Growing Kids Chicago

Serving Chicagoland, surrounding suburbs, and Northwest Indiana

  • Growing Kids Gods Way

    (Parenting with a God-Centered Purpose)

    17 Sessions


    Originally published in 1986 and updated in 1996, and 2008, Growing Kids God’s Way was the first major parenting curriculum written for the Christian community, and has since served over two million households. While the years have passed away, and fashions have changed, the principles contained within remain timeless. Serving as the forerunner of the new Life Series curriculum, the fifth edition Growing Kids God’s Way workbook and DVD presentation continues to provide parents hope, encouragement and practical instruction in their duty of raising morally responsible and biblically responsive children. The curriculum serves parents of preschoolers through the middle years.

  • Preparation for Parenting

    Preparation For Parenting (Birth through 5 Months)



    Preparation for Parenting series gained national and international recognition for its immensely sensible approach to parenting a newborn. Coming with the applause of over a million parents and twice as many babies worldwide, Preparation for Parenting provides a prescription for responsible parenting. The infant management plan offered by the Ezzos, successfully and naturally helps infants synchronize their feeding, wake and nighttime sleep cycles. The results? You parent a happy, healthy and contented baby who will begin sleeping through the night on average between seven and nine weeks of age. Learning how to manage your newborn is the first critical step in teaching your child how to manage his or her life.

  • Babyhood Transitions

    Babyhood Transitions (5 to 12 Months)



    It's reality-check time! You're at least four months into your tour of parenting and the complexity of child-training is starting to multiply. Now your baby's day is filled to overflowing with sensory stimulation and learning opportunities. How will you respond? With age-appropriate modifications the three activities of your baby's day: feeding time, waketime and naptime expand with benefits and challenges. In their customary fashion the Ezzo’s lay out practical steps for successfully managing the growth challenges ahead. From introducing solid foods to introducing the playpen and everything in between—it's all here for your baby's benefit and your peace of mind.

  • Preparations for the Toddler Years

    Preparation For the Toddler Years (12 to 18 Months)



    The period between twelve and eighteen months places a child on a one-way bridge leaving infancy behind and heading straight for the toddler years. A baby still?  Not really, but neither is he a toddler and that is the key to understanding this phase of growth. The next six months is season of exchange: baby food is exchanged for table food; formula for whole milk; bottle for sippy cup; the highchair for a booster seat; feeding himself with his fingers replaced by a spoon and fork; babbling talk to speaking, and the first unsteady steps are taken over by strides of confidence. Your pretoddler graduated infancy with a mind of his own and whether you're ready or not, his natural inclination and challenge of "I do it myself" will become part of his and your day. In this series Gary and Anne Marie provide principles, strategies and step by step guidance that will help parent and child make a smooth transition from babyhood to toddlerhood.

  • Toddler Transitions

    The Toddlerhood Transition (18 to 36 Months)

    9-Session DVD/Comprehensive Workbook


    The Toddlerhood Transition series focuses on a brief but significant window of growth, a vibrant period of your child’s life, from eighteen to thirty six months of age. This eighteen month period is an amazing, spontaneous, engaging yet challenging time for the emergent child and his parents. That is because toddlers have their own peculiar way. They begin speaking full sentences and throwing full tantrums, deep hilarious laughing and a lack of impulse control. They can provide the best fun and the worst behavior. They can also make you feel like the best Mom one minute and the worst, the next. Learning how to manage your toddlers day, while encourage learning and discouraging behavior in need of future correction is a primary goal of The Toddlerhood Transition series.

  • Parenting the Middle Years

    Parenting the Middle Years (8 to 12 years)

    6 Sessions


    Parenting through the middle years, (8-12) are perhaps the most significant attitude-forming period in the life of a child. It is during this time that the roots of moral character are established. From the foundation that is formed, healthy or not-so-healthy family relationships will be built. These are the years when patterns of behavior are firmly established patterns that will impact your parent-child relationship for decades to come. Rightly meeting the small challenges of the middle years significantly reduces the likelihood of big challenges in the teen years. In other words, the groundwork you lay during your child's middle years will forever impact your relationship even long after he or she is grown.

