Everyone wants to raise children who are ready to
face life confidently and capably when they reach adulthood. But this is not an easy job.
I had read all the books and had all the answers - until I had real children.
As someone once said, parenting is difficult because the parents have had no experience with their particular child at that particular age before. There is no one parenting book that fits fits every parenting situation.
We present the books here that we ourselves or
others we know have found useful.
We have including a few newer ones that look good, but we've not yet had time to read.
I will say up front that we believe the Bible is God's revealed truth for all of life, including parenting.
Today's wisdom does not usually line up with what the Bible teaches.
We have, for the most part, limited the books we introduce here, unless they deal strictly with physical care,
to those written by authors who have gotten their parenting ideas from the Bible.
We recognize that even parents trying to apply Biblical principles do not always agree in every point.
And what works with one child does not always have the same result with another, since all children are different.
We suggest that if your goal is to raise children
who will honor God in their adult lives,
you should read several books and evaluate each in the light of the Scriptures and then in the light of your own personalities and those of your children. Apply what you believe is right and throw the rest out. You may not agree with all that one particular author teaches, but you still might find he has some ideas which will help your family on a practical level. The important thing is to read with an open heart, prayerfully, and to
seek God's wisdom.
If we are out of the books listed or you want a greater selection that we can stock, please search our affiliate site for more books on parenting The prices there are also discounted.
Here are the books.
365 Days of Baby Love: Playing, Growing and Exploring with Babies From Birth to Age 2, by Sheila Ellison. It's hard to know how to classify this, since it has information on educating, playing with, and physically caring for babies. But since all the the book's 365 activities involve active parenting, I put it here. Tired mothers of babies will appreciate the fact that each suggested activity occupies only one page of light reading which can easily be devoured during breaks or baby's nap. They are uncomplicated, most not requiring any materials at all, and the rest only common materials you probably have around the house. This book makes a great shower gift for a new mom or will give a home schooling mom a complete curriculum for her youngest children. 365 pages, not counting Table of Contents. $11.65-D
Adopting for Good: A Guide for People Considering Adoption by Jorie Kincaid. InterVarsity Press, trade paper. The author, founder and director of Orphans Overseas in Portland, Oregon, shares the information prospective parents need to know to determine if they should adopt. Points covered include the difference between open and closed adoption; the steps you can take to make adoption permanent; the challenges of adopting an infant versus an older child; the difference between adoption and "buying a baby"; and some key sources for those who have decided they would like to adopt. 180 pages. Cat.#IVP-19703. $9.89-D
Beautiful Girlhood revised by Karen Adreola from the original work by M. Hale. Trade paper. This book was written to encourage girls who are becoming young women to become examples of sincerity, purity, and love in a cynical and dark world. According to the author "Girlhood is the opening flower of womanhood....The wonderful change from the child to the woman, the marvelous blossoming of young, healthy girlhood, will ever be God's greatest miracle in a life's garden. Girlhood is like a half-open rose. " The book addresses character - building, obedience, real beauty, the tongue, disposition,truthfulness, ambition, purpose, friendships, home life, dress, boy friends, and much, much, more. It is meant to inspire girls and give them a vision of what they can become as they walk with God. 205 pages. Cat.#1883934-028. $8.05-D
A Caregiver's Survival Guide: How to Stay Healthy When Your Loved One is Sick by Kay Marshall Strom. Foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada. Many of us with aging parents or family members who have disabling illnesses are facing issues related to their care. The author spent ten years caring for her spouse who had a rare, debilitating disease, and she is able to bring the voice of experience and compassion to this topic. She offers advice on finding spiritual support; maintaining balanced relationships; deciding when living at home is no longer possible; working out the finances; understanding the impact on the whole family; and dealing with the personal loses. If you are caring for an adult family member, her ideas will help you with the task you face. InterVarsity Press, trade paper, 153 pages. Cat. # IVP-22305. $8.99-D
My Own Story of Caregiving, free to read on Squidoo
