Early readers of How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families’ responded to whether they would recommend the book to a friend:
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As I read ‘How Imperfect Parents Lead,’ I found the stories eerily similar to situations that arise in my house. Parenting is the hardest and most important job any of us who are blessed to have children will ever have. Dale and Monica’s honesty and openness make this a must read for any parents who want to be better. Their lessons are practical and fun. Following their framework will make you a better person and a better parent, which ultimately leads to a stronger family.
Packed with powerful insights and ideas, Dale and Monica share straight from the heart experience on this excellent guidebook from parents! Heartfelt wisdom from a couple who has ‘been there done that!’ You won’t want to miss it.”
As a psychotherapist, author and speaker on the subject of parent/teen relationships, I can can sincerely say there are a lot of reasons to read, enjoy and learn from How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. One reason is that it is written by a father, Dale Vernon who struggles to learn to relate with his wife, Monica and their kids in an emotionally relevant and effective way. So instead of an instruction book, we take Dale’s journey with him and Monica. It’s a fun and intriguing story that we can see ourselves, our spouses and our kids in. This is a perfectly imperfect family with special needs kids and parents who, at least initially, are ill equipped to communicate effectively with each other or effectively support their challenged and challenging kids.
Another reason is that it’s written from a male perspective. Dale applies several business management principles and structures to family life and sometimes they’re totally inappropriate, yet when appropriately modified, they work out terrifically. For instance, the idea of family meetings has been around for a long time, and have never really caught on. Well Dale stays with it, makes adjustments, changes the structures, and after a while meetings become an invaluable family tool that even the kids look forward to and utilize.
I was fortunate to have had two healthy children; however, I always said I wish they had more courses and books on raising a family. Family struggles occur daily within our fast-paced society, and I needed to have better insight and tools to be successful to change the culture and imperfections I helped create within our family structure. I realize that I am not perfect and that I lacked the confidence I needed to create a great family culture…The insights and learning experiences/situations provided within the 12 chapters of this book were an easy read that helped me lay a foundation for helping enhance our family unity, provided me with more focus on my communication style which has helped increase my confidence. Overall it provided me with new insights and a focus that has helped our family dynamics. I highly recommend taking the time to read this insightful book and to help you create the family culture you want for yourself and your family.
The reality of picking up a book and reading about a family that I could identify so closely with was both startling and refreshing. The absolute honesty that the Authors use to address their challenges and “imperfect” reactions and traits actually gave me an opportunity to address matters in a similar fashion in our home. As parents of a special needs child, talking openly and honestly about reactions and parenting, our family life and making it a priority are tough, but facing the reality of your responsibilities in the process is often the hardest part. Being reactionary and offering solutions that work in our professional lives… Doesn’t work at home. The absolute honesty and sincere manner these topics were addressed with kept me reading. The strategies used are so on point as well. I actually discussed this book with my husband- it opened the door to a larger conversation that we needed to have. I would highly recommend this book to any parents- whether you have a “typical” household or otherwise.. I loved it.
This is one of those rare books – both highly readable and deeply profound and meaningful. Filled with (sometimes painfully) honest anecdotes, insight after insight, great chapter-end summaries for later review, this book is clearly a labor of love and reflects the warmth, love, commitment and determination of the author. This book is a gem.
My one criticism is going to sound more like praise – and I suppose it is. Some of the territory here has been covered elsewhere. Nothing startlingly new, just wonderful advice and guidance offered in a new way. It’s a little like hearing a song by Sinatra that I loved sung by another great singer – say Tony Bennett. What’s not to love. It’s wonderful to hear a new, creative, unique take on a timeless theme.
This book is heavy on the authors’ anecdotes and their trials and errors, which illustrate the deeper points they are making about parenting. Dale’s conversational, first-person style makes for a very easy digestion of the message.
Two big takeaways for me: 1) How a Type A leader should parent differently than how he/she leads in the business setting. 2) How parents can coordinate their efforts and support each other, even when they have divergent perspectives, strengths, weaknesses, and leadership styles.
My wife is due with our first baby in two weeks. I’m very likely to re-read this book in a few years for a refresher. Here’s hoping Dale and Monica write a sequel relating to their kids’ teenage years.
I loved this book! I really appreciate that Dale and Monica share their struggles and don’t sugarcoat the realities of being a family. I also appreciate that they shared “the how”. So many books are theoretical – this book was very real and I am looking forward to incorporating the strategies they shared into action in my family. Great book – highly recommend for all families.
