Parenting a House United: Changing children’s hearts and behaviors by teaching self-government
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Parenting a House United: Changing children’s hearts and behaviors by teaching self-government

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  160 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Parenting A House United is based on Nicholeen’s popular seminar series Teaching Self-Government. This book shows parents the communication skills they need to teach children to govern themselves. With the proper family environment and understanding of childhood behaviors homes can become happier. Even if families simply implement some of Nicholeen’s tested parenting princ...more
Paperback, 377 pages
Published December 2009 (first published 2009)
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This book was highly recommended, but I was still a bit skeptical, as I always am with self-help type books. So what a pleasant surprise to find some powerful principles of truth! These ideas of parenting and family communication are based on compassion, respect and empathy. Most importantly, this book focuses on how parents MUST GOVERN THEMSELVES to allow their children to learn from them. This is an area in which I struggle, so I feel relieved and hopeful to have a pattern to follow. There are...more
Flint Stephens
Since publishing my book on parenting early this year, I’ve researched the writings of numerous authors who have dealt with the same subject. The two major parenting approaches I read tend to focus on religion or psychology.

While both are valid, they often lack practicality.

As a result, I was pleased to discover the work of Nicholeen Peck, who provides a wealth of practical advice and clearly explains how to apply it in specific situations. Parenting: A House United is a book I wish had been ava...more
Well, I wrote this, so it's not fair to really review it I suppose. I will say that this book is not just mine. I wrote it for someone much greater than myself. It is my hope that it will bring happiness to homes and inspire a vision of a new way to interact as families. Times are hard everywhere. There is no more important time to strengthen homes and families than now. That is the purpose of this book. I hope you enjoy it. :)To order this book go to
This book had some great parenting ideas. I loved the way that Nicholeen describes having a family vision, motto, and a set of rules. They use a family government system that I'm sure works when organized properly. The only problem with this book is Nicholeen seems to have a huge amount of patience, and I'm not sure I could live up to her high standards of consistency and calmness.
Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars.

Horribly "written" it is poorly organized, and FULL of typographical mistakes.

I love, love LOVE her idea of family vision and missions. Setting goals, having meetings.

But like many would be positive parents she has consequences instead of punishments, but then she just gets lazy and has punishments that she calls consequences instead. I also don't like how often she talks about bribing/punishing with food (though of course she calls them consequences) You could de...more
I read this book several years ago and took a class with the author. I really loved the focus on long term family vision and helping kids to see the connection between their choices and the consequences that go with them, and letting those speak for themselves. I like the focus on the parents governing their own emotions and communication with respect and kindness regardless of the choices the kids make, and being the example. I didn't like the scripted responses to disobedience because it seeme...more
Jul 18, 2011 Melissa marked it as to-read
I made it a little more than half way through this book before having to return it to the library. I've listened to Nicholeen Peck speak a couple of times and have a learned a lot of practical parenting tips from her. Because of this I wondered if the book would just be full of more of the same. I was pleasantly surprised that what I read was very valuable to me and my family. The first chapters of the book focus on creating a family vision and family mission statement. Whenever I've heard this...more
I finished this book. I need to let this marinate and I need to work with it a bit before rating it. I will say that there were many, many suggestions that instinctively felt "right" to me - the family government idea is brilliant and one that I will work towards promoting in my own home.

I absolutely agree with the end result that the author wants us to keep in mind - to raise children who can self govern themselves and who take responsibility for their actions and emotions.

I am struggling wit...more
I really enjoyed this book and the principles she teaches. I read it out loud to my husband as we drove all over the country. He is now reading it on his own and taking all sorts of notes.

We plan on implementing much of her plan in our family. We've started using some techniques already and the kids are really responding well.

At first it felt strange to think of a family government or economy. But we've also felt that we're just floating through life, without any direction. Shooting from the hi...more
This book is overflowing with fantastic ideas for creating a house of order and a home environment where families are strengthened and individual growth fostered. Peck details her family's approach to discipline, family decision making, agency, self-government, and all the other techniques that they use to create a family that is united in heart and in mission. As she explains, she learned a lot of these techniques while working as a foster parent for the state of Utah. Specific actions include...more
My visiting teacher suggested this book after a conversation about some parenting challenges I was having. There were some really good thoughts here! This was one of the most logical, practical books on parenting I've read. Here are a few points that really resonated with me:

* We are teaching kids to master themselves: their actions, their thoughts. We don't want them to be good out of convenience for us as parents but so they can be functioning, happy adults in society!

* "Janet's Junk Food Prin...more
I highly recommend this book to all parents and those who work with youth. Mrs. Peck shares her wealth of knowledge and experience with the reader as she describes the principles that she discovered and developed through parenting her own children and many foster-children.

This book helped me see parenting and family responsibilities much like I view political economy. Too often, through main stream media, tradition, or other influences, we get caught up in policy and reactionary responses to sp...more
I know this has been pointed out OVER and over again..but for my own reference:

The editing is HORRIBLE in this book. (the author has addressed the issue- I hope they are able to reprint with new edits and clean the book up a bit.)

The content is WONDERFUL. Wonderful enough that I am willing to still give the book 5 stars because it outshines the poor editing.

