I remember those years of my life, rearing preschoolers. Take the word of a mom who is on “the other side” that if you are a parent of a small child or children, it really is only a Season of life, although at the time you are experiencing it, it may feel interminable! I would have loved to have had “Parenting On Your Knees” in my desperate hands so many times during that season. There’s wonderful insight, spiritual wisdom, and just plain lots of fun stuff to read.
In the Table of Contents, we discover the book is divided into 7 segments: The Introduction, Character, Development, Social Skills, Behavior, Spiritual Growth and Salvation, and an Appendix at the end where you’ll find recommended books for children that fit with the many topics written about and recommended parenting books. In addition, there are some tips on memorizing verses and suggestions for praying on the go, and creative quiet time ideas for getting much needed spiritual nutrition.
Within each section are chapters, each one dedicated to an area relevant to toddlerhood and beyond. The introduction has two chapters discussing why we should pray for our children. I think it is neatly summed up by this verse of Scripture:
“Pour out your heart like water before the Presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to Him for the lives of your children…”Lamentations 2:19 (ESV)
Each chapter of each section stands alone very well, and can be useful as reference in case the reader need fortification from time to time. Character traits we are led to pray for: to persevere, to have wisdom, to have patience, to have self-control, to learn responsibility, to respect authority, to be honest and to develop His conscience. And while we are being intentional about these traits, we should also pray for ourselves to model each of these and exercise wisdom in their development.
As our little ones’ bodies are growing, we are encouraged to pray for their health, for potty training, for bedtime, for cleaning up toys, for clean speech and language abilities, for their safety, and for morning routines. Each chapter opens with a short story, usually personal antidotes from the author, but it may also be one friends have shared with her. So many of these stories are funny and bound to strike a familiar note if you have similarly-aged children. The author includes a relevant Bible verse and a short lesson, followed by a prayer, a section to include your own prayers and a way to record answers to those prayers.
As our toddlers become preschool age they need to learn more social skills. So Vicki Tiede guides us through praying: for manners, for mealtimes, for sharing, for tattling, for friendships, for separation anxiety, for security and for sibling rivalry. Each of these has a devoted chapter. One of my favorite stories was the nonsensical discussion in chapter 22 “Isaac’s Your Buddy”. It was slightly reminiscent of Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First?”.
In the section on behavior, prays are for public behavior, for obedience, for temper tantrums, for time out, for whining, for accepting limit and for aggression. Last, but absolutely the most important is the chapter on praying for spiritual growth and salvation of our little ones. The stories there brought tears to my eyes. I remember the poinant moments of salvation in both my children when they decided to make Jesus their Savior and Lord.
You can read this book in one sitting if you want to. But each chapter can be read independantly and re-visited when needed. The book is well organized and one I recommend as a great reference, kept nearby for those moments when you forget why you wanted to be a parent in the first place, or just need a nudge of encouragement to keep on keeping on. I like the recommended readings given for each chapter. In the appendix, the author has broken down for you the character traits, behaviors, and habits each reference covers, including a suggested book for the parent to read to the child.
A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
- Praying Circles around your Children by Mark Batterson (godizreal.wordpress.com)
- 10 Tips for Teaching Your Children to Pray (newevangelizers.com)
- CloudMom.com Parenting Videos Featured on FamilyEducation (prweb.com)