Positive Parenting Solutions review: Is it worth it?

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I’ll be honest. There are days when I feel like a complete failure as a mom. I recently had one of those days.

My 8-year-old son spent way too much time on his tablet because I wanted to clean the house and get in a few hours of work. My 3-year-old daughter promptly messed up every area of the house immediately after I cleaned it, simultaneously demanding cookies and Cheez-Its — when she wasn’t throwing herself on the floor in a fit of rage when I said no. 

My daughter refused to put on her paint shirt and spilled finger paint all over her new outfit when I tried to take the paint from her; my son had a complete meltdown because his sister lost one of his Minecraft toys and started scolding her himself; then my daughter body slammed my poor dog for having the audacity to sit in her spot on the couch. 

I can’t even count the number of times I freaked out and screamed at my kids for these and a million other little things before I eventually just shut down and stared blankly into space like Goldie Hawn in “Overboard” before she gets plopped into the water barrel.

Not only was my productive day out the window, but I was left feeling like a horrible mom who was raising terrible human beings who would surely grow up to be delinquents — all because I couldn’t give them the attention they wanted and still be a kickass professional woman. 

If you’re a parent, you know how defeating days like this can feel — and if you can’t relate, I genuinely commend you for having your shit together. 

I’m a mom of two who works from home, and I also juggle some side projects — managing a vaccine advocacy Facebook page, coaching a high school dance team, and occasionally doing wedding and family photography. I am lucky to have an equal and supportive partner in my husband, but the two days a week he spends in the office while I work and parent our preschooler often leave me wanting to pull my hair out. Plus, my kids just tend to act out more around me. There are very few days I don’t feel busy and overwhelmed, and I often find myself putting work first — and constantly feeling guilty about it. 

One of my weaknesses as a mom is trying to do too much for my kids — instead of expecting them to step up and be more independent for the family. When I want to get the living room cleaned, for example, nine times out of 10, I just do it myself to avoid the whining and power struggles that ensue when I ask my kids to help.

This is the parent I was just a few weeks ago. Then I found Amy McCready. McCready is the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, an online course that helps parents overcome power struggles and get their kids to listen without nagging, yelling or losing control.

On her website and in a multitude of media appearances, McCready shares that she was constantly losing her voice from yelling at her kids. She was overwhelmed with guilt and desperate to find a better way of parenting. 

That’s when she started researching positive discipline, a parenting approach that relies on mutual respect over punishment. It’s about treating children like capable human beings who will rise to the occasion if given the chance. McCready compiled everything she learned into an easy-to-follow course for parents of children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. 

Although Positive Parenting Solutions’ $200+ price point may seem steep, I can genuinely say it was a necessary investment for me as a parent. 

In the few weeks since I went through the course, I’ve noticed a positive difference in my interactions with my kids. I have new tools to fight my urge to do everything for them just because it’s the easiest way to get things done. 

There have been fewer power struggles and less yelling on my part (though it’s still a work in progress), and I’ve learned easy tricks like giving my kids undivided, unshared attention at least once a day — even if for 10 minutes — changes the tenor of the entire household. 

Check out McCready’s free 60-minute course to get your kids to listen without nagging, yelling, or losing control >> 

Keep reading to learn more about what PPS is about and how it changed my family:

How does Positive Parenting Solutions work?

Positive Parenting Solutions is an online, self-directed course with dozens of video, audio and printable learning materials called the (cheesy, but accurate) 7-Step Parenting Success System. 

You can go through McCready’s course at your own pace, though she suggests you don’t skip any steps or materials along the way. 

In addition to the main parenting course, Gold and Silver members gain access to a number of bonus modules, which include tips for: 

  • Bedtime routines
  • Getting picky eaters to try new foods
  • Potty training
  • Helping kids with ADHD, anxiety, and explosive behavior
  • Sex talks
  • Bullying
  • Co-parenting

The 7-Step Parenting Success System comes with a printable workbook to fill out as you go through the course, or you can order a printed version for $25. You can also fill out your answers on the computer with a program like Adobe Acrobat. 

