You’re sitting around a table at your favorite restaurant. The kids are just cleaning up their plates; you’re fiddling with the debit card, when along comes the little lady with the big smile and the kind eyes.
“I just have to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your children this evening . . .” she begins, and your heart swells with gratitude and pride because, deep down, we all want our children to stand out and to be remarkable for the right reasons.
Parenting would be lovely if only there were a formula, a series of steps to follow, which would ensure the desired outcome. Raising Uncommon Kids offers the astounding (and wise) suggestion that parents pay a little less attention to their children’s behavior and a little more time evaluating their own behavior.
There is no quick fix for raising children. There are, however, character qualities and behaviors that we desperately want to see in our kids’ lives. Author Sami Cone suggests that the first and best place to look for those characteristics is . . . in our own lives!
Beginning with the principles found in Colossians 3:12-17, Sami looks at the life of a family through three distinct lenses:
1.Your Heart at Home: How do you and your spouse talk to each other? What kinds of behaviors and responses are fair game on the average Thursday afternoon? What do your choices reveal about your priorities? Remember: “your influence will impact your kids far more than your instruction!”
2. Your Attitude Toward Others: Do your children see you considering others before yourself? Is their obedience all about fear and rules and consequences, or are they beginning to see that forgiveness, patience, and kindness are the best and most sensible way to live?
3. Your Influence in the World: Selfless behavior has impact far beyond the family room, and kids who are grounded in gratitude, peace, humility, and compassion will become world changers wherever they go.
Raising Uncommon Kids pulls in the experiences of a dozen wise mums who offer their input and encouragement in mentoring moments. Sami goes on to share very practical suggestions for putting godly character into action. For example, model gentleness in your home with lunch-box notes, spending time one-on-one with kids, or by charging a fine when kids or parents complain or make negative comments. Teach compassion and give kids a crash course in what it’s like to be an adult by switching roles for the day!
The traits listed in Colossians 3 — gentleness, forgiveness, wisdom, patience, kindness, humility — are foundational to living a peaceful and selfless life. The Bible is a mirror for parents in which we see clearly our own failures in word and deed, find forgiveness, and then move toward qualities that we want our children to emulate. Very often, a new tone in a household is not the result of a discouraging do-list of unachievable behaviors, but rather a change in heart based on truth that comes from the uncommon love of a wise heavenly Father.
This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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