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Revolutionary Parenting: What the Research Shows Really Works Paperback – September 1, 2010
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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From the Back Cover
Spiritual champion: an irrepressible follower of Jesus Christ who accepts the Bible as truth, lives by its principles, and seeks ways to impact the world and continually deepen his or her relationship with God.
It’s your deepest wish for your child: A vibrant, faith-filled life. Yet the day-to-day challenges of parenting can feel so overwhelming. How can you be sure you’re doing the right things to shape your child’s heart, mind, and spirit?
There is no one-size-fits-all instruction manual to follow if you want to produce children who mature into twenty-first-century disciples of Jesus. But in this book, world-renowned researcher George Barna reveals some of the pieces to the puzzle, pieces that will guide your journey toward raising an irrepressible follower of Jesus Christ. Some of his findings will encourage you; some will surprise you. But all of them will equip you for Revolutionary Parenting that works.
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What I like about this book is how accessible it is. There are many lists and stories. They look at how parents of great kids did and try to find common themes. Additionally, they interview the kids to validate the input from the parents. However, in all the analysis, they don't lose the heart of raising kids: every kid is different, there isn't one way, etc. It isn't just about the numbers. Overall a very good book on parenting.
Although I have always valued Barna's statistics, I have not always agreed with his suggested plan of action because it was untested.
This time around, Barna wised up. He sorted through many families to find young adult children who turned out to be spiritually solid and worked backwards (to see if he could develop commonalities in how they were reared). And he did! Rather than diagnosing a problem and suggesting a solution, he has discovered what actually and really works (at least most of the time).
First, Barna begins by identifying the kind of young adults (from Christian homes) he considered "spiritual champions." Next, his group interviewed massive numbers of parents, some of who produced spiritual champions, some of who produced kids that were like everyone else's (not committed to Christ).
The test is when kids grow up and are in their 20's. While many twenty-somethings raised in Christian homes have forsaken the Lord, the spiritual champions clearly surface.
The differences were clear and striking. In the families producing spiritual champions, there was no doubt who was in charge; the children were taught how to think as Christians; parents did not give in to all the trends; they were proactive and limited what kids saw on TV and were selective about what kind of friends they had; they prayed together as a family and went to the Word (rather than feelings) when it came time to make decisions. They were more concerned about producing godly adults than pleasing their children in the moment. These parents are in control with their "hands on" and struggle when to take their hands off, whereas typical parents are "hands off" and struggle about when to put their hands on. He calls these sorts of parents "Revolutionary Parents."
Christian parents and counselors need to study this book.
Missing were charts and statistics. Barna also avoided the "home school/public school" issue. Although I know some Revolutionary Parents who send their kids to public school, these "Revolutionary Parents" seem to be the rule among home schooling families, in my observation. I suspect he is silent about this because he wants to encourage a broad readership (since it is possible to be a Revolutionary Parent and public school).
Great book!!! Wish it had been around years ago! If you are a new parent or even if your kids are already teens-- you need this book. It is short: a fast, easy, but meaningful read.