I was asked to read and review this new book. In return, I get to keep the book. As I’m always up for reading, and always interested in free stuff, especially books, I agreed. I’m not quite sure how to go about reviewing it, as I do not have a strong-willed child, and if I did, he’s still little. But anyway, here are my thoughts:
The book is called Journey of a Strong-Willed Child and its by Kendra Smiley in collaboration with her husband and son. This book is a very easy read, I read it in one evening, in between Luke going to sleep at 7 and his last feeding at 10.
Much of the book consists of the Smiley family’s personal experiences with a strong-willed child. I think the best facet of this book is the empathy and encouragement for parents who are down-trodden and tired from raising their own strong-willed child. It may help them understand their child better, and encourage them that they are not alone. I appreciate the honesty of the authors in sharing their experiences and insights from raising (and being) such a child. In fact, in an interview, Mrs. Smiley said, “We hope that readers will learn to love, encourage, discipline, and appreciate their strong-willed child. We believe that these kids are a wonderful gift from God and that he can give their parents wisdom to help each strong-willed child sing his or her song to God.”
One aspect that I found lacking was how to deal with the heart of a matter. The heart of any person, any child, is sinful, and discipline must deal with the heart issues, even in children. Much of the book seemed aimed at making a child successful and acceptable in the world, whereas my goal in parenting is to raise a child that fears and loves Jesus. For example, the book contains an illustration of a little girl who refused to clean her room. After three days, the child finally chooses to clean the room so that she can go trick-or-treating. The mother seems to see this as a victory, but I don’t, because the girl’s heart is not turned to obedience and honoring her parents
(and thus honoring God), even though the desired behavior was produced.
Also, it is important to me to let Scripture train me as I learn to parent, and this seemed understated in Journey of a Strong-Willed Child. There are Bible quotations in the book, and it may be that the authors learned to parent from the Bible, but I would have loved to see the connections between the Scriptures used and their parenting approach.
Overall, this book was encouraging, entertaining, and helpful, but not as probing as I would want.
Click here to read some other reviews of this book.