Raising children is no easy task. It is probably one of the most overlooked responsibilities because so many people do it, and it is just seen as a normal part of the average person's life. I must say that social media brings a whole new realm to parenting as well, because you open yourselves up to the critique of everyone else when you share bits of your life. Honestly, I feel that most people are doing the best that they can to bring up moral, well-rounded children. Some people are just better at it. I recently had the opportunity to read the book Never Say No: Raising Big Picture Kids by Mark and Jan Foreman. You know, the parents of Jon and Tim Foreman of the band Switchfoot. How's that for Big Picture for ya?!?!
When you read "Never Say No" you may be thinking that this is one of those parenting books that focuses on a form of gentle parenting, where punishments and discipline are nowhere to be found. Let me reassure you that "Never Say No", instead, stands for giving your children the opportunity to form a relationship with you. Of course no parent can never tell their child no. There are boundaries, and rules that need to be followed, but when you overuse the word "no", you close the door to an important level of communication and relationship with your child. And, as they say, eventually they will stop asking. The speak to their relationship with God, and how they chose to enjoy their children the way that God enjoys us, by using their particular parenting style. This is also a testament to their ability to foster their children's unique capabilities and strengths with guidance from God.
I love the way this book is set up. It is told by both parents, Mark and Jan, where they alternate chapters. As a mother, I could absolutely relate to the stories and point of view of Jan, and also appreciated hearing things from Mark's point of view. There are also some seriously thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter. When taken seriously, you can get an honest look at the type of parent you are and the type of parent you wish to be. Depending on how you parent, this book could be very eye-opening, and for the better. I'm thankful that I have this by my side to refer to when I am struggling or just need some inspiration. I would love to re-read this ever couple of years and compare my notes of how I answer the questions. This book is not intended to be read with little attention as the meaning is made whole by the way you answer the questions, and your own willingness to be honest and learn more about yourself.
I can see my parenting style changing already, and opening the door to grow very close with my children and who they really are (versus what they are expected to be), and for that, I give this book 10 stars:
You can read more about Mark and Jan Foreman and purchase a copy of Never Say No: Raising Big Picture Kids HERE. Feel free to read more reviews HERE