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“Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents” is a book I would recommend for soon to be parents….and for established parents. I know the title seems more geared toward people on their way to having their first child and in many aspects it is. Many of the topics were not new news to me since I already have two kids of my own and I’ve walked the parenting ropes now for four plus years now.
Yet, I found myself either nodding my head in agreement with many of the topics or seeing an idea with a fresh perspective. Sometimes, as a parent, we just need little reminders of parenting techniques to try or affirmation that our parenting strategies are heading in the right direction and this book provides those perspectives.Parenting book review: Things I wish I'd known before we became parents' by Gary ChapmanClick To Tweet
It helps too that not only is it written by any expert but by an author I already trust who has helped me better understand relationships through his bestselling book: “The 5 Love Languages.” If you haven’t read that book I would highly recommend it as well.
It has taught me quite a bit about connecting with others and expressing the appropriate love language, especially towards my husband and kids. A specific book for relating to kids has been published, although I have not read that one yet:
So since the same author, Gary Chapman, wrote The Five Love Language books, I was eager to hear what he had to say about raising children in this book and I was not disappointed. His clear, direct and matter of fact writing style makes this book an easy read and the discussion questions, at the end of each chapter, are valuable tools for implementing the practical ideas.
Chapman co-authored this book with professor and counselor, Shannon Ward, who offers her input and personal stories to complement the words of Chapman. Together, they have created a thought-provoking book that challenges parents to grow in
Three of my favorite sections to read and learn from were:
That children are greatly influenced by our model
That social skills are as important as academic skills
That children’s emotional health is as important as physical health
All the sections have great tidbits but those three chapters spoke to me the most. The emotional health section covers Chapman’s five love languages in relation to children: physical touch, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation and gift giving. The chapter about influencing children discusses a five-step process to become better models as parents, including references to trusting and relying on God for help (another reason to love this book, since it provides a Christian perspective). The social skill chapter talks about manners, common courtesies and kindness.
I also found it intriguing that Chapman continually referred to the parents’ own childhood. He encourages the readers to reflect on the experiences they had as a child to help them make the best decisions for their own children. I think that this is something most of us do instinctively already but it’s helpful to think about it more intentionally and through the assistance of the prompts that Chapman provides.
The other chapters that I did not mention yet include:
That having children radically changed your schedule
That children are expensive
That no two children are alike
That potty training is no laughing matter
That children need boundaries
That sometimes parents need to apologize
That parents are responsible for their child’s education
That marriage do not thrive on autopilot
That children can bring you great joy
If any of those sound like intriguing topics to you, then I invite you to purchase and read the book, even perhaps discuss it with your spouse or parent friends since the chapter questions make discussion simple and straightforward. It never hurts to have more tips, tricks and encouragement when it comes to raising children.
Enjoy and Happy Parenting!
*I’m linking up with some of these parties.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8