Children are Wet Cement, by Anne Ortlund. This is an author I have met personally and she, along with her husband Ray, actually influenced me and my husband in our decision to marry each other. I recommend all of her books, but in this one she shows parents how to practice verbal affirmation, a simple yet powerful technique for raising children who will become secure, loving adults. Her instructions are specific for each stage of childhood, from infancy to the teen years and beyond. Anne tells lots of stories from her own childhood and of raising her own children (who, incidentally, grew into successful adults who love the Lord and have added their own two cents worth in this book). The last section of the book deals with us as children of God and own relationship with our Heavenly Parent. She points out that no matter how set we have become in our own ways, it is never too late or impossible for us to change. God has built into us the hope that we can become better, and He has the strength to help us. I highly recommend this book. It's mass market paper and very affordable -- only $4.49-D
Families at the Crossroads: Beyond Traditional and Modern Options by Rodney Clapp. As family issues and changes to the family become more and more controversial -- even among Christians -- the author challenges the assumption that the so-called traditional family is the Biblical model while also rejecting many modern options. Instead he searches the Bible for insight on the family for those who live in today's world. Whatever you currently think about the family today and the influences on it for good or ill, this book will challenge you. Do you think the family or the church is the most important institution on earth? What effect do you think capitalism has on the family today? Is it better to be married or single? The author will cause you to take a second look at the answers to these questions and many more. InterVarsity press, trade paper. 208 pages. Cat. #IVP-16550. $13.49-D
Families that Play Together Stay Together: Fun and Healthy TV-Free Ideas, by Cameron and Donna Partow. This book will help your family decide together on activities that will help them talk more, bond more closely, get healthy, burn off stress, and build a treasure of memories. It is packed with practical ideas that will inspire your family to lead a healthier, more family-oriented lifestyle. Even if presently your main exercise is raising your hand from a bag of chips to your mouth, this book will motivate you to get out and move -- one step at a time. 233 pages. $8.05-D
Family Celebrations at Birthdays and for Vacations and Other Holidays, by Ann Hibbard. Trade paper, from Baker Books. If a tight budget, inflated expectations, and the "bigger and better birthday" trap have you dreading the thought of a child's approaching birthday, relax and read this book. The author offers guidelines for making these important family celebrations and others simple, imaginative, and Christ-honoring. There are practical tips for planning birthdays that everyone will enjoy -- fun, memorable, and affordable. Ideas are also included for vacations, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Lent. Family devotions for these occasions are also included. $11.69-D
Family Traditions: Practical, Intentional Ways to Strengthen Your Family Identity, a Heritage Builder book by J Otis Ledbetter and Tim Smith. Chariot Victor, trade paper. The authors believe that family traditions are very important in cementing family identity, and they show parents how to leave a meaningful legacy by passing on their values through their family traditions -- even if they did not grow up with established family traditions themselves. They share ideas for making current holiday celebrations more meaningful and for initiating some new celebrations based on family milestones and special events in the lives of the family that have spiritual significance, perhaps adaptations of Biblical traditions. 217 pages. Cat.#Char-7531. $8.99-D
If I Were Starting My Family Again: Gentle Advice for Modern Parents, by John M. Drescher. Trade paper, 1994 edition. This best-selling author of parenting and family books offers some practical ways to take the pressures off being a parent. He sums it all up by describing parents as "God's love with skin on." Only 59 easy-to-have-time-to -read pages. 5.99-D
How to Really Love Your Child by Ross Campbell, M.D. You know you love your children, but do you know how to manifest your love to them in the ways they best understand it? This book will show you how to express your love appropriately. It also discusses inappropriate forms of love -- affection which when given to a child hinders his/her emotional growth by failing to meet emotional needs and, instead, fostering more dependence on a parent while hampering self reliance. (A perfect fictional example of this is found in the book Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield.) This book also discusses discipline, dealing with a child's anger, children with special problems, and helping your child spiritually.
Dr. Campbell eases into his subject of loving children by first introducing the proper family setting, helping both parents see how their relationship to each other affects their children. He also mentions the importance of the father's role in taking some responsibility for conveying love rather than considering children's emotional needs the exclusive domain of the mother.
