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

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  276 Ratings  ·  101 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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Feb 23, 2010 Nicholeen rated it it was amazing
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
Flint Stephens
Sep 04, 2012 Flint Stephens rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 28, 2013 Beth rated it liked it
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
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
Mar 04, 2012 Laurie rated it it was amazing
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
I am having a really hard time rating this book. I disagree with the author on a few really fundamental and foundational issues, so most of the book really goes off rails for me for that reason. However, this book did reinforce the idea that my husband and I need to set up a somewhat formal system of "government" for our family and that my children need predictable and consistent consequences for specific behaviors, as a rule. So, for that reason I cannot disregard it completely as one that was ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Sara rated it liked it
Recommended to Sara by: Melissa Eggertsen
Shelves: parenting

I know people who love this book and others that have completely been turned off by this book. I know families that have had great improvements with their children's behavior and with their own parenting abilities from following the outline from this book.

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, some of the things that Mrs. Peck observed and said in the book were really profound. Things that were said would really ring true to me. Or make me stop and ponder.

But then she wou
Tanya W
Oct 14, 2015 Tanya W rated it it was amazing
Okay, I'm not done yet, but this is an amazing parenting book and maybe the last I'll ever read. I would (and probably will) recommend this to friends because it's that good... and I rarely make book recommendations.

I can see that it is already helping my family as we are in some bad habits that can make life unpleasant. I wish I had discovered this 8 years ago, but maybe I wouldn't have been ready for it. The principles are good for families that don't need a lot of help, but just a little impr
Oct 08, 2014 Laurel rated it it was amazing
When I first heard of Nicholeen Peck I thought that her ideas were a little artificial and forced. Then a few years later I heard her speak again and I thought her strategy was worth a shot. When my husband and I started implementing just a few of her ideas we saw dramatic results and we had an easier way to navigate conflicts in our family. Finally, we bought her book and I just finished reading it. We are slowing implementing her strategies a few at a time, but so far it is really working for ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Boston rated it it was amazing
Best parenting book I've ever read! Teaching children to learn to govern themselves--what a concept! We have implemented pretty much everything from this book and seen amazing results!
Jun 05, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
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
Mar 26, 2015 Sewingdervish rated it it was ok
I feel like the only TJed home schooler that doesn't love this book. I simply can not see the need or understand the desire to have that much control over one's children.
There was some solid parenting advice in this book but that was all stuff that I already knew from experience or had read in several other books. The other advice seemed so controlling to me. I respect my children and their feelings and in turn they obey me as well as children who are still growing and learning can. If I were t
Katie Lorsch
Aug 18, 2014 Katie Lorsch rated it it was amazing
After I heard Nicholeen Peck speak, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about her parenting philosophy. I would give 2 stars for the writing (a lot of errors, unfortunately...not too distracting, but still there) but 5 stars for the content. Most of the content rang true in my heart and is something that I am excited to implement in my home. Peck focuses on the parent being able to govern their emotions and discipline children with love and not anger. This is something I struggle with, but ...more
Oct 08, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it
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.
Deborah Brunt
Jun 02, 2014 Deborah Brunt rated it it was amazing
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...
Mar 09, 2015 Deann rated it it was ok
While there was some good that I took away from this book (the 4 basic skills), a lot of it was very basic. Such as more positive comments (praise, compliments) than negative, family and couple meetings, natural consequences, helping a child understand "you chose" when they disobey, etc.

My reason for 2 stars is:
1) Some of the methods seemed harsh. Throughout the book the author reminds that the methods described come from classes for foster parents. That often means troubled teens and children
May 15, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing
5 stars for content!!!! This system is organized, logical, loving, and makes sense. And it works! Even just in the little bit I have been trying to incorporate into our family I have seen its effectiveness. My kids have responded so well to these methods and because I have to think about what I am supposed to say, I am more calm just by thinking through my response. I love the vision and unity this system can provide my family as well. I appreciate being offered what to say and how to say it. He ...more
Oct 27, 2015 Connie rated it liked it
If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be “overwhelming.” It contains an overwhelming amount of information, and it is overwhelmingly presented and priced. I don’t believe parenting needs to be this overwhelming and complicated. I don’t think you have to follow all these complex rules and procedures to be a successful parent.

The way she presented this book was very haphazard. Often times she would mention an idea and then say, “we will talk about that in a later chapter,” and
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
Jul 22, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 16, 2010 Raven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-classics
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
Feb 06, 2012 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
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
Aug 27, 2014 Courtney rated it really liked it
Although I would say some of the parenting suggestions she recommends are a little strict and beyond what I would probably initiate in my own home, I found that I liked most of her ideas and would like to apply at some sort of level. I loved that she is also LDS, so we share a similar perspective on the family. She also has a great track record with raising and rearing her own, as well as lots of foster children, up in righteousness. I really love the idea of having a family vision and family st ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Tee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely write a review. This book has helped me with my ODD son. I always knew (in my heart) that there was something I could do to help my son gain control! The secret was me gaining control of myself, and giving him consistent consequences. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Nicholeen!

P. S. There are several typos/errors in this book, but the message is crystal clear and extremely helpful.

Marie Hyde
Aug 10, 2011 Marie Hyde rated it it was ok
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
Apr 04, 2016 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Although this book does need edited, the writing was clear and accessible. The main issues lay in formatting and I was able to ignore them, although I have no intention of buying a copy with such errors. (Libraries FTW)

I like what Peck teaches and I want to implement it in my home as my children grow. I'm not sure I can do it all the same way she does, but I want to write down the major ideas and be sure to work them into my parenting style. I would recommend this book.
Aug 01, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
I love Nicholeen's approach and how she runs her home. I do think she might be a little to strict in a few areas, but I am hoping to adopt her calmness, how she does not have any buttons to get pushed, and many other things. I have learned so many better ways to communicate with my kids. Now here is to doing them.. ;)
Angela Larsen
I have heard wonderful things about this book! In fact, I have been waiting 6 months for this book to be available from my library. I read the first few pages but felt like the author was unrelateable; probably around the time she mentioned they only watch tv once a week, together on Friday nights. Again, I know there is great counsel in this book, but I lost interest/felt like it was difficult for me to relate quite quickly.
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editing 1 3 Sep 08, 2010 06:16PM  
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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.” 4 likes
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