My Favorite Parenting Book: “Growing Kids God’s Way”

Caleb and his little Caleb-in-training…
  Life is full of different seasons.  Last year was a really happy, exciting season for me.  Sure, I had two elementary boys and a toddler to take care of, but Dan is an excellent napper and quite mature for his age (all 3rd children must be), and the boys were happy and humming along nicely, so it wasn’t so bad.  I was getting back in shape, I got my back all healed up nicely, and Alan’s job wasn’t butting into my life too much.  Life was great.
  Then I found out I was pregnant, and things started changing pretty quickly.
  Now I am in this un-sought-after self improvement phase– as in I must improve myself to survive juggling the four kids and Alan’s new job.  
   This job is definitely butting into my life.  But what can you do?  It isn’t his fault.  His job changes every couple of years, and for this particular job, there is more work than hours in the day.
   How does this affect me?  It means I have to do almost all of the work around here, and you might say there’s a lot of work to do here!  I’m exhausted.
  Columbus Day Weekend could not have come at a better time.  We all needed it so badly.  We got so much done, spent time together as a family, and cherished every bit of it.  Alan even chopped down the dead tree in our front yard, all by himself.  I was impressed.
   I’m still on my “trying to stay positive” kick.  Some days I do much better than others.
   Alan now does not get home from work in time to get the boys to awana, so that was all me tonight.  Alan met us there.  That meant that I did finally go to the parenting class he’s been attending while the boys are in their “clubs”.  I saw so many friends there, but I didn’t get to talk to any of them because I spent all of the free time that you get before class starts, in the nursery, feeding JD.  Maybe next week.

  This class is really good.  It’s called “Growing Kids God’s Way”.    It’s a book written by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.  It is an excellent book.  
  Side note:  They are also the ones who wrote Babywise, not my favorite parenting book, but this one is completely different.  The Babywise series upset me because they suggest that it’s the parents’ fault if the baby is not sleeping through the night, all based on their sleeping/eating schedule.
   Well, let me tell you, I have done the same routine (which actually is the Babywise suggested routine—only no crying it out here), with all four babies and only 2/4 of my babies slept through the night by 2 months, as the book suggests…Actually, I’ve had no respect for the routines of the last two due to circumstances, and those are the two that actually slept through the night rather quickly…..but that’s another topic for another day…
    My point with all that:
1.  No parent should ever blame themselves if their baby isn’t sleeping through the night.
2. I do not recommend that book to anyone.  I actually recycled my copy so that no one would buy it and become stressed out if the whole “sleeping through the night” thing didn’t pan out.  I can’t tell you how much that book stressed me out with my first baby.
This book/class:  Growing Kids God’s Way , is completely NOT a “tough love” kind of class.  They teach excellent principles for providing a stable, loving home for your children to grow up in.
A few things I have liked from this book:

1.  Do not argue in front of your kids because your relationship is their security.

(I know.  I’m working on it.)  Practice “couch time” each day with your spouse so that your kids see you talking together and can know that your husband/wife relationship is important to you.

2.  Provide a moral reason for your directions.

 Some kids, like Joshua, are “why” kids.  They tend to be more argumentative, and your instinct is to try to get them to hush with a quick “because I said so,” but it’s best to just explain the why.
   I’ve been doing that with Joshua, and it has helped his attitude.  Once I explain the ‘why’ to him, he’s great.
 The thing is, one day they will be grown, and “because I said so” will no longer hold. They will need to have a moral reason ingrained into their brains.

3.  Not making the house “child centered”–

Yes, we love our children, but if we make their world revolve around them…..well…….they are going to think the world revolves around them.  Know anyone like that?

4.  Teaching them to call adults Mr. and Mrs.

I had totally forgotten to do that until recently I noticed that our neighbors’ kids call us Mr. and Mrs. with our last name.  I thought, “Oh, that sounds so good, I forgot to teach my kids that!”
  We have gotten compliments from people about their use of sir and ma’am lately, though!

5.  Teaching your kids not to interrupt

6.  Taking note of your child’s “love language,” and making sure that you are meeting their needs there.

7.  Teaching them to listen to their conscience

……..and I got all that from just going to the one class tonight…..and listening to Alan talk about it.  That’s right.  I haven’t actually read the book.
  I’m going to use my new fave excuse:  I wanted to, but I have FOUR KIDS!  ; )
  I do recommend this one though!!!
a little John David to brighten your day  : )  : )


  • Anonymous

    “…quite mature for his age (all 3rd children must be)”
    I agree. ~Daddy-O [a 3rd child].

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a book I need to read. Wow, Caleb is quite the little businessman! Amy

  • 1st off… That photo at the top is hilarious. He looks like a mini me of his big brother.
    Next… It sounds like you did learn a lot going to the new bible study. Hang in there, friend… The days can be long, but these precious years are so short. Love you and know that I am here to help you get through your days with your sweet 4 babies. Call or email anytime!!

  • You are so sweet, Jamie, thank you. The good news is I don't have anywhere I have to go tomorrow, so it should be a good day. Isn't it so much easier to just stay home when there's a 4 month old involved!? JD does not appreciate the busy days.

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  • < had a typo in the previous reply... so I deleted it & started over!) I give you lots of credit – you have so much going on! Neither one of my two boys slept- no matter what I did. And I tried every method. So, you are batting .500 in my book! Good job! I am also going through a 'self improvement phase'. I am trying not to beat myself up too much when I find I am not as 'improved' as I thought!

  • Thanks, Di, I need to remember to cut myself some slack as well!