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Thursday, May 18, 2017

"The Joy of Letting Go" (Vicki Caruana)

TITLE: The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World
AUTHOR: Vicki Caruana
PUBLISHER: Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2017, (240 pages).

Letting go is hard. This is particularly so for parents who had spent so much time with their children. When they become teenagers, parents are trapped between continuing to provide for them and letting them exercise increasing levels of freedom. The world out there is tough. How can long parents truly shelter them? What if the teens act rashly as they venture beyond the comfort zones of home? Where is the balance if there is any? Knowing how difficult the whole process is, author and mother Vicki Caruana leads us through a year of disciplining ourselves in the process from anxiety to willingness and from hesitance to joy. The fifty-two devotions tackle a host of issues common to many parents. Parents go through emotional struggles like:

  • When is it time to let go?
  • What if the teens cannot handle the pressures of life?
  • How should our parenting methods evolve?
  • How can we prepare ourselves for the inevitable day?
  • What about financial matters?
  • How can parents inculcate financial responsibility and spiritual stewardship?
  • What do we do with those moments when we start "missing" our children?
  • ....

Beginning with the "six degrees of separation," readers are led to reminisce how when they were younger that they wished their kids would grow up. Now they are grown up, our wishes have come true. Have our hearts kept pace even as parents age and kids mature? How long can we keep watching our children, albeit at a distance or with technological tools? How do we evolve from over-protective parenting to parenting that releases? Indeed, teaching children to grow up also means parents need to learn to grow up. Encourage independence and responsibility. Prepare our children as early as possible. Let them fall and learn. Life is a series of lessons that only the maturing young kid can learn on the job. In other words, parents must know their own limits.

Each chapter comes with a description of a particular topic about letting go. Using her rich reservoir of stories and illustrations, we get a glimpse of the inner struggles that are going on between clinging on and letting go. Caruana also gives readers a meaningful THOUGHT POKE to zoom in on the key emotion we need to deal with. Together with a Scripture passage, parents could let the Word of God guide them in their thoughts and plans. There are many little things that we often miss out. It takes the careful eye of the author and her experience to string them all together to make this devotional such a practical and deeply helpful one. The greater our struggle with letting go, the more we would need this book. It's amazing how meticulous the author is to be able to identify the inner dilemmas of many parents of teenagers. To let go or not to let go, that is the toughest question. Thankfully, Caruana's 52-week plan will lead us closer to a stronger and more convicted answer to that inevitable question.

From Amazon: Dr. Vicki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust—named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on Starting Points, Focus on the Family’s parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of David C. Cook Publishers and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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