(UPDATE: Winner announced at end of post).
Sometimes it’s not enough to teach your kids manners. For instance, take teaching your kids to refrain from picking their nose. While, that is certainly a worthy endeavor, I can’t help but hope that motherhood is more significant than teaching your kid proper (and much appreciated) public decorum. Is mommy-hood more than that? (Although, if you are successful in the nose-picking endeavor, do tell! We’re standing by ready to take notes).
So far, I’ve discovered that there is something far more challenging than the booger battle, and that is capturing my children’s hearts. Because good parenting is about more than making my children’s “good” behavior my final goal. So, instead of simply saying “no” to my kids all the time, true motherhood means helping my child to grasp the depths and condition of their own heart.
True motherhood means helping my child to grasp the depths and condition of their own heart.
Why does the heart matter so much in parenting? Because sometimes our hearts just don’t work right! That means even the “best” kid can’t truly be good enough (or good all the time). So, when you teach a child about the condition of their heart, it makes it possible for that child to comprehend their need of a Savior who is ready and willing to give them a new heart.
So, as part of Hive Resources “Back to Skool Edition,” we’re hosting a Book Fair to introduce you to two resources that teach you how to capture your child’s heart. And along with our book reviews, we’re giving away a free book to one lucky reader of HiveResources.com!
How do you win a free copy of one of today’s books? ‘Like’ us on facebook and leave a comment on this post telling us that you did so before midnight tonight! And don’t forget to tell us which book you’d like to win in your comment! (For non-facebook users, just leave a comment). **CONTEST ENDED**
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
While many books claim the title of Christian parenting, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, written by Tedd Tripp, is one of the first Christian parenting books to fully provide parents with biblical principles engaging the human heart. Tripp writes out of over 30 years of experience as a pastor, counselor, school administrator, and father.
Book Summary: Biblical parenting shouldn’t seek simply to raise good, well-behaved kids (ie: behavior modification). Rather, parenting strategies that are truly biblical in nature will seek to shepherd a child’s heart by teaching the child to understand the “why” behind their behavior (corrupted heart) and their need for outside assistance in effecting internal change.
What I liked about the book:
- The author emphasizes that biblical correction is more than meting out justice for disobedience; it is re-directing a child’s heart and feet toward God.
Why is this a big deal? Because the call to shepherd hearts eliminates parental anger and abuse in the correction process.
- The author helps the reader discern and apply godly parenting goals (ie: goals centered on giving God glory).
Why is this a big deal? Because any other goal (no matter how moral or noble) not only falls short, but reaps disastrous consequences for the child – even turning them away from God! (Consider the following goals and how they can easily become misplaced: education, good behavior, developing special skills, even pressing the ‘sinner’s prayer.’)
- The author challenges parents to make the child’s conscience their ally as a long-term strategy to grow the child in Christ.
Why is this a big deal? Because as the child matures, he will be able to discern for himself his need for salvation and the need for daily grace to be the person God wants him to be.
What I didn’t like about this book:
- How convicted I was!
The author exposes common parenting tactics as unbiblical approaches because they don’t reach the heart and they don’t produce lasting change. (Consider: bribery, threat of punishment, etc). Ouch!
- I needed more practical examples.
While the author includes several examples of mock dialogues between a parent and a child, I found myself in need of additional concrete examples.
Because Shepherding A Child’s Heart has the ability to transform a household, Hive Resources gives this book three honeycombs – our highest rating! We recommend that all mothers put down their morning coffee (and we don’t say that…ever) and race to their nearest bookstore and buy this book immediately.
Regret-Free Parenting by Catherine Hickem
Regret Free Parenting, written by Catherine Hickem, is one the latest motherhood books seeking to help mom’s “raise good kids and know you’re doing it right.” Hickem is founder of Moms International and a licensed psychotherapist – two qualifications that added to the appeal of the main title for me. My kids are only three, and I already have a list of regrets I wish I could forget.
Book Summary: More kids would turn out better (well-adjusted, emotionally healthy, God-dependent) if their mothers were more intentional in their parenting skills. For Hickem, the following areas of motherhood often lack intentionality: emotional intelligence, parental authority, self-control, and vision.
What I liked about the book:
- The book is both inspirational and action-oriented.
The author helps the reader establish goals and a strategy for parenting (ie: be more encouraging to my kids).
- The author emphasizes the need for mothers to be intentional in their purpose and vision for their children.
What I didn’t like about the book:
- The author’s parenting approach marries pop psychology to biblical principles.
For example, Hickem emphasizes the need for mothers to develop a healthy self-confidence and a positive self-view (so far so good), but does so without satisfactorily connecting the foundation for biblical confidence to a relationship with Christ. Regret-Free Parenting would have made for a stronger book had Hickem delved into the depths of Scripture’s teachings on being found “in Christ” and given points for intentionally applying those truths to motherhood.
- The author’s subtitle (“raise good kids and know you’re doing it right”) bothers me for several reasons.
Technically, Scripture tells us no one is “good” (Rom. 3:10) and theoretically, it is very difficult to secure guarantees on how our children will turn out. God calls parents to raise their children in accordance with His Word, but our human failings often get in the way. Additionally, wayward children can just as easily come from parents who do everything “right” as those who commit every error in the book. I can’t help but think the most prudent attitude in child-rearing is humility and the most important element is trust in God’s providential hand – two truths left veiled in Hickem’s subtitle.