Last Updated on August 22, 2021.
How many times in your life have you hired a coach or a professional to teach you new skills? How often have you received training for a job? Parenting skills are learned. And being a parent is arguably the most important job you’ll ever have. So why would you forego parenting training?
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you know I’m a huge fan of using Positive Parenting Techniques because they really do work. What might surprise you is I actually cancelled my membership shortly after purchasing. And I want to share with you my experience with one popular online parenting program: Positive Parenting Solutions (PPS) so you can make the right decision for you.
Disclosure: Affiliates allow us to keep our content free. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I will never betray your trust and recommend something I wouldn’t use! You can read our full disclosure here.
My Background With PPS
Many times you’ll find bloggers and influencers gain access to programs for a limited time for the sole purpose of writing a review. That’s not me. I am a long time member of Positive Parenting Solutions. And this is not one of the typical Positive Parenting Solution Reviews…
In fact, I signed up for Positive Parenting Solutions for the first time when my oldest child was two years old. Those terrible two tantrums had me searching for solutions. I didn’t have my partner fully on-board to try a Positive Parenting approach, so I cancelled my membership (and received a full refund per their guarantee, by the way).
It wasn’t until a year later, after hours of research and spending hundreds on parenting books, that I came back to Positive Parenting Solutions. I’d convinced my husband that Positive Parenting would work for us, so I signed up for the program again. And I’ve been using the Positive Parenting Solutions (PPS) every day since.
The fact that I’ve been using PPS for years gives me the insight to share with you both the great things about the program, as well as the gaps. So read on to hear my no BS review of Positive Parenting Solutions.
Your Parenting Baggage
Before we dive into the details, I want to touch on parenting baggage. Parenting struggles bring out the worst in us. Not just you… all of us. Even the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions defines herself as a “recovering yeller”. Positive Parenting Solutions is perfect for parents who are struggling and want to do better.
Here’s a fact: If you’re seeking out parenting courses and parenting coaches, you’re already an amazing parent. Do you yell every day? Do you resort to time-outs or spanking? Don’t fret. Positive Parenting Solutions can show you a more effective way. Drop your parenting baggage at the door, give yourself a little grace, and embrace the small, actionable steps included in the PPS program.
- Product: Positive Parenting Solutions: The 7-Step Parenting Success System
- Website: www.PositiveParentingSolutions.com
- Description: Online parenting course and support community
- Pricing: Three tiered pricing, starting at $199 (limited time pricing).
- Owner: Author and parenting expert, Amy McCready
So What is PPS Exactly?
Positive Parenting Solutions is a comprehensive parenting course that provides detail, step-by-step strategies for handling the toughest parenting situations.
“The 7-Step Parenting Success System includes specific, battle-tested techniques, not fluffy classroom theory. You’ll learn word-for-word scripts you can rely on, even in the heat of high-stress tantrums and fights. Amy will teach you exactly what to say and when to say it, no matter what life throws at you.”Positive Parenting Solutions
Positive Parenting Solutions is an online pre-recorded video course taught by Amy McCready. They are high quality, well planned videos. These are not videos recorded on the fly with a laptop camera. You’ll follow along with the lessons at your own pace, using the provided workbook (which you can print yourself or order a printed version… more on that later). There’s ample supplemental material as well, to both expand and reinforce the concepts in the videos.
So what’s in the videos? Amy provides bite sized lessons that teach you how to interpret your child’s behavior, and more importantly, how to respond to it. She will explain the “why” and give you detailed instructions on the “how”. She’ll help you achieve your desired results WITHOUT nagging, yelling, or reminding.
The foundational lessons are broken into 7 Steps (or Modules), with 49 individual lessons. Not all are long videos. Some of the lessons include articles and quizzes. It is strongly encouraged to go through these steps in order because each lesson builds on the previous one. Completing these steps is essential before you move on to any advanced or specialty modules. The good news is the program is self-paced, so you can blaze through the steps the first time if you want, or go slowly and implement each step in order.
One side note: No matter how quickly or slowly you go through the course, you will most likely need to go through it again. There’s a TON of information packed into these lessons. It’s very difficult to retain everything on the first pass. I’ve been using the program for years, and I still need to go back and reference specific lessons on a regular basis.
As you progress through the course, you’ll learn new parenting “tools” to add to your toolbox. Amy provides fantastic printable cheat sheets to help you retain the information you’re learning as well.
Who is Amy McCready?
Amy McCready is a parenting coach, author, and mother of two boys. She’s the creator of Positive Parenting Solutions, an online program that helps parents teach their children how to manage emotions, develop healthy relationships, and have more fun with life. Amy has been featured on Today Show, CBS News Parents & Kids sections as well as The Huffington Post for her expertise in raising kids who feel loved and cared about.