This is changing the way our family interacts with each other. Our family meetings are becoming SO effective and I am constantly amazed at...more
Jun 12, 2014 Jennifer is currently reading it
I am only a few chapters in and I have a lot to contemplate. I get the feeling it is more about how I act than how to get my children to act. I suppose a little self reflection isn't a bad thing! I heard her speak at a homeschool conference and she had some great practical ideas about teaching and modeling self government.
Marie Hyde
This book has a cult following among home schoolers, so I thought I should pick it up and see what all the excitement was about. I am not a huge fan. I certainly respect the author's dedication to helping foster kids and raising responsible kids of her own. But, it's just not my style. It feels too scripted and controlling for my tastes. I'll be the first to admit that I will end up in 10 times the debates with my kids than the author because of this difference, but I'm OK with that. I think the...more
Deborah Brunt
Excellent. Love love love the idea of teaching self-government. It is such a great truth. This is the only way to help our children learn to master their emotions, behaviour, appetites. I love how the corrective teaching is done with love. That softens hearts...
Karina Palmer
I bought this as a gift for my mom who teaches parenting classes, then I read it myself. I had no idea it would impact our family for good in such a profound way. If we weren't already implementing some of her ideas, I think I'd feel overwhelmed by all her suggestions. But I started implementing these ideas of teaching my kids self-government and our home was immediately more peaceful and less stressful from disobedience. I love it that I can parent/discipline/teach self-government and never hav...more
Absolutely the best book on parenting that I have read. I appreciated Nicholeen's vast experience with Foster Care in the Utah Community Village and how she blended her training from there with her understanding of faith. I consider this book to be the umbrella parenting books that pulls together Love and Logic, Proverbs, techniques for Strong Willed children and does it in a very peaceful and child-respecting way. This book is absolutely about boundaries but it is also about understanding the s...more
Written by a home schooling mom and parenting expert, Nicholeen Peck gives some great ideas for uniting your home and dealing with discipling/parenting issues, even if you don't home school. Peck was featured on the British TV show "World's Strictest Parents," (which is a misleading title, because she is so sweet and fair). You can watch the TV program on Youtube or from her website, I love her ideas and have implemented some with with our family. I don't agree wi...more
I just got this book from the library and can't wait to learn more from this wise parent.
Tons of helpful skills. It's humbling to take a truthful look at your parenting skills. Mine have much to be desired, which is why I'm so glad Nicholeen shares her insights. I love the clear expectations she lays out for her family. In a nutshell, my parenting problems are directly related to my underdeveloped communication skills. I have much to work on. So sad that I have to return it to the library now...more
Bonnie Bollard
This book really opened my eyes to what is possible through hard work. It is not the easiest method to parenting I have heard of but it has already been effective for my children! I have a lot to learn but I also am full of hope that the methods in this book can help my family!
I debated between 4 and 5 stars--the content is 5-star, but the writing and editing aren't always that great. This is one of those books you wish you had had 13 years ago when you first started parenting. I heard one mother of around 10 children say if she had read this book first, she wouldn't have needed to read the hundreds of others. The ideas really are that good (when applied with your own inspiration, of course). Can't wait to implement some of her stuff.
I read through this as fast as possible and now am reading it again to try to understand the concepts even better. We are using the ideas in our home to try to change the way we communicate with each other and have a more unified family. Nicholeen tends to repeat herself too much and at times I wondered if the editor should have taken more out but overall I think this book and the ideas presented will help my family in many ways. Worth reading!
This is the best parenting book I've ever read, and I've read a lot! In fact, it's in the top three of my books that have changed my life. I still have so much to learn, but the principles she teaches and how she manages her family is inspirational. She's Mormon and so her values and perspective align with mine. Gives great solutions for tantruming toddlers up to how to handle teenagers. I love it and I'm re-reading it again.
Mary Ann
I heard Nicholeen speak many years ago at a homeschool conference. She had nothing published then so I bought the tape of her lecture and listened to is at home while taking copious notes. Now she has a book out and has been on TV. While the writing probably could have used a good editor the ideas in her book are phenomenal. I think everyone should go check out Nicholeen's website
Hmmmm... I would probably give this book 3.5 stars. A lot of her ideas were not new, but it was nice to reveiw them. I didn't agree with everything that she had to say, but will probably implement a few of her ideas into our home. If you're having trouble disciplining your kids, or need ideas on how to work with them, I would definitely read this book. It would be a great place to start...
This book has light and truth weaver throughout it. As I read I kept thinking that this is how God deals with us, his children, therefore it would be good for me to deal with my children this way. I agree with other reviews that the grammar errors distract so I look forward to an improved revision. However the content is so valuable the book is highly worthy of being read and studied regardless.
If I could give the book 5 and a half stars for being so helpful in providing real-life application and real change in improved behavior in my children, I would! From one-on-one mentoring sessions weekly with children, learning how to teach children to disagree appropriately, and avoiding power struggles, her methods and ideas take consistent effort, but they have really worked for us.
My favorite parenting book! I think the main differences between this book and other parenting books are:

(1) It's all about keeping a vision for what you want for your family
(2) Having regular routines like family council
(3) Specific direction on how to implement her system, yet flexible for your family
(4) Power of calm
(5) Emphasis on YOUR consistency as a parent
This book should be required reading for parents. It has completely changed the way that I interact with my kids, and they will be better communicators and decision makers because of it. It's hard to get a copy of, but worth the effort. P.S. The grammar is atrocious. It was edited by amateurs, but don't let that detract you from the message.
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Nicholeen Peck is a mother of four and previous foster parent of many. She has been trained and certified in using the “Teaching Family Model”, which was developed at Boys Town and is used by the Utah Youth Village. Nicholeen did foster care for very difficult teens. She taught children with ADHD, OCD, kleptomania, compulsive lying, anger control issues, etc. She said, “I taught behaviors, not med...more
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“When I feel the ball start to grow in my stomach, I immediately do one of two things. I either change environments, by going to weed the garden or fold some laundry while taking deep breaths, or I start describing the situation which is bothering me, being very conscious that my words are only honest descriptions and not reactions. Sometimes, an issue is especially large to cope with, so I find a private place and pray. I pray until I feel a spirit of calmness, the spirit of God.” 3 likes
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