To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Author: With Focus on the Family, Licensed Professional Counselor. Lives in Colorado, has 2 adult daughters. Thesis: Parents should influence their children by validating and nurturing, not trying to control. Rules are for safety and necessary order, but "You Live and Die by Your Own Choices" (p. 50, "Rule One of Life"). Sanford begins with the 2 roles of parenting: validating and nurturing. This does NOT include "making them turn out right." He continues with other good points: 1. The 3 rules of life: i. "You Live and Die by Your Own Choices" (i.e. parents cannot make those choices for their kids), ii. "You Can Choose Smart or Stupid" (i.e. not every choice is as good as another) iii. "There's Always Somebody or Something Whose Job Is to Make Your Life Miserable When You Choose Stupid," including parents! (I.e. parents do have a role in influencing their kids toward good choices, by making sure that poor choices have negative consequences.) 2. 4 actions: healthy actions are to HOLD what you have control over and responsibility for and to FOLD your hands giving control to God for the rest. Unhealthy actions are to TOSS responsibility for your own choices to someone else and to GRAB responsibility for things you can't control. 3. 3 habits to break: i. Replace "should" with "could, would like, wish, or choose" in your thinking and speech, both for yourself and for others. ii. Replace "what if" thinking with what you need to do right now, perhaps by thinking first of 5 colors you see, 5 sounds you hear and 5 things you physically feel (which can help bring you into the present). iii. Replace a desire to live your life again vicariously with a focus on what is good for your child based on their own gifts, interests, needs and abilities (this list of what to base on is mine, not Sanford's). 4. 4 "dances": Do you try to GRAB what your child is trying to HOLD (and which is in fact theirs to hold)? Or do you GRAB when your child TOSSes? Or FOLD when they TOSS? Or stick with the healthy dance: FOLD while your child HOLDs? 5. 7 rules on rules (versus advice or suggestions): remember that rules need to be enforced or they aren't rules but advice or suggestions, and make sure that the rules are in fact necessary for safety or order, that they are "a hill worth dying on" (p. 110) and that they are there "to make it `ouch' a bit when your teenager chooses stupid, not to `control' him or make him `turn out right'" (p. 111), much less simply for your own convenience . Make the consequences clear and specific, not "When you're responsible enough, then we'll ..." I.e. does not "Tie an `attitude change'" to restoration of a privilege taken for rule-breaking" (p. 170). And don't give "grace" unless the needed lesson has been learned. Sanford suggests limiting household rules to five. 7. Anger = hurt + worry. Express it but without hurting yourself or others. 8. A good discussion about intervention when it is needed, noting that timely mentoring by other adults can often remove any need for further intervention. 9. Sanford also gives good advice about the legally important age of 18, which doesn't mean they no longer need you. But you may need to kick a kid out (treat them like a tenant? pp. 151-2). There's also good advice on the question of paying for college (Sanford recommends dealing with it as a scholarship fund would). The last word: questions are often much more effective than statements.
Wanted some insight on what "new" guidelines we needed for our 17 year old. Our youth pastor recommended this. It was a super easy read and I got through it in one sitting. Totally tweaked my mindset in a good way. We already knew that we needed to hand over a lot more control over his own life ... but we weren't sure exactly how to do that in a way that worked well for ALL of us. Highly recommend.
You can always expect an amazing and mind blowing experience when reading a Tim Sanford book. His wit and wisdom are unparalleled and his words always hit home in the best of ways. This book is easy reading and great for anyone who has teens of their own or works with them!
Excellent book. I am preparing for my youngest to go to college in 23 days now. I read this book about 6 months ago and refer to it from time to time. It gave me several insights that I draw on when looking ahead to this huge transition. It really is a must read for all parents that try to take on anything and everything with their child thinking it is her/his responsibility for the outcome. Cut yourself a break, do the best you can, pray a little and realize that your son or daughter has been given free will and needs your guidance but you are not in total control.
As the parents of four goal-oriented, strong, spirited young adults, one who is now 23, one who, most sadly, died this summer at the age of 20, one who is 19, and one who is almost 18, this is the best book we have ever found on parenting through the times when teenagers are pushing limits as they figure out who they are and what they believe...for themselves. For those readers who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, you will find great encouragement to trust the One who truly loves your young adult far more than you do, which will free you up to simply love your child and nurture a great relationship with them, rather than trying to control their behavior.
We have found so much of what Tim Sanford teaches to be true, and yet we find ourselves going back to this book again and again for reminders and encouragement when we are tempted to "clamp down" out of fear, when really we should be trusting not only our God, but the process that will occur naturally as all that we have taught and modeled over the year comes together with the God's current work in the life of our incredibly insightful, thoughtful, opinionated 17 year old.
I have read most of the book and agree with the premise that we need to understand the limits of control. Getting the target audience to take the responsibility of his or her actions is the challenge. As a parent nothing comes easy. I like the diagrams which help parents recognize the boundaries of control!