Book Review: Parenting the QBQ Way by John Miller

My child is a product of my parenting.

That is the key takeaway of the book Parenting the QBQ Way: How to be an Outstanding Parent and Raise Great Kids Using the Power of Personal Accountability by John Miller.

Not the schools. Not Head Start. Not the church. Not her friends. Not the celebrities du jour. My child is a product of my parenting.

Parenting the QBQ Way by John Miller: Personal Accountability

If you are a parent or want to be, you need this book. I believe in it so much, I am offering a money back guarantee. (Click to Tweet

And with that easy-to-acknowledge but hard-to-swallow fact, John Miller issues a call for personal accountability in parenting.

Before we go too much further, welcome to day two of Family Leadership Week. The rest of the week looks a little something like this:

Wednesday, March 6: QBQ Practice. This one should be fun.

Thursday, March 7: Interview with John Miller, Part One

Friday, March 8: Interview with John Miller, Part Two

Part one yesterday is here: The Problem with Parents Today.

Make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get posts via email (and get my free book as a bonus) so you don’t miss any of this week’s posts.

OK, now back to the review.

If you are not familiar with John Miller, check out all of this books here. They are all centered on the same concept; that personal success, fulfillment, and influence begins with personal accountability.

You should read all of his books, but you probably won’t like them. The message is not popular or sugar-coated and much like some of Jesus’ followers, you will be tempted to say “this is a difficult teaching, who can follow it?” and relegate the books to a life of gathering dust.

But, please don’t. You need these books. (NOTE: I certainly could say “the world needs these books” but this is all about personal accountability and I am speaking directly to you.)

What I like about the book

In addition to the message itself, I love the format of Parenting the QBQ Way. In typical QBQ fashion, the chapters are short and stand alone well. You can read for 3-5 minutes a day and get immediately applicable principles, action items, and inspiration. Like his other books, this is not a “sit down on a Sunday afternoon and read the whole thing” book. It is best taken a little at a time and the author makes that easy for you.

John also tells a lot of personal stories. I am a “story learner.” I learn best from personal stories to which I can relate and from seeing the principles and tools in action.

John does an outstanding job of weaving touching, funny, and thought-provoking stories in and out with his lessons. There are few, if any, lengthy stretches of instruction-only without a story.

So What is QBQ?

I don’t want to give away the whole book, but QBQ stands for “Question Behind the Question.” In John’s words, as it relates to parenting, it is a “tool that enables parents to practice personal accountability by making better choices in the moment.” The QBQ identifies the real question you should be asking. It eliminates the victim mentality.

What John calls IQs (Incorrect Questions) usually sound a lot like:

“Why is this happening to me?”

“Why didn’t my parents show me how to do this?”

“Who is going to help me with this?”

“When are the schools going to teach ____?”

QBQs sound like:

“What can I do to understand my daughter better?”

“What can I do to educate myself more on good parenting?”

“How can I find a mentor?”

“How can I teach my child ____?”

That is QBQ in a nutshell, but there is so much more that you will have to read for yourself.

Money Back Guarantee

Family Leadership Week Matt McWilliamsSo how much do I believe in these books?

So much that I am willing to put my money where my mouth is.

If read any or all of John’s books and don’t feel that they have changed your life for the better, I will buy them back from you at full price.

If you don’t believe that the message makes you a better employee, leader, spouse, or parent, you get your money back. That is how much I believe in this message.

Here are the instructions:

  1. The book must be in good condition. I will buy the book from you in order to give it to someone else who is open to the life-changing message or to the library.
  2. Contact me here. I will send you the address to which to send the book too. 
  3. Send the book and the receipt and give me 2-3 weeks to send you a check. Make sure to include your return address.

So there you have it…a call to personal accountability and a money back guarantee. Go get the books now. Start with whichever is most needed in your life.

In what ways are you personally accountable for your children?

Do you find freedom in personal accountability…in asking QBQs instead of blaming or waiting for others?

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  • Admittedly, I haven’t read QBQ The Parenting Way. I have however read QBQ.

    When I first learned about IQ’s and QBQ’s I thought it was hogwash. Yep, I said hogwash. But, after I let it sink in for a few days, I realized I was actually letting some of those IQ’s sneak in.

    They were mainly creeping in around areas where I had given up hope of anything better happening. So, when I started to apply the QBQ’s, I started to see tremendous hope and possibility. Best of all, I was taking control. That shift definitely changed my life!

    Looking forward to QBQ The Parenting Way!

    • I sort of agree with you. My first reaction was “That’s great for someone who is a victim thinker and has never heard of this stuff.”

      Then I realized that day how many IQs I ask. So I read it frequently and it seems I get 1% better every time I read it…I need to read it another 90 times and I am set.

    • The fact that you used the word “hogwash” makes this one of my favorite comments of the day Bob…and your point was pretty good too 😉

  • Definitely an awesome book! Wait, I can’t get a refund now. Oh, well. Might as well read it again!

    As a father, it is my responsibility to make sure my kids are being taught and trained properly. I need to take the initiative to spend time with them (working on increasing this part!). One quote from the book says to spend half as much money and twice as much time.

  • LOVE QBQ and there’s no way I’d get a refund. In fact, I’ve suggested that my whole team at work read and discuss it. Even though I don’t have kids, I can just imagine how effective it would be for parenting. It’s one of those books that I revisit over and over again. Thanks, Matt!

    • As John says, “Repetition is the motor of learning.”

      I think they are the type of books you can read at least once a year to see if IQs are slipping in.

      • …and I’ll bet you will find that they are slipping in. The natural man finds its much easier to blame others!! Thats the power of this principle, it sets you apart from the masses!

      • I think I need to read it more than once a year!

  • Just finished reading this book and no, you can’t have it. I’ll be reading often. What a simple and great way to throw out a bunch of parenting theories and stick to the basics! I have posted a QBQ reminder on my cube at work where I HAVE to read it every day. QBQ has changed the way I think. I hope I can continue to change the way I act. Thanks for this series, Matt!

  • I haven’t read the book yet, but it sounds like something I don’t want to miss.

    The Deliberate Dad podcast (DadCast) episode #3 is all about accountability. I definitely agree that accountability is essential in parenting, marriage, and in life. Looking forward to reading this one.

  • Definitely looking forward to reading this book, as well as the original QBQ!
    It’s so apparent when you look at children (including your own) that they are a product of their parents. I hear my daughter say something and I say “where did she get that??” But if I think back far enough, I or my wife probably said the exact same thing!!
    The beauty of the QBQ concept (from what I’ve heard, like I said, I have yet to read), is that it is empowering. The problem is no longer “out there” and uncontrollable. It is now here, immediate, and within your control.
    When we turn the problem around and place it within our control we’ll have more confidence, more fulfillment and more joy.
    Thanks for the review Matt!

  • This sounds like a great book. I have this book on my book list.

    Joe Lalonde just did an interview with Jim Miller as well, here is the link

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  • Wade_Thorson

    I haven’t read the parenting QBQ, but I would agree that we are accountable for our kids. Just like your team members perform like their manager, a kid will act just like their parents. As a parent we need to continually look for ways to teach our kids, develop our kids, and help them become great parents themselves one day.