There is currently a 10% discount on Bronze and Silver memberships, and you can upgrade for free to the next level up (so you can click to sign up for the Bronze level at 10% off and get everything included in the Silver level). See what each membership costs and what’s included: 

Bronze LevelSilver LevelGold Level
PRICE AFTER 10% DISCOUNT:
1 Payment of $199 or
12 Payments of $19.99
*Includes free upgrade to the Silver Plan
PRICE AFTER 10% DISCOUNT:
1 Payment of $249 or
12 Payments of $24.99
*Includes free upgrade to the Gold Plan 
REGULAR PRICE: 
1 Payment of $350 or
12 Payments of $35
49 videos
36 tools
Downloadable workbooks
1-year access
49 videos
36 Tools
Downloadable workbooks
Parent personality assessment
25+ advanced power struggle modules
Lifetime access
Parenting-In-Your-Pocket® mobile app
49 videos
36 Tools
Downloadable workbooks
Parent personality assessment
25+ advanced power struggle modules
Lifetime access
Parenting-In-Your-Pocket® mobile app
Offline course access
Personalized success group coaching for one year
Library of recorded coaching calls
Private Facebook communities for parents of young and older children

These are the steps of the 7-Step Parenting Success System

  • STEP 1: Pull Back the Curtain: The Science of Misbehavior and How You Contribute
  • STEP 2: From Complaining to Contributing: Empower Your Kids to be Confident, Capable, and Independent
  • STEP 3: Revolutionize Your Routines: Regain Control, Let Go of Guilt
  • STEP 4: From Power Struggles to Peace: How to Handle Extreme Behaviors in a Positive Way
  • STEP 5: Transform Sibling Relationships: From Enemies to Besties
  • STEP 6: The Family Harmony Tool: Calm the Crazies, Fire Up the Fun
  • STEP 7: Your Future Success: Staying Strong Through the Ages and Stages

Positive Parenting Solutions techniques

Positive Parenting Solutions teaches parents why their kids act the way that they do and gives them techniques to work with — not against — their child’s psychological needs. 

McCready’s techniques are aimed at helping children feel powerful, important, and accepted. When we as parents assume all of the power, our kids feel discouraged and lash out. To quote McCready:

“In the absence of positive power, kids will choose negative power every time.”  

For example, a core strategy taught in the course is what McCready calls “Mind, Body, & Soul Time,” which is daily one-on-one time spent between a parent and each child on an activity of their choosing. 

According to McCready, this special time fulfills a child’s need for belonging and also gives them positive power because they get to choose how the time is spent. 

For our “special time,” as we’ve decided to call it, my son often asks me to play 20 minutes of Minecraft with him or just talks to me about his latest obsession (currently college football logos); he usually asks my husband to toss around a foam football or wrestle. 

My daughter usually asks me to play with her favorite toy of the day — lately it’s been her Peppa Pig or Minnie Mouse figurines — and she likes it when my husband chases her around or tosses her up in the air. 

One thing we’re still struggling with are meltdowns from my daughter when special time is over, but McCready says in her course that this is normal until your kids come to expect it as a normal part of their routine. She says you can also turn bedtime into a designated Mind, Body & Soul time, which can make it something kids look forward to rather than dread. 

Is Positive Parenting Solutions evidence-based?

McCready’s Positive Parenting Solutions course is based on her studies of Adlerian Psychology and Positive Discipline. Adler, a 19th century Austrian doctor and psychotherapist, believed that all human behavior is goal oriented. His work centered on the idea that people are motivated to seek “belonging and significance in their family constellation.” 

In other words, kids — and adults — want to feel like they contribute in meaningful ways within the family dynamic. One particular Positive Parenting Solutions video explained how birth order contributes to a child’s behavior, which was particularly eye-opening for me as an older sibling trying to understand why my youngest acts out. Apparently it’s because we tend to do more things for our youngest children, which takes away from their sense of power/significance.

In a study published in The Journal of Individual Psychology, researchers evaluated the impact of Adlerian-based parent education classes. In the study, parents and guardians reported that they were able to set clearer limits with their kids, increase their sense of positive connection, and decrease harsh parenting techniques like spanking and yelling. 

What are Amy McCready's credentials?

McCready was a trainer and senior manager for Fortune 500 companies before she began researching Adlerian Psychology and positive discipline in an effort to reform her own family. She began teaching her positive parenting strategies in 2004, initially in local churches, YMCAs, community centers, preschools, and company seminars. As demand grew, McCready began training other instructors nearby and launched her online course in 2009.

McCready doesn’t have a formal education in psychology or parenting strategies. Rather, she based her course on personal research and experience. Her success is almost entirely based on the fact that her course works — and she has the testimonials to support that claim.  

McCready is a regular contributor on the TODAY show and has also appeared on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey and other major outlets where she shares parenting advice.

Here she is on TODAY: 

She is the author of two parenting books.

