Makena (Become Whole, Unbreakable, and Unstoppable, 2016, etc.) offers a Christian-themed parenting guidebook that concisely covers a wide array of topics.
The author opens with a statement of encouragement that many readers of parenting books will find familiar, asserting that there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, and that improvement is always possible: “Acknowledge when things aren't right, learn from it, work toward a better tomorrow, and show your love,” she writes. “Forgive others by loving and forgiving yourself.” She sounds this note of pragmatic compassion throughout the book, shifting her attention from one aspect of parenthood to another, addressing such topics as patterns of honesty, dealing with grief, time management, and encouraging a child’s sense of uniqueness. The consistent background theme is the author’s ardent Christianity; this is very much a book about raising Christian children. “Train them the reverence of God in all their ways,” she instructs parents. “When no one else can be close enough, God is always there.” The fundamentalist tone of some sections may worry some readers, but most of it is couched in general terms of hope and trust, and the underlying love effectively comes through. Communication is the cornerstone of virtually every piece of advice here: “Communication is nonverbal, verbal, and two-way,” she reminds readers. “It must all be understood correctly to foster strong, lasting relationships.” She also advocates for fostering children’s reading habits and keeping a watchful eye on their nutrition; the book also broaches questions regarding divorce, single parenting, adoption, and trauma—all in warm, empathetic tones that will appeal to both parents and children. That said, Makena never lets her compassionate tone prevent her from offering tough advice; when it comes to questions of blame and boundary-setting, for instance, she’s clear but firm.
A comprehensive, highly approachable child-rearing manual.