I may need to write that again.
THIS IS THE BEST CHILD-REARING BOOK I HAVE EVER READ.
Did you catch that? If you never read another parenting book in your life, you have GOT to read this one. (Well, if you are parenting children, that is.)
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.
It opened my eyes to what parenting really is all about. It delves deeper than merely changing a behavior or simply raising a child to be a success. It points you constantly back to the Bible and what God says about children and parenting.
This book doesn't beat around the bush. It took certain beliefs and values that are even prevalent among church-goers and showed them for what they really were. Sin. Because when you get down to the heart of the matter, you find out what is really going on. Why are two children fighting over a toy? Well, the logical question is...who had it first? Justice is served, right? But when you look deeper into the hearts of both children involved you find sin. Both children are in the wrong. As parents we need to be concerned about instilling the saving gospel of Jesus Christ into our children's hearts. We should be pointing them to the Cross. Showing them their need for a Savior.
The most helpful advice I found in this book for the stage of parenting I am dealing with right now was the concept of appeals. We are working on first time obedience in our home. Obeying right away, without delay and without excuse (or complaining or whining or moaning or fussing or eye-rolling or stomping...). The child starts the process of obeying a directive but can respectfully appeal.
Say your child is building a Lego carriage and you walk into the room and tell her to go to bed. She starts the process of cleaning up her Legos but asks politely if she can finish her carriage first. Now you can say yes or no. She must still obey even when you say no, but she has the opportunity to appeal which gives her a voice. She is not a robot. She has feelings and thoughts too.
Anyway, if I write any more you won't read the book. So, I will just leave it at that. Go pick up a copy of the book and read it for yourself.
Now I am off to write another book review. Hopefully by the end of this year I will be much better at reviewing books. My 2012 Book List can be found here.