Monday, November 12, 2007

Book Review: Biblical Parenting

I've been wanting to read Biblical Parenting for the last several months since I re-discovered the forums at Gentle Christian Mother (I'd joined these forums a year or more ago, but then lost the link when my computer crashed and re-discovered it when the website sent me an e-mail saying I hadn't been activated in x amount of time & my account would be deleted LOL). ANYWAY . . . the parenting ideas of this book are reflected on the forums there and the author of the book is an active poster/moderator there. But the book isn't available at our local library and there aren't any on yet (except one for $60+ I'm not sure what's up with that LOL) and with all the books we are using for our curriculum right now, I hadn't found the budget to buy a book for me that wasn't $0.75+ shipping like most of the ones I can get on Anyway . . . last week, I found out that one of the women who order things from the co-ops I run, is a moderator on GCM, so it occurred to me that she might have the book, I asked, she did, and was willing to loan it to me (thanks Amy!!!). AND I had some stuff that she'd ordered & needed to pick up, so she dropped the book off when she picked her order up.

Ok, so book review, I'd still really like to get this book at some point, will certainly keep watching for a reasonably priced copy, or may use it at some point if I need to reach the free shipping threshold at amazon. The basics can be found on GCM, but the book does a better job of putting them all in one place. In a nutshell, it gives practical advice for parenting in accordance with God's way of dealing with us, His children. It explains why punative punishments are counterproductive in the long run and specifies the difference between discipline and punishment. I've been using the basic 5 steps from this book for the last while (when I remember) and the girls respond quite well to them. Obviously there's no "magic formula" to produce "perfect children" and anything new is a learning process for all of us, but this approach finally strikes the balance I've been trying to find between having determined that not only do I feel punative punishments are wrong, but they also don't work for my kids, even on the surface level that they would work with less spirited children, and feeling that while I can concur with the theory of some of the gentler parenting methods, I generally can't find a way to implement it with more than one child (and in fact, in one case, I found a question/answer where someone asked, how would I handle this if the conflict was between 2 of my children? and the author basically said, "you're not likely to ever be alone with your children where you would have to do that" HUH?!?!?! Come peak in on my world for a few minutes! On a GOOD week, I'm alone with my children for at least 50 hours.). This book addresses the fact that when 2 children are fighting you need to balance the needs of both of them. It recognizes that we don't live in a vacuum where other people's parenting methods and expectations don't affect us, and addresses how to function in group settings without disrespecting your child's needs. AND as the title implies, it does it all from a very sound Biblical basis. It addresses texts like Prov 13:24, that are often misinterpreted to support corporal punishment, and gives further interpretation of the original language to explain what is actually meant by the text (in a very brief nutshell, the word that is translated rod, is the word used to refer to a shepherd's rod, walking stick, or king's sceptor, all of which are used to guide, not to hit).

In summary, if you are only going to read one parenting book, I think this would be the one I would recommend (with Raising Your Spirited Child being a close second if there's any chance your child falls into the spirited category)

No comments: