8 Secrets to Highly Effective Parenting


Thoughts from Ed Miller


This was the title of the very first book self-published by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  Back in the 90’s, Scott and his wife Carrie were ministering alongside our family in a small church in Mercer County, New Jersey. We decided to move into the neighborhood in Lawrenceville, NJ where the Turansky family was already living. Our goal was to develop intentional Christian community with the Turansky family in everything from sharing household appliances to homeschooling and parenting.

Scott had a heart to strengthen families and equip parents and he offered local seminars for parents. Joanne began by assisting him with these seminars but then Scott invited her input on the content and presentation of the seminars.  As a mother and pediatric nurse, Joanne had some ideas that Scott appreciated so he invited her to join him in presenting the material. They began to develop their well-received co-presentation style and have never looked back.

As you can imagine, our families spent a lot of time together. We began to throw around ideas for a parenting book, then Scott and Joanne started writing. The result was 8 Secrets to Highly Effective Parenting.  We couldn’t find a publisher to take on the book, so we went the self-publishing route. It was not an easy road to travel. I remember driving out to Lancaster, PA with a trailer in tow, to pick up the first 5,000 copies of the book. We went out to lunch to celebrate and then stopped at every Christian Bookstore we could find all the way home! The Provident Bookstore in Lancaster, PA actually bought a few copies of our book. We were thrilled.

We’ve been on quite a journey for the past 20 years. Scott and Joanne founded the National Center for Biblical Parenting and have now created numerous resources to equip parents. They have met one-on-one with countless parents to offer them guidance and hope, taught live seminars all over the country, launched several new initiatives including Biblical Parenting University and much more. Many of the early seminars were at Homeschool and other Conventions. We went together as families and worked together to use the various tools we were developing. It was such a privilege to work on our parenting together.

Do you have a place where you can share your joys and struggles in parenting? We’d like to hear what you do to find that support and encouragement. Please share your thoughts as comments on this blog.

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8 comments:

  1. Mops (Mothers of Preschoolers) has been a huge source of encouragement and community in parenting. I was the first of my friends to have kids so finding a group like Mops full of been-there-done-that moms was crucial to my basic survival in those early days! I'm so blessed to be a few years into it and able to help other new moms. There is always someone where you are going and where you used to be at Mops and the things I've learned there are priceless!

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  2. That's wonderful to hear. I know that Mops groups are a source of great encouragement for many moms. All new parents need support especially in the early days. I'm glad to hear that you're finding joy in being able to mentor young moms. Thanks for sharing. - Ed

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  3. I meet with a few ladies in similar life stages for encouragement and community, though homeschooling adds a different element to parenting.

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    1. That's great. The important thing is that we have someone to share our joys and struggles with. There is a lot of support in the homeschooling community. I'm glad you found support there.

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  4. Thank you for a very interesting read! We are told in Acts how the first Christians lived but you and the Turanskis are the first families I know who have played that out! You all have shared snippets of your history together, but the word "intentional," never surfaced. It would be great to see more of that happening in the church.

    To answer your question about sharing thoughts, struggles, etc., of parenting:
    At the moment, we don't have a place to share about parenting. Many of our early friends (in parenting) have moved away, and over time our tiny family has transitioned into more of a family of service with all three of us involved in ministry and endeavors more or less together. Thanks to working with Scott and Joanne early on in our parenting, and the grace and mercy of God, we haven't had parenting struggles as compared to the first ten years.
    At fifteen, our daughter requires a listening ear, an open heart, and some coaching here and there, but the foundation has been put in place. We pray for her, we pray that we can be the advocates she needs as she works out the plan God has for her life. (Whew! The childhood passes quickly!!)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this article. I enjoyed writing it and re-living the experience. The kids do grow up quickly as time marches on. I'm glad that you discovered our resources early on. That's great. I would love to see more intentional community in the church as well. We're working on that!

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  5. I so appreciate your ministry and enjoyed reading about the beginnings. I lead a mothers' group at our church-- we have used your materials along the way! It is a significant blessing to have a community of like-minded people in parenting. My husband and I have adopted children, and have also begun a ministry, Hope at Home, to strengthen and encourage adoptive and foster parents. It is our desire to create a safe, spirit and faith-filled place for these parents. Again, we often share things we have learned from you all! bless you for being a resource in the kingdom for so many.

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    1. Hi Beth! Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad to hear that you are leading a mothers' group at your church and you've started a ministry. I just checked out your Hope at Home blog. How long have you been blogging? I'm going to spend some more time looking around your blog. I'll be in touch.

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