We’ve reviewed this book here on the blog before, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s just one of those books that is an all-around great resource, and it’s set up in a way that makes it a pick and choose kind of book, since each chapter is a different strategy.
And, did you know that you can even use these strategies with your spouse? I do! That’s one of my favorite parts about this book – it’s for all ages!
Here’s my favorite summary of the book from the back cover:
With these strategies you’ll be able to move from behavior modification to a heart-based approach to parenting. Instead of relying on rewards, incentives, threats, and punishment, you’ll learn how to identify heart lessons to teach your child and implement them in practical ways.
So, like Love & Logic, which I reviewed yesterday, you’re incorporating the heart (and empathy) into the mix. But, unlike Love & Logic, you don’t use punishment, and this isn’t about control, it’s about building character, which aligns more with the Positive Parenting approach that I decided to apply after not choosing to go with Love & Logic.
Here’s just a few of the chapter titles to give you an idea of the lessons:
- Consistency is Overrated (didn’t expect that one, did you?)
- Consequences Aren’t the Only Answer
- Don’t Minimize Your Parenting Power Because Your Partner Does It Differently
- It Takes Two to Argue, but Only One to Stop (this chapter was a great one for my marriage!)
- Teach Kids to Be Solvers Instead of Whiners (my favorite chapter that I applied immediately with my son)
- Fair Doesn’t Mean Equal (good sibling advice here)
- Firmness Doesn’t Require Harshness
- Children Who Play the Blame Game Lose
- Don’t Give In to Manipulation
- Discipline Kids Separately for Sibling Conflict (look, a chapter about siblings!!!)
Are you happy to see that they deal with siblings (multiples in our case) in this parenting book? I know I was! There are some great strategies on how to handle different situations you’ll encounter while disciplining more than one child, and I definitely appreciated that these were included in the book.
The book says it’s for ages 2-18, but I actually started using it when my survivors were 16 months old. My son was particularly difficult (well, normal for the age, but just more ‘curious’ and strong-willed) and I went straight to the chapter about teaching kids to be solvers instead of whiners. And you know what? It wasn’t really about him at all. It was about me and how I handled the situation. That was kind of humbling to realize, but when I changed my approach, things fell into place. You can read about that incident on my original review (scroll to the bottom half of the article where the review starts).
As for the Christian aspect of the book, don’t let that turn you off if ‘Christian’ isn’t your thing. While the book does reference scripture, they don’t throw it in your face and you can still benefit from the lessons and suggestions in the book. And, like I mentioned before, it even works on your spouse!
If you’d like to check out The Christian Parenting Handbook, I highly recommend it. An added bonus of this book is that there’s even a workbook add-on you can purchase that helps you apply these principles through practice. This is especially helpful if you’re someone who needs to do more than read to really understand a concept.
See you on Friday, where I’ll share some great relationship building ideas for keeping the romance alive after kids!