As a parent, sometimes you need to step up to the plate and make your child's case. But how do you do so without causing further problems for your child with the teacher, coach, doctor, principal, or relative involved? Author Vicki Caruana shares real-life examples of when to intervene, how to tell your story, and how to negotiate. Most importantly, you'll see how to follow the example of Jesus, the ultimate advocate for each one of His children.
Many parents struggle with “going to bat” for their children without alienating the authority figures involved. Whether that authority figure is a coach, a pediatrician, a principal, or a mother-in-law, it takes courage to be an advocate for your child. It also takes wisdom to do so without being defensive or demanding. Author Vicki Caruana provides real-life examples and the confidence parents need to be champions for their children.
Standing up for one's children is a parent's duty, and Vicki Carauana tells us how to be the best via this Focus on the Family book. She says that, "If we're careful about how we communicate and conduct ourselves, we can help our children get what we think they need in a way that doesn't burn bridges, alienate, or betray our claims to be followers of Christ" (p. 1). She has created a website for support from other parents: standingupforyourchild.blogspot.com.
The author explains different situations that can arise, as she gives anecdotal experiences that parents have shared with her. She shares that her husband and she tend to be on opposite ends of the spectrum between rushing in to question (he) and finding out and breaking down the information first (she). As an educator of students from kindergarten through college, as well as homeschooling her own boys, Caruana has had many experiences to share in this book, which had begun as a doctoral thesis.
Bullies exist, unfair teachers are in the classroom, and jealous parents have children in the classroom, but knowing how to teach one's child to be an advocate for himself is very important. Since a parent can not always be by his side, giving him the confidence to face daily school situations, the workforce, or college on his own is imperative.
The chapter subtitles, listed as guiding principles, seem more explanatory: "Be mindful of what you model," "Know intimately the needs of both sides before you speak for either," "Keep the long-term best interests of your child in mind when you make short-term decisions to intercede," "Make sure your words and actions are in harmony when dealing with others," "Be willing to seek advice when you're unsure, instead of pretending you know it all," "Consider carefully the self you want to present to the world as a parent," "Let your children see how it's done; then step back and let them do it," and "Trust in the certainty of your calling."
All of these guiding principles are essential, but the last is highest on the list, since parents must remember that children have been given by God to nurture, cherish, bring up in His admonition, and to advocate for, not be an adversary against. The only way to be worthy of this calling is to go to the best instruction book a Christian parent has: the Word of God. Sharon I. Rideout, Christian Book Previews.com
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