Navigating the Rapids of Parenting Review (Parenting Made Practical Review)

When I heard that there was a chance to review something called the Navigating the Rapids of Parenting, I jumped at the chance. First, because is there another metaphor that perfectly captures raising tiny humans? It does feel like being swept away by water sometimes. Also, did I mention that I have a huge fear of boats, boat-ish and boat-like vessels? For some people, parenting is instinctive. For me, it often feels like I’m flailing around in the void. I’m happy to receive any help I can get.

Parenting Made Practical goal is to raise “obedient, respectful, and responsible” children.

The video is by Parenting Made Practical and led by parent-educators Joey and Carla Link. Their expertise stems from 30 years of experience. It examines the different stages of parenting, from babyhood all the way up to the college years.

The video is chock full of information about the phases kids and their parents go through. It is similar to other parenting videos or books in that it goes into detail about the whys and whens of typical behaviors at each stage. What stood out for me the most though is that the video makes the point that some behavior issues take years to work through.

H is turning six next month. Already, we can feel like she’s saying goodbye to her baby-ness.

In the first part of the video, the focus on young children and the expectations of their behaviors. In our case, we have a very clear picture of  how we want H to behave. Of course there are little details, like asking to be excused before standing up from meal or learning how to share her toys without grumbling. But, our goal for her at this stage in life is distilled into one rule: do unto others what you want them to unto you.

The video goes on to talk about how important it is to have independent thinkers, which I wholeheartedly agree with. I’ll be a parent forever, but my child is only a child for a short time. The things I teach my children should allow them to think for themselves. Hopefully, the way we raise them now will lead them to making the right choices in the future.

Parenting videos are tricky, since what counts as gold for one can be eyeroll-inducing for another. There are just so many schools of thought when it comes to parenting that it’s hard to wade through the information. But this particular video has such sincere, practical advice it’s hard to disagree with. Please note though that the video does make use of passages from the Bible when making certain points.

The video itself is well-made. You can tell that this was not a haphazard production. The sound quality is good and the visuals are not distracting. The pace is just right, so that you don’t get lost in unnecessary examples of ramblings. You get what you came for when you watch this video.

All in all, Navigating the Rapids of Parenting is a good purchase for those who are looking for guidance (or even reassurance) when it comes to parenting their kids. It’s a good purchase for families with younger kids since it gives you the advantage of knowing things before it actually happens. For those with older kids, the company also has other products like Dating, Courting, & Choosing a Mate… What Works?

To learn more about the products and Parenting Made Practical, you can connect with them through their social media accounts:



Parenting Made Practical {Reviews}

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My Big Mommy Mistake


… is that I overestimate myself. I’m a mommy, not a superhuman.

Rest is good. Sleep is good. Asking for help is ok.


Crazy Mommy

I love my daughter down to the core, but sometimes she can really drive me nuts.


“I’m crying just so I can see how my mommy will react!”

Now that she’s a year old, I’ve noticed that my sweet little baby has been replaced with a real human being, complete with the ability to push other people’s buttons.

Although she’s still sweet 99 percent of the time, the remainder is spent testing her limits — throwing things on the floor then staring at me to see my reaction, touching things I specifically told her not to, and doing backbends when she does not want to get picked up. Fun.

When she gets into one of those moods, I approach the situation as calmly as possible.


“I want to tear my hair out!”

Other times, I just do a serene face to help my little darling calm down.



I think it’s safe to say that after a whole year of being a mom, I’m an expert at handling a fussy baby.


“Let’s just wait for daddy to come home.”

On those days, one thought keeps me going: I’m not here. I look forward to when I can finally step away from taking care of the baby and catch a break.  Mothers, I am learning, need a breather from the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the territory of raising a person.

So, I take a break. Maybe I can even devote some time to blog. Frankly, these breaks don’t last very long. I come running back to my baby because even if she can drive me crazy, I’m just a mess without her.


