The Relaxed Parent

Ed Note: originally reviewed by Julia Choops from the Xenos Web.

The title of this book is a little misleading. “The Relaxed Parent” conveys a feeling of permissiveness, which is not what the book is about. “The Principled Parent” would be a more accurate title. Another weakness of this book is a lack of real life and age-appropriate examples of “Principled Parenting”. I think this book is an excellent start and is a good foundation to parenting effectively, but some more real life examples would be helpful.

This book does a good job at addressing some of the lies we believe about parenting such as “my kids should always be happy,” money and material items can replace time with parents, unrealistic expectations on children and ourselves (parents). The author stresses repeatedly the importance of building solid relationships with our children as the key to effective parenting.

This book also discusses the trends affecting our children today and the traits of spoiled children (a particularly eye-opening section). I also liked the fact that the author stresses the need to look at ourselves and ponder the baggage we bring into our parenting.

The author stresses the parent’s need to teach children responsibility, which is done by giving up control and not over-protecting them.

Relaxed parents guide their children with timeless principles based on universal truth, not the latest formulas.

  • Parents need to ask themselves, ” Why do we have kids and what do we want to pass on to them?”
  • We want our children to be whole, loving adults. Confident & productive, at ease with the world. How?
  • Our culture is focused on image and personality. We need to parent on character and what lies within our children.
  • Effective habits are behaviors that are desirable and based on principles.
  • Principle-centered parenting believes there are universal values — values for all cultures for all time. In other words, absolutes that govern relationships like natural laws govern nature.
  • Principle-oriented parenting provides parents with a “North Star.” It helps us focus on important issues not just the urgent ones. These are the issues of character, who they are becoming from the inside out.

Recommendation: Overall, this is an excellent book. I would recommend it as reading for all parents.

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