Welcome to the Parent’s Toolshop® Guidebook! I’m glad you’re here and am excited about our journey together!

I’m Jody Johnston Pawel, a Licensed Social Worker, Certified Family Life Educator, award-winning parenting author and parenting expert to the media worldwide. I’m the parent of two adult children and am a second-generation parent educator who has been training and supporting parents for over 30 years. [Check out these links, if you want to get to know me better or find out how Parent’s Toolshop® came to be].

For over 20 years, I have been sharing a unique formula I discovered for planning individualized effective responses to any parenting challenge. For many years I literally kept it a secret. It was so amazing I was partly afraid someone else would figure it out and partly in disbelief that there really could be a formula like this that would consistently work for any parent and any problem.

After seeing the statistically significant results of 10 years of outcome studies with over 2000 parents of diverse backgrounds, I was convinced it was reliable and finally started sharing it with the world. As I’ve done hundreds of call-in radio shows answering parents’ questions, the Universal Blueprint® has never failed me; it always leads me to a helpful response to any parent’s challenge.

In this formula, there are 150 tools organized according to the type of skill they are (toolset) and the type of problem they help solve (toolboxes). This helps prevent feeling overwhelmed and makes it easy for you to know what tools to use and when to use them.

Of course, I won’t be able to cram basic-to-advanced tips for using all 150 tools into 30 days (The Parent’s Toolshop® book is where you learn that), so I will “skim the cream off the top” by sharing the basic Universal Blueprint® Formula and the most practical tips for the most important parenting tools you absolutely need to know how to use.

Now, I’ve served tens of thousands of parents over the years and know that most want to be the very best parent they can be. Every single parent I’ve ever met has some challenge or concern they want to discuss. When parents learn what I do, they almost always share a challenge or concern. Using the Universal Blueprint®, I’ve given mini-coaching sessions in the strangest places, like public bathrooms and while giving blood. Once, while having outpatient surgery, I did an impromptu Q&A session with all four nurses and assistants!

These parents did not expect to be overwhelmed and stressed out by parenting challenges or react to them by yelling, giving in, or saying and doing other things they sometimes regret. We’ve all done it, though!

That’s why it’s important to have a simple step-by-step plan that can show you in seconds exactly how to deal with each challenge in the most helpful way and get results that last!

In parenting, there is an amazingly simple formula called The Universal Blueprint® “Parenting-Success Formula” that can help you prevent as many parenting problems as possible and respond in a way that fits your values, rules, situation and needs. To use it, you will use:

  • 3 Questions to ask yourself, to know which type of problem you are facing, so you will choose the best tool(s) for the job.
  • 5 Steps to take, in a specific order, to respond effectively.
  • 10 tools, a few to choose form at each step, including the 5 best five-star tools that prevent or stop misbehavior problems, if you follow specific directions for getting the best results.

This “30 Days To Parenting Success” mini-course will break this system down into four parts and give you the top five-star tools you need to respond helpfully to any parenting challenge. Here is an overview:

Quick Guide 1: Foundation-Building Toolbox:

-Set your goals, choose/use a parenting style that will best reach your goals, and have a parenting plan you can consistently follow.

Quick Guide 2: Prevention Toolbox:

Build self-esteem, engage cooperation, and foster independence and responsibility. Four of the five five-star () tools are in this toolbox! You’ll actually take an extra practice day after each five-star tool to be sure you get time to process and practice these most-important parenting tools.

Quick Guides 3 & 4: Child & Parent Problem Tooboxes:

F-A-X Listening, Keep Your Cool and Clear Communication Toolsets. The remaining five-star tool is here.

Quick Guide 5: Misbehavior Toolbox:

Misbehavior and Discipline Toolsets. Here we pull together all you’ve learned and show you how to know why children are misbehaving, how to prevent or stop it by using the best five-star tool for that type of misbehavior, and finally, if needed, how to discipline.

Quick Guide 6: Maintenance Toolbox:


It’s important to learn and use this system in order, so it is recommended to read the chapters in order. If you skip ahead, you will miss core content and won’t get the best results. Trust the process and practice what you learn. You’ll see the results each day, including the following:

  1. Know the six most common mistakes parents make, so you know what to avoid to get the results you want.
  2. Quickly and easily find the best tool(s) for any situation, because you have a system for filing parenting tools you learn in The Parents Toolshop and elsewhere.
  3. Get positive long-term outcomes by avoiding quick fixes that have negative long-term side effects.
  4. Have realistic expectations about the learning process — both yours and your child’s.
  5. Know how to recognize and avoid inaccurate parenting advice and common parenting myths.

So let’s get started!

First, Set Your Parenting Goals

For over 30 years, I’ve been asking parents, “What are the skills and qualities you want your child to develop to be a well-adjusted successful adult?” Although parents from diverse backgrounds usually list almost the same goals and intentions, they can differ greatly in their opinions about how to reach those goals.

To reach any goal or intention, we must line up our thoughts, words and actions in the same direction. If any one is out of line, we won’t get the best results.

So the Universal Blueprint® Parenting Success Formula includes suggestions for what to think, say and do!

  • You’ll learn what to think, by knowing how to answer 3 key questions that will get you “on the right path.” 
  • You’ll learn what to say, by taking up to 5 steps in your response. 
  • You’ll learn what to do, by choosing the best of the 5 five-star tools for the type of problem you are facing. There are dozens more tools from which you can choose, depending on which step you are on, but we’ll start in this mini-course with those top 5 five-star tools and a few others.


  1. Write your Top Ten Parenting Goals. “What are the skills and qualities you want your child to develop to be a well-adjusted successful adult?”
  2. Next to each, write what you are currently doing to achieve that goal.
  3. Then ask yourself if you are seeing results that indicate you are making progress in achieving that goal.
  4. Before reading chapter 2, take a Parenting Styles Quiz.

Here is a list of the recommended resources in this lesson:

* Every story in this guidebook is true, based on real-life Parents Toolshop® participants, but their names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.