I was asked a few months ago to review a book by Joey and Carla Link called Why Can’t I Get My Children to BEHAVE? Joey and Carla Link are founders of the site Parenting Made Practical and very involved in the Growing Familes International organization founded by Gary & Mary Anne Ezzo (author of Babywise). Carla and Joey are also well known for authoring Mom’s Notes…a series of presentations on parenting issues broken down by age level. Needless to say I was very flattered to receive an email from Carla offering to send me a copy of her new book.
This books is full of all kinds of helpfulness. I thought it would be a quick review and an easy summary, but I found myself underlining and highlighting whole paragraphs on every couple of pages. I love reading and even though I am not well experienced in writing reviews I still thought I could quickly type out my thoughts. Then I started to realize how much I was trying to capture…so then I thought maybe I’d do a topic series inspired by chapters in the book…and then I realized how little time I had to devote to blogging.
So this review is much overdue and most likely cannot even begin to do this book justice. I think the thing that surprised me the most about this book is that it wasn’t a new strategy…it wasn’t a series of steps…it was practical. It is full of things I know I should be doing. It honestly wasn’t even earth shattering or ground breaking to the way we had already been parenting. I did get some new ideas and fresh perspectives but more than anything it just makes sense. Just to illustrate a few of my favorite quotes that are so simple but so true:
Failure to teach your children how to obey will affect every stage of their life, and they will become totally independent before they are emotionally, intellectually, and socially ready for it.
Parents give their kids everything they want and pay their way through expensive colleges to find out their kids don’t want to be with them.
Getting your child to come at the call of his name is the greatest foundation you can put in place when you train your child to obey.
Telling your child to go and sit to get self-control is not a consequence…It gives you both a chance to calm down.
See? How can I possibly summarize all of these nuggets found every couple of paragraphs. Really I do plan to get back to blogging and this book is the perfect outline for many posts. It jives with no-nonsense, common sense approaches to obstacles you are guaranteed to face. If you are looking for a book that takes some of the hype and complexity out of behavior issues then this is a great book for you. There are no complicated formulas but it is chock full of simple ideas to surround your children with loving discipline. It covers everything from complaining to first time obedience to challenging authority to apologizing. You will also find hot topics like spanking, counting to 3, and prioritizing marriage over children. None of these are long chapters devoted to very specific topics for pages and pages. Instead what you will find are short chapters that cover a multitude of topics. I feel like they hit on almost everything I could have asked about! There are even sections dedicated to working parents!!
Here is another of my favorite quotes that beautifully summarizes what this book is all about:
When God gives a command or instruction, the ones He gives it to do not have the right to negotiate it with Him or do it on their terms. God does not tolerate partial obedience from His children, and we should not tolerate it from ours. Partial obedience is not obeying completely. In reality, partial obedience is disobedience because, when it comes to obedience, either your child obeys all the way or he doesn’t obey at all.