This mom meant well, but modern science is telling us how to parent — and, guys, it doesn't look like this.


I met Ty Hatfield in 1999. He was police officer, and I was a journalist covering the court system for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. Ty was known in the newsroom as a mild-mannered cop and thoughtful, particularly around “juvenile delinquents”—whom he treated with an unusual degree of patience and compassion. “He’s one of the good ones,” I remember thinking.

Fifteen years later, our paths crossed again. By then, I was the parent of a five-year-old daughter, Maxine, and he had long-since launched a parenting program—Parenting from the Heart—with his wife, Linda. Despite my deep-seeded belief that parenting courses were for child abusers under court order, I decided to sign up.  

It changed my life.

Ty and Linda have spent their adult lives exploring the fundamentals of successful parenting—Ty as a police officer and father, Linda as an elementary school teacher and mother. They started their company, Parenting from the Heart, in 1999 and have since ushered hundreds of parents through some of those families’ most challenging times. Although their knowledge has been culled from some of the world’s best and brightest child psychologists, researchers and scientists, their advice was not borne of some sanitized laboratory. They know parenting can be a messy place. They also know, as you know, that every child is unique; what works for one may not translate to the next. They understand that a parent’s toolbox must account for each individual child’s temperament, lifestyle, challenges, and developmental stages.

Like every parenting expert worth their mettle, Ty and Linda stand on the shoulders of the most trusted and admired psychologists, scientists, and child development experts of yesterday and today. And we pay homage to a number of them in the book. It is amazing to see how each of their contributions to the world of parenting is wholly distinct and yet how their work crisscrosses, complements and builds on each other time and again. 

How you interact with your kids in your day-to-day life has wide-ranging implications for their future selves. But when you see the big picture—when everything suddenly clicks into place and you have a clearly defined Master Parenting Plan, you will experience far fewer power struggles, a stronger bond with your child than you thought possible, and a parenting approach that you will be proud to pass on to your grandchildren’s grandchildren.

— Wendy Thomas Russell