Something about a marker wielding toddler makes you realize how truly unequipped you are for parenthood.
One day, you have this sweet infant who submits to your every whim and then seemingly overnight- WHAM. You've got a lil Sharpie Picasso on your hands who doesn't understand why drywall isn't the best canvas for her creations.
And that's just the beginning. As the mom of a tween, we're now dealing with mean girls, screen time limits, and "I-know-that's-okay-at-their-house-but-not-here" kind of stuff.
And that's just the prequel to the teen years.
Our oldest was two before I even thought of picking up a parenting book. Not that it would have mattered before that- when I was in the baby bliss stage, I had an easy going child who slept through the night. I thought I was the best parent in the world!!!
Three parenting books totally changed the way I looked at my role as a mom and gave me some solid strategies to implement when it came to discipline and shepherding my kids' hearts.
Grace Based Parenting: Set Your Family Free
Dr. Tim Kimmel
I never understood grace fully until I read this book. Dr. TIm Kimmel uses humor and wit to not only describe what grace is but how it looks in a Christian household. His light-hearted style makes Grace Based Parenting an easy read and totally leaves you feeling like "I can do this."
GBP also helps you understand the 3 foundational needs God has placed in every child's heart - the need for a secure love, a significant purpose, and a strong hope. He discusses how you can cultivate your child spiritually by tending to these three areas and gives examples for HOW you can do that. I love this book because it provides a fresh perspective on parenting AND practical tips on implementing them.
Parenting with Love and Logic
Foster Cline, MD & Jim Fay
Parenting with Love and Logic is the easiest guide to discipline I've read. Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay address how to give kids natural consequences that are a more obvious extension of the choices they make. Child won't stay seated during dinner? Love and Logic might suggest you have them finish the meal standing up. Love and Logic also helped me realize how consequences are often a better teacher than the constant reminding/nagging trap that moms so often fall into.
After reading Love and Logic, I actually enjoy the creativity in developing consequences that match a child's behavior rather than just moving to swift justice.And because the stakes are so much lower in the younger years, letting them deal with minor consequences early on can make the price of learning life lessons less steep.
The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity
The Mission of Motherhood absolutely changed the way I viewed my role as a mom. Sally Clarkson describes motherhood as one of the most impactful mission fields you'll ever have in your life. Where else will you have the kind of captive audience to preach the gospel to that motherhood provides? When you feel like motherhood is little more than wiping faces and playing referee to sibling squabbles, Sally inspires you to create a home environment that gets beyond all that to reach the heart of who God made you (and your kids) to be.
Have you read any of these books? Do you have another favorite that I haven't mentioned here?
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