September 29, 2023

Books and Products



Learn how to create a healthy family by Becoming a Power Parent using seven guiding natural principles.



PART I: The Seven Principles

Chapter 1: Attachment Principle

Chapter 2: Autonomy Principle

Chapter 3: Balance Principle

Chapter 4: Bipolarity Principle

Chapter 5: Mutuality Principle

Chapter 6: Reinforcement Principle

Chapter 7: Parsimony Principle

PART II: Putting the Principles to Work

Chapter 8: The Starting Line

Chapter 9: The Power-Parent Skills

Chapter 10: The Principles of Development

Chapter 11: The Family Umbrella

Chapter 12: The Positive Opposite

Chapter 13: The Texas Three-Step

Chapter 14: The Hybrid

Chapter 15: One-Way Trip with Our Memories Meter Ticking


A Personal Message



There are good families and there are bad families. Families can range from the heavenly to the hellish. Dr. Barnard’s book is about choosing to create a good family and how to keep it. I have been a family therapist for over 35 years. In all my work teaching, researching, studying and practicing, I have never come across such a jewel of a manual―original, clear, practical, yet so profound. Its beauty and strength stems from the author’s creative use of the natural laws which govern life itself to building families as nature meant them to be―productive, healthy, wise and fun.

As I read and re-read Becoming a Power Parent, I discovered what a fool I have been all these years. The lessons since grade school to medical school, my training as a psychiatrist at Boston University and Harvard Medical Schools, my 40 years in teaching, research and practice―”there they were!” the laws of nature, jumping out of every sentence and page as they govern family systems. You can imagine how I felt. Why didn’t I think about writing this book?

Now that I’m calmer and can set aside the propensities toward envy that too often characterize so many of us academics, I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, that Becoming a Power Parent is a gift to all of us who care about strong and healthy families. It is also a special gift for those families struggling to regain their creativity and strength from their current state of misfortune, no matter how dismal and hopeless our state may seem.

If I interpret Dr. Barnard’s book accurately, it seems to me that his hope is to offer a framework to parents for understanding the natural laws that govern a family system and specific guidelines for conducting a successful family business. What is the business of a family? What are the essential ingredients of great parenting? How do leadership skills evolve within a family system? He attempts to tackle these vital and complex issues as he invites us to probe the obvious―the laws of nature.

We are not accustomed to look around us for solutions. The wisdom of the ancient world and the great spiritual masters throughout the ages knew how to look around them. Modern science has elaborated and clarified the laws of nature that govern all successful life as never before. Unfortunately, contemporary thinkers have relegated the laws of nature to the governance of life forms, not humanity. Humans, we are told, are free beings. We are free to govern ourselves as we see fit and according to our best interest. The laws of nature do not apply to us.

This revolutionary book, if I may call it that, clearly shows why modern family life has too often become such a messy business. If one ignores the laws of nature there will be negative consequences. “The laws of nature are clear and concise,” states Dr. Barnard. They are universal and eternal. He shows us they accommodate the most complex, unimaginable and problematic family issues. They offer successful strategies for dealing with them. Understanding and allowing the natural laws that govern all life will lead to members of a family finding their ultimate purpose―a creative and fulfilling intimacy in their relationships with each other and with persons outside the family.

Becoming a Power Parent: Seven Guiding Principles for Creating a Healthy Family is a powerful book that should be read and studied by anyone concerned with the fate of family life―primarily by parents who desire to become powerful and effective leaders of their family. The book spells out a hopeful vision, if we develop respect and adhere to the natural laws that insure sturdy and healthy families. It presents an eloquent and beautiful argument for sacred truths―which we simply should not ignore. Becoming a Power Parent is intelligently written, warm, comforting, practical and rock solid. It will be especially helpful to us living in these complex and rapidly changing times.

Roberto L. Jimenez, M.D., F.A.P.A.

Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Graduate―Boston Family Institute