Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sharing Footprints

Mother & Daughter Bond by honey 77.

Almost twelve years ago we brought home our first little baby from the hospital. After a cesarean section birth due to his breech positioning, we began to wonder what other surprises this baby would bring into our lives. Now, with four more children in our home we have learned that weathering "surprises" is one key to successful parenting.

Some days bring greater challenges than others. And, some bring far more incredible joys than I could have ever imagined. I thank God that He has walked this journey with us, because we must daily tap into His grace, patience, love, justice, and mercy to parent adequately.

Before we even conceived our first child I had gone to visit a high school friend for a week. I marveled at her sweet little girl as I contemplated the growing number of, shall we say, active and independent children in the world. We talked a bit about parenting and she referred me to a book by Michael and Debi Pearl entitled To Train Up a Child.

My husband and I read through this book during that first pregnancy. It helped us get on the same parenting page, reinforced some of the positives we had experienced in our homes growing up, and helped us understand some of the negatives. This book gave us a vision for training our children and a unity of purpose and perspective.

Just a few of the nuggets that I gleaned from this book:

- Leave your emotions out of child training (don't get angry, offended, defensive, etc.)

- Stay consistent (say what you mean and mean what you say)

- Find joy in your children

- Don't overlook attitudes even if a child is externally obedient

This book did not address every parenting situation we have faced, and I don't necessarily agree with the way they handle every situation either. But it did give us a foundation to build from and I have enjoyed the Pearl's website and free online magazine which has often encouraged me to continue parenting with joy, consistency, and a vision.

To kick off this new series focusing on motherhood, I have three of these books to give away. I would love for you to find encouragement in these pages as well. The books I have are the original book with the black and white cover, as opposed to the updated color edition on their website.

From their website:

From successful parents, learn how to train up your children rather than discipline them up. With humor and real-life examples this book shows you how to train your children before the need to discipline arises. Be done with corrective discipline; make them allies rather than adversaries. The stress will be gone and your obedient children will praise you and bring joy and peace into your home. Thousands have testified to the amazing results of these profoundly simple techniques.

Chapter titles include Parental Anger, The Rod, Selective Subjection, Safety Training, Potty Training, Attitude Training, Emotional Control, Bullies, Imitations, and many others.

If you could use a dose of renewed vision or are working to establish a vision for your home you have an opportunity to receive one or two entries in this giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment (if you don't have a blog, make sure to leave your name and/or email so I can contact you).
  2. Blog about it and come back and leave another comment with the link to that post.
This giveaway will end on March 27th and is open to only U.S. addresses, please.


Kris said...

I've thought about buying -- or borrowing -- that book several times, but never have. I'd like to add it to the "to be read" pile on my nightstand.

Courtney said...

I have never read this book before. Sounds like it's got some really good stuff in it!

Courtney said...


My link.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I'd love a copy!

Joy said...

Sounds like a great book

Anonymous said...

I would love a copy of this!

Danielle said...

I have been wanting to read this book. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now - and really appreciate your posts.


Mindi said...

I was just talking about this book with a friend of mine! Both of our children are now toddlers, and we've heard wonderful things about this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

Richelle said...

Sounds like a great book!

TulipGirl said...

The teachings from the Pearls are quite questionable. And while a lot of people say, "spit out the bones," well. . . you don't have to choose bony fish to eat!

I know people have gleaned ideas from the Pearls (ie, tying heartstrings), but still the underlying messages create parent/child antagonism.

Even more concerning is the lack of the Gospel and what it looks like communicated in family relationships.

Please be cautious in reading and recommending these materials.

Grace and hope,

5intow said...


Thank you for your comments. I am sorry that you have had a negative experience with the Pearl's writings and parenting advice. I don't know that I ever find a book that I 100% agree with aside from Scripture, and have truly appreciated the positive impact that the Pearl's have had on our marriage and parenting journey.

As far as lacking in family communication of the Gospel, I agree that we can often find room for that in our parenting and enjoyed this aspect of Shepherding a Child's Heart. However, To Train Up a Child is saturated with Scripture and they do clarify that, "at this point we are not talking about producing godly children, just happy and obedient children."

Only God can truly do a work in the heart of the child, it is our role to model and expect obedience. The Pearls offer loads of practical advice, much of which has had a positive impact for many parents who have read it.

Thank you, again, for your caution. And, I would agree - balance in everything. I guess I didn't find bones to spit out as much as I found I needed other books to deal with different issues.

Thank you for your thoughts,

Sam said...

Please sign me up for the giveaway. I've been thinking about buying this book or going on paperbackswap.com to get it. Sam at sustainstheweary@yahoo.com

jennym said...

I would love to read this book!

Misty said...

I LOVE christian parenting books. Please let me win! :)

Misty said...

I blogged about your giveaway, Thanks!!

lydia said...

Sounds like a good resource. Count me in please!

jburden said...

What a neat giveaway!

jen dot burden at sbclgobal dot net

Anonymous said...

I've borrowed this before, but having just had another child, would be glad to own it and reread again!