Amy McCready’s books

Positive Parenting Solutions pros

Reviews for Positive Parenting Solutions are overwhelmingly positive, with many parents sharing how the course has changed their lives and improved their children’s behavior. Based on user reviews and my own experience taking the course, these are some of the pros of Positive Parenting Solutions: 

  • Positive Parenting Solutions draws on proven behavioral change tactics to help parents understand their children’s inherent need for belonging and significance. McCready has 18+ years education and experience in positive parenting. 
  • The course is easy to navigate and can be taken at your own pace. You can complete a step each week or power through in a few days. You can also listen to lessons while you’re folding laundry or running on the treadmill. I personally listened while I was waiting on my daughter at dance class. 
  • McCready’s course simply works. There are hundreds of reviews online pointing to specific improvements in children’s behavior, smoother morning routines, less arguing and back talk, and in general a greater sense of family happiness (opposed to toxic parenting)
  • You don’t have to make it all the way through to start implementing course strategies. For example, I started doing “Mind, Body, & Soul” time with my kids the same day I learned about it in the first step. 
  • The course is anonymous, so no one but you has to know you’re seeking help. 
  • Positive Parenting Solutions is much more affordable than family therapy. According to a Psychology Today article, therapy in the U.S. costs between $100 and $300 for a single session. With this course, you gain access to seven modules packed with actionable tools and advice to help you become a better parent. 
  • Gold and silver members gain access to more specialized modules to address some of parents’ common pain points (like potty training, bedtime routines, and mealtime struggles — my family’s true kryptonite). Some videos like ADHD 101 feature an expert presenter who specializes in that topic. 
  • The Parent Personality Assessment gives you insight into your parenting style so you can tailor the course to your specific tendencies. For example, I learned that I am a “controlling” parent, which means I like to maintain order in my house and have a tendency to boss others (guilty as charged). McCready advises controlling parents to limit directing their children, give them more opportunities to make choices, and to say yes more often. 
  • Gold members get free access to weekly group coaching calls and an exclusive Facebook group, where you can ask questions or seek individual support directly from McCready. 

Positive Parenting Solutions cons

  • Positive Parenting Solutions is not a court-approved parenting course. If you need to take a parenting course to fulfill a court order, you will have to look elsewhere to meet that requirement. 
  • Almost every parent featured as a test subject/interviewed in the training videos is white — at one point, there were about 15 white parents in the room giving their feedback on a specific training exercise. It would have been nice to hear from some more diverse voices who could offer a different perspective.
    In the same way, some of McCready’s comments or suggestions feel like they come from a limited worldview. For example, her main solution to making sure multiple children get individual Mind, Body, & Soul time is to have a partner watch younger children who can’t entertain themselves. She didn’t offer a viable solution for single parents to be able to spend this individual time with each of their kids. Best co-parenting apps of 2022
  • The course spends a lot of time going over the “why” of children’s behavior, elaborating on the research, which is of course an important foundation of the course. However, it takes a while to get to the “how to fix it” portion of the training. I’m a busy parent and just want the answers to my problems, Amy! 
  • The workbooks for each step are fairly lengthy (most are 10-20 pages), so you’ll have to do a lot of printing or order a workbook for $25 if you aren’t a fan of taking notes on a laptop or don’t have a program like Adobe Acrobat. I personally just took notes in a notebook. 
  • Some of the bonus modules have a prerequisite. For instance, you have to complete Steps 1 and 2 before you watch ADHD 101. 
  • There were times when I felt McCready made some judgmental parenting comments. McCready’s negative comment about not endorsing screen time to keep kids busy rubbed me the wrong way since I’m someone who isn’t super strict about screen time as long as homework and “family contributions” (McCready’s rebranding of chores) are done. 

Positive Parenting Solutions review

For me, McCready’s course was extremely eye-opening. I felt seen in my struggles as a mom and even broke down in tears when I was forced to consider how big and scary I appear to my children when we’re in a heated argument. Every time I’m about to lose my cool with my kids, that video pops into my head and I try to calm myself down, state my expectations using a when/then statement (which you’ll learn about in the course) and walk away. According to McCready, walking away instead of engaging with your kids prevents a power struggle and gives them no choice but to either listen to your directive or refuse — at which point you can implement fair consequences. 

My son especially has responded to the idea that everyone in the family has important jobs that positively benefit the family. Since I started telling him it’s his family responsibility to put his dirty clothes into the laundry basket every day, I’ve had to give a lot fewer reminders and he’s even taken the initiative to help in other ways around the house, like putting his dishes in the dishwasher and putting away clean laundry. 