Who Benefits from Positive Parenting Solutions?
The short answer is every parent can benefit from Positive Parenting Solutions. You’ll learn invaluable skills, all based on science. The skills are useful even outside of parenting situations. But I digress. Here are the groups of people who will benefit MOST from Positive Parenting Solutions.
- Parents who want to build a strong bond with their kids
- Caregivers of all kinds
- Parents who want kids to listen, the first time
- Parents who are sick of yelling, nagging, and reminding
Here’s the best part. Amy has a free Introductory Webinar to see if the program is a good fit for you. BONUS TIP: Watch the Webinar first to access special pricing on the course.
Positive Parenting Solutions comes with a massive fill-in-the-blank workbook. When I first started PPS, you had to download it and print it. It took a full ink cartridge and half a ream of paper to print the thing out. I ended up sending the file to Office Max to have it printed and bound.
If I’m being honest, fumbling with the workbook was an overwhelming, terrible first impression. It was the very first thing you were tasked with when you joined PPS.
The good news is that they’ve now added the option to have a printed workbook mailed to you! It’s well worth the nominal fee to have a professionally printed product shipped to your house.
And, more importantly, the reason I mention the printing option is that the PPS team listens to feedback. It was an annoying issue, and they fixed it. This isn’t the only example of fantastic improvements in the program, but it’s important to note that they are listening to even the littlest concerns. And they are taking action on them.
Steps 1 through 7
The foundation of the program is laid out in 7 Steps (or Sessions/Modules), and consist of 49 lessons, plus other worksheets, articles and quizzes. This is where you will discover most of the parenting tools in PPS.
These lessons are intended to give you quick results. Once Amy introduces a tool, you should start using it! Of course, you cannot expect to see results overnight, but many people see fantastic improvements by the end of Step 1. The tools are not complicated. In some cases, it’s simply a matter of word choice and tone.
Honestly, you’ll be amazed… there are times where I’ve felt like reciting Amy’s word-for-word scripts were actually a magic spell. Things I’d been begging my kids to do for months were all of a sudden just *happening* because I said it Amy’s way.
At the end of Step 7, you’ll have a staggering 37 new tools in your PPS toolbox (and this number will continue to grow, because Amy regularly adds new content).
So what if you’re interested in solving a specific problem? No problem! PPS contains specialty modules to tackle common issues. These specialty modules are sometimes hosted by industry experts rather than Amy (like Potty Training), but they ALWAYS contain actionable steps to tackle your specific challenge.
Here’s a list of the current specialty modules (Jan 2021)
- Taming Morning Mania
- Managing Mealtime Madness
- Curing the Bedtime Blues
- No More Chore Wars
- MBST: Secret Weapon for Better Behavior
- Potty Training 101
- Stopping Sibling Bullying
- Raising Adventurous Eaters
- Terrific Teen Parenting Skills
- Technology Survival Plan
- Sex Talks… Simplified
- Responsible Social Media
- 14 Talks by Age 14
- Help for Homework Hassles
- 3 R’s of School Success
- Keeping Kids Safe from Bullying
- Help for Struggling Students
- ADHD 101
- Homework Skills for ADHD/EFD Kids
- Help for Anxious Kids
- The Explosive Child
- Curing the Entitlement Epidemic
- ABCs of Allowance
- Say NO to Rewards & Praise
- Business Systems in the Family
- Stronger Than Ever Parenting Partners
- Divorce & Parenting Apart
- Getting Your Partner on the Same Page
The Facebook Groups are a goldmine. This is a support feature only available to gold members. There are more than 40,000 members, including Amy and several PPS Ambassadors. And you have access to all their knowledge. Questions are answered thoroughly and promptly. There’s a library of documents and resources for a wide range of parenting problems.
And here’s another recent improvement the PPS team implemented: There are now two different Facebook groups: one for littles (ages 1 to 9) and one for bigs (ages 10 to 17). The change occurred in January 2021, and is the result of feedback from group members. Parenting littles is far different than parenting bigs, and the new age-focused groups helps you get answers from other parents who may be struggling with the same issues.
The really good news is the old Positive Parenting Solutions Facebook group is archived, but still accessible. So we all still have access to years of amazing parenting advice.
There’s another benefit only available to Golc members: Live Coaching Calls. When you purchase a Gold membership, you’ll get a full year of access to weekly coaching calls. These are live calls where you can ask questions about your specific challenges, and you’ll receive direct, customized answers from Amy and her team of coaches. This is possibly the most valuable part of the Gold membership. BONUS: Gold members have access to the recordings from previous Live Coaching Calls!
How do the Live Coaching Calls Work?
