Understand not just the “what” in your children’s behavior, but also the “why.” Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp is by far the best book on parenting, ever. It is different from everything else out there because it is Biblically based and offers not only guidance on the shaping influences/life circumstances in your children’s lives but also their Godward orientation, or Biblical perspective on life. There’s no magic formula for having “perfect” angels who will come to know God and serve Him with their lives. This book will give you new insight, however, into how to train your child up in the way that he should go.
As parents, most of us spend an enormous amount of energy in controlling our children’s behavior. We get distracted by their behavior and forget to address the heart, which is what drives that behavior. When we focus instead on what causes that behavior–sin and selfishness and rebellion–we have the opportunity to help our kids understand the Gospel and their personal need for a savior.
That having been said, the book is very clear how to discipline corectly, consistently and with love, such that we aren’t abusing authority as in previous generations–which no longer works and is often the basis for frustrations for today’s parents. It is practical and applicable and it works.
The book calls us to exercise our authority, commanded by God, to rescue our children from their disobedience. It addresses communication, discipline and training objectives/procedures for infancy, childhood and teenagers.
I highly recommend this books for all parents, but especially parents of preschoolers and parents who are struggling with discipline or “control” of their little ones. In fact, I bought a handful of them to give out for any upcoming occassions (birthdays, baby showers, etc), and I don’t usually plan in advance like that … it’s that good.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.” Luke 6:45