When I think of "Christian" parenting philosophies, I often think of harsh parenting techniques backed by heave dose of corporal punishment. I'm sure those books are in the minority but they were, unfortunately, my perception of the topic. The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Life has changed this stereotype. It combines the gentle parenting that I employ with my daughter with the love of the Gospel.
I'm still working through the promotional copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook that was sent to me, but it has already changed the way I've approached discipline with my toddler. It's a lengthy book, but the beauty of it is that it's divided into small chapters, each of which discusses and models a different "heart-based" strategy. This is the perfect format for busy parents, who can pick up the book in a few spare minutes, read a chapter, and immediately begin to use that specific strategy without having to read the entire book first. With so many strategies, a parent is able to pick and choose which will work for their family or for each specific child. If one isn't working, there isn't an entire parenting theory or philosophy to throw out as with many other parenting books, there are still 49 more strategies to try. This is one of my favorite aspects of the book - that it can be used to make, as the book calls it, "your biblical philosophy of parenting" which looks unique to each family.
The other aspect of the book that stand out to me is the focus on character and "heart issues". The strategies are not meant to correct a certain behavioral problem, but to help uncover the character weaknesses that underlie those negative behaviors. For example, they may help parents identify that a child's continued refusal to take out the trash may really be an issue of laziness, or perhaps lack of dependability or even time management problems. Once the root issue is found, the strategies help them address the "big picture" instead of only solving one part of the problem. And it's all done in a loving, God-centered way!
I received a free digital advance copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook to facilitate this review. I was not required to write a positive review and opinions are 100% my own. The post also contains affiliate links. See disclosure policy.