Don't let some of the negative reviews deter you. I read a review down below that talked about the church kids behaving terribly and the parents following "grace based parenting". I wonder if the reviewer has actually read the book. There will always be parents who don't discipline and attribute it to "grace". Rest assured this book definitely encourages you to discipline your children but also to have grace with them as well. This book does not advocate allowing your children to slap, hit, interrupt, etc. at church in the name of "grace".
My personal parenting style fell on the side of over-cautious....legalistic. This book immediately challenged some of my ideas. As I continued to read through the book I began to understand a few things differently. He stresses that we should not parent our child out of fear of what other's would think or out of fear of what might happen *WHEN WHAT YOUR CHILD WANTS IS NOT SIN.* It's important to differentiate between personal preference and God-declared sin. He really stresses that kids NEED clear standards and they need to be disciplined for sin.
Does this book come down TOO hard on very conservative parents at times? Yes, in my opinion it does. I didn't parent my children the way I did because I feared other peoples opinions of me...I did it because I feared God's opinion of me. So what made the difference in my thinking? Simply understanding that my way of parenting was not producing the godliest children I wanted it too. If it's not working, do something different.
BTW, I have 7 kids ages 9 to 23. I can see how my parenting affected my oldest kids. They are good kids but in my endeavor to protect them from the world so that they would become outstanding Christian adults for Christ, I stunted their spiritual growth. You can't build spiritual muscle if you are NEVER put in a situation where you need to use them.
We go to a church where many are caught up in this grace-based parenting scam, including the pastor. Try having a two minute conversation with one of these folks. It can't be done because they WORSHIP their children and their children are holy terrors. You can't stand in the foyer without getting hit with something from these little demons. Unfortunately, our children have had multiple run-ins with the little devils. They have been punched, had cans thrown at their heads, scratched, and slapped across the face. They run like wild animals through the church, they are arrogant, have zero respect for adults, and are completely self-absorbed. If you want your kids to end up in prison, buy this book.
We heard Dr. Kimmel speak several years and were very impressed with what we heard. As a result, we purchased this book and it revolutionized our approach to parenting. Prior to reading this book, we were quite harsh and legalistic with our kids and we could see how it was harming them and causing them to rebel. We still have high standards for our children; this book does not recommend removing standards.
But now, we parent our kids out of grace and love whereas before it was all about performance and discipline. Since we caught hold of this teaching when our kids were young, we were able to eliminate corporal punishment. In fact, we rarely have to discipline our kids at all. We teach them what's right, and we lovingly but sternly correct them when we feel it's necessary.
Our oldest daughter is now 16, and she has transformed from a rebellious, stand-offish, emotionally closed off girl to a sweet, loving 16 year old who loves God, proclaims the Gospel boldly and without fear, and is comfortable with love.
Our other two children, ages 14 and 11, also love God. They seek Him out and read His Word, and they readily share the Gospel with their friends. They do these things because they want to; we do not "force" them to do these things. In other words, they do these things as an act of their will, not out of fear or obligation.
People, including kids, do have free will. And unfortunately, people can get in the ditch with any teaching but in our experience, when employed correctly, Grace-Based Parenting is the best method we've found for raising Godly young people who are well-prepared for life. We'll always be deeply indebted to Dr. Kimmel for this amazing book!
I'm not finish yet, but so far it has put my toes back on the ground.its touches on the very basics going back to understanding of grace---then living it daily...it help me to think when am angry at my children,to do evaluation of my anger and my approaches.parents gets angry so easily at small issues specially when they're stressed,the book reminded over the moral issues that parents has to be of great consideration.great work...
This is the best comprehensive book on parenting that I have read to date. I recommend it all the time. As a counselor and mother of five grown children, I believe in the principles that Tim Kimmel espouses - because they are Biblical. As a parent my first desire is that my children grow to know and love the Lord. Only by recognizing how desperately I need the Lord's grace daily can I hope to offer it to my children daily. By doing so in an authentic manner, my children were eventually able to see that their father and I were on their side. As they floundered along their own meandering paths drenched in the love and grace of their perfect Father they came to see Him as the life-giving, trustworthy Lord that He is.