book review::"changing your child's heart"

>> Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Changing Your Child's Heart
by Steve Sherbondy
Lately I've been expanding my parenting enrichment reading to include books beyond the immediate. Breastfeeding, sleep training and baby food recipes are all vital subjects, but I want to do more than just survive the present.

It's so easy to be caught parenting without a plan. To just be getting through the day. I won't deny that I find that happening more often than I'd like. But it isn't my goal as a godly mother to just "survive". The Hubby and I both share the desire to cultivate a home atmosphere that encourages spiritual, emotional and social "thriving". 

The thing is, parenting with a plan is a whole LOT of work. It means you've got to be thinking ahead to the next stage when the current stage is just getting started. It means beginning as you mean to go. And of course, no parents are perfect. Every parental team is flawed, and we all make mistakes. But our level of awareness and self-education on the parenting subject can certainly help eliminate at least some mistakes, right?

So I just finished reading "Changing Your Child's Heart". It presents a collection of tools for parents who want not only to help their kids cultivate quality behavior, but who also desire to help their children learn to control their naturally rebellious attitudes. 

The book shows multiple scripture passages to support each parenting principle, and gives plenty of stories and illustrations to make things clear, including many of the author's personal experiences.

I personally believe that authoritarian parenting is abusive. (Authoritarian parents are all about power and control, and often cross over into inappropriate physical forms of discipline.) But I'm convinced that permissive parenting is just as damaging. (Permissive parents are all about pleasing their kids at the expense of character development, which easily leads to forms of emotional abuse.) The remaining parenting option is authoritative, where the parents attempt to guide and teach children in loving, biblically acceptable ways.

It's tough to find books on parenting that are balanced, biblical, creative and character-oriented. It's even more difficult to find books that get down to the practical stuff rather than pontificating about vague principles and concepts. "Changing Your Child's Heart" does just that - it breaks down broad principles into practical tools that translate into everyday family life. 

This book also presents a wide variety of creative tools for helping kids take charge of their own attitudes, without resorting to spanking as the primary form of discipline. Instead of being a book about spanking (as you might expect from a "biblical" parenting guide), it's a book about finding what works for your child without compromising your expectations of obedience, honesty, respect, courtesy, and helpfulness.

I can't say that I'd follow every single idea the author suggests, but overall I enjoyed this book tremendously. I would definitely recommend it to other parents who also want to cultivate strong traits of Christian character in their children.

© Sarah K. Asaftei, 2009 unless otherwise sourced. Use allowed by express written permission only.

1 comments:

Lianro May 5, 2010 at 7:13 PM  

I admire your desire to jump ahead to the next step of parenting as it doesn't hurt to start now... even though consequences are not understood. It is a daunting task for sure, but preparation can come to the rescue. Thanks for this post. It has made me cognizant of such needs before the disciplinary stage has pounced on me!

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