This is a book I think all parents will benefit from reading. It's trade paper and 139 pages long. $8.91-D
How to Really Love Your Teenager, Revised Edition by Ross Campbell, M.D. The author believes that parents often harbor misconceptions about adolescence and develop unrealistic expectations that set them up for disappointment. To further complicate the problems, many parents haven't' learned to express love in ways that make their teens feel loved and accepted. Dr. Campbell teaches parents how to communicate unconditional love; handle anger (the teen's and your own); deal with adolescent depression; and help your teenager grow spiritually and intellectually. This updated version of the book contains new information on dealing with anger, attention deficit disorder, and spiritual nurturing. ChariotVICTOR, trade paper, 141 pages. Cat. #Char-067X. $8.99-D
Letters to My Children: A Father Passes on His Values by Daniel Taylor. A Christian father shares his deepest convictions about friendship, prayer, family, church, honesty, self-image, and faith in God. InterVarsity Press, trade paper. 177 pages. Cat. #IVP-22380. $10.79-D
Making God Real to Your Children, by Sally Leman Chall. Spire, mass market size paperback. The author has over twenty years of teaching experience at all levels, and concludes that children learn most of their attitudes and values about life and eternity by watching the the adults who are close to them -- like Mom and Dad. The author begins with three fundamental principles for parents to keep in mind as they go through the book: (1) God's Word is our instruction manual . (2)Know your child (3) Don't drive a great idea into the ground. Then the author focuses on showing parents how to model a consistent Christian lifestyle from the heart, how to lovingly discipline their children, how to improve their communication skills, how to tackle tough problems, and much more. All this for only $5.39-D
Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship by Robbie Castleman. Foreword by Ruth Bell Graham. The author has a passion for worship, and has learned how to teach children to praise God. She impresses upon parents the importance of taking their children's worship seriously, and proceeds to show how parents can help their children, toddlers to teenagers, to participate wholeheartedly in life's most important act. Trade paper, InterVarsity Press. 125 pages + discussion questions for group study. CAT. # IVP-16275. $8.99-D
The Power of Believing in Your Child, by Miles McPherson. Trade paper, Bethany House. This is the book to read if you have a child you're really worried about -- or even tempted to give up on. But it's also a book for any parent who wants to unleash the power he/she has to help his/her children be all they can be. The author wants to give all parents insight to cherish their children as God does, freedom from the fear that your children will lose the game of life, and the courage to raise your children according to the promises of God. 207 pages of practical advice. $9.89-D
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. This book is about speaking to the heart of your child, for the things your child will say and do will flow from his/her heart. Parents with children of any age will receive a new perspective and some methods of shepherding the heart of a child. Trade paper, Shepherd Press. 215 pages including index to Scriptures. Recommended by John MacArthur and Elisabeth Elliot. Cat. # 0066378601. $12.56-D
The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality, by Mary Pride. Trade paperback. From a former feminist who's been there, done that, comes a call for the Christian woman to discover the biblical freedom intended for her in life. How? By establishing a proper relationship to God, to her husband, and to her children. When I first read this book I bought five copies and started circulating them around church because I believed the book's message was so crucial. I still do. You may not agree with everything, but there's a lot here to ponder and pray about and plenty of ideas to encourage and inspire you. Pride discusses "wifeliness," mothering, working at home, and ministering through the home. 235 pages. $10.39-D
What is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer. Trade paper. Many long years ago when I worked in a Christian bookstore instead of owning my own book business, I managed to be included in a lunch with Edith Schaeffer after she had been autographing books in our store. My boss knew she was one of my favorite authors. I had read all her books. I was waiting to hear profound things at lunch, but the most important thing to this lady was her family -- and she pulled out a large picture of her huge extended family for us to see and began telling us about the people in he picture.
This incredible woman was involved in the work of her husband, Francis A Schaeffer and in the raising and educating of her many children. At the time she wrote this book she had lived in a family for 60 years, beginning at birth and continuing as a grandmother; she had been a wife for 40 years, and a mother for 38 years. During that time she developed a vision for all that the family is and can be. And this book imparts that vision. According to Mrs. Schaeffer, a family is an ever-changing life mobile, a balanced environment, the birthplace of creativity, the formation center for human relationships, a shelter in the time of storm, a perpetual relay of truth, an economic unit, and museum of memories, and a door with hinges and a lock.
The Bible says that without vision the people perish. Vision gives us a purpose and a goal to aim at. It gives us the big picture. If you are beginning to weary of changing diapers, fixing endless meals, or doing mountains of laundry while also trying to nurture your children and be a support to your husband, day in and day out, this book will help you regain your perspective. If you are newly married and have no children yet, this books will show you the possibilities of what lies ahead. Don't miss it. $11.69-D
See also Building Character.
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