The best thing about Positive Parenting Solutions is that the solutions and tools are easy to implement. I frequently found myself saying, “Why didn’t I think of that? It seems so obvious.” 

The course is really simply a new way to view your parenting. You’ll feel guilty for the way you’ve been parenting, but McCready makes it clear you aren’t alone and that it’s never “too late” to set your family on a different path.

How to teach kids about money

Positive Parenting Solutions reviews from Facebook

If you check out the Positive Parenting Reviews Facebook page, you’ll see an endless parade of positive comments talking about the course’s positive impact. Here are a few examples: 

Positive member review posted on Positive Parenting Solutions Facebook page.
Review posted on Positive Parenting Solutions Facebook page.
Positive Facebook review about Positive Parenting Solutions.

Reviews and complaints from the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot offer a more varied Positive Parenting Solutions review. 

Positive Parenting Solutions review posted on Better Business Bureau website.
Negative Trustpilot review of Positive Parenting Solutions.
Positive Trustpilot review of i

Positive Parenting Solutions reviews from Reddit

There aren’t many Reddit threads that discuss Positive Parenting Solutions, but one user seeking feedback on the program received these mixed responses: 

Negative Reddit review of Positive Parenting solutions
Negative Reddit review of Positive Parenting solutions

Check out the Reddit thread here:

Bottom line: Is Positive Parenting Solutions worth it?

Based on an overwhelmingly positive response from parents who have noticed a measurable change in their children and overall family dynamic — and my own experience that verifies those experiences — I believe Positive Parenting Solutions is absolutely worth the $200 investment. 

As the Redditor above pointed out, the science behind Positive Parenting Solutions is all about treating our children like people who are capable of rising to meet our expectations if we give them the space to do so. The course is based in centuries-old psychology about human behaviors and how parents can shift their mindset to accommodate their children’s innate needs. 

Positive Parenting Solutions has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau and 3.9 stars on Trustpilot. McCready’s strategies have been reviewed and touted in the New York Times and other major news outlets. She’s also received praise from the likes of Kathie Lee Gifford and Steve Harvey:

Kathie Lee Gifford Positive Parenting Solutions.

Positive Parenting Solutions offers actionable tools and strategies for children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. It’s a course you can come back to as your kids grow and figure out new ways to implement the strategies you’ve learned. 

As the mom of a child with ADHD and a toddler who thinks she runs the house, I can say that McCready’s course has helped to reduce the stress in my life, and I can see a positive change in my kids and myself. I’m getting away from being the mom who constantly nags her kids to pick up their toys or fights them to get ready for school. 

I’m learning to stop doing everything for my kids just because it’s the path of least resistance. Giving my kids this positive power and trusting that they’re capable of doing things themselves has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders. I won’t pretend that I’m suddenly a perfect parent or that we don’t still have our daily scuffles, but I feel like we’re on a much better path.

If you’re not quite ready to invest, you can check out McCready’s free 60-minute course to learn some of her core parenting strategies to put an end to exhausting power struggles. Check out Positive Parenting Solutions now >> 

How does Positive Parenting Solutions work?

Positive Parenting Solutions is an online, self-directed course with dozens of video, audio and printable learning materials. You can go through McCready’s course at your own pace, though she suggests you don’t skip any steps or materials along the way.

Is Positive Parenting Solutions evidence-based?

McCready’s Positive Parenting Solutions course is based on her studies of Adlerian Psychology and Positive Discipline. Adler, a 19th century Austrian doctor and psychotherapist, believed that all human behavior is goal oriented. His work centered on the idea that people are motivated to seek “belonging and significance in their family constellation.”

What are Amy McCready's credentials?

McCready was a trainer and senior manager for Fortune 500 companies before she began researching Adlerian Psychology and positive discipline in an effort to reform her own family. McCready doesn’t have a formal education in psychology or parenting strategies. Rather, she based her course on personal research and experience.

Is Positive Parenting Solutions worth it?

Based on an overwhelmingly positive response from parents who have noticed a measurable change in their children and overall family dynamic — and my own experience that verifies those experiences — I believe Positive Parenting Solutions is absolutely worth the $200 investment.

Leighann Bacher is a writer/editor based in Pittsburgh, Pa. She received her degree in journalism from Kent State University and has since worked for major metropolitan newspapers, marketing firms and city magazines. Leighann was named one of Pittsburgh Magazine's '40 Under 40 Honorees' for spearheading a social media campaign to connect people with COVID-19 vaccines and resources. Her greatest joy is spending time with her two kids and dabbling in her creative passions of photography, dance and art.

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