As a one-time counselor and parent educator, I'm well-versed in the mantras of effective parenting: 1) have clear expectations and 2) be consistent.
Scott Gale has your back in the Clear Expectations arena. Your Family Constitution: A Modern Approach to Family Values and Household Structure outlines a plan for writing up a document for each family member to agree to, stating expectations and consequences. More importantly, it takes parents through a step-by-step process for determining what these expectations might be: what are our longterm goals for our children, and how can we help them develop the traits and habits we value most highly?
Gale, who doesn't have a background in counseling or family dynamics, also shares the parenting struggles which led him to devise a "constitution" for his own family. While his methods aren't groundbreaking, they are sound, and provide ideas parents can use to make "Have Clear Expectations" into something tangible. Gale advocates for as much child-involvement in the process as possible along the way.
I'll be interviewing author Scott Gale at the end of next week, so if you have questions for him about the book, I welcome them! I'm looking forward to learning more about how he incorporated rewards into the program (he alludes to using family activities as rewards, but I didn't find them written into the actual contract) and how the constitution has evolved since the book was written--since, as any parent can tell you, as soon as we get those kiddos figured out, they change.
Your Family Constitution was provided for review by Pump Up Your Book.