First, you must have completed Steps 1 through 4 before you can get on a Live Coaching Call. When you need advice, you’ll fill out a questionnaire (at least 24 hours prior to the call so they are ready to answer your questions), and when the Live Coaching Call starts, one of Amy’s amazing coaches will queue up callers to ask their questions. Amy will give you personalized advice. They’ve really streamlined the process to help as many people as possible. BONUS: The coaching calls are recorded and available for you to reference back to!
The Parenting-in-your-Pocket App
When I first joined PPS, I was working a demanding, full time job and I had very little time to sit down and watch each video. So this App, which allows you to access all the PPS content, was super valuable. I’d listen to the lectures in the car on the way to work, or when I was sitting in waiting rooms. It’s a super convenient bonus for those on the GOLD and SILVER plans.
I can’t say enough about the support staff with PPS. As I mentioned, I actually cancelled my membership before re-signing up. Even when I was requesting that no-questions-asked refund, the support staff was gracious and kind. I’ve had nothing but amazing interactions with everyone, from the Live Call Coaches to the Facebook PPS Ambassadors (who are volunteers by the way). I’ve even had personalized advice from Amy herself. And never felt like I was a ‘number’ or that she was too busy to care about my specific challenges. The PPS team wants to help you succeed.
The Real Cost
First, I should mention that PPS includes a blog full of helpful Positive Parenting articles that are totally free (and searchable, which is helpful).
The Introductory Webinar is also totally free. And it contains arguably the most valuable actionable tips. So even if you’re not ready to spend the money on the full program, you should watch the free webinar!
- Bronze — $221.11
- Silver — $276.77
- Gold — $350.00
Positive Parenting Solutions is available at three tiers: bronze, silver, and gold. Bronze offers one year of access to the foundational course materials, Steps 1 through 7. You do not get any of the specialty modules or added benefits. To be honest, I wouldn’t eleven consider enrolling at the bronze level because you don’t get the full course materials and surely your parenting journey is more than a year long.
Both silver and gold level memberships offer LIFETIME access. With the silver level, you’ll have access to all the course materials, plus the Parenting-in-your-Pocket App.
If you want to get the most out of PPS, consider the gold level membership. The Coaching Calls and the Facebook Community are the most valuable pieces of Positive Parenting Solutions because they enable you to tailor the PPS coursework to your real life situations. The advice of the coaches, ambassadors, and other parents who’ve been in your shoes are resources that are worth far more than the pricetag of the PPS Gold Membership.
Positive Parenting Solutions offers a convenient 12-month payment plan. This makes it much easier to afford the program if you’re on a budget. It’s $20 to $35 per month (depending on which tier you choose). That’s less than the cost of one dinner out, which is pretty reasonable for a program that will completely change your family dynamic.
For a limited time, you can SAVE 10% and get a free upgrade to the next tier. So pay the bronze sale price ($199), get the silver membership… or pay the silver price ($249), get the gold membership.
What’s the Catch? Added Costs and Upsells?
Once you’re a part of the PPS Community (silver or gold level), you have access to any new material that Amy adds to the course. Since I’ve been a member, they have more than doubled the Advanced/Specialty modules.
When you sign up, you’ll have the option to print the workbook at home (free, but consumes a lot of ink), or have a printed book mailed to you for $25. It’s not a necessary expense, but it’s totally worth it in my opinion.
The only other time you’ll need to spend more money with PPS is if you need to purchase more Live Coaching Call passes after your first year. The price is reasonable (currently $50 for 3 passes), and totally worth if you need personalized advice.
Amy does have a second product available for sale, called The Ultimate Success Plan for an Unpredictable School Year. It’s a minicourse she launched during our unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s geared towards school-aged parents who need a solid plan for tackling remote learning. It is not included with the PPS membership.
Pros & Cons
- Amy is an amazing teacher
- Videos are great quality and broken into small bite size pieces
- A 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
- A Mobile App for convenience
- Live Coaching Calls (Gold Only)
- Facebook Support Communities (Gold Only)
- It’s more than just videos: includes quizzes, recorded roleplay workshops, articles, and more.
- A plethora of supplemental material is available
- The pricing structure can be confusing with the free tier upgrade
- The amount of content can be overwhelming
- You must complete Steps 1 to 4 before you can get personalized help
Have Questions? Let me answer them!
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to email me! I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about my personal experience, or any questions you have about the content of the PPS course. I want you to find the right course for you! Email me now.
So my final verdict? Positive Parenting Solutions is a great program for most parents. You probably gathered that from my raving review. And there’s absolutely no reason to not give it a try. They offer a FREE 60-minute Introductory Webinar, and they have a solid 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with content.
The program is not without faults, but the fact that the content has doubled since I started the program and that they continue to fix small annoying issues (like the Workbook and changing the Facebook Groups), tells me that they will continue to strive for a more perfect parenting program. And that is enough to make me a superfan.