Episode 020: Merrilee Boyack Raising Independent Children

Merrilee Boyack loves life and loves every season of life–especially this one!  She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, four sons, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren and discussing politics.   She is an estate-planning attorney preparing trust, wills and powers of attorney and her law practice covers Utah and California.  Merrilee is also a professional lecturer and speaks all over the country, featured for many years at BYU Education Week and Time Out for Women, and a published author.  She loves to travel and meet people all over the world.  Her perfect day is camping in a tent, reading a good book, taking a perfect hike, and eating FREE food.

Her current passion is working with Family Watch International as President for Utah.  She is working to protect the family and children at the international level at the United Nations and in supporting governments around the world to institute measures to protect families.  Merrilee also has created the Empowered Families Coalition of pro-family organizations in Utah to support family and traditional values.  She is a passionate community activist working to protect traditional values and liberties.

She is the author of several books and talks, including The Parenting Breakthrough, Strangling Your Husband Is Not an Option; In Trying Times, Just Keep Trying. and her most recent, “The Mismatched Nativity.”

I have owned Merrilee’s book, The Parenting Breakthrough since I was a newlywed. I think it was part of a bundle that was giving out at a conference because it was a new book.  I loved reviewing its contents in preparation to talk to the author.  It is a very inspiring book that is a guidebook for parents to give their children life skills.  There is even a list of what skills children should learn by what age.  Merrilee has so many amazing tips for preparing her kids for adulthood, and she includes them all in that book.

There are so many great tips and tools in this interview, from how to know when your kids are ready to learn a new skills, to money management, to preparing your kids for the workforce by lining them up with internships while they are teenagers!  So many incredible tips and tools here!

To be clear, Merrilee is not so supportive of “free range parenting.”  Her perspective is about being supportive and training our children up to be independent by mentoring, coaching, training, teaching, and nurturing.  Depending on your interpretation of free-range parenting, this does not include selfishness or simply dumping your child out into the world and expecting them to figure it out!

How to find Merrilee:



Resources mentioned in this episode (includes affiliate links):

Merrilee’s books:The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly IndependentStrangling Your Husband is Not An Option: A Practical Guide to Dramatically Improving Your Marriage,
Merrilee Boyack

John RosemondNew Parent PowerToilet Training Without Tantrums

Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare You Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims

About the author, Jodi

I live in Richmond, Virginia with my husband, Michael, and our four young kids. We homeschool, and work remotely, so I guess we may take this on the road some day! I have a bachelor's degree from George Mason University in Health Promotion Studies, but I attended five different universities before finally finishing while I was expecting my third baby! I'm a returned missionary from the Hawaii Honolulu Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm sort of a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, but I do enjoy reading personal development and parenting books, finding new ways to enjoy exercising, and learning more about being an entrepreneur.


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