Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Must-Have Resource for Parents . . . The 10 Best Decisions Every Parent Can Make

Part of having a children's ministry is focusing on ministry to their parents as well because if you want to be genuinely effective at reaching and discipling children, you have to come alongside their parents so you work with their parents to accomplish this goal. There are many things you can do to come alongside parents, but one very simple one is to recommend resources for parents. Consider finding and selecting one book/resource each month and then recommend it to the parents in your ministry.

There certainly is no shortage of books and resources on parenting . . . some are excellent and others are not, so today, I'd like to share one excellent - and common sense - resource with you!
The 10 Best Decisions Every Parent Can Make 
Authors - Bill & Pam Farrell
Publisher - Harvest House

Favorite Features -
  • each chapter ends with a decision point and questions to help you think through and apply the concepts learned in each chapter
  • book challenges parent to be proactive parents by choosing to deliberately focus on pursuing God's Wisdom
  • love the chapter on deciding to be consistent/having dad and mom on the same page . . . they do an excellent job of walking the reader through a very workable and effective plan for discipline . . . I love their "checklist to consider before you discipline your child" - Is this my problem or my child's? What is the simplest answer which will keep the boundary or rule in place? Can I reason with him? Does she feel penned in? Is this more of an issue with immaturity than defiance?  Does this defiance or dangerous situation warrant a spanking? Would natural consequences make a longer lasting impact?
  • the chapter on character - developing an inner compass - focuses on four areas - spiritual skills, character qualities, relational skills and life skills and provides excellent questions to help parents evaluate and decide on who cares for their children
  • excellent evaluation questions for deciding where to send your children for school with outlining strengths and weaknesses for public school, Christian school, private non-Christian school and homeschool
  • the chapter on how to have a plan for your children - knowing your children and helping them love God, be a learner and leader - love the idea for a yearly Learner and Leader Day . . . after all, I love to celebrate and when you combine it with blessing your children - this is a tremendous idea!!! (One churches could even facilitate!)
  • love the chart/list of what children can do at different ages!
  • love the chapter on being creative and finding the treasure inside your child!
  • excellent chapter on being a student of your child
  • chapters on partnering with God challenges parents to be parents who pray and chapter on how to build a network outlines how to help a child in trouble or in pain
  • chapter on transferring trust has a great chart on the age of your child, their approach to life, their needs and your role as parent - how to "work yourself out of a job"
  • love the chapter on celebrating the decisions and choices your child makes as well as their gifts and callings
This is a must-have book for all parents. It not only makes sense, but it is very doable; one in which parents will find things they actually can do with their children! I would however say there are eleven best decisions every parent can make . . . the first one being to get and read this book - and implement the solid information they'll find in it! Get one, read it and be sure you have several copies in your church library! (It would also make a great book for a parent's Sunday school class to work through!)

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