRADER (16-YEAR-OLD) – THE “JUST TRUST ME” PHASE
TWELFTH GRADER (17-YEAR-OLD) – THE “WHAT’S NEXT?” PHASE
18 PLUS – PARENTING YOUR EMERGING ADULT
EVERY PARENT’S GUIDE TO NAVIGATING OUR DIGITAL WORLD

 

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