Do you remember ages ago I asked everyone to submit their favorite parenting books, and I would see which books had the most votes, and then evaluate the top five for the best wisdom on child rearing and parenting, coming from a place of having three grown children and hindsight, which is always 20/20. Well, it has taken me a lot longer than I thought, but I finally have a winner. It is a book which was never even in the top five after all: Child Training Tips by Reb Bradley (subtitled What I wish I knew when my children were young). This book gets my vote for top book, because the emphasis is Scriptural — the end result of child training is maturity (wisdom) and self- control. The two- prong method to achieve the end result is Scriptural — first, training, or teaching a child how to obey, and second, chastisement, or disciplining a child when he disobeys. The difference between thoughtless disobedience and outright rebellion is carefully explained from Scripture with many real life examples.
The method of chastisement is carefully explained and is Scriptural, and does not veer from the Bible’s injunctions to parents. The biggest help that I found in the book, however, was the expose of what the author calls parental blind spots. Areas where we may be unconsciously utilizing unbiblical or worldly child training methods, and the end result of even unwitting ignorance to God’s ways outlined in His word. Believe me, his parental blind spots are right on, and the outcomes in our children of ignorance of those blind spots are right on. Talk to any parents of grown children who did not adhere to God’s ways as presented in Scripture and ask them if they recognize their “blind spot” and the resulting destructive outcome in their children, and I am sure you will hear an Amen. It is so devastating to a parent who loves the Lord and who loves their children, to see their children fall prey to the destruction which Scripture promises will come to those who ignore His ways, when all the time the parent thought they were doing right because they learned their (worldly) parenting method in a church class. The child pays the heart- rending price for the parents’ blindness.
But as Reb Bradley says in the beginning of the book, this book is does not have all the answers on child training. Teaching such as how a parent’s anger fosters resentment and rebellion in the child; how rebellion once begun can be reversed; the thorough difference between training and chastisement, and many many more questions, are all explained in detail through the preaching of Dr. S. M. Davis. This man sought the Lord for wisdom and answers for his own rebellious daughter, and boy did the Lord give him wisdom. What I would consider a must have supplement to Reb Bradley’s book, is Dr. Davis’ Changing the Heart of a Rebel (because you learn, even if your child is not rebellious, how a parent provoking their child to wrath drives him there, and how to win him back by love), and What the Bible Says About Spanking. Especially if your children are too young to be rebellious, I would still listen to these. They can stop you from making drastic mistakes before the damage is done. Then I would recommend the Parenting Series. And of course all the other wonderful Dr. Davis teachings. But start here.
Then I believe every parent needs to implement Saturation Love.
As a grandmother, these resources contain the best advice I can give for effective, Scriptural child training, from a hindsight is 20/20 perspective. I hope they bless you and yours.