Book Review: Parenting

Note: Because the FTC has nothing better to do than make life difficult for us bloggers, I’m required to disclose the following at the beginning of this post: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation, and the opinions expressed, whether positive or negative are completely my own. Personally, I’m waiting for sponsorship disclaimers from all of the politicians in DC, but I’ll probably be waiting a long time…


Book Cover of Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your FamilyI’m only half-joking when I claim that I was a better parent before I had kids. For a long time, I was convinced that finding the right method would give me a guaranteed result. Oh if only that were true! I still read plenty of parenting material though, and the title of Paul Tripp’s book, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, caught my eye.

Reading Parenting sort of confirmed that which I’ve finally started to understand: I have very little control over the kind of people my kids grow up to be. That seems pretty disheartening on the surface, and I’ll admit that it discouraged me at first too. The more I think about it, and after reading this book, I’m convinced that it’s actually a freeing and hopeful thing. It is a very good thing that the people my kids grow up to be is not completely dependent on me. I still haven’t gotten the whole life, faith, and relationships thing figured out!

Parenting is, as you might expect, broken down into 14 chapters addressing one principle per chapter. The chapters aren’t terribly long, so it’s a pretty easy read in the respect. However, this is the kind of book that you’ll need time to mull over each chapter read. I read through it quickly for review purposes, but I’m already planning to go back and read just one chapter at a time and let it really sink in before moving on to the next. The chapters are titled:

  1. Calling
  2. Grace
  3. Law
  4. Inability
  5. Identity
  6. Process
  7. Lost
  8. Authority
  9. Foolishness
  10. Character
  11. False Gods
  12. Control
  13. Rest
  14. Mercy

Whew! Those are heady topics to cover in just one book, but Parenting does it well. Honestly, what I liked the best about the book, was that it made me uncomfortable. It forced me to take a look at myself and my own sin, my own need for grace, my own failures, and my own lack of character. Ouch. Now I can see why it’s a good thing that the kind of adults my kids become is not solely based on how good of a parent I am. This isn’t a book about how to make my kids behave, but more about how both of us can grow, mature, and draw closer to God.

I don’t typically underline or highlight a book as I’m reading it, but I was tempted to more than once when going through this one! Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the chapter on Grace…

“My children don’t cause me to do and say what I do and say. No, the cause of my actions is found inside my own heart. My children are simply the occasion where my heart reveals itself in words and actions. So I need much more than just rescue and relief from my children; I need rescue from me. This is why Jesus came, to provide us with the rescue that we all need but that we cannot provide for ourselves.”

That quote should give you a taste of how appropriate the “Gospel Principles” part of the title is! This is not a formula for perfect parenting, and let’s be honest, perfect parents don’t exist. It’s a very hopeful book though. In the midst of conviction, there is encouragement too. This would be a great gift for new parents, but I’d highly recommend it to any parents, no matter what age their kids are! This principles will apply to any age range from toddlers on up.

Now, who wants to win a copy? Just leave me a comment and on Sunday, October 30th, I’ll draw a winner!

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Book Review: 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids

I enjoy reading long books that require me to think deeply about the topic being discussed. It takes time and focus to read through books like that. These days, I don’t seem to have much of that to spare! Books like 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell are exactly what a busy parent needs.

No one ever said that raising kids would be easy! I think most of us would say that we could use a bit of encouragement and a few tips to help us along. Dr. Cartmell’s tools are talking, listening, influencing, connecting, teaching, encouraging, correcting, and leading. There are five chapters addressing each of these in 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids. I’ll bet you just added up how many chapters that makes, and now you’re thinking that a 40-chapter book is definitely a long one! Ah, but each chapter is only a few pages long, so you really can read a chapter in just five minutes. It’s even the perfect size to toss into your purse or laptop bag for those days when you hit the ground running. Just pull it out while you’re waiting in the dentist’s office and read a chapter!

While I was reading 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids, I definitely noticed things that I could do differently or maybe just better. And the tip at the end of each chapter sums up the main idea in a way that makes it easy to figure out how to apply the idea in my own parenting. (All of the end of chapter tips are listed at the back of the book for easy reference too!) I’ll be honest, there were a number of things mentioned that just hadn’t really occurred to me. I’d guess that’s true of a lot of parents. We’re so busy, that some pretty simple ideas for really connecting with our kids and developing a relationship just don’t occur to us. That’s why this book is a great idea!

There are 40 short chapters in 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids. What if, we parents read just one chapter a day and focused on using that tip at the end of the chapter? What would our relationships with our kids look like at the end of 40 days? That might be a challenge worth taking on!

If I’ve piqued your interest, you’ll want to check out this website:

You’ll find assessments you can take to pinpoint areas of your parenting that need a little work. Take a peek at an excerpt from 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids while you’re there! And, for a limited time, you can download the Essential Workshop Collection for Parents free with the purchase of the book. Just to sweeten the deal, Moody Publishers gave me a coupon code to share with my readers! Just use GREATKIDS16 when you order your book directly from Moody to receive a 50% discount. (This code is valid April 15, 2016 through May 15, 2016.)

Now that I’ve read through the book once, I’m going to go back and read one chapter per day, focusing on implementing that particular tip in my parenting. Who else is up for the challenge?

Please Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.