26 April 2011

6 Outstanding Resources for Committed Parenting

Dear Lissy,
April showers....and not much else!  All of you are stir crazy enough to be spending time outdoors in the rain.  The neighbor donated several tons of dirt from his yard project yesterday, and you and Matt played "Battleship" on it all afternoon.  I'm almost sad we have to level it.  The rest of our spring veggies will be going in this week with hoop houses up to keep them protected.  We've let the coal stove burn out, too.  Cross my fingers, I think spring has finally arrived.
I won't be writing a great deal about our child rearing philosophy or practices in these letters because the vast majority is contained in our library, and I'd prefer to leave you an annotated bibliography.
An Eric Guiomar creation. 

Our primary resource from birth to teens was Growing Families International.  While their philosophy was almost identical to ours, we picked and chose from their parenting techniques. These book/DVD sets have been badly maligned by those who have done the opposite by implementing their techniques without understanding their philosophy.   The strength of this program is that it helps you as a parent practically put "the greatest commandment" into practice with your children:  Love God.  Love others as yourself.  Whether you're teaching your toddler not to run at church, or teaching your teen to navigate interpersonal relationships, those two principles always are reinforced.   They've adapted the series for secular use in their Babywise/Childwise/Teenwise series.

We also used and loved the Forster family's Doorposts materials for character training.  

Training Your Children to Turn Out Right by Sorenson doesn't pull any punches and requires hard decisions.  This is Dad's favorite parenting book.   We went to college with his daughters and had the privilege of sitting under his preaching on several occasions.  His book on marriage is one of the best, too.
I've mentioned Stepping Heavenward before because it's my favorite book.  It has a great deal of practical parenting advice and philosophy woven in and through Kate's life.   Elizabeth Prentiss wrote another novel, The Home At Greylock, that displays her parenting advice through the characters.

Scott Turansky and Joan Miller's book, Good and Angry, was a game changer for me.  I highly recommend it if you or any of your children have a short fuse.  They have a number of other books, videos, and seminar information at www.effectiveparenting.org  I choose to receive a free bi-weekly e-mail with excerpts from their books, too.

Psalms and Proverbs are flip sides of the same coin.  Psalms  is the meditations and thought life of godly men, Proverbs is the actions of the godly displayed.  I can't imagine raising children without being in the Word daily, and I made it a point to read a chapter each day from both Psalms and Proverbs to keep their truths fresh in my mind.  The Bible is, of course, the standard by which all other books need to be evaluated.  Make it a point to be in the Word first and often.  It's easy to fall into the trap of reading Christian authors rather than God's word.

I'm positive there will be many more books that come out in the years before you are parenting and working with children.  Seek counsel from your pastor and godly friends whose children display the character you wish to see in your own children.  Above all, spend much time in the Word and prayer!

Much love,


  1. Is that what those things are called – hoop houses? Who knew? Good name though. And I have no children – just the Laska the love kitty. And he’s awfully well behaved – except for toilet paper. And is that bookshelf really in your house – that’s amazing. I covet that bookshelf. I’m thankful I got to read you today. It was all home and smiles. Just what I needed. God Bless and keep you and all of yours

  2. Sadly this bookcase is not in my house...yet :-)