  • Reaching the Heart of Your Teen

    Reaching the Heart of Your Teen (13-19 Years)

    8 Sessions


    Why do teenagers rebel? Is it due to hormones, a suppressed primal desire to stake out their own domain, or a natural and predictable process of growth? To what extent do parents encourage or discourage the storm and stress of adolescence? Reaching the Heart of Your Teen looks at the many factors that make living with a teenager a blessing or a curse. It exposes the notions of secular myth and brings to light the proven how-to applications of building and maintaining healthy relationships with your teens. Whether you worry about your teen and dating or your teen and drugs, the principles of Reaching the Heart of Your Teen are appropriate and applicable for both extremes and everyone in between. They do work!

  • Reflections of Moral Innocence

    Reflections of Moral Innocence

    8 Parts


    There is no faster way to rob a child of the innocence of childhood than inappropriate sex education. Children only get one childhood. What are you doing to protect it? What does God say about human sexuality and the sexual innocence of children? What does He say about purity and the role of parents in forming right attitudes in their children's minds and hearts about their own sexuality? This series discusses the practical how-to's of sex education and much more. By the end of this series you should have the confidence of knowing how, what, and when to communicate biological truth to your children with biblical values attached without fearing that you are giving your children too much or too little information.

  • Parenting from the Tree of Life - Part 1

    Part One: Life, Children and Relationships



    It has been said that there are two significant moments in life. The first is the moment you are born; the second is the moment you discover why you were born. The Life Series does more than recognize this truth; it embraces it. Parenting from the Tree of Life is not an easy task, in this age of uncertainty, where declining cultural values put enormous stress on families, especially on those parents who still believe there are standards of right and wrong and everyday courtesies worth instilling into their children. Be encouraged: parenting from a Life perspective, to say the least, is life-changing. Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo present a persuasive argument for raising children in a life-giving home environment.

  • Parenting from the Tree of Life - Part 2

    Part Two:  Life, Children and Character



    Part one of the Life Series stressed the relational components associated with child training that lead to healthy outcomes. Now in part two, the focus shifts to the moral education of children. Over the next six visits, Gary and Anne Ezzo, along with Rich and Julie Young, will demonstrate how young children learn moral lessons, internalize meaningful values, and then translate them into social skills. Raising children who are kind, courteous, respectful, cooperative, confident and sensitive to the needs of others, is not a wish list from “never-never” land, but the consistent outcomes that have followed the Ezzos’ teaching for over thirty years. However, they would be the first to warn that such moral outcomes take time, effort, patience, and a commitment from parents to rise above the cultural tide of mediocrity. The formula for helping children acquire the motivation and conviction to choose right over wrong, good over evil, excellence over mediocrity, and initiative over apathy is contained within the next six visits.

  • Parenting from the Tree of Life - Part 3

    Part Three:  Life, Children, Encouragement and Correction



    As a mom or dad you probably have come to realize there are times when your sweet child will reject or strongly oppose your reasonable instructions. Usually, this happens because your child doesn’t know your instructions are reasonable. What can and should you do to keep your son or daughter on track and moving forward? We suggest you guide with instruction, motivate with encouragement and establish necessary boundaries through correction. There are a number of corrective strategies parents can use to their advantage, but ultimately the best form of parental correction is prevention. There is no better way to deal with behavioral problems than by preventing them from happening in the first place. Much of what we have already discussed in the first twelve visits speaks to the positive, preventative side of training. Yet, the reality remains, correction will still be necessary. The good news is this: understanding the working components of instruction, encouragement and correction will help keep your little one on track and heading in the right direction.

What to expect from a class:


  • Classes are generally held in the leader's home
  • Classes are generally 1-8 couples
  • Each person should have their own workbook ( if this is a financial burden, arrangements can be made)
  • Class Consists of review of previous homework, video lasting 40-60 minutes, time for prayer and time of fellowship (a sign-up sheet for bringing refreshment is generally passed around at the first class)
  • Homework is required and includes approximately 30-60 minutes of reading and associated questions as well as a "practical" assignment

This is a discipleship class with an accountability component and therefore it is suggested that all participants sign a covenant agreement.

Out of respect for others we start on time and finish on time.  If you are going to be late a courtesy call to your leaders is expected.

Absences are usually handled by arranging a make-up class if both husband and wife miss or by sending home a video for the spouse if only one misses.

Curriculum offered are explained to the right.


See Class Schedule for a calendar of classes currently being offered.