 “Waaaah. I miss my baby.”


Day 538: I told myself no pictures but…

I couldn’t resist. I encountered this painting by Eugène Carrière through one of my daily blog reads and it reminded  me so much of Hannah as a newborn.

via Marvelous Kiddo


This picture was taken on the day we came home from the hospital. My little three-day old, gingerly touching my bloated face.

Wish your mommy a happy birthday, Hannah. It’s my first with you around, and I can’t even imagine life before you. You and your daddy are the reasons why this is the best birthday ever.



Day 520: New Skills, Mad Skills





Rainy season is bug season. I never minded it very much before but since Hannah arrived, I’ve become a lean, mean mosquito killing machine.  I now have bionic reflexes. I can grab mosquitoes in mid-flight and crush them at one fell swoop. If you’ve got wings and an intention to bite my daughter, you’re dead.

In less violent news, unless you’re fabric, I’ve discovered another skill. Crafting! Using this pattern as a guide, I made a fabric flower for Hannah. We were going to an event and I thought her plain white dress was a little too blah.

I’m totally high off the success of my little project. Today a flower, tomorrow the world. Martha, I’ve got my eye on you.


Day 496: What Nobody Told Me About Motherhood

Sometimes motherhood feels like,

As I mentioned before, the only things I took care of before were a tomato plant and a dog. I have no idea what to expect when it comes to raising a human being and that uncertainty can be very stressful.

Other times, I swear motherhood is like,

A lot has been said about motherhood being a balancing act. You have to find time to take care of the baby, be a wife, run the household, maintain a career. Plus there are so many articles about how you can look good while doing all of these things.

All I can say is that there is no balance, especially during the first couple of weeks. I’ve learned from experience (I accepted a writing assignment that was due two days after I gave birth. Duh.) that if you try to have it all, you just end up doing a shoddy job at all of them.

Motherhood entails sacrifice. In my case, it means giving up work assignments and time alone. As far as looking good? Lies. I consider it a lucky day if I get to completely rinse the shampoo off my hair before having to run out of the bathroom.

Another lie? That parenting is a private affair.

Nobody told me that there’s parenting pressure. It’s like peer pressure, only 10 million times worse. Other people will inevitably have a say in how you are dealing with your kid. It can range from the subtle — “Oh, you just let your baby go through the hiccups. Some parents give their babies milk.” — to swatting your hand away as you’re cleaning up your child because they think you’re doing it wrong (yes, this has happened to me).

There’s also a self-imposed kind of pressure. I find myself eyeing other parents, gauging myself against them. I think, are they doing a better job? Since I didn’t get the fancy, Scandinavian designed strollers like they did, will my kid’s development be stunted?

I even spent a morning calculating the percentage of Facebook likes a picture of my child received to make sure that others get how pretty she is. In case you’re curious, based on the ratio of responses to number of Facebook friends, we’re at 13.8%. Not bad compared to the others who were at 10.4% and even 5%. Still there’s room for improvement so I’m thinking I should be more active in social networking sites.

You say neurotic? I say, try being a parent. There’s so much love in your heart for this little one that you just want to make sure, be absolutely sure, that you’re giving her the best because she deserves it.

Finally, nobody mentioned that no matter how stressful, frustrating, or exhausting it is, there’s is no feeling greater than seeing your baby’s big belly, changing her diaper, or smelling her tiny toes. Wait, other mothers have said that?

Well, it bears repeating.




Day 464: Celebrating, Baby Style

How do you know that you’re dealing with parents? They cheer over occasions that only a parent will celebrate.

Mundane occasions.

Gross occasions.

Even occasions when nothing really happens.

Hannah sighs and we fall into a trance. She coos, we burst at the seams with delight. All she has to do is exist and we’re done for. She’s the best, most amazing little lady in the whole universe.

Oh, and one more sign you’re dealing with a parent? We tend to speak in a very distinct way.