I rarely write a book review, but I am making an exception when it comes to the book Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right (Moody Publishers, April 2018) by Arlene Pellicane.
Raising kids in today’s society can be frightening. Wrong is called right, smartphones replace human interaction, families are broken, and children aren’t maturing as quickly as in the past. In our fast-changing culture, parenting can sometimes feel like a losing battle. “We want our much-loved children to grow up into a life of godliness and morality,” says Arlene Pellicane. “But our children won’t drift into a life of godliness and morality by accident. Because of the morally bankrupt world we live in, it takes a great deal of intentional parenting to provide structure and spiritual handrails to guide our children towards lives submitted to God.”
Pellicane, an author, speaker, popular media personality, blogger, wife, and mother of three, believes there’s too much at stake in eternity to sit on the sidelines or get sidetracked on a smartphone when it comes to parenting. “The greater culture hangs on what happens in the microcosm of our homes,” says Pellicane. “We need to not be afraid to step up and lead our children. Our decisions won’t always be popular with our kids. But I think someday, our kids will thank us for being parents.”
In Parents Rising, Pellicane guides readers through eight cultural trends parents face today and what they can do to claim victory. Strategies include:
- Amusement is Not the Highest Priority: Today’s child is surrounded by addictive devices offering endless entertainment options such as video games, YouTube videos, and social media. Yet constant amusement reduces optimal brain function and erodes character.
- Parents Call the Shots: It’s time to seek the balance between yesterday’s overly strict parent and today’s overly permissive parent. Children are to obey parents; not the other way around.
- Routine and Boundaries Provide Security: Children need parents to restrict their freedom with healthy boundaries, not expand it. Children thrive with routine, structure, and consistency.
- The Bible and Prayer are Present Daily: We need to model a Christ-dependent, grace-filled life. Discipleship is the primary responsibility of a parent, not the pastor or the teacher.
- Marriage Takes a Front Seat: Your marriage must be a priority over your children. It’s also critical to present a united front. The best gift parents can give their kids is a strong marriage.
- Good Food Served at the Table: The regularity of your shared mealtimes may reveal the health of your home quicker than any other indicator. It is a great time for communication and the creation of cherished memories.
- Love is Spelled T-I-M-E: Dig for the treasures, carve time for training, and give your undivided attention without having to compete with technology or other distractions.
- Launching Adults, Not Babying Children: Start with character, parent with a plan, and see how far they can fly. We must reverse the growing trend in our culture with the “failure to launch.”
For each strategy, Pellicane includes a reflective question for parents, a related prayer, and a practical action step to put each strategy into practice.
“Parents, we must rise!” says Pellicane. “There is no better time than now. With every birthday, we get another year to influence our children to love the Lord and shine. Let us not waste our moments.”