A couple weeks ago our family attended a “Parenting is Heart Work” Seminar at a local church. Part of me went into it thinking, “Okay. Another parenting class. Will this really teach us anything different than we already learned? What we are using now just isn’t working anymore. The kids KNOW what to do, but are CHOOSING not to. What are we missing? The kids have been choosing to do what is wrong because the alternative isn’t so bad. One kid said to me, after I told him I would count him is he didn’t stop, “What will happen at 3?” And then he goes on to contemplate whether it is bad enough to warrant not doing what he is about to do. The kid is not even in school yet. Just thinking about this kid as a teenager already has me on my knees in prayer.
It was about an hour into the seminar that I realized, “I think we found what has been missing. This is a Heart issues, not a behavior issue.” Yes, it comes out in their actions, but it starts in their heart.
Right after registering for this seminar I also heard about a new book the National Center for Biblical Parenting was putting out:
What great timing. I knew I wanted to read The Christian Parenting Handbook and hoped it was as good as the seminar turned out to be. (I posted about the book release previously in hopes that some of you would also take advantage of the deal they were running. That promotional deal is over, but is another coming up that I will mention at the end.) The Christian Parenting Handbook turned out to be better than I had hoped for! It can’t be read in one sitting, unless you have a lot of uninterrupted time to read, take notes, and think. However, this is not one of those books that should be able to be read in an hour. Parenting our children is something that should be given thought and done purposefully.
When I started reading through the book, it didn’t take long to come upon something that spoke to an issue we are dealing with currently. Chapter 2 talks about how using external motivators to get the kids to do what we want/need them to do doesn’t work long term. Internal motivators, though, are what really needs to be happening. This is what will keep me from having to correct them 40 times a day for the next 20 years because they choose to do the same thing over and over and over. (As my husband says, “The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.” And that is exactly how I was feeling, crazy.)
One of the challenges of parenting the way described in The Christian Parenting Handbook, as opposed to the way we are doing it, is that it uses more words. Though I’m not quiet, I don’t like to sit down and talk things out. It really is hard for me to stop what I’m doing, have a seat and talk heart to heart to get to the bottom of an issue. Even as much as it is important to do so at times. However, I know and see the importance of this and am changing, slowly. Often I have to remind myself to “Stop. Look. Listen.” Stop what I am doing. Look at the child. Listen to what they are saying.
A significant difference of The Christian Parenting Handbook, over other parenting books I’ve read, is the inclusion of Scripture. I love how different sections are tied to passages in the Bible. Remember – “All scripture is God-breathed and useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God will be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 I had never quite realized the application of these verses, beyond reading the Bible to grow personally, till I started reading The Christian Parenting Handbook. Taking something everyday and pointing it back to the Bible really added the depth and explanation I was looking for. Now I get it.
The Christian Parenting Handbook is definitely one you will have to read, contemplate what you just read, reread the section, think about how it applies to your life, maybe even deal with your heart first, and then apply it. Repeat as necessary. It sometimes deals with your behavior as much as it does the child’s. Maybe it is just me, perhaps you are a better parent than I, but I was convicted in several areas. Surprise, I’m not the perfect parent. This is an area no other book I’ve read has covered, yet it is something I too have seen. And does it not make sense? My attitudes are picked up by my kids, they learn from my behaviors. Parenting is not solely about the kids. It is also about the parents.
There are several areas where the book touches on issues I have been seeing, ones that annoy me and bring disharmony into our household. Areas that I have not been able to put my finger firmly on, let alone sure how to address. The Christian Parenting Handbook is not a step by step guide for fixing your kids or yourself. No where in the 240 pages will you find a checklist. You will not find a drawn out map or markers to show you if you have arrived. What you will find are 50 chapters touching on different areas, even one on Grandparents. Building character, making parental shifts, building the relationship, taking on the long term view, arguing, pressure, discipline and correction, prayer, being firm without being harsh … it is all in there. The book begins by asking you to keep two lists are you read through: one list of things to do, and a list of things to think about. The conclusion even encourages us, as parents, that each day is a new day and God is the one in control. We are not in this journey alone.
Here’s the Special Deal for this week. Print this out and take it with you to your local store.
The Christian Parenting Handbook
May 10-11, 2013
NOTE to Christian Bookstores: If you don’t carry this book, from Thomas Nelson or other books by Turansky/Miller, please order from your distributor or contact the National Center for Biblical Parenting directly and ask for our bookstore special. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-771-8002.
We want to show our support for the local Christian Bookstores around the world who provide a very important personal touch for their customers.
Get the $400.00 Bonus Package with every purchase at a local Christian Bookstore this Friday or Saturday. This deal is only good for May 10-11, 2013. Go to your local store and do any of the following:
- Purchase a copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook if they are in stock. Save your receipt.
- Ask them to carry the book and consider carrying additional titles by Turansky/Miller and the National Center for Biblical Parenting. They can contact us at email@example.com or 609-771-8002.
- If the book is not in stock, ask them if they will order it for you. Get a confirmation that the book was ordered.
If there is no Christian Bookstore near you, you can also purchase the paperback from the Hearts and Minds Web Store during the same time period. This is an independent Christian bookstore that has an online store as well.
Send your receipt or proof of purchase/order to us and we’ll get the $400 bonus package to you. Please tell us your email address or the email address of the person you wish the special bonus package to go to.
- Scan and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send it to NCBP, 76 Hopatcong Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
- Fax it to us at: 609-771-8003.
It is also our desire to honor all of the loving and hard working moms out there. This will make a wonderful present for one of those moms this Mother’s Day.
To learn more about the National Center for Biblical Parenting and how to obtain our resources, please call us at 609-771-8002 or email us at email@example.com.