I was most impressed by the honesty and vulnerability in the tone of the book, which is why the material is approachable for parents. The simple, concise layout of the book is helpful. Dale Vernon demonstrates how parents can lead a family successfully. I appreciated that the Vernons shared their journey about how to launch family meetings and co-create with their children the belonging, purpose and function needed for a satisfying family life. This is a must read for parents trying to gain a balanced sense of control and engage their kids.
We’ve all felt it. Everyone else’s family is blissing away in happy harmony, while mine is struggling with endless quandaries, my wife and I constantly torn by conflicting needs at work, home, and each other.
By the end of Chapter ‘Unity’, you’ll see yourself in this book. You’ll see how Mom/Dad responded initially, then over time how they recognized the significant need to focus on one priority both could agree on – their family.
I admire how Dale and Monica said STOP!! They took stock of values, and built a plan around those values to LEAD their family, rather than manage the individuals. Of course it’s going to be more effective than managing the ‘moment.’ I appreciated the series of real life situations, and the brutally honest glimpse of reactions. It’s so normal to put the time into a long term plan in our professional lives, but the focus stops at dinner time, makes no sense at all.
Just as the title suggests, I recognize that too often my wife and I have been managing (not leading) our family through mostly separate incidents. Our focus can easily drift toward survival, survival to the weekend – clearly not the way to build a lasting foundation. This book helps frame a very simple approach that can be very helpful for every family, I’d strongly recommend it.
Great read! I love the strategy and approach Dale and Monica took towards dealing with challenging family situations. We all want to be “better” at everything we do. We often take for granted being a better parent and spouse. In reality, no roles are more important. Dale and Monica get that point across and provide a roadmap for getting better.
The minute I started reading this book I could relate it to my life. This book is about building relationships and how to communicate to help these relationships grow. Most of us know how important communication is but Dale and Monica give their readers the “how-to” communicate by focusing on values and putting them into action by starting with “me”. Asking your spouse and family how to be a better “me” opens you up to be vulnerable to hear how you can be a better parent, partner, or friend. Life throws many curve balls but it is how you “respond” to these situations and not to “react” to them. I have taken away many new ways to work on certain relationships in my life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who cares enough to better the communication and build on their relationships (rather than to exist) in their lives together.
Really thoughtful and thought-provoking book! With such an important topic to many people, the content is presented in a way that reinforces that it can be easy but not simple to be a great parent. I appreciate the transparency and vulnerability that Dale and Monica show in how they share things about their family and their journey. I rarely read books more than once and have already started re-reading and taking additional notes.
“The gift of parenting is awesome; The reality is frustrating.” This book is brimming with encouragement, inspiration, provocation, and insight. It brings to the reader, reassurance, as well as a palpable call-to-action. The co-authors (wife and husband) reveal themselves, but the only reveal is that doing life by choice is the best option. The resounding message in this fun and well-written book is, the best way for parents to foster, nurture and nourish a loving family is to “be a better me for the we.” I recommend this book hands down and thumbs up!
In a world of social media, it is a common to feel the pressures of perfection as a spouse, parent and family. In this book, Monica and Dale share the trials and tribulations that two hardworking parents face in raising children. They share many of their stories and experiences that led them to researching various ways to improve their family dynamic and ultimately create a stronger relationship between themselves and their children. Finally, they provide a detailed list of action items that helped them implement these ideas in their own family, which ultimately led to better communication and a more cohesive close-knit family. I can honestly say we have already started to utilize many of these action items in our own household. While every family dynamic and is different, this book will give every “imperfect” parent multiple ideas and action items to continue to improve the most important part of life …. family!
I recommend this book for any parent looking to improve communication and relationships amongst family and beyond. Raising great kids is not enough. We need to raise great kids to be great adults. The book is easy to relate to, while the solutions are just as easy to implement into your family regimen. The real life experiences the authors write about are those that all families encounter. The book provides practical applications that any family can use real time to improve their family dynamics.
As a father of three children it was refreshing to read a book that so mirrored many of my experiences / struggles as a parent. Sadly, my wife and I were not as organized or as patient as Dale and Monica. Having this book a few years ago could have saved us from some major blunders!
The book is well written, well thought out and the advice is practical. There is no magic bullet when it comes to parenting. Patience, preparation and consistency are the keys. The Vernon’s book helps provide a road map that is built upon real world experience and hard learned lessons. It’s a great tool and I would encourage it for both new and “experienced” parents.