I had a friend ask me a very interesting question the other day. “Did you write your book because you had troubles in your own family?” That was a fair question but the answer was NO. That isn’t why I wrote it.
I raised seven beautiful, gifted and loving children. We lived most of those child-rearing years in a very small town in Montana. However, when we had only one child left at home we moved to Utah.
In Utah, I met many parents from the homeschool community because my daughter was planning on homeschooling. I really enjoyed the associations as I had also homeschooled my two youngest children for a few years. I began attending conferences, talking with others and reading about homeschool topics.
One day I read about putting school supplies into a closet and then using the contents to get kids really excited about learning. I liked the idea. My oldest daughter reminded me that we had used something like this all her growing up years. It was familiar to me and I loved the concept. So I started talking about it with everyone.
The Puzzle that Led to the Book
Here is what I discovered – as wonderful as the concept was it wasn’t working for most families. That puzzled me. So I started watching what parents were doing and I came up with some principles that made the concept work. I asked five families to test out my theory and then I increased it to seventy families. The principles worked.
The first time I taught a class on the Spark Station, the name I gave this learning tool, there was standing room only. There was a lot of interest in a tool that could help kids love learning.
I spent the next few years teaching parents all over the country how to use the Spark Station and the principles. In the process, I discovered that these were life principles. They didn’t just make the Spark Station work better, when implemented they made life work better. They helped parents do their job better. That was the first shift.
Then I realized that the Spark Station wasn’t just a tool to inspire kids to learn. I began to see that it was a way for parents to connect with their children, to be Present with them . That was the second shift.
I was fascinated with this idea of being Present despite the business of life. So I began working with families. I discovered ways to help parents utilize what was already happening in their homes to connect daily with their kids. I helped them hone skills that made it easier to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ their kids. I began teaching the difference between kids and adults and how they approach life. I helped parents spend less time in management and more time in relationship building. I wrote over 400 articles on these topics.
I received so many emails from people who had attended classes, workshops, webinars, and presentations saying that this information was life changing for them. I knew there had to be a way to broaden the audience and touch more families. That is how the book was born.
I was able to reach back into my own parenting and compare what I knew and did then with what I know and I teach now and that has been very helpful. But it was the results of families just like your family that moved me in the direction of a book.
This book can be life changing for any parent and for anyone who wants to have better relationships. I hope you read it and then let me know how it impacts your family. I want to hear from you!
“Being a single woman, without children, I wasn’t sure what value this book would have for me. It impacted me greatly! I have set a goal to re-read it every few years. It’s not just a book about being a Present parent. It’s a book about being a Present person. Jenny Johnson, M.A., CCC-SLP
Every family, every person must read it ASAP in order to find presence in life, not just with children, but with all relationships. I have enjoyed it profoundly… Jason Hewlett, Dad and Speaker
I’m not much of a reader. Unless a book catches my attention within the first few pages, I seldom read it all the way through. This book not only drew me in from the beginning but I finally had to make myself stop reading and go to bed. “Becoming a Present Parent” will be one of those life-changing books for parents and for anyone who wants to have an amazing relationship with [a] child. Well worth the read. Cindy Winward, Mother of four grown children and mentor at Midwives College of Utah
MaryAnn is a master at helping you become a more present parent. Each chapter is filled with actionable insight and real-life steps in helping you stay “checked in” with your children, a difficult thing in this distracting world. I love how Mary Ann teaches us how to truly connect with our children. Ann Webb, Humanitarian, Author and Founder of Ideal LifeVision
You may read Becoming a Present Parent all the way through one time. But then you’ll come back to it time and again to refresh on certain topics at the very time you need them. My guess is your copy will become dog-eared and marked up, and will become like a comfortable friend. Norma Jean Lutz, Author, Speaker, Editor, Novel Critique Consultant, Ghostwriter