Do you find it rather unbelievable that we are asked to fill out nearly every detail of our existence to rent a movie from Blockbuster, that we are legally bound to take hunting and boating safety classes if we wish to pursue those hobbies, and that even ordering things online means creating accounts and passwords till the cows come home?
It seems that so much of what we do–be it hobby or job or personal–requires jumping through some hoops. YET, what is arguably the most important job a parent will ever do [that's right--actually RAISE their kid] requires little more than watching a dusty video on Shaken Baby Syndrome before leaving the hospital. You can be the biggest turd in the zip code, running a meth lab in your shed and letting goats sleep in your living room, and if you want to reproduce the only thing there to stop you is a rusty zipper and the old box of pizza you left on the mattress the night before.
Comforting, I know.
Now don’t misunderstand: I’m not advocating for governmental oversight into parenting or reproduction. at. all. Ever. Period. Fin.
However, I’m merely making the point that there is no manual, no instruction book, and generally no formal training on disciplining your children or raising them to love the Lord or be kind, loving members of society [except for the gentle input of your mother-in-law...wink, wink]
Am I the only one who sees this irony?
So I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that parents often feel overwhelmed and defeated as they deal with screaming toddlers feigning death in the supermarket or dramatic school-goers who are having “the worst day EVER!”
It’s hard, right?!
While we’ll all have trials with our kids–and while we acknowledge that at the end of the day, they’ll still make their own choices–I don’t believe we have to feel hopeless.
Of course as parents we have the Bible to guide us. Proverbs will quickly become your best friend if your looking for ways to remind your kids [and yourself!] about anger and foolishness. But if you’re looking for something a bit more concise [i.e, leaving out all the exciting stories of death and rebellion and plagues], here are a few resources to consider:
For New Parents
Baby Wise, by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam: INVALUABLE for newborns!! A MUST!
Parenting Kids Who Can Speak
Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp: Fantastic resource for disciplining–even if you don’t agree with everything.
Bringing Up Boys / Bringing Up Girls, by James Dobson: I confess these are both in our home and on the nightstand, but I haven’t completed either yet. Friends who have read them highly recommend the insight gained.
Words Kids Need To Hear [To Help Them Be Who God Made Them To Be], by David Staal: Tremendous book about how to love your kids better. Very quick read with great ideas; practical.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got twenty-six other titles laying around that are half-read or in the “I really need to read this” pile. I can think of several off the top of my head that should be added above, but I’ll keep it brief for tonight.
What are your classic parenting books? Please leave a comment with your suggestions! Readers helping readers…