I have been devouring the book at every chance I have had (and even some I haven't had...). It has 50 chapters which are fortunately fairly short. So I have been able to tackle them in the bits of time that I have.
The purpose of the book is to help equip parents to develop a Biblical parenting philosophy, but they go way beyond theory. The book is full of ideas you can use right away. So you're able to read a chapter, get up and implement the ideas right away. One of the things I love about their approach is that it focuses on relationship and their main focus then is heart change rather than behavioral change. Behavior modification can work in that it can get your kids doing what you want them to do, but it doesn't address the heart issues behind the behaviors. So you end up with kids that don't internalize the lessons and values you are trying to teach. As the authors put it:
"We're not saying behavior modification is wrong. We're just suggesting it's just incomplete ... Parents who simply use behavior modification often end up with kids who look good on the outside while having significant problems on the inside ... Instead you want children to change their hearts. You want them to ask, 'What's the right thing to do here?' That shift in thinking is heart work."
Heart change is a lot harder, but it works because it addresses the underlying source of behavior. This book helps teach you how to do just that. For those of you who have read the other books that they have published, I will say that I have learned a LOT from this new book. It might be that I needed a refresher (always a good thing) but I think it is because there seems to be plenty of real life examples of how to implement the changes you are working towards.
This book covers the full spectrum of parenting and applies to all ages too - from dealing with bad attitudes to the value of grandparents and everything in between. They talk about how to parent when mom and dad are on different discipline pages. There are lots of ideas for dealing with kids who argue, identifying the real issue you are dealing with rather than the argument itself, how to diffuse the intensity in conflict, and how to teach kids to add to family life rather than just take from it all the time.
For me, one of the most helpful reminders came when the book spoke about how sometimes parents struggle with anger when their children misbehave. Yes, I may be right and my child may be wrong, but being right is not as important as being wise in how I respond to my child's misbehavior. Just because one of my wonderful children is doing something that is wrong, it doesn't justify me reacting in a way that vents anger at him/her. It can be easy to fall into a trap of getting angry at our kids and then justifying that anger and blaming their behavior. Ultimately, my child can then use my poor response to justify his/her poor behavior. Responding wisely though means recognizing my child's misbehavior and directly addressing the heart issue(s) that need to be dealt with.. Good reminder!
I love how the authors filled this book with practical, real-life solutions to common parenting problems. I love that it is more than just another book harping on the need to be consistent (the first chapter is actually called "Consistency is Overrated"). They talk about the fact that consequences aren't the only answer - which is a great chapter because as parents it is easy to fall into the trap of feeling the need to come up with bigger, badder consequences to deal with bad behavior. The authors go beyond just 'here's how to get your kids to behave' to addressing how to help your children learn to serve and honor and go above and beyond without you having to tell them (yes, that is possible)
I already highly recommend all of the resources from the National Center for Biblical Parenting, and The Christian Parenting Handbook has just become my newest favorite recommendation! Whether you are new to their resources or you have every book, DVD, conference CD, and download available, you will get a TON out of this book!
Now, here is the really fun part :) I get to GIVE AWAY some stuff. The National Center for Biblical Parenting is doing some giveaways (see below) and they also are giving bonus gifts worth $400 for everyone who purchases a copy of their book during launch week April 29 through May 5 (see below for more details).
The giveaways are listed below:
The Honor Multi-Media Package ($59.95 value)
Set of 5 Parenting Shifts eBooks ($49.95)
One free Biblical Parenting University Online Parenting Course ($99.95 value)
Disciplemaking at Home eBook ($16.99 value)
The Christian Parenting Companion Guide – Includes print copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook. ($49.95)
Since I have such fun giveaways, I get to come up with a fabulous way to give these things away. So, if you want to be entered in a chance to win one of the giveaways listed above here is what you get to do (you can do as many or as few as you like):
1. Click this link to the Christian Parenting Handbook on Amazon. Look inside at the list of chapters and comment here on what chapter you are most looking forward to reading. (two entries)
2. (This one is mandatory) Comment on this blog what prize you would want to win (one entry)
3. Share this blog on Facebook (one entry for each day you share this giveaway) - be sure to tag me in the post or comment back here that you shared it again.
Each thing you do, gets you one extra chance to win (i.e. if you answer the question in a comment on this blog post, you get one entry. If you share this blog post on Facebook, you get another entry for each time you share about it). On Saturday evening, May 4, all the entries will be put in a bowl and Elianna will get to pick a winner for each of the five prizes. The first winner will get his/her choice, the second too and so on. If what you wanted is already won by someone else, you will get the next available prize. These are some awesome prizes, so I hope you win!
Just so you know and the lawyers can be happy... This giveaway is open to Residents of the U.S. only. Void where prohibited. Must be at least 18 years of age.
Now that we're past that part, even if you don't win one of the giveaways above, you can still score some great free gifts if you purchase a copy of the Christian Parenting Handbook between April 29 and May 5. Click here to purchase your own copy. (yes, it is an affiliate link, if I did it correctly... but please be sure to do that before May 5!)
If you purchase the book during launch week, you will get a package of free resources valued at more than $400.00. You can learn more on their website about the 8 items contained in the Bonus Parenting Package. In addition, you can get The Christian Parenting Handbook Companion Guide (This is a workbook with audio clips that will help you apply the material in The Christian Parenting Handbook.) for free if you purchase 5 copies or more of the book. Simply make your purchase from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM (Books A Million), CBD or Parable.
To claim your premium, simply forward your purchase confirmation to Gift@biblicalparenting.org and they will email you your special product code for the $400.00 package. If you purchased 5 or more copies of the book, they'll send you the PDF version of the Companion Guide as well as the audio package.
I am really excited about this book, the launch, and the giveaways. This is going to be a fun week.
If you want to know more about the book and the launch week, below is a video to help :)