Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grace-Based Parenting

On a recommendation, I picked up the book "Grace Based Parenting" by Dr. Tim Kimmel. After the onslaught of baby books I read when the little guy was born, I'm trying to be more choosy as I worked myself into a good panic after reading all of the ways I could be a bad mommy. However, Grace Based Parenting is a refreshing change from the "thou shalt not" books I've been handed.

The premise is that parenting out of fear leads to kids that can't function well in society and have trouble understanding God's grace. Dr. Kimmel writes that:

Rigid rules and checklists for "holy" behavior- mostly "don'ts" capped off by a highly scripted religious home life is and excellent way to wreck your kids. Grace-based parenting, on the other hand, mirrors God's love, reflects His forgiveness and displaces fear as a motivator for the choices we make.

Trait and I both attended conservative Christian universities. We both saw the same thing: students that had been shielded from the real world growing up and had an overly strict home life had a major freak-out when they had the freedom of the college life. For the most part, they couldn't balance that freedom with healthy boundaries. Their parents had kept them so "safe" growing up, but it seemed to produce weak adults that couldn't think for themselves.

So, the question is: How do I parent in such a way that shows him grace and yet teaches him submission and boundaries?


Ty said...

Let him visit Uncle Ty a lot. That'll teach him.

I mean, that'll be awesome for him.

Anonymous said...

Children learn by example. A good bases of right and wrong has to be instilled. You and Trait clearly have that. Yes, I would think teaching your child the love of God is much better than the fear of God, which all young South Baptist preaches know about. This is not a new concept by the way. I was fortunate enough to have many young South Baptist preachers in my life as I was growning, and I can say I never lived in fear in my relationship with the Lord, and by example my son has a good and close relationship with the our Lord too. It is good to read every thing you can get your hands on, about any and everything, when it comes to parenting, it will only conferm the fact that the best information comes from your own God given savy and comman sense. As you get older and more into it, (child rearing) you all will hate yourself, when you slip and say the very things that you said--- you would never say! Words that your parents said to you did that come from you will say after it just pops out?! EXAMPLE--- wins every time. I happen to know you both have wonderful parents---the best. I have great hopes for Cale, because you all will teach him so many good things about love...which was taught to you. Cale is a very lucky baby.