No More Perfect Kids Book Study: Chapter 9- When Kids Want Us to Help Them Change

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I’ve been sharing my thoughts about the book No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch. You can read my full review of the book here. And you can preorder the book from Amazon here No More Perfect Kids: Love the Kids You Have, Not the Ones You Want . But if you wait until the book’s official launch in March, you can also get lots of bonus goodies when you purchase. So keep your eye out, and I’ll be posting more about that later.

Chapter 9 is all about change. It’s mainly about helping our kids change. But as I reflected back over the things I’ve read, I realized that I have many areas in which I need to change also.

The main theme of this chapter is positive parenting. Helping our kids change involves accepting who they are and emphasizing what’s good. It involves using appropriate communication that focuses on the positive and on finding a solution instead of just criticizing.

So much of this centers around communication. It’s one thing I feel we’ve really done right in parenting. I’ll say again- we talk in our family. And we talk. And we talk. Sometimes it makes me tired. And sometimes I would rather just take the easy way out and punish and be done with it. But as our kids grow, I’ve seen the good results of the communication we have. It isn’t always easy. We deal with bad attitudes and bickering and disrespect. But because we’ve laid the groundwork of communication, we can talk about the problems we see.

One caution in this chapter that I need to take to heart is to make sure that my communication is not criticizing. In my discussion of the last chapter I confessed that I do tend to be critical. Jill emphasizes making sure we aren’t critical and making sure we are “talking, not telling.” My tendency is to preach at them. Jill gives a four part method to use when correcting, and I really liked it:
1. You are being_________.
2. I know because_________.
3. I’m not glad because_______.
4. Therefore, __________.(This should be an instruction for the correct behavior.)
I think I could use this to help me to be more positive and less critical. I am definitely trying it.

The other thing I thought was really important in this chapter was Jill’s discussion about goals and what goals work. Ability- what the child is able to do- and outcome goals don’t work. Other things can happen to affect achievements and outcomes. On the other hand character goals do work. The child can set goals for what kind of person he is going to be and the character traits he wants to develop. Then, despite achievements and outcomes, he can develop character.

I think this chapter probably convicted me the most of all of them. And, appropriately, the advice at the end of the chapter is to pray. And pray often. I know that this is the key to parenting. I can’t do any of the good things I learned in my own strength. I need God’s help. And so I pray.

This is the last chapter in No More Perfect Kids. I’ll have one more wrap up post.

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