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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"The Best Advice I Ever Got on Parenting" (Jim Daly)

TITLE: The Best Advice I Ever Got on Parenting: Incredible Insights from Well-Known Moms and Dads
AUTHOR: Jim Daly
PUBLISHER: Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing, 2012, (176 pages).

This is a compilation of 16 of the world's most prominent parents. Calling them "best advice," Daly helps us to condense them into one book. It is a way to help himself improve as a parent, and hopefully invite readers to do the same. In "Parenting with Grace," authors Tim and Darcy Kimmel share about learning from mistakes what NOT to do. They connect between faith and practice, sharing that kids are on a character watch each time they see their parents. "Grace-based parenting" is essentially about treating our children the way God treats us. Grace.

Kevin Leman chimes in with an affirmation that parents are the child's #1 influence. He highlights 9 parenting myths for parents to watch out for.

Gary Thomas, writer of a bestselling book, Sacred Parenting, gives his take by warning parents against becoming an absentee parent. Children are important enough to warrant parents to re-look at their work priorities. Shaunti Feldhahn, popular for her book on women relationships, contributes by urging the open sharing of love with kids, to assure them of love. Otherwise, kids will default by questioning whether their parents love them. The basic need for kids is reassurance, over and over again.

Dannah Gesh, makes a case for parents to identify and know their children's uniqueness, and then direct, discipline, coach, and encourage them to be who they are made to be. Ted Cunningham shows the way on how to talk to children about sex. Instead of any "shame-based" reference, he advocates honesty and clarity to approach sex without fear and without shame. Amy and Michael Smalley share that the way to set our children up for success is to maintain calm heads and to let the Holy Spirit guide. Telling the truth is a core requirement to learn what they live, and to live out what they learn.

Fern Nichols asserts that parents need to work with God in bringing up the children. The home is a "showcase" to bring up children, as well as point the child to Jesus. Parents are to pray for their children regularly.

Randy Alcorn reminds us that parenting brings about much joys that money cannot buy. The pressure, the stress, the financial struggles, will all be worth it. Phil and Heather Joel gives an interesting contribution on "Garden-Variety Parenting." They provide two insights from gardening. Firstly, one needs to know how and when to weed, and it takes time. Secondly, it is about enjoying the fruits and the process of working the garden.

Gary Smalley shares a parenting tip from a paediatrician, that the key to healthy relationships is to "keep honor high and anger low." Cynthia Tobias Talley advocates the learning parent. Not only that, parents need to be able to let children learn at appropriate times. Mark A. Holmen uses the TRAIN acronym on how to inculcate faith in the children. Time, Repetition, Acceptance, Intentionality, and Never-Ending.

Vicki Courtney shows the way to parent from the inside-out, focusing more on the attitude behind the behaviour. Remembering the Cross is a way of telling the kid what is the fundamental basis of behaviour. Jerry B. Jenkins argues for actions that speak louder than words and Juli Slattery talks about team-based parenting. Humility, discernment, adaptation, and prayer are to be practiced together.

For the busy parent, this book works very well, forming a useful reference book whenever parents want "nuggets" of parenting wisdom. It is good at an introductory level. For anything more advanced, I recommend other parenting books that cover more ground. Having said that, this book aims for breadth rather than depth, and as far as the time-scarce modern family is concerned, this book fits in just nice.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Worthy Publishing and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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