A Checklist to Adulthood: New Parenting Handbook Details How to Raise Life-Ready Kids

From two Minnesota professionals – Dr. Timothy Johanson and Michael Anderson, ‘GIST: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids’ is the authors’ provocative take on what it means to bring children into adulthood in this increasingly stressful social environment.

Wayzata, MN -- (SBWire) -- 02/27/2014 --Ask any parent and they will probably tell you: there is no job on earth as difficult, and as rewarding, as raising a child.

With so much conflicting information as to the best strategies for raising kids ‘right’, as well as the rising threats of bullying, social pressures and the prevalence of social media, parents in 2014 are facing a greater battle than ever before.

To Dr. Timothy Johanson, a pediatrician whose practice focuses on treating children with behavioral issues, and Michael Anderson, a licensed psychologist with 30 years studying and counseling kids and families with challenges related to growing up, the ‘mis-education’ of parents is one of the greatest problems children face. As co-authors of the new book, ‘GIST: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids’, the two professionals hope to strip away worn-out and ineffective parenting strategies and simplify the parenting task to a few vital goals.

“We want to let parents know this parenting job isn’t as hard as they are making it,” says Anderson. “It can be much easier; they can be much more effective and maintain better relationships with their kids with significantly less effort. They just need to see it different.” According to Dr. Johanson, “Parents should focus on getting their kids ‘life-ready’, while alleviating stress and eliminating many of the practices like over-parenting and over-protection.” Explaining what led to the book’s publication Johanson said, “I was seeing a disturbing rise in kids being brought into my medical office where I could recognize that stress was the prominent reason for the appointment. I met Michael Anderson about seven years ago – and heard about his experience as a psychologist observing the same dynamic. We both felt burdened to “get to the headwaters of the river” and understand what was creating the exhaustion, stress and confusion. That was what spawned this book. We didn’t want to write this book – we felt compelled to write the book.”


In ‘GIST The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids’, psychologist Michael Anderson and pediatrician Dr. Tim Johanson take parenting into a new paradigm. Raising children today has never been more challenging as parents feel the stress of watching their children grow-up not ready for life in the adult world. From the foundation of developing loving relationships with your child, the book clearly defines how to implement strategies that prevent the "many hours and emotional energy spent by parents where nothing positive is produced."

GIST will give new and valuable insight into the process of how kids mature through their experiences of life, what the authors call a "checklist to adulthood." You will be given new ways of thinking about learning and anti-learning, fun and joy, self-esteem, minimizing shame, understanding self-protective behavior, over-talking to your kids, why kids do stuff that drives you crazy, and the importance of truth-telling.

GIST will make you think, force you to go deeper, and even ruffle some feathers. Like it or not, many parents today are struggling and the younger generation is now living out the consequences of ineffective, over-nurturing, over-indulgent, and over-protective approaches. There are no instructions when a child enters this world. GIST focuses on how looking at parenting differently is the first step in growing-up your children.

Since its publication, the book has earned a five star rating on Amazon and notably positive reviews from readers.

Candace Wiseley wrote: “Honestly, I found myself apologizing to my kids, post teens, several times as I read GIST realizing many things that drove my approach to parenting had to do with fear. The gist is that I wish I could have had this book as a resource over 20 years ago when my children were small! Fortunately, it’s not too late to change how I guide them now.”

“This book is extraordinary, a practical, understandable, tool for parents to help prepare kids for real life challenges. The importance of telling your kids the truth about their strengths and weaknesses helps them to accept themselves and others. I could not put it down. I have recommended this book to many already. Such a powerful book,” wrote Linda Wismer.

As Anderson knows, the book has already had a powerful impact on early readers.

“People have told us that while some of the text ruffled their feathers – it still hit home,” says the author. “They realized that many of the ineffective parenting practices they had been doing in their own homes needed to stop.

Continuing: “Thankfully, we don’t just list what’s wrong – we give parents immediate and effective strategies to replace their old ways. Parents will be given new ways of thinking about learning and anti-learning, fun and joy, self-esteem, minimizing shame, understanding self-protective behavior, over-talking to your kids, why kids do stuff that drives you crazy, and the importance of telling your kids the truth.”

‘GIST: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids’ is available now from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1h6jWIo.

About the Authors
Michael Anderson is a licensed psychologist with an active practice in the Twin Cities. He graduated from Trinity College and received his graduate degree in clinical psychology from Wheaton College Graduate School. He has worked in the field of social work and family psychology for thirty years, focusing on children, adolescents, and their parents. In addition to parenting his own three children, Michael and his wife have been short term foster parents for thirteen adolescents. Michael is a frequent speaker on the topics of mental health, parenting, and raising life-ready kids and has consulted with school boards, teachers, coaching staffs, and youth leaders in implementing many of the principles in this book. He has also been a supervisor of foster homes. He loves the Boundary Waters, outdoor adventuring, great lyrics, traveling without maps, learning about local cultures, and seeing kids learn to thrive.

Dr. Johanson is a board-certified pediatrician in the greater Minneapolis area. He graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is actively involved in teaching residents and medical students and has been awarded the Community Pediatrics Teacher of the Year award from the University of MN School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. He has been the recipient of "Best Doctor" award from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, a yearly peer-voted honor. His passion for parenting drives his desire to help parents struggling with highly spirited and challenging children. His clinical practice focuses on kids with behavioral challenges. He enjoys golfing, gourmet cooking, and public speaking on topics including ADD/ADHD, technology, depression and anxiety, and most of all, parenting.

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