The Parent’s Toolshop® Guidebook:
5 Easy Steps to Effectively Respond to Any Parenting Challenge

The Maintenance Toolbox


The tools you’ve learned in this series have been used by thousands of parents, recommended by professionals, and have several decades of research showing their long-term effectiveness.

Since this is the shortest, quickest program that teaches the Universal Blueprint® problem-solving system, you might not see the same results as those who have read The Parent’s Toolshop® book or taken a comprehensive T.I.P.S. program with a certified Parents Toolshop® Group Facilitator. Then again, you might have gotten such great results that you’ve actually resolved more than one parenting challenge! That’s usually the case. 

To maintain your progress or improve your results when using the tools you’ve learned in this guidebook, consider the six reasons even effective parenting skills might not work. (To illustrate these points in a very funny way that you’ll never forget, watch the below video demonstration)

  1. Choose the best tool for the job. Use the three questions and PASRR formula to plan a response you think will best meet your goal. Learn a variety of tools that accomplish different goals. If the response doesn’t work, check to see that you’ve correctly identified the type of problem you are facing and chosen the best tool.
  2. Use the tools in the proper order. Some tools work best if parents use them after other tools. For example, before we discipline, we must break any power or revenge cycles, or the discipline will feed the cycle. By following the PASRR formula, you will choose and use tools in an order that is most effective. If a response doesn’t work, check to see if you skipped steps.
  3. Use the tool properly. Many parenting tools are easy to misuse. If a tool doesn’t seem to work, consider how you used it. Pay attention to your attitude, body language, tone of voice, words and actions; they all influence how your message is received.
  4. Use the tools consistently, long enough for change to occur. Instead of trying a different approach each time the same problem occurs, use the PASRR formula to create a response that has the best chance of succeeding. Then use it consistently for several days or weeks. Change can take place on the inside, without any obvious change on the outside. If it has taken some time for a problem to develop, it may take some time to change. Be patient and consistent. The child may need time to rebuild trust, break old habits and master proper behavior. Look for small changes to reassure yourself that you’re on the right track.
  5. Examine your beliefs; they can change the effectiveness of the tool. If you use the tools without a healthy parenting mindset (Lessons 1-5), you won’t get the maximum results. Become conscious of inaccurate or unhealthy beliefs that interfere with your effectiveness. For example, “All toddlers will go through a ‘no’ phase,” “All teens will rebel,” or “My child is the problem.” Replace these beliefs with healthier alternatives.
  6. Look for a deeper problem. Immediate change is unlikely when a problem behavior is severe, has lasted a long time, or is the result of a medical condition or deep emotional hurt. Ineffective parenting only makes matters worse. Effective parenting can prevent the problem from getting worse and help the child slowly work through the real issues causing the problem. This process takes time, but it is the only way any true, final healing can take place. In these cases, you may want to seek professional help. Therapy is helpful for issues such as deep emotional hurts, violent or self-destructive behavior, or problems that seem to persist despite your efforts to use these skills consistently for a significant period of time. 

Parenting is a lifetime job. As children grow, parents’ knowledge and skills must grow with them. I’d like to provide you with ongoing support, fill in any gaps this short course may not ha

ve provided, and help you feel prepared to prevent and resolve challenges at the next stage of your child’s life. 


  1. Apply what you learned from this lesson:

a)      Think of a parenting problem you’ve tried to solve or tool you tried to use, so far unsuccessfully.

b)      Review the six reasons listed above.

c)      Apply the suggestions for that “mistake” and try again.

  1. Post your answers in the comment section to these three questions,

a)      What did you learn?

b)     What action did you take?

c)      What results did you get? 


  1. Now keep learning and growing! 

Sign up for your one-on-one Strategy Session:  The lessons in this 30-day course have given you the most important tools every parent needs to know and use — but there is so much more! If you want better results, more details, more tools, more advanced techniques, more practice exercises, more examples of real-life applications, and personalized support and problem-solving, schedule your Strategy Session now. 

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

  • Watch the video demonstration that illustrates the six reasons even effective parenting skills might not work.