Saturday, February 28, 2009

child training - copy the play book

When we first became parents, we were blessed to be surrounded by families that were raising children much like we wanted ours to be.

I am really grateful to say that we still have those families in our lives.

We constantly asked questions (still do), begged for advice (still do that too), and soaked up the information sent our way (yeah, that one too).  After plagiarizing all the play books we could, we bolted down the uncertain path of parenthood at supersonic speed (four boys in just
over six years)!

We're coming up on eight years into our journey of parenting, and recently reached the point where other parents are reaching out to us and asking us for advice on how to muddle through the muck of parenting.

We are sometimes considered strict by other families.  We are big on manners, respect of elders and peers, and first time obedience.  Simply put, we want others to consider our children a joy to be around.

That being said, my children are NOT perfect and there are many moments when their own mother doesn't want to be around them.  Growing up is a process.  Sometimes they have a rough patch...

...sometimes I have a rough patch.

I have sent out the same email several times to some friends and acquaintances looking for a change and a plan in parenting strategy, so I decided to post the contents for a reference.

All of the books are very worth reading, however, read them with a grain of salt.  No one book do I think is all-encompassing, but all of these together cover a broad spectrum of perspectives and strategies.

Hopefully wise parenting combined with an ocean of prayer will allow us to turn children into adults who are a joy to be around!

I hope this is helpful.

Babywise series - (haven't gotten to Teenwise yet, thank God) - We use a lot of the suggestions in these books regarding sleep habits from early on to training in the preschool years.  Yes, I am aware of the controversy surrounding these books - it seems like a love/hate polarizing issue, so remember to read it with a grain of salt and have an open mind.

Shepherding a Child's heart - This is a great book that teaches parents why obedience alone isn't enough.  We need to get to our children's hearts.  I found this to be a "big picture" book, that is very worth reading, but don't go to it looking for specific training "1. 2. 3.'s."

Don't Make Me Count to Three - The fact that I HATE that statement when it comes out of a parent's mouth because it is essentially saying, "You don't have to obey me right now, I'm never serious the first time," is beside the point.  This book is a practical application of discipline using the philosophy of Shepherding a Child's Heart.  This book was very helpful and encouraging to me.

Making Your Children Mind without Losing Yours - I love this author.  He says it like it is and is very passionate about letting the natural consequences of behavior fall where they may.  This book has helpful applications for both young children and older teenagers.

What books have you found helpful?  Send them my way, we need all the help we can get!


  1. We love, love, love Shepherding a Child's Heart.

    Thank you for sharing your list. It's so great to learn from other parents as we have no idea what the heck we are doing. (Grace is amazing.)

    So glad (and extremely jealous) you got to see the fam. Ugh we miss them terribly. Thank you for being in their lives.

    Much love.

  2. You are my kind of mama! I've read 2 of the books you listed. Great books! I thought the books by Townsend and Cloud are pretty good (ie. Boundaries with Kids, Raising Great Kids), and also for boys... Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis (?)

    We are so fortunate w/lots of resources nowadays. When my parents were raising us... they didn't have anything-- still, it's only by God's grace.

  3. Babywise all the way, baby! We are definite fans of that series and philosophy!

    Are you pregnant?

  4. Thank you for this post. I agree with your parenting style and those are WONDERFUL books!


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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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