2 Incredible Parenting Books

Ever just been in a funk?  Yeah, me neither.  Ha!

I’ve sort of been in a funk all summer.  I think it all started when the crazy hit around here in March and situations we could not control began having a profound impact on our home, our family, and our attitudes.  And it’s really hot.  I mean record-breaking hot.  I am a very grumpy hot person.  

At any rate, somehow all this heat and grumpiness and funk has resulted in very little patience and grace with my girl.  She’s 12, you know, and she’s good at it.  We’ve got hormones and attitude and eye rolling in abundance around here.  (Can I get a witness from another pre-teen momma?)

But I’m calling my attitude what it is:  selfish and sinful.   I realized I might need to get some input from some other parents to help me get back on track.   So I spent a few hours skimming through a couple of my well-worn books on parenting and found some encouragement and wisdom (and a little bit of conviction).
best parenting books www.terilynneunderwood.com

Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel.  Oh. My. Word.  I love this book – and I wasn’t expecting to.  It had been touted as a “must read” by several people whose parenting philosophy was the total opposite of mine.  I was prepared for a judgmental tome that legalistically required homeschooling, stay-home-daughtering, and daily family devotions as the sole path to a well-adjusted child.  I was totally wrong!  Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

Since how children turn out is far more contingent on what is going on inside them than outside them, unnecessarily tight boundaries undermine the desire of the Holy Spirit, who is working to build a sense of moral resolve in their hearts. (5)

Growing Great Kids by Kate Battistelli has been a challenging book for me this summer.  When Kate graciously sent me a copy, I was so excited.  After all, she has successfully raised an amazing only child – and that is a very elite club!  But her book humbled me.  As I read page after page of Kate’s willingness to lay aside her own dreams and pursuits to give Francesca the very best opportunities they could, I was convicted of my own selfishness in parenting.  And her words on our words as parents, well, let me just say, “Ouch!”

What do your words say about your child?  Are you speaking life or death to her dreams, desires, talents, and gifts?  Belittling her or building her up?  If God created the universe with a word, does it make sense then to believe there is creative power in our words as well? … Words cost nothing, but they can change everything!  (25-26)

My two takeaways from reading these past few days:

Remember to hear what she’s not saying and remember to say what I want her to hear!

What is your favorite book or quote about parenting?

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  1. Teri,

    Being in the same household with a 12 yr old girl certainly has its challenges and most days I’m not up for it either. I can so relate to what you’re saying! Thank you for the encouragement.

    I have had the Tim Kimmel book in my TBR mountain and your review has given me incentive to read more this summer so I can get to it. God bless.

  2. Hmmm…if my children have not read these books, I should probably pass them on; or, maybe I should just email a link to your blog. I remember having 12 year old girls, and it was a good time; however, there were those moments I wondered how my husband could stand being around the woman hormones from about ages 13 – 17. However, I knew my hormones were screwy, and it takes a while for female girls to understand that; so, Mom had to keep it together to guide them through the rocky path of femaleness. I can hardly even imagine how a non-Christian deals with this. I would have been bonkers without our Lord. I like to read the books I recommend. I should check these out.

    • Thank you for your wisdom here, Deborah! Love that you remember the struggles and want to help those of us who face them now handle them with grace and wisdom! I think you will find both of these books to be excellent resources.

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