Saturday, January 12, 2013

Modern Parents Vintage Values

(This picture by the way, happens to be of my darling Grandmother Barb ;) Oh Grandma, how I want your dress...)

Great title, eh? Wish I would have thought of it myself!

It's the name of the book I'm currently reading. SuperDan gave it to me for Christmas after I gave him a list of books I wanted a while ago.

After diving into the pages, I realized it's more focused on kids that are older. But I figure, I can start reading about that now, right? Plus I know it will help me with family ministry.

It's written by two counselors based on their experience working with families over the years. Any book written by counselors always perks my interest. The last book I read written by counselors was Boundaries and it completely changed my life for the better. (SuperDan gave it to me in college when we were dating. He realized I was burning myself out helping others and it had helped him personally when he struggled with the same thing.) All to say, I was really excited to read another book written by people who deal with counseling families every day.

I'm only halfway through the book, and I've hardly put my pen down! I keep underlining all the important parts (which probably is just the whole book, really) so that I can go back and look over everything when I'm finished. Also, I would like to pass this book along to others. So I figure by underlining the main points, my friends who borrow the book can just skim through if they don't have time to read the entire thing. I'll do all the work so someone else can glean from it :)

Here's the overview of the book on the back cover:

"What do I do when my son learns phrases in school that he is not allowed to say at home?" "How do I teach my daughter about gratitude when she feels entitled to have a cell phone and a laptop computer like all the kids around her already have?" Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff hear these types of questions from parents on a daily basis. Today, more than ever before, we live in a culture that is at war against our parenting. Between the Internet, the media, the sense of entitlement that kids are living with, the disrespect... it is almost too much. And yet, Melissa and Sissy believe we can still riase children who value, well, values.

In Modern Parents Vintage Values they provide a clear and possible path back to cultivating children who have a sense of character and groundedness. Guiding parents to understand the specific issues facing kids today, they ultimately focus in on nine values that are foundational for the character development of children: kindness, integrity, manners, compassion, forgiveness, responsibility, gratitude, patience, and confidence. 

Offering practical advice for instilling these traits in both children and adolescents, Modern Parents Vintage Values offers parents timeless truths that can break through the chaos of today's culture and instill character in today's kids. 

One thing that I love about this book so far is the underlining theme of relationship with your children. If all we do is set rules, punish, and never get to the heart of our children, we will push them away from us. Yes, rules are important, as are consequences. But if we never strive to understand our children, to give them a chance to open up about how they are feeling and why they are acting the way they are, then we are going to lose them.

I can't tell you how many families I have met who have pushed their children away in this manner, all in thinking they were doing the right thing. I'm not here to judge or criticize anyone's parenting, by any means. But we have been doing youth ministry for many years and we do know a few things about teenagers by this point. We've also been to conferences, training seminars, retreats, and read myriads of books and study materials as well. If I had to sum it all up, I would quote my husband who always says, "Rules without relationship leads to rebellion." We need to seek out our children's hearts, know what makes them tick and what makes them come alive. As parents it is our duty and our privilege to raise our children and show them the love of Christ through our own lives.

I can't wait to finish this book and write a more thorough review! Until then, you can expect to find me curled up on the couch underlining like crazy! That is, after the kids went